By Franca Ofili
Hon. Gideon Luka, Minority Whip, House of Representative has promised to formulate implementable laws to address housing deficit in the country.
Luka said this in Abuja at the Archibuild 2019 Exposition with theme: “Driving Nigerian Architecture through Technology’’.
He said that the house would also work and ensure that the Nigerian Institue of Architects (NIA) was supported and protected.
Luka advised the gathering to work together to address the challenges of building in the country.
“The challenges of building is enormous but there is a lot we can do in order to remain focused in addressing housing deficit in the country.
“All the professional must work together to address the challenges of building for the country to achieve its vision,’’ he said.
Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) said that the anniversary was a milestone not only to the institute but also to the entire housing and real estate sector in Nigeria.
Dangiwa said that the archibult had made lots of impacts on government policies on the building and construction sector.
“The promotion of local content in building material and construction technology can not be overemphasised,” he said.
He said that the exposition should be sustained to engage the government at all levels, policymakers, professionals and sector players on ideas for the advancement of Nigeria’s built environment and the entire economy.
According to him, addressing the nation’s housing deficit must go hand-in-hand with the promotion of the use of local building materials and technology.
He said that this would not only drive down house prices but make the country “self-dependent and master of her fate”.
Dangiwa said that the building collapse was a key issue that needed urgent attention because of the frequency and failures across the country.
“We must begin to confront these challenges frontally and generate implementable ideas to resolve them.
“NIA has a key role to play here. Aside the huge housing deficit and lack of adequate finance, professionalism in the sector is also continuously under threat.
“The association must continue to engage the government and policymakers for the enthronement of essential regulations to guide all facets of the country’s operations in the sector and eliminate quackery,’’ he said.
Dangiwa said that there was no player in the financial market that offered mortgage rates lower than the FMBN.
He said that the bank had continued to lower the bar to ensure that more Nigerians had access to mortgage rates finance.
“We have enhanced mortgage affordability level for Nigerians by eliminating the need for down payment for mortgage loans of five million and below.
“Also we did a reduction to 10 per cent flat rate for loans above N5 million to N15 million from the initial 20 to 30 per cent.
“We have developed the rent-to-own mortgage product that requires no down payment aside from the capacity to make monthly repayment,’’ Dangiwa said.
He said the bank would do more after it achieved the vision to recapitalise the bank.
Dangiwa appealed to the Federal Government to recapitalise the bank to the tune of N500 billion as recommended by the National Council on Housing and Urban Development in 2017 and 2018.
“I have no doubt that the recapitalisation of the bank will be a game changer for the country’s mortgage finance sector and ordinary Nigerians desiring to own their homes through affordable mortgage financing,’’ he said.