11 January 2013

Nigeria: Expert Advises FG to Use Pension Funds to Establish Construction Bank

A property consultant, Mr Chudi Ubosi, has advised the federal government to set aside part of the pension funds to establish a construction bank to address the housing deficit in the country.

Ubosi said that the major obstacle to building houses in Nigeria was lack of access to credit.

Ubosi, who is the Managing Director, Ubosi and Eleh Real Estate Surveyors and Valuers, said growing population and urbanisation had made it imperative for government to address the issue. "The establishment of a construction bank, where loans with lower interest rates can be easily accessed, will boost construction activities and help the young players in the industry. "Urgent priority has to be given to the issue of housing deficit if housing pressure is not to assume a crisis proportion in the near future," he said.

Ubosi said that the prolonged housing deficit had made it difficult for successive governments to meet the housing needs of low-income earners.

He called for a review of the Land Use Decree of 1976, the use of simple housing designs and local building materials to build houses.

Ubosi urged government to champion the use of local materials in constructing houses, stressing that this would go a long way in reducing construction costs. He also enjoined government to free all lands entrusted to it to enhance private sector participation. Ubosi said that what Nigeria needed to tackle housing deficit were good governance, increased access to land, credit, affordable housing and healthy environmental settlements. (NAN)

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