Stakeholders have commenced a process to address the problem of data collation that has been a major setback towards tackling the housing deficit in the country.
Data has often been a source of conflict among stakeholders; some of who believe that to adequately tackle its housing problem Nigeria must address its data collation issues.
The President, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ugochukwu Chime, said lack of data had been a lingering issue.
According to him, lack of accurate housing data has made it difficult for real estate investors to determine what the market need is and who can afford the houses they are building.
As part of the efforts to address the problem, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company and the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa recently met with other stakeholders to brainstorm.
Chime, at the workshop, said a lot of houses had been abandoned due to lack of data.
He said, “We are trying to move forward from building and selling to selling and building. We have had a lot of houses in this country abandoned as a result of the lack of data that investors will need to determine what the market need is and who can afford the houses they are building.
“So, the data we are discussing today is with the view to making sure that policymakers at the federal and state government levels have all the information they need, investors also have all the information they need and those who are off-takers can have all the information they need.”
Chime said accurate housing data would help governments at all levels to determine the type of houses people could afford.
He added, “Lack of data has led to the number of houses we have unoccupied. We have several housing units abandoned across this country.
“So when we are talking of data deficit, we are looking at a surplus in some housing types.”
The Head of Investment and Network, Reall, a UK based investor in affordable homes, Chris Hutchinson, said the workshop would help create housing policy changes in logical decisions and facts, devoid of suspicion.
According to him, the firm is focused on investing in affordable housing in Africa, particularly in Nigeria.
He said the firm had worked with pan-African organizations in the last five years, trying to build a movement for affordable housing in the country.
Hutchinson said, “We do that in two ways: we invest in policy changes, we research and impact the way legislation and financial policies are working.
“We also invest in affordable projects that can be examples for the future. So, in order to make policy changes, we have to have actual data, we have to analyze that data, and really focus on what needs to be done.”
He noted that it was only by collating data that stakeholders could make informed decisions that could lead to policy changes that would improve affordable housing provision.