Chairman, board of trustees, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Prince Oluseyi Lufadeju has called on the government to provide an enabling environment for affordable housing to thrive in the nation.
He made the remark at the just concluded Abuja International Housing Show while moderating a special session dedicated to Nigeria’s Commissioners for Housing to harp on the steps their various States are taking in providing affordable housing for the citizens.
The Prince averred that for affordable housing to thrive, government is expected to play its own role of providing an enabling environment like provision of land, formulation of policy, import duty waivers on building materials, provision of infrastructure, ensuring an effective mortgage system, tax relief, encouraging eco-friendly designs and renewal energy like solar and facilitating partnerships.
In his speech, Oluseyi noted that the government and stakeholders in the sector have not done very well in terms of delivery of affordable housing and services to Nigerians.
“We have not done very well in terms of delivering affordable housing and services to our people. Our national policy thrusts have not made it possible for the private and informal sectors to be able to contribute effectively.
“Our poor data collation system continues to betray our efforts in knowing where we stand in terms of numbers of old and new accommodation.
“There is no way that the public sector can achieve the expected results if they decide to go it alone. In order words, greater successes will be achieved if there is collaboration and well defined scope of operations.
According to him, the idea of the enabling approach is the best way of supplying housing for all, stressing that it addresses the system and not just the project.
He continued that “The fact remains that it is not government’s job to build or provide housing. Rather, Government is expected to generate an environment which enables the housing market to work effectively.
“In 2008, UN-Habitat declared that the development objective of the UNHRP is to assist states and other stakeholders to ensure the full and progressive realisation of the right to adequate housing as provided for in international instruments considering affordability, accessibility and sustainability.
“UN Habitat has devised approaches aiming to support land and housing reforms, support increased security of tenure and promote slum improvement and prevention policies.
“Many Governments around the world have adopted the enabling approach and much progress is being made.
“In this housing provision efforts, Government is expected to play its own role of providing an enabling environment like provision of land, formulation of policy, import duty waivers on building materials, provision of infrastructure, ensuring an effective mortgage system, tax relief, encouraging eco-friendly designs and renewal energy like solar and facilitating partnerships.
“With these in place, we can trust the private sector to take off and provide affordable housing,” he concluded.