The President of Housing Development Advocacy Network, (HDAN), Festus Adebayo, has declared that stakeholders expect Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, to steer clear of controversial assertions that might plunge the housing and infrastructure markets into deeper uncertainty.

Adebayo who stated this in his in his housing agenda report for the New Year 2020 noted that challenging the likes of World Bank on housing deficit or claiming that Nigerian roads are better than reported, creates a body language of insincerity.

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He also advised that the National Assembly should become more focused and expedite actions to review infrastructure and housing related laws that are necessary for the sectors speedy growth, as well as ameliorate the growing restive population in terms of infrastructure and housing provisions.

Minister of Finance

Minister of Finance

Other recommendations he made include urging the Federal Government to keep off direct construction of housing and infrastructure in the year to avoid a clash of interest. He rather emphasized that government should focus solely on its core responsibilities of creating an enabling environment for business and investment to thrive through effective legislation and enforcement of policies.

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“Such policy move, will spur a derivative market that allows asset-backed investments in infrastructure and housing to grow, as well as attract requisite investments from local and foreign Investors. Nigeria’s infrastructure need has the proven cash flow models to match returns with risk by virtue of it’s population size and the increasing demand for better service alternatives. Incentives should be given to players and developers who are providing infrastructure and housing services for lower, upcoming middle-income segments and those who really need housing and infrastructure.

“From our view and experience, rather than seeking to raise an infrastructure bond of N10 trillion to pay contractors, a practice that would likely continue to promote cronyism, the Federal Government should facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for infrastructure and housing-guarantee to thrive. Government should be leaning towards credible partnerships with the private sector in terms of infrastructure and housing developers who have proven track records for infrastructure and housing delivery even in the absence of government’s support. Such private sector players need this partnership with the government in order to deliver more in 2020.”

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He said government should push for the amendment of laws that will foster infrastructure and housing sector development adding that if that is done, it will increase the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria while the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria should ensure absolute implementation of the Interest drawback system for the housing sector. This should be done in collaboration with critical private sector and public sector players to avoid political misuse or diversion.

He charged the Central Bank of Nigeria to see to the fruition of the mortgage interest drawbacks scheme and collaborate with the Bankers Committee towards deepening the liquidity and opportunities derivable from affordable housing and mortgage provision.

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Furthermore, he revealed that there are expectations for more mergers and acquisitions especially, in the mortgage sector of the Nigerian economy while it is also expected that there would still be lull in the provision of housing for the high-end segment. However, it noted that there would be a boost for those in low to upcoming middle-income, hence, the focus for developers/investors in 2020 should be how to develop a catchment market for the provision of housing for upcoming middle-income earners and the youthful segments to successfully combat restiveness, banditry, kidnapping, and terrorism.

Credit:  Independent

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