Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The president, Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, Rowland Abonta says Nigerians have continued to experience housing deficit because the Government does not have plans to provide housing for majority of its citizens.
Abonta was speaking in Enugu at a one day school based National 50th Anniversary Continuing Professional Development Seminer as part of preparations for the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the NIESV.
According to him, the issue is even worse as the government of the day does not have the basic data of housing requirements in Nigeria.
He noted that the real estate sector, in its bid to deal with the challenge, have done quite a lot in terms of providing policy statement and advising the government on what to do.
He however regretted that the government has refused to listen to them which is why there continues to be an increase in housing deficit.
He said the government must begin to allow the rightful owners of Real Estate to be the decision makers when it comes to issue of housing as the country will have better housing arrangement when that is done.
”As surveyors, we have the technical knowhow and skill to administer housing in Nigeria. But we go back to history, you would discover that as a body, we have not been given our rightful place in the country” he said.
On other challenges facing the sector, he said there is the issue of the volatility of the Nigerian economy which has made it difficult for long term investment in real estate.
”Real Estate is the bedrock for long term investment the world over but due to instability in our economy, it is difficult for investors to put their money down to wait for a long time before they get their money back” he said.
He further noted that the government, over the years have introduced policies which have adversely affected the activities of the sector.
”Government at all levels have made policies that do not encourage investment in the real estate sector. And because we are the mainstream practitioners in real estate in Nigeria, when such policies come up, they adversely affect the sector”.
He noted that the sector has taken some steps to make sure that the activities of unprofessionals as well as other challenges facing the sector are curtailed.