AIHS 2023: Absence of Housing Data, Bane of Real Estate Development In Africa – Festus Adebayo

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Abuja, 17th July – Mediaage NG – Nigerian housing chief, Barr. Festus Adebayo has said the lack of reliable source of data has been a problem for real estate development in Africa. He described housing data as a very important tool, something he said the absence of it has in many ways affected housing policies and planning in various African countries.

Bearing this in mind has been the chief reason several dignitaries across the African continent and beyond have been invited to this year’s Africa International Housing Show (AIHS), an annual event he organises.

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This year’s edition of the show, the 17th, themed ‘Beyond Rhetoric To Homes; Making Housing Happen’ is scheduled for the 24th through 27th of July.

Nigeria’s Punch quotes Adebayo as revealing that this year’s event will ensure consolidation and getting of key data stakeholders cut across the Nigerian Population Commission (NPC), Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to get involved in the discussion of data.

The show will contain a session of team from pan-African financial housing institute, Shelter Afrique, with its Board Chairman, Dr Chii Akporji speaking on what the new Nigerian government can do to provide housing for Nigerians. She is also expected to detail the impacts housing has had in advanced countries like the US, Canada, UK, and other western countries.

Barr. Adebayo is of the notion that lots have been said on how the government can improve housing development in Nigeria but, action has been at a snail pace to match these promises. This is the reason for the choice of “a well-thought-out theme” for this year’s edition, he said.

“The theme was chosen after due consideration of what has been happening in the real estate sector, Adebayo stated.

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“A lot of workshops and seminars have been taking place with a lot of empty talks without seeing the houses needed. So, we decided that it is time for practicality and action to make things happen.

“Every year, the population in Nigeria is increasing in geometric progression, while the building of houses for Nigerians is not up to the level of arithmetic progression, he queried.

Adebayo who is also the Chief Executive of Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), said policy change in the African housing industry is dire, seeking for investors in boosting the African economy.

The importance of the AIHS has seen it made strides, as it has been a source of policymaking decisions in Nigeria and some other Africa countries.

He said ‘let’s start from the area of some amendments that have been made to land registration.

Today, we can boast of a digitised land registration system by the Nigerian government and in some states. These initiatives came from recommendations made during previous AIHS events.

“The National Housing Show has at various times called for the establishment of a specialised Ministry of Housing. We can report to you today that some of the states in Nigeria can boast of a Housing Ministry separate from Works. The Federal Government is also considering this and we are happy about it.

“We have also called for the establishment of an organisation that can assist in building affordable housing for low and middle income earners. This has led to the establishment of the Family Homes Fund Limited (FHFL) which is responsible for the building of houses not for the rich but solely for the poor. These were part of our requests in previous years and they have been actualised.

“We made an impact in the area of pension funds because, at various levels, we called for the need to allow Nigerians get access to their pension fund for home ownership. We have so far been able to achieve RSA, the window that PENCOM has allowed.

There is no better time to call for practicality in the housing industry, especially under a new government leadership that has come with a new thoughts and plans. It should not be much talk as usual but, practicality in the mortgage sector and other areas of social housing, land allocation or access to land, urban development and housing finance. This is part of what the AIHS is planning to impact this year.

It is not surprising that the show has not lost any of its sponsors or partners in the last decade, something Adebayo ascribed as the magnetic power of the show that keeps making participants and exhibitors alike to come for more and anticipate more networking opportunities.

Expected dignitaries at the coming show include the Nigerian Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima who will declare the event open, the Nigerian Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, Secretary to the Nigerian Government, George Akume, representatives from the United Kingdom, Secretary of State for International Trade, Kemi Badenoch, Katsina State Governor, Dikko Radda, Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia, amongst others.

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