Linus Aleke, Abuja:
The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Arch. Ahmed Dangiwa has called on government to recapitalize the specialized bank to the tune of 500 million naira to enable it provide mortgage financing to citizens.
Dangiwa who made this call at the technical session of the 28 edition of Annual Exposition of Building Materials and Construction Technology, (archibuilt 2017) with the sub title “Housing Finance: What the Architect should know” further noted that the most effective means of providing affordable shelter across the globe is through mortgage financing, unfortunately, reverse is the case in Nigeria.
He frowned at the ineffective mortgage system in Nigeria, stressing FMBN is underfunded; hence the urgent need for recapitalization of the bank to boast its effectiveness.
The Managing Director also appealed to architects and property developers in the country to ensure that affordability features prominently in their building designs to facilitate low cost housing in Nigeria.
The banker also expressed his profound reverence for Nigerian Institute of Architect (NIA) assuring that he will support the professional body to midwife and promote organic design in the Nigeria built environment, with particular emphasis on the housing sector.
A discussant at the technical session and the Managing Director, Mega Projects International Ltd. Arch. Bello Aminu called on government to create a one-stop-shop for business registration to reduce the difficulties associated with obtaining approvals for building projects.
He decried the time wastage associated with developers having to go to different government agencies to secure approvals before embarking on a large scale project, positing that many projects in the recent past had meet brick wall as a result of developers’ inability to secure the required approvals from relevant government agencies.
He implored the architects and property developers to explore the option of accessing low interest housing funds laying fallow in some of the global and continental bodies like Shelter Afrique to reduce over reliance on FMBN.
Arch. Aminu also expressed doubts in the statistics been brandished in Nigeria as the actual figure of housing deficit in Nigeria, arguing that in as much as housing deficit exists in Nigeria, 17 million figure is far from the reality.
He further argued that majority of Nigerians who lives in the rural areas are well sheltered, therefore those in the cities that are facing housing challenges cannot in reality be said to constitute 17 million or something close to it.
He also added that proper regulatory frame work in the built environment, affordability and deployment of technology will help Nigeria close the humongous deficit in the housing sector.
On her part, a senior architect and retired Rear Admiral in the Nigerian Navy, Arch. Itunu Hotonu emphasized the need for architects in the country to design what she described as functional and affordable housing to cater for shelter need of low income earners.
She stressed that prestige structures that is not aimed at providing shelter to majority of the population dots the landscape of major cities in the federation.