President of Real Estate Developers’ Association (REDAN) Mr. Ugochukwu Chime has called on the Federal Government to recapitalise the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to enable it perform its function of loan provision for accommodation seekers and developers adequately.
Chime said recapitalisation of the nation’s apex housing bank has become necessary in order to keep house unit’s prices within the reach of low-income earners. He said: “There is need for the recapitalisation of FMBN to be able to carry out its functions effectively. Even if is to provide loan to buyers, then the issue of Estate Development Loan for housing construction can be resolved. “Without this, price of the housing units will be out of the reach of low-and medium income earners.
There is no need to ask developers to seek money anywhere to build.” Following FMBN’s return to surplus in 2016, the Federal Government, through the Minister or Power, Work and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had promised to inject funds into the bank to enable it recapitalise.
Fashola said that embracing the mortgage system in the Housing Programme would also bring relief to the ordinary Nigerian worker as it would move the society away from the system whereby landlords demand rent in advance from tenants who receive their salaries in arrears.
But REDAN boss said the promise should be immediate so that people would embrace the mortgage system to drive the on-going National Housing Programme. Besides, he tasked the Federal Government to get back to full implementation of commercialisation of abandoned housing programmes to curb corruption in the sector.
According to him, government must embrace workable public private partnership (PPP) initiative, driven by the private sector in order to achieve tangible results in the area of mass housing provision. “There is need for government to allow workable public private partnership (PPP) initiative, driven by the private sector without authority’s incessant intervention for better performance in the sector,” he said.
Chime urged government to encourage investment in cheap houses for urban populace and to be consistent in its policy of housing investment, adding that operators in the private sector should be involved in policy formulation for better implementation. “Investment climate has to be cleared for investors to come in.
The era of coercing the private sector to do things is gone. Government needs to get their endorsement in order to buy into its programmes.
Originally published in Daily Trust