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Expert faults Nigeria’s mortgage system

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An expert has faulted Nigeria’s mortgage system saying it could not support a housing policy that can deliver much needed houses for citizens.

Mr. Agele Alufohai, a former President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors said that high mortgage rates in the country coupled with difficult business environment and high inflation were hampering housing development in the country.

Speaking at the National Built Environment Conference 2017 held at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Mr Alufohai urged Nigeria to emulate housing policies from countries such as Singapore, South Africa and Malaysia that have succeeded in delivering affordable housing to their citizens.

Read:AfDB revitalizes affordable housing in Zambia

In Singapore for instance, citizens obtain 20 to 30-year low-interest mortgages to acquire houses through a pool of funds into which all workers must contribute 20 per cent of their salaries.

Quoting the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Alufohai said that the country needed to build 720,000 housing units yearly at a cost of N56tn to bridge the gap. He said that a vibrant Nigeria’s mortgage system can help greatly.

“Less than three per cent of Nigerians acquire their homes through mortgages. Yet millions of Nigerians invest in building houses of different costs and quality without any help whatsoever from the government,” he said.

National Built Environment Conference brings together scholars, industry professionals/practitioners and senior public service officials and administrators to explore current developments and advances in the reorganisation of the construction industry for effective contribution to national economic growth.

For Alufohai a vibrant housing market would result in a booming construction industry that will eventually create thousands of jobs.

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