‘Shift focus to functional, affordable homes for low-income’
By Victor Gbonegun
24 February 2020 | 3:48 am
Disturbed by a shortfall in supply, the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMBN) of Nigeria has advised developers to shift focus towards the provision of functional and affordable homes that meet the demand and financial capacity of low-income earners in Nigeria.
The Chairman, Board of Directors of the Bank, Dr. Adewale Adeeyo said housing developers should expand on the provision of a one-room apartment, studios with toilets, bathroom, and kitchen that the working class and Nigeria’s young adults need to sustain life.
Adeeyo who expressed concerns on an inflation rate that cut across every sector of the economy including the real estate said stakeholders should come together and curtain its impact on housing by reducing the cost of housing construction, by looking inward and try to apply more local content and available building technology in the industry.
He said this at the commissioning of the first phase and hand over of keys to subscribers of Sparklight Grace Court Estate, which was a partnership project between the bank and the developer in Lagos. The houses are sold on a well-structured mortgage arrangement provided by FMBN.
Represented by FMBN Zonal Manager for Lagos and Ogun States, Mr. Simeon Agada, he noted that Nigeria needs more houses and people that are ready to provide affordable homes because Nigeria actually has a deficit of housing of about 17 million.
“If we can use locally made doors, windows, and other things, we will be reducing the cost of housing development. People need decent homes that are affordable, that they can put down their heads after hard day work. A bachelor doesn’t need to start looking for a three-bedroom bungalow or a duplex to live in because it is not economical.
“FMBN is ready to support any serious developer who is ready to build residential houses through financing. The bank will provide the funding ones the developer meets the requirements so that the housing can be taken up through mortgage loans and off-takers would be paying in installment at their convenience. The rate is six percent per year.”
He stated that the government recognizes the roles developers and banks are playing in the sector, saying that they need to be encouraged to further recapitalize to be financially better and play their roles more effectively.
“Government is making sure that the interest rate on housing mortgage remains low at single digit for the provision of social housing.”
The Chairman of Sparklight Group, Toyin Adeyinka posited that the government has started its support for housing developers on a good note, but a lot still needs to be done.
“We are working with the FMBN, although we used our own funds to a level on the project, and the bank supported us. We have gotten the first N200 Million and another N200 million has been approved to the off-takers to use it to pay. We build the estate up to a unit and allocate it as well as take the off-takers to Federal Mortgage Bank, process them and they get the loan, which comes, through the Primary Mortgage Bank, which also processes again and pays back. Although it’s a long process”
According to him, “There must be articulated methods whereby serious developers would be considered and supported to provide houses for Nigerians. You can see that jobs would be provided to quite a large number of people through any housing construction. Beneficiaries on any site will include, carpenters to bricklayers’, to estate developers, architects, engineers, estate surveyors, and others. Even to the woman that sells cooked rice on the street. Housing should be designed to benefit the young working-class who need like the one-bedroom apartment to occupy or even sell as an investment.”
Adeyinka further urged the government to help developers mitigate challenges of housing development, which still edge around issues of perfection of titles, the processes between the federal mortgage bank and the primary mortgage bank which could be shortened but takes a longer time.