Expert urges FG to implement outcome of ongoing Abuja Affordable Housing Summit

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A former President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr Chucks Omeife, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to implement the outcome of the ongoing Affordable Housing Summit in Abuja.

Omeife told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that its implementation would impact positively on the housing sector and help to reduce housing deficit.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had said at the summit that Federal Government targeted building houses for people within the income bracket of Grade Level 10 to 15/16 in the public service.

NAN recalls that Fashola also said that it targeted to build houses for those in the private sector such as drivers, farmers, market men and women, artisans, who earn this kind of income.

The houses, he said, would be built with a mortgage scheme that would make repayment possible in 10 to 15 years at a single digit interest rate.

Fashola added that the project was being considered through assistance from the Ministry of Finance.

Omeife noted that the bracket of people targeted by the government were the cadre that needed government assistance to build, buy or own houses.

“If government will make the mortgage scheme to be at a single digit interest rate, it will go a long way to assist the low income earners to secure accommodations,’’ he said.

However, Omeife said that the mortgage repayment scheme of 10 to 15 years would put a lot of burden on the participants.

According to him, the period was too short for the low income earner within the targeted group to repay the mortgage loan.

He said the mortgage tenure should have been spread between 25 to 30 years as it was done in other countries to give ample opportunity to the participants to repay.

“For instance, if the cost of the house is N10 million, it means that it will cost a participant about N1 million to repay within 10 years, which will be too expensive.

“But if the mortgage tenure is 25 years, that will cost a participant about N400, 000 to pay back within 25 years which is more affordable,’’ Omeife said.

He added that 25 to 30 years mortgage tenure would enable low income earners to conveniently repay the loan and cater for other needs. (NAN)

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