The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria FMBN has said that most Nigerians citizens, indeed more than nine million lacked affordable housing.
The branch Manager, FMBN, Enugu, Mr Emeka Aroh, made the disclosure on Friday in Enugu at a one day seminar organised by a private company, Light Hill Housing Cooperative for multipurpose cooperative societies in the South-East.
Aroh said that for Nigerians to have adequate and affordable housing, they ought to have long term mortgage loans.
According to him, the 1999 Constitution Section 16 (1) stipulates that Nigerians should be provided with affordable housing.
But he noted that Nigerians lacked affordable housing at the moment as so many live in squalor.
“Long term mortgage loans have to be provided for Nigerians to be able to have affordable housing,” Aroh said.
In his remark, Chief Leonard Ugwu, a fellow of the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors, and also the Chief Executive Officer of Light Hill group, said that what they were doing is sensitisation and mobilisation of cooperative groups in Enugu.
Ugwu said they had just finished registering of their cooperative society which is into housing and is called Cooperative and Multi-purpose Society Ltd, which aimed to take the lead in making people to have their dream houses.
He said that they believed that other cooperatives had been all along acquiring landed property without making full use of them; adding that the essence of acquiring properties is to use it to alleviate the housing problem as it was one of the cardinal needs of man.
“If you come into the country with a population of about 200 million and only 30 per cent have access to decent living, it is poor, what happens to the remaining 70 per cent?
“Out of the 30 per cent that have decent housing, 10 per cent are politicians, while 20 per cent are the middle income class which comprises of senior civil servants and others.
`You can see the low income people are the ones suffering, the people who make these elite what they are, yet they do not have any good living; some sleep under the bridges, some stay along the streets, that is why we have high level of insecurity in the country.
“When someone does not have a befitting living, the person cannot think well and that is why we feel that we should come under the umbrella of cooperative societies and provide the needful to the populace.
“For any viable thing in this world, one person must take a lead and Light Hill Cooperative Society is taking the lead to provide affordable housing,” Ugwu said.
He said that the company thought of the comfort of building an estate where you have roads and drainage, you have trees, play grounds for recreation and other facilities.
“As a senior surveyor, I am taking estate development as a passion, we have demonstrated it in Vyvian Estate in Enugu and the Federal Government has certified that it is one of the best estates.
“We feel that people are dying out of ignorance, emphatically the South-East zone is one of the major contributors to the National Housing Fund but the least assessors.
“We believe in individualism, the time for republican is gone, we want people that will bring in euphemism, and the only time you can think positively is the time you are comfortable,” Ugwu said.
Contributing, Dr Felix Onoh, a lecturer and cooperative consultant, said that he came to enlighten people on the benefits of cooperative society, especially housing cooperative.
Onoh of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, said that one of the basic needs of man is shelter, describing shelter as the most expensive of the basic needs of man.
He urged the people to come together, mobilise fund together as a cooperative and do it by themselves.