The amount required to fund the housing sector in Nigeria and bridge the estimated 28 million housing deficit across the country is N21tn, the Federal Government has stated through its Bank of Industry.
In a new report on Nigeria’s housing sector put together by BOI, the bank explained that “with a growing urban population, increasing construction costs, and declining household income, access to affordable housing is becoming more difficult for millions of citizens.”
The report, titled “Institutional turnaround for the next level,” obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, stated that while N470bn was what the Federal Government budgeted for housing in 2022, the sector would require trillions of naira to close Nigeria’s housing gap.
It stated that of the estimated 206 million persons in Nigeria, about 95.1 million lived below poverty line and as such it was difficult for them to have access to their own homes. Under the section on Nigerian Housing Market in the report, the bank said, “N21trn (is the) amount required to fund the housing sector,” adding that “28 million units (is the estimated) housing deficit.”
The BOI, however, outlined some critical areas to be addressed to reposition the housing sector in Nigeria, stressing that adequate financial intervention in the housing value chain was required to boost development in the sector. “Increased partnership with the organised private sector is crucial to unlocking opportunities in the real estate market,” the report stated.
It added, “There should be a continuous upgrade of neighbourhoods that are in a state of decay into liveable and organised housing facilities and development of low cost housing that is affordable and accessible to interested home buyers.”
The bank noted that subsidised mortgage rates would be needed, as it stated that interest rates charged on mortgage should be subsidised to make it more affordable and attractive. “The process of accessing the National Housing Fund should be made more efficient to improve access to the fund,” the BOI report stated.
It added that there should be “increased awareness of the availability/requirements for accessing the National Housing Fund and access to roads, power, water among others are critical to housing development especially for those outside urban areas. “Accessibility to infrastructure will encourage people to move away from crowded urban centres to developing areas. Adopt digital technologies such as virtual tours, augmented reality, etc, in showcasing properties so as to generate interest in the buyer’s mind.”
It further stated that prospects would be more likely to buy if property documents were digitised and easily accessible, adding that the government should ensure that all policies concerning NHF home ownership were in line with current realities, and were favourable to interested parties.
The International Human Rights Commission recently put the estimated housing deficit in Nigeria at 28 million, but the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, argued that it was impossible to get the actual housing deficit across the country without a thorough assessment.
During a recent interview with The PUNCH, the minister said, “It is not possible to determine the actual number of housing deficits that we have at this moment. The easy way by which we can do that is through a census. “So we have already sent questions to the National Population Commission that we want them to collect data for us on those they will be enumerating who live in their own homes, rented homes, or wants to buy a house and cannot get one. That’s the only way we will have data.”