Mr Kenneth Nduka, President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), has advised all tiers of government to integrate low-income earners into housing finance programmes.
Nduka in a statement in Lagos said that this could be achieved by introducing long-term loans for the low-income earners.
He said the housing circumstances of low-income earners, who incidentally made up a clear majority of the population in Nigeria, had not shown any significant improvement over the years.
The NIOB president said that research had confirmed severe inadequacies in the housing circumstances of most Nigerians.
He lamented that many Nigerians were suffering from lack of affordable housing in the country and urged the government to come to the rescue of the citizens.
According to him, for the loan to have positive impact, it has to be given on a single digit interest rate.
“There is need for government to focus more attention on providing affordable and low-cost housing for Nigerians,’’ Nduka said.
The NIOB boss said that this would facilitate substantial increase in the housing stock for the country at affordable costs.
“Many Nigerians are still tenants because they cannot afford to own a house.
“Government should do more to provide cheap and affordable houses for Nigerians as well as provide enabling environment for private investors to thrive.
“This can be done through provision of long-term loans at sustainable interest rates and with no collateral attached.
“Besides, cooperative societies and communal efforts, among others, should be encouraged such that people can either buy or build their houses through their assistance, ‘’ Nduka said.
He said that Nigerians needed affordable homes, increased access to land, credit and environmentally-sound and well-serviced settlements.
“Government should take appropriate measures to achieve adequate shelter for Nigerians, especially the vulnerable group.
“The establishment of Construction Bank, use of local building materials, evolution of simpler form of housing designs, review of Land Use Decree of 1976 are frameworks that should be considered to make houses readily available for the masses.
“These frameworks are indicative of brighter prospects for financing housing construction ,which will rapidly expand the quantum of finance available and dampen the high cost of funding constructions,’’ he said.
Nduka said that the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) needed to be empowered to do more researches into cheap and effective materials for the construction of houses and roads.