A mortgage banker, Anthony Owuye, has said that the monster that has not allowed the full realisation of affordable housing in Nigeria is the land Use Act of 1978 and has urged the Federal Government to expedite action on its review.
Owuye, who is the Managing Director of Personal Trust Savings and Loan Limited also said that the quest to provide mass housing across the country in an economy where the banking sector comprises anti-loaning institutions would continue to be a mirage.
In an interview with newsmen in Lagos, the mortgage banker opined that much work needed to be done by governments at all levels towards ensuring provision of mass housing for the people.
He said though the idea of affordable housing is commendable, but its realisation might be tasking, pointing out that government could make the dream to come true if it engages the services of professionals in the building environment sector, alongside creating the enabling environment for it through proper legislation.
Owuye, whose company has promoted estate development, particularly in Lagos, pointed out that the only way for mass housing to be a reality would be for government to provide an enabling environment for developers to be able to function effectively and efficiently.
This, he said would only take-off with the review of the Land Use Act that is lying untouched at the floor of the National Assembly.
Apart from the Land Use Act, the expert posited that one other problem to realisation of mass housing in Nigeria is the present cost of building materials, as well as other indices in the construction industry, adding that government should summon courage and political will to make affordable housing possible.
He said, no developer would be willing to engage in the development and provision of mass housing, considering the cost of construction and the rate at which most developers obtain funds from banks to execute such project.”
The financial expert however, expressed optimism that things might change in the present era of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and that through this medium, that mass housing could be realisable.
He gave instances of developed countries where mass housing have been made possible because of the enabling environment that was created for those in the industry, and quickly added that this could take eternity to come true in Nigeria, except specific measures are taken and certain issues addressed.