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DEVELOPERS TARGET DELIVERY OF 1M HOUSING UNITS ANNUALLY

By NBF News

By Yinka Kolawole
Property developers,under the aegis of Real Estate Developer's Association of Nigeria (REDAN), are targeting the development of one million housing units annually in the country, in furtherance of the transformation agenda of the federal government.

To this end, the association has commenced moves to have land banks across the 36 states in the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

President of REDAN, Chief Olabode Afolayan, who disclosed this, declared that the strategy is to secure large expanse of land to be made available to members of the association for mass development of houses for sale to members of the public.

'To be able to do this, REDAN is seeking to have land banks in all the 36 states for its members who have been having a tough time acquiring land in most states because of the unusually long time the process is taking. We discovered that six months down the line, members are still in the process of acquiring land, but with the land bank, members can use the land to partner with investors, use it as equity or use it to secure funds from development banks and other financial institutions,' he said.

Afolayan, who was speaking at the Annual General Meeting/Extraordinary General Meeting of the association held recently in Abuja, said details of the plan are being worked out by a special committee already set up for the purpose.

According to him, rather than put acquired land in a pool, REDAN will prefer a situation where land would be given to members who are ready to develop them immediately so as not to tie down capital unnecessarily. He added that such groups of developers who are ready to construct immediately, can pool resources together for infrastructure thereby reducing costs.

The REDAN president also remarked that the association will explore the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, adding that as it was chasing land, financiers would be brought in through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) like REDAN Capital under a cooperative-like system.

He said the association plans to work with other stakeholders to create an enabling environment for the housing industry to thrive. Such stakeholders, according to him, include the National Assembly, lenders of cheaper funds for construction activities, building materials manufacturers, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in order to reorganise the mortgage sector and for members to possibly invest in it.

Afolayan asserted that REDAN is also keen on how to develop competent construction industry artisans, noting that there was a dearth of such in the industry presently which was affecting the quality and quantity of buildings produced in the country.

In order to realise this objective, he said the association plans to partner with universities, polytechnics, colleges of technology, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).