The Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN) has emphasized on the need for government to focus more on the increasing housing demands in the country.
According to HDAN, one of the most effective ways of ensuring mass affordable housing in Nigeria is for authorities to focus more on solving the problems inherent in the demand side of housing.
Executive Director of HDAN, Festus Adebayo, said governments should provide windows that will facilitate direct access to finance for the people that needs them.
He pointed out that the demand side of the housing market requires immediate consideration and that the government needs to stimulate the growth of the sector by increasing access to finance.
“Housing is nothing without finance. If you provide finance for home seekers and entrepreneurs, developers will build houses to that level if you provide the right scale.
‘’After agriculture, the next contributor to our GDP is the construction sector. There are building projects in all major cities in Nigeria and that’s because there is a market for those buildings. But majority of Nigerians who happen to be in the low-income sector can’t afford these houses that are usually more than N10millon.
Unfortunately, Nigerian developers, according to him don’t go into the market to build N10million worth houses. ‘’They sell cash and carry. There is a missing market in that bracket and it is the responsibility of government to create that market by providing access to finance to that section of people that cannot afford.’’
According to Adebayo, one of the greatest banes to housing development and the reason why the demand side of housing is not viable is because there is lack of political will even for interventions at the micro levels like; NHF and FMBN.
He said, ‘’all the stakeholders that are supposed to be contributing to the NHF fund are not contributing. The majority of contributors are workers because they have been forced to. The government institutions that are supposed to lead by example starting from the Central Bank to other banks in the corporate sector in contributing to the NHF are not contributing even after 26 years. And nobody is doing anything to enforce that contribution. And people forget that the NHF is an act of the Nigerian constitution.
Adebayo said it is very important to comply with the dictates of the constitution, and the absence of this compliance is why the NHF is still not delivering on its potentials.
For him, a lot of work is needed to be done on the demand side, and this should form the focus of the government going forward.