By : Ogine Victor
The Executive Director of Peach Ville Platinum Estate, Mr. Teslim Olatinwo has revealed that the high cost of land and building material in the country will continue to pose a major threat to the realization of affordable housing in Nigeria, except urgent steps are taken to address the challenges.
Mr. Teslim who made this revelation during an exclusive Interview with Housing Development in Abuja said that government needs to take aggressive measures to regulate the prices of land and other building materials in the country to help developers provide affordable housing in the country.
According to him, the exorbitant prices of land and other building materials have continued to pose a major challenge to many developers; which is no doubt affecting the goal of providing affordable housing for many Nigerians.
His words “the basic challenge we face as developers is access to affordable land. The cost placed on land is rather exorbitant and it would be ideal if the government can come in to subsidize the price of land for credible developers and in the end, this will help reduce the price of these houses and make them affordable to many Nigerians”.
On the government’s effort in tackling the housing deficit in the country, Mr. Teslim stated that government needs to be more proactive and practical in its decisions/blueprint in other to address the housing challenges in the country.
He, therefore, called on the government to take practical steps by enforcing visible plans on ground, rather than running on ideas and promises.
The Real estate expert also called for public-private partnerships in other to fast-track rapid development in the housing sector.
No doubt that the housing problem in Nigeria seems to be getting worse as it is estimated that Nigeria has a deficit of over 22 million houses and requires 700,000 houses annually compared to less than 100,000 currently being constructed (NBS).
Ironically the cost of building a house in Nigeria is relatively higher while the average income level is relatively lower compared to global average. This means even when there is a supply of housing units, the price tag whether self-built or off-the-shelf purchase is out of the reach of the majority of Nigerian workers thereby making affordable housing still a dream.
Beyond access to finance, other major challenges facing the sector include poor government policies and bureaucratic regulations, unreliable data and lack of transparency, shortage of high-quality building materials, poor infrastructure especially transportation, and shortage of skilled labour.