Throughout the  Nigerian pre-election build up, we heard a lot about providing affordable housing for the employed, unemployed and roaming Nigerians. There was much talk on housing targets and new policy ideas.

Almost two months down the line and looking ahead to the next 4 years, which if any- ideas will make a real difference to the housing supply conundrum facing Nigerians especially the rural and urban poor in our midst? Do we have the will or capacity to bridge the gap of this confusing statistics on Nigeria’s housing deficit? Do we lack a comprehensive strategy that will guide us? Are our politicians a help or hindrance? 

As the dust settles post-election, I think we should begin to think of what the real estate industry can do to meet one of Nigeria’s most important challenges – providing affordable housing for its citizens not only in terms of total numbers but the right type of housing in the right locations.

The task is arduous and diverse let no one deceive you. What with the challenges of land availability, planning inconsistencies, capacity to deliver–both financial in terms of additional funding and in physical terms of construction industry capability to raise acceptable housing output. I deliberately didn’t use the word real estate developers here because in our clime almost everyone is one. Enough of this disgraceful and suicidal mortgages that are springing up slums in the name of residential estate developments with no significant value added.

We can get it right only through more open collaborations, strategic anticipation, and response. Who says Nigerians cannot be adequately housed!

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Cyprian Konkwo

(B.Sc Est. Mgt., IWFM)