An expert in the built sector has disclosed that the operating environment for housing developers has been unfavourable, particularly in respect to the present state of recession the country is undergoing.
The Chairman, Publicity Committee, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, REDAN, Mr. Ahmed Abubakar who stated this yesterday in a chat with Nigerian Pilot, said that Government is ready to make land available, “but you as a developer would have to look for your finance, you will have to look for your off-takers.
“It should be the other way around, you as the government should approach the developer, because developers are scared to put his money where he cannot reap, but if there is that approach between both parties, private developers can invest or look for finance to facilitate the project.” He noted.
Abubakar lamented over the fact that government would rather divert project funds to politicians instead of contracting developers. “You know there is a difference between developers and a politician, in the built sector, developers ought to be patronised often.
“But they prefer to give politicians the contracts because government still needs them after 4 years so that when they come back to power, the good relations must have been established for continuity and favouritism.” He maintained.
Reacting to talks on affordability, he said, “Affordable houses I think ranges from N5 to N8 million upwards and that a civil servant can’t afford, because you have to give me the developer 30% for securing the property.
“Where will a civil servant get the 30% from, even 10% is difficult so there must be a little bit of change in taking or collecting the national housing fund. For instance, a two bedroom flat is up to 15 million, if you include taxes, it goes up to 17 million, so where will a civil servant get it?
“And now developers take from commercial banks on a higher rate so even if there are BMI they won’t give you at a very lower rate, its only Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN that can give you at a lower rate but how fast can FMBN give you money? Abubakar asked?
He therefore called on relevant authorities to look into the sector as developers are not finding it easy to secure loan from mortgage banks, adding that the housing Minister should ensure due process is observed as regards issuance of contracts.

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