ERCAAN tasks FG, State Govts to subsidize housing for Nigerians

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L-R: Staff of Aimart Realtors, Estate Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN) National President, Hon. Godwin Alenkhe, CEO of Aimart Realtors, Hon. Martins Iluyomade, Publisher, Estate Agents Magazine, Henry Edwure, and Human Right Activist, Barr. Ene Sarah Unobe, at the ERCAAN, Annual National Conference held in Lagos recently.

By Owoleye Oluwakayode

The clamour for affordable and subsidized housing for Nigerians by the federal and state governments took centre stage when the Estate Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN) hosted its Annual National Conference in Lagos.

In his speech, ERCAAN National President, Hon. Godwin Alenkhe expressed his delight to host the eminent personalities at the conference with the theme: “Housing Subsidy, Solutions to affordable Homes.”

Alenkhe stated that the day is a remarkable one for ERCAAN to come together with the aim to championing their belief that Nigerians deserve the support of government in owning their own homes, stressing that the Association is anxiously in search of the panacea for the specter of looming housing deficit.

According to him, “In the United Kingdom, private investment provides housing while the local councils supply the bulk of the low-income housing with the central government’s support.

“In Rwanda, the government initiated the affordable housing program through Masaka, a private sector initiative to provide 2,000 affordable housing units to Rwandans in the first instance. In Saudi Arabia, a total of 34,891 families benefited from subsidised Mortgage loans through the Sakani Housing program.”

He lamented that a cursory look at the provision of affordable houses at all ties of government in Nigeria to people point to the fact that the political will and strategy needed are not there.

“There are constraints in the provision of cheaper homes and credit facilities for housing schemes at all levels of government. Apart from sheer incompetence, successive governments miss their targets through wrong and highly politicised strategies as well as lack of regulations backing the scheme,” he emphasized.

He called on federal government to strengthen its collaboration with the states and local governments who in turn should enter into corruption-free arrangements with the private sector for actualization of the scheme.

He stated that ERCAAN is advocating that the Federal government should set aside some certain amount of the housing budget proposals to reduce the cost price of the built home by private investors.

He stressed that the built home can be sold to Nigerians on mortgage with the tenure of ownership spread within ten years and prospective buyers could only access them through government licensed service providers.

Alenkhe reiterated ERCAAN’s readiness to partner with the government in dismantling administrative and legal constraints in achieving the goal of housing for all Nigerians.

He harped on the need for a legislation by government to compel organizations like National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) that are generating huge amount of money daily without any visible impact on their members to start committing sizeable amount of their income to provision of subsidized homes for their members.

“Finally, our agitation for a noble cause would exhibit us as a caring Association and not being seen as adding to the problems of Nigerians,” he noted.

The high point of the event was the presentation made by the guest speaker, ESV. Babatunde Patunola Ajayi, former National President of, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV) as well as panelists which include Barr. Ene Sarah Unobe, Human Right Activist, Hon. Martins Iluyomade, CEO Aimart Realtors, Yinka Gbaminiyi, Regional Chief Operating Officer, Adron Homes and Henry Edwure, Publisher, Estate Agents Magazine as Moderator.