…Plans federal housing institutions, land reforms
The minister of housing and urban development, Ahmed Dangiwa, has outlined some lessons which Kaduna State government’s housing and land administration model holds for other states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.
Dangiwa also revealed plans by his ministry to implement the vision of the federal government on housing which includes a comprehensive reform of the federal housing institutions along with a review of the obsolete Land Use Act in order to streamline access to land.
The minister, whose thoughts were contained in his keynote address at the just ended 12th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, noted that Kaduna State has demonstrated exemplary leadership in housing development, adding that the state stands as a good example of how to approach the challenges in the housing sector.
He recalled that, in June 2017, Kaduna became one of the first states in the country to adopt and pass into law the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law (MMFL), pointing out that the state now has a functional state mortgage and foreclosure authority that coordinates and promotes housing investments and mortgage development activities as stipulated in the foreclosure law.
“On housing supply side, Kaduna has implemented reforms in land administration, titling and registration and offered fiscal incentives, among others. The state has digitized land administration through the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), provided land for willing developers to help expand the housing stock and even began direct construction of low-medium income housing by their Ministry of Housing and Urban Development,” the minister noted.
On housing demand side, he said, Kaduna has developed single-digit interest rate mortgage arrangements with Sterling Bank, FHA Mortgage Bank and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC).
He explained that the mortgage arrangement with Sterling Bank has enabled the buyers of non-essential government residential assets, more than 80 percent of whom are civil servants, to secure mortgage loans to pay for the properties which were sold at open market value.
“As a result, the revenue generation for the state has risen tremendously at over N44billion per annum. The state has been in the top 10 revenue generating states in Nigeria and first among the northern states,” Dangiwa said, adding, “Kaduna has made all this possible despite the lack of amendments to the Land Use Act. It is, therefore no wonder that it has become a destination for foreign direct investment.”
“I am particularly impressed by the state’s Qatar Sanabil Project, which aims to deliver about 500,000 housing units. This is a laudable feat and testament to the business-friendly environment of the state that is worthy of emulation,” the minister enthused.
Dangiwa emphasised that housing was one of the critical sectors set aside for focus by the federal government’s Renewed Hope Agenda, disclosing that the sector was tied to four of the eight key presidential priorities namely, economic growth and job creation, access to capital, social inclusion and ending poverty.
“These four presidential priorities of government underline the priorities of the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development over the next four years through a reform of federal housing institutions such as the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Family Home Funds (FHF) and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to enhance efficiency and capacity,” the minister said.
Continuing, he said, there was plan to establish a National Social Housing Fund to cater to the housing needs of people without income, homeless and vulnerable groups; a review of the Land Use Act (1978) to streamline access to land and establishment of a robust mortgage registry to facilitate property transactions and increased home ownership;
The minister added that there was also plan to increase housing supply; establishment of private sector-led local building materials manufacturing clusters in each geopolitical zone of the country, and development of fiscal incentives for private Investors to manufacture local building component.
He hoped that the achievement of these targets would require an “All of Government” approach and actions that foster continuous engagement between governments at all levels along with the private sector and relevant international organizations operating in the housing sector.