Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government plans to undertake a comprehensive geographical survey of Nigeria’s landed resources to determine their value and components for future economic development plans, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said.
He also said the government will embark on another round of housing survey in the country to determine who it should build houses for, where it should build the houses and for what purposes the houses would be built.
Fashola disclosed this recently when he read the final communique of discussions by experts at a two-day session on affordable housing in Abuja.
According to the minister, the government will through the survey also create a Geographical Information System (GIS) on Nigeria’s landed resources. He said with the GIS data, builders would be able to access and analyse areas of interests for building projects in the country.
He noted that the national housing survey which his ministry would champion would be done with critical stakeholders such as the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN).
He read out other critical recommendations of the two-day session to bridge Nigeria’s housing deficits.
According to him, stakeholders agreed that governments at both federal and states levels should reduce the cumbersome process of land acquisition and land titling with a view to easing housing construction.
He also said there was an agreement at the sessions that local solutions to mortgage financing through generational mortgage financing where tenor could be extended beyond the original mortgagee for continuity could be adopted by Nigeria to bring more people into the housing mortgage.
The minister added that the need to maintain a single digit interest rate in mortgage loan and perhaps subsidy for the low income earners was also recommended.
He stated the need to recapitalise the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and enforce the National Housing Fund (NHF) contribution as enshrined in the enabling Act.
On the possibility of having pension funds come into the housing sector, Fashola said the conference asked that Pension Commission (PenCom) be encouraged to invest a sizeable part of the pension funds, dormant assets of banks and unclaimed dividends in primary mortgage products.