A Professor of Real Estate Investment at the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA has called on Federal and state governments to see provision of housing as a social service to the masses because it is becoming increasingly difficult for most Nigerians to save to acquire houses of their own.
Professor Mustapha Bello made the call while delivering the 128th inaugural lecture of the institution titled, “Real Estate Investment Management: The Antidote to National Poverty”, on Tuesday June 1, 2021. Professor Mustapha Bello said after the adoption of low-income housing as a social service, governments should provide machinery for its finance at low interest rate and also create a social-economic environment which is conducive enough to bring down interest rate to a reasonable level. Bello said because of the vagaries of the economy income earned by most people is not commensurate with the present cost of living therefore it has become impossible to save to acquire capital intensive goods like housing.
Professor Bello also identified the instability in the real estate finance system as part of the factors militating against ownership of houses by Nigerians aspiring to do so. While noting that the prohibitive cost of land and building materials is a major draw-back he stressed that the muddle in real estate finance system is one of the banes in the actualization of owning a house. He said a secondary Mortgage market which is a means by which this can be achieved is presently missing in the Nigeria real estate financial system. He said the role of real estate investment in poverty alleviation cannot be over emphasized, stating that the real estate can be used as a catalyst to stimulate growth in the economy and a respirator to revive a dying economy.
The don also has advocated for the creation of Valuer- General Office in each state of the Federation and the linkage of all property with Bank Verification Number, BVN and National Identity Number, NIN. He said this will enable government through its designated agencies monitor financial inflow into the real estate sector and prevent money laundering and the scamming of unwary Nigerians by unscrupulous and bogus individuals masquerading as Real Estate Investors. He said to ensure the workability of the scheme the requirements for planning approval for new buildings should include NIN and BVN.
He noted that when the word Estate is mentioned what comes to mind is either an expensive area of land developed for residential, commercial, Industrial purposes or an area where oil palm, Rubber or cocoa are cultivated. According to him Estate simply means interest or rights in property. The Don said in Nigeria Real Estate is not only basic to life it contains all necessities for life to exist. He said since experts agree that housing is also an important ingredient in the psychological needs of man, government and key players in the sector must work together to ensure the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians.
He also advised that an efficient and effective land management system be put in place to facilitate provision of affordable housing for the generality of the people. He said to be able to attain this decision makers must take cognizance of the fact that there is need to review the existing legislation. He added that professionals who are involved in land matters such as Estate Surveyors, Land Surveyors, Town Planners, and Administrators should be actively involved in policy formulation and implementation relating to its management.
In his remark at the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, described the lecturer as quintessential professional and productive academic. He said Professor Bello has in no small measure contributed to research and academic development in his field of specialization.