Housing deficit: Expert advocates policy continuity

An Abuja-based Real Estate Developer, M r Benjamin Onigbinde, has advocated continuity in the government’s housing policies and programmes in order to achieve ‘housing for all’.
Onigbide, who is a Real Estate Economist and the Chief Executive Officer of Sigvent Property Trust Limited, who spoke in an interview with our Correspondent in Abuja, recently.
He also called for adequate sensitization on government’s programmes and policies in the housing sector.
“There should be a lot of enlightenment on how some of the government’s initiatives work.
People don’t understand the Federal Housing Fund, because the government deducts money from them every month and they just retire without bothering about the money.
“Government should let the people know about the policies they make.
Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) should explain to members of cooperative societies about opportunities to own their houses.
“In the last administration, a programme called FISH was introduced and civil servants developed their land, but the present government stopped it and this led to the abandonment of some structures.
“There has to be agreement and continuity in government so that developers don’t abandon projects because of a new government’s policy”, Onigbinde said.
He, however, identified bureaucracy in the land documentation as one of the major problems threatening the built environment, and called for an urgent action to tackle it.
He said:” One of the major issues affecting the housing sector apart from the funding and lack of enlightenment is the issue of land acquisition.
Documentation is a problem because of bureaucracy.
“There is delay at times in signing documents because one person or the other is tired or does not around and no one can do it except him”.
To address the huge housing deficit in the country, Onigbide, however, called on the federal government to sensitize its workforce.

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