Experts Proffer Solution to Housing Deficit in Nigeria

By Idris Umar

Stakeholders and professionals in the real estate and mortgage sector had, on Thursday, brainstormed on ways to find lasting solutions to the housing deficit challenge in Nigeria.

The discussion was made at a conference with the theme; “Housing for All: The Role of Cooperative Societies and Financial Institutions,” which was organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ ) Correspondents Chapel FCT Council, in collaboration with Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN).

The discussants emphasized that the fulcrum of the Nigerian economy is the low-income workers and that their daily earnings can be aggregated and harnessed to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Domak Group International, Dr. Kingsley Azonobi, represented by Barr Collins Mbeh,
Group Company Secretary, said his firm is already leading a paradigm shift in that direction.

“We are already leading a paradigm shift as a company in this direction to refocus attention on the middle-class earners on how to provide affordable housing for them.

“The fulcrum of the Nigerian economy are the ordinary people. The aggregation of their wealth can be harnessed to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria. This partnership can be forged to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria,” Dr. Azonobi said.

On his part, Managing Director of TI Bilon Construction Limited, Mr. Toochukwu Nnamoko opined that the Nigerian economy has had adverse effects on the citizenry, stressing that it is now difficult to even rent a house, let alone own one.

“The Nigerian economy has not been favourable for Nigerians to be able to own their own houses or even rent one. The economy makes it more difficult for the common man to own a house.

“There are three key needs of man: food, housing and clothing. Housing is an issue that concerns every one of us. As people hit the age of 18, what comes to their mind is how to own a house or rent one,” Nnamoko added.

Earlier in his remark, the Chairman of NUJ FCT Correspondents Chapel, Comrade Jide Oyekunle, called on the federal government to develop a special programme of action to make affordable houses available for journalists in the country.

Comrade Oyekunle said that Nigerian journalists have served the country with dedication and patriotism, and therefore, deserve a better living, saying the role of the media in affordable housing cannot be overemphasized, particularly as at the moment, the country is faced with a challenge of 28 million housing deficit.

Oyekunle, stressed the need for the Nigeria government to act fast on the growing housing shortage and not be left behind in achieving Number 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG), which states that by the Year 2050, over 6.5 billion people will be living in cities.

While making his presentation, the Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Madu Hamman, who was also the Guest Speaker at the event, tasked the NUJ FCT Correspondents’ Chapel to set up a cooperative society.

Hamman stressed that the FMBN was established with the sole aim of ensuring constant supply of loans to Nigerians for the purpose of building, purchasing and improvement of residential houses, especially low-cost housing for low-income workers.

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