'It will take almost 25 years to reduce housing shortage' - CEO predicts

Dr. Femi Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer of Homebase Mortgage Bank Limited, has set an estimated date for the reduction in Nigeria's housing shortage.

Nigeria needs 14 to 17 million houses

Dr. Femi Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer of Homebase Mortgage Bank Limited, has set an estimated date for the reduction in Nigeria's housing shortage.

According to the CEO, it should take this long because of the housing structure in Nigeria.

“The truth is that with the way we are structured in Nigeria today, it will be difficult for us to build one million houses annually; and even if we do, it will take us almost 25 years to reduce the deficit.

So, we shouldn’t be thinking of mortgages yet; at best, we should be looking at construction,” he said.

Johnson also offered some advice on the housing shortage, estimated at 14 to 17 million units.

He advised stakeholders to focus on increasing the housing stock rather than thinking of mortgage financing.

"The houses don’t even exist; we need to find money to build these houses first. When an investor brings his money to build houses, depending on if he is on a short or long-term investment, because if he is a short-term investor, he wants to sell and take his money out, but if he’s a long-term investor, that money for construction is the same that is converted to mortgages and people pay over a long period before the investor exits eventually.

Today, we have over N10tn in the pension fund; this is long-term money that can go into providing mortgages. I think the major issue is to find money to build the houses first. When they are available, money will come. There are so many places to source for funds, the capital market and the World Bank, for instance, are there,” he said.

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