Experts urge FG to tackle housing challenges, address deficit


Experts urge FG to tackle housing challenges, address deficit


Some operators in the real estate industry say Nigeria may continue to experience housing deficit until Federal Government implements policies aimed at tackling challenges in the sector.

The operators told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Tuesday, in Lagos, that the Federal Government had not provided the enabling environment for housing or enacted cogent policies that could bring solutions.

The experts frowned at the poor performance of the housing sector in 2018, and appealed to the government to show commitment; as well as exercise strong political will in ensuring speedy growth of housing in 2019.

According to them, the growing population of the country is not commensurate with housing development, a situation that has led to the shelter deficit.

Prof. Timothy Nubi, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Lagos, said there was need for government to overhaul the land registration system by removing it from the constitution.

NAN reports that the existing land use law (The Land Use Act of 1978) solely empowers the governor of a state to give assent to land titles.

Nubi said that removal of the Land Use Act from the constitution was the only way the country could have an effective land registration system.

“Efficient land registration system will enhance wealth generation, facilitate more housing developments and create investment opportunities.

“It will speed up the process of land applications by cutting-off unnecessary bureaucracies, financial demands, delays and other challenges encountered in the process.

“Many operators and companies have left the real estate industry due to the difficulties in the county’s land registration system,” Nubi noted.

Contributing, Mr Ayo Adejumo, fomer Executive Secretary, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) said that government should create public awareness on land policies, individual responsibility and right of ownership.

Adejumo said there were some amendments to the land registration system without notice to the general public.

He said government should stimulate people’s interest in land title registration and conversion of customary titles to statutory right of occupancy by reducing the cost.

“Duplication of work, lack of synergy between the decision making bodies and professionals, lack of public awareness and transparency; combined with the weak rule of law, creates the window for corruption in the system,” he said.

Mr Kunle Awobodu, Chairman, Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) said that the mortgage sector should be considered a value chain that required restructuring to be effective.

Awobodu said that sustainability of housing developments depended heavily on the effectiveness of the mortgage system.

“This includes subsidising building materials, creation of credit facilities and enabling environment for the private sector to operate.