Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has advocated for sustainable investment in housing development to mitigate the economic challenges the economy is presently facing.
Answering reporters’ questions in the just-concluded Africa’s Housing Agenda, jointly organized by the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) and the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) in Abuja at the weekend, Emefiele suggested sustainable investment in housing to grow it from its dismal 1 percent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Represented by Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi, a Director in the bank, he said if the housing sector can contribute over 80 percent to GDP in the United States of America (USA), it can also be used to improve the economy significantly.
He said: “If you look at the housing market in Nigeria and in Africa, compared to the more developed economies, you will find that the housing markets in Africa are indeed largely underdeveloped.
“The contribution of the housing market to the GDP in Nigeria is less than 1 percent, compared to that of the U.S, which accounts for over 80 percent.”
According to him, the housing sector in the U.S. represents the highest financial assets class in the world as it is the highest contributor to its capital market combined, adding that it represents a higher subsection of that country’s economy.
He advised African governments to use the housing sector as stimulant to grow the economy thereby increasing its contribution to GDP.
“If you look at Nigeria’s 1 percent contribution of housing to GDP, imagine what the economy will look like when it is grown to 80 percent.” the CBN governor said.