Housing corporations demand overhaul of estate development loans

A housing estate in Lagos, Nigeria. Image source findnigeriaproperty

A housing estate in Lagos, Nigeria. Image source findnigeriaproperty

PIQUED by the housing shortages in the country, the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) has canvassed for the restructuring and expanding of the Estate Development Loans (EDL) being managed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to make more funds available for mass housing provision.  

The group argued that the EDL fund should empowered to mobilize funds from various sources such as Pension Fund, unclaimed dividends from shares, a percentage tax of corporate institutions and other related idle fund sources.  
On the sideline, delegates and participants after its 42nd Annual General Meeting and 93rd Council Meeting and workshop held in Akure, Ondo state on “Repositioning the Housing Sector As a Tool for Economic Recovery and Development in Nigeria”, x-rayed the role of housing corporations and the challenges they face which include lack of independence, usurpation of their statutory responsibility by other departments of government, non-participation in the National Housing Fund (NHF), political interference among others.  

In a communiqué, participants who sought for the review laws establishing housing corporation, canvassed autonomy and commercialization of housing corporations to enable them fulfill their statutory responsibilities to the housing sub sector.

They recommended that government should set up a committee to look into all the problems confronting housing corporations and set up. “The operators of the housing corporation in all its facts must ensure that there is synchronization between the implementation of the Housing Policy and Legal framework establishing the housing corporation.”  

AHCN noted that these other sources should include annual grant from the Federal Governments, specific contributions from State Governments, financial institutions specific contributory involvement, as well as contributions investible funds from quoted companies.

The document signed by AHCN President, Dr. Ifenna Chukwujekwu and Secretary General, D.A. Har-Yusuph observed the lackadaisical attitude of governments to the NHF as opposed to what obtained when the policy was newly introduced.

It further admonished that all outstanding contributions to the NHF should be remitted while the statutory provisions of the National Housing Policy should be strictly enforced and applied as well as the sanctions embedded in the policy.

AHCN stated that the current situation whereby Primary Mortgage Institutions compete for funds with Deposit Money Banks is unacceptable, and urged the Federal Government as a matter of urgency to make proper provision for PMIs to access funds for the housing subsector.

They agreed that lack of adequate long-term housing finance policy has continued to be a big challenge to housing delivery in Nigeria. Participants therefore want the Government to ease the process of acquisition of funds for cost-effective housing delivery in the country. 
According to the group, finance constitutes the major constraint to mass housing delivery in Nigeria manifesting in escalating cost of building materials and huge cost involved in the provision of infrastructural development.  

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