The most important thing that can boost access to homeownership and help Nigeria to bridge its housing gap is improved infrastructure, real estate experts have said.
They noted that if the government could put in place good motorable roads, the city centres would be decongested and more people would be accommodated.
The Chief Executive Officer, Common Sense Group, Dr Olumide Emmanuel, stated that housing remained very important as one of man’s basic needs.
He added, to solve the housing needs of Nigerians, the government and the private sector should come together to create a holistic approach.
Emmanuel, who spoke at a housing summit by Lifepage Real Estate Limited, said there was also a need to work on government policies to give more people easy access to land.
He said, “Infrastructure is key when talking about housing provision. If you look at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, you will see massive hectares of land but who will go and buy land there? Of course nobody, simply because there is no development; no electricity or good motorable roads.
“If the government should fix the road and or even construct a fast train there, there will be explosion of human development in that area. What are we all doing in Lagos? Majority of people that work in London, for instance, come from far away, as far as three to four hours away. You can be in the train for hours; the trains come with modern facility to make you feel comfortable.”
He stated that with the ongoing construction work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, there should be provision for more rail lines to enable more people to move around.
“We have been going through traffic on that road for years and we are likely to go through it for a long time,” he added.
According to Emmanuel, people are, however, beginning to find out on their own how to navigate their housing challenges.
“Nigeria’s housing issue needs a combination of solutions working together,” he said.
He stated that one other challenge that should be looked into was access to housing finance.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lifepage, Mr Oladipupo Clements, said real estate should be seen as a vehicle for creating as well as preserving wealth.
He said the housing summit was put together to address the various categories of people who were in need of access to decent houses.
He said, “Life page is in the business of making life richer and to make that happen is the reason for putting this summit together. We know that if you know better, you can do better.
“We know that once people get enlightened and educated in certain areas of life, it will impact on their outcomes.”