Nigeria Should Be Doing Better In The Provision Of Affordable Housing – Dr. Omere

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According to Dr. Omere, Nigeria should be doing more in housing development for the people.

Benin City - October 15 - Mediaage NG News – Millions in Nigeria still struggle for affordable housing provision, despite boom in real estate business. The country’s real estate market has been expanding rapidly, and so has the number of persons in need of affordable housing in Africa’s most populous nation. This reflects in figures or statistics that show the country has a growing deficit of at least 22 million homes.

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Housing disparities in the country is evident in the huge economic divide that exists and according to World Bank study, it proves the 22 million figure of persons in Nigeria not having the housing they need. “This is the highest number in the world”, it said.

Past administrations in the country have always pledged addressing the issue of lack of affordable housing. However, not much result has been achieved. The immediate past government that promised to supply 1 million affordable houses per year to help meet the demands of affordable housing, yet failed spectacularly, is a prime example.

Construction expert, Dr. Mrs. Nosa Omere, at the recently concluded Shelter Conference, held in Benin City, said as one of the leading countries in the continent, Nigeria ought to rank highest in the provision of affordable housing. She said this must go hand in hand with infrastructure development.

“Nigeria is supposed to be the biggest country in Africa and should be doing better in the provision of affordable housing than other countries in the continent, she said.

“Ensuring the provision of affordable housing goes hand in hand with infrastructure that is taken care of by the government, not the owners of houses”.

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Dr. Omere called on the government to emulate other countries in the continent like the Ivory Coast, who are good at providing conducive environments for trained skill workers in the housing industry to excel.

The deficit in housing stock in Nigeria is due to government’s inability in prioritizing affordable housing as a policy for the people.

One way to find solutions to housing problems in the country is for the government to recognise housing provision as a social responsibility to the people, thus, providing the necessary enabling environment and policies (land, prices of building materials and mortgage) required for developers to build at affordable prices for the Nigerians.

“In accessing lands, developers should be allowed to deal directly with the owners of lands that have Certificates of Occupancy”, Dr. Omere said.

She questioned the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to explain how the contributions made from the National Housing Fund (NHF) have been utilised.

Dr. Omere runs a company, WTF Construction Limited. It seeks to provide state-of-the-art construction solutions that are affordable, safe, energy-efficient and quick in the construction delivery process. The company has a working relationship with one of the largest aluminium concrete form work manufacturers and suppliers in the United States.

Its innovation, quality concrete homes and speed of construction has endeared to real estate developers in the West African sub-region, both in government and private sector. Its presence is felt in African countries like Sierra Leone and Cote D’ivoire.

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