NIESV wants dormant accounts, unclaimed dividends used in bridging housing fund gap

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NIESV wants dormant accounts, unclaimed dividends used in bridging housing fund gap
Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV)

Mr Samuel Ukpong, former Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Lagos Chapter, on Monday said that dormant accounts and unclaimed dividends should be used to fund housing gap.

Ukpong, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said these avenues could be used to bridge the gap between costs of houses and income of end users.

According to him, housing delivery is not rocket science as it has become standardised.

He said that for affordable housing to be funded, it had to be durable, saying that it needed to be standardised as well as have strong estate management.

Ukpong lamented that lack of adequate funding had been a major challenge hindering effective housing delivery and growth of the housing sector.

“Housing delivery is not rocket science. Housing has become standardised.

“This is how other countries do it. There is no other way yet.

“To talk about the affordable housing gap for employees who put money into it, this can be done by CBN through dormant accounts.

“Many of our banks are holding dormant accounts and the money runs into billions of naira. Let this money be used in housing development.

“The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) through unclaimed dividends can also assist.  Some people do not claim their dividends; may be it is too small.

“They do not have the time or inefficient postage system,’’ he said.

Ukpon said that multilateral funds and development agencies could be accessed to fund social housing as well as faith, corporate and community-based organisations.

He said that with a model like this, it could create a link between the buyers and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to access the National Housing Fund (NHF), saying that this way, they could repay their loans.

Ukpong explained that the design of a building could also reduce its cost, urging Architects to come up with affordable architectural housing designs.

According to him, taking into consideration the ecological and environment effects and energy consumption, architects can design affordable houses.

Ukpong described funding as a “big shackle around the neck’’ in the housing sector.

“Today, to build a two bed-room bungalow costs about N5 million, except you want to build with mud and wood.

“So, how many low income earners can afford N5 million. In fact, anyone who can afford N5 million for a house is no more a low income earner,’’ he said.

By Lilian Okoro