Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The volume of financial packages in the forms of loans and mortgage finances, which Nigerian banks traditionally provide to the countryâ€™s housing industry remain very low and yet to pick up from the countryâ€™s decent into an economic recession, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has indicated.
According to NIA, though the federal government had insisted that Nigeria was on her way out recession, the impact of the recession on the countryâ€™s housing industry, have rather remained extremely harsh, and could cut down the sectorâ€™s contributions to the countryâ€™s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, to intimate journalists of the programme of events for its forthcoming annual ‘Archibuilt’ conference and exhibition in Abuja, the NIA explained that activities in Nigeriaâ€™s housing sector have remained stagnant while banks’ financial services to operators and consumers have also slowed down.
The Secretary of Archibuilt Development Services Limited (ADSL), an arm of the NIA responsible for the conference, Mr. Sani Saulawa, explained that like other sectors of the Nigerian economy, the countryâ€™s recession affected the housing sector, which he noted has had a lot of its projects suspended by promoters.
Saulawa, equally noted that the situation was the same with governments’ projects at all levels in the country, while private individuals have been denied loans to finance their acquisition of houses.
He stated that the housing sector was traditionally an immense contributor to the national GDP, with the last been about 12 per cent. He however noted that the development could cut down the sectorâ€™s percentage to the national GDP for a while.
“When your income starts dwindling, the first thing you do is to suspend all capital projects. On personal level, if you intend to buy car or build houses, you suspend it. This is exactly what is happening even at the national level,” said Saulawa.
He further stated: “While there is recession, the government whether national or state or local level or even corporate organisations will start shedding or suspend capital projects that were ongoing. This is exactly what has being happening in the last two years. This industry has being undergoing a lot of experiences and of course, construction processes in some buildings have already stopped, and those projects on the drawing boards are stagnant because there is no money.”
“The building and construction industry activities are almost at standstill and that is what is happening. Nevertheless, we haven’t given up while this is going on because we have to find a way to contribute our quota to the nation because the industry contribute up to 12 per cent of the national GDP, unfortunately the industry has not being doing very well.
“Also, the financial sector have not being finding it easy as well, therefore they have not being giving loans as they should for the development of projects in our industry, and that is another shocker for us. Generally, we have not being finding it easy,” Saulawa added.