A real estate and property development expert, Babajide Odusolu has said that the Federal Government has no business engaging in the direct construction of houses for Nigerians.
Odusolu, who spoke during the ongoing virtual Abuja International Housing Show, said instead of repeating the wasteful errors of the past, government should focus on providing a robust structure and support for the private sector to engage in the development of affordable homes needed to meet the huge housing deficit Nigeria currently faces.
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Odusolu, who was the immediate past Managing Director, Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC), said while the government’s desire to provide housing is laudable, his experience in the public sector has shown that government cannot by itself provide all the housing units needed, nor operate as effectively as the private sector.
“Government needs to actively involve the private sector in solving the problems of housing and home ownership in Nigeria.
“An enabling environment in terms of supporting policies and improved access to capital would bring urgently need stability and growth to the real estate industry.
“The government should focus on offering location incentives such as tax waivers, rebates and significant concessions to encourage property developers to invest in semi-urban and less premium locations that will make it easier for Nigerians to afford homes,” he said.
He stated that the Federal Government’s plan to provide 300, 000 housing units in 12 months is not just impracticable, but also insufficient to scratch the tip of the deficit.
Odusolu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Octo5 Holdings, a real estate and property development company, noted that the existing practice of developers focusing on delivering homes in premium areas is tied to a need to get quick returns on investment.