In the wake of the huge housing deficit facing the country, stakeholders in the sector have said that government and private sector must work together and not at cross roads in order to correct the alarming problem.
This was part of the communiqué released at the end of the recently concluded 16th Africa International Housing Show (AIHS) held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The conference which was structured to bring an end to the rivalry between professionals within the housing sector by promoting collaboration among key players in the industry had in attendance top stakeholders in the housing sector from within and outside the country.
According to various resource persons at the conference, despite efforts by government to address the housing deficit, there are still huge short-falls in the housing sector as housing delivery strategies have failed to make significant impact on the housing needs of Nigerians especially the low-income earners.
High poverty rate, massive urbanisation and regulatory bottlenecks affecting acquisition and building approvals are issues fuelling the deficit but the main reason for insufficiency of housing in Nigeria, is the population explosion over the years, which has led to huge demand for housing to accommodate growing families.
Speakers at the conference established that government role in solving the housing deficits transcend more than making laws but the implementation of relevant policies and actions that will drive the growth of the sector.
Proffering solution to the housing deficit, the communiqué read in part, “Solving the challenge of a severe housing deficit requires creating linkages between the provision of land to property developers, through increased availability of housing finance, to a reduction in property transaction costs.”
As private sector continue to champion the supply of housing units, stakeholders identified areas government should play supporting roles which include; establishment of strong and transparent institutions and agencies, formulating and enforcing housing friendly policies and regulations, fostering macro-economic stability and a healthy financial system.
Other areas of governmental support identified include, provision of excellent infrastructures, including seamless security architecture, incentives for stakeholders and partners in community model housing development, enabling functional housing development and systems, special incentives for first home buyers through tax incentives etc.