Varsity teacher urges enactment of Nigerian Housing Act


Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Babatunde Alo (left); Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Prof. Timothy Nubi and his children and Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahmon Bello during the inaugural lecture by Nubi on the topic: Beyond Bricks and Mortar, recently

The don revealed why access to adequate and affordable housing remains elusive to many Nigerians both in the urban and rural areas as well as shared his thoughts on how indiscriminate policy transfer and hence policy mismatch has impeded the growth of the housing sector in the country 

A PROFESSOR of Housing and Urban Regeneration in the Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Timothy Nubi has canvassed for the enactment of a Nigerian Housing Act and active government participation in the building industry.

Nubi who doubles as the Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences said during his inaugural lecture on the topic: Beyond Bricks and Mortar, that the only way out of the housing dilemma is industrialization and privatization of the housing process, which can only be achieved through the re-engineering of housing development companies.

In the lecture chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahmon Bello, he affirmed the profound impact of decent shelter in a sound environment on the life style, health, growth, happiness and productivity of an individual, and the lack of it is one of the worst forms of poverty that drives crime.

According to him, urban regeneration should form the core of housing delivery in the next two decades, identified slum areas such as Makoko, Ijora Badia should be declared regeneration schemes.

He further suggested that the Ecological fund should be made available to regenerate coastal slums. “Urban Renewal Authorities must be restructured to become corporations and should be established in all states.”

The don revealed why access to adequate, and affordable housing remains elusive to many Nigerians both in the urban and rural areas. He has also shared his thoughts on how indiscriminate policy transfer and hence policy mismatch has impeded the growth of the housing sector in the country .

He dwelt extensively on the relationship between urban regeneration and housing development. His studies have also shown the relationship between housing finance, housing supply and the housing stock. “Without decent mortgageable housing stock, the potential for utilizing modern forms of finance in generating new supply is limited.”

Prof. Nubi also argued that financing affordable housing in the context of a developing country like Nigeria needs to be founded on an unbundled system of mortgage finance. He recommended that the big commercial banks should be mandated to commit at least 15 per cent of their loan portfolio to mortgage finance.

His words: “Mortgage brokers must be introduced into th system to boost mortgage origination and servicing.” He continued, “Co-operative housing has been the tool for mass housing in developed countries, no doubt with the popularity of the co-operative sector in Nigeria, it can be used as the basis for affordable housing provision in the country.”

His research in land administration has shown that there is need for systematic overhaul of the land management system, from the review of the Land Use Act to the nationwide adoption of Geographical Information Systems and the ploughing back of revenues generated from land related transaction to the land management sector.  “On the other hand, infrastructure financing needs to be based on a steady and sustainable improvement in the infrastructure portfolio through a transparent, mixed strategy – a three-quadrant model – which encourages individuals and firms (as well as government) to innovate,” he said.

Prof. Nubi listed his contribution to the university community, the nation, states and his profession. He had worked with the Federal Housing Authority to develop a blueprint towards a sustainable affordable housing delivery in Nigeria.

They created five different models through which social housing could be delivered. Since then, he has promoted the Cooperative Home Ownership Incentive Scheme (CHOIS) model as a veritable solution to housing challenges in the country.

He explained that housing affordability could be achieved if there is cost reduction. “Housing is said to be affordable when the cost incurred on rent or amount for amortization of mortgage loan is not more than 30 per cent of the income of the renter or the mortgagor.

This implies that if the cost of houses reduces, it becomes affordable. If the income of the renter increases, affordability will also be ensured.”

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