Expert proffers solution to housing deficit
Mr Hakeem Ogunniran, Managing Director/Chief Executive, UACN Property Development Company has identified cumbersome Land Administration processes and non availability of affordable and suitable land as the major obstacle to housing delivery in the country.
He said intricate land tenure system which is incompatible with housing development as well as complex traditional land holding systems compounded by the Land Use Act have made it impossible for the country to bridge its 17 million housing deficit.
He said, “Each developer is a mini-government - providing access roads, internal road network, water and power infrastructure. It’s immaterial that a developer has paid IDC, NIC, LUC and other taxes and levies.
“Building methodology is still largely conventional and traditional; not mechanized.
“Building materials with minimum local content and supply chain challenges hinder construction delivery.
“Acute shortage of skilled artisans such as electricians, plumbers, masons, tilers, carpenters is another problem.
“There’s limited stakeholder collaboration and harmful competition, instead of winning collaboration.
“Government instability. Revocation of existing contracts, change of policies, repudiation of obligations, etc.”
He called for a proper definition of what is affordable housing within the context of minimum wage in the country.
“We should prepare a robust development plan for roll out of affordable houses over a period of 30 to 40 years and review it every five years.
“Overhaul the legal framework and Land Use Act which has no major amendment in 35 years.
“We should also create effective land registration system - Federal Government’s Pilot Scheme in Kano and Ondo States worthy of note.
“Streamline the permitting and approval processes. Ensure completion of infrastructural services in layouts before sale or allocation to developers - or give appropriate incentive to the developer.
“In the aspect of funding, government should create the right platform for long term funding for real estate projects - bonds, RIETs and other asset-backed securities and encourage re-investment of profits in real estate to increase housing stock.
“Allow for tax holiday for investors in the sector. Introduction of betterment levy for improvement made in neighbourhood to engender ownership of schemes,” he said.
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