RICS insists on private sector participation to address housing deficit
he Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has urged the Federal Government to provide the enabling environment for the private sector housing to thrive.
Mr Olayinka Omotosho, Chairman of the institution, gave the advice on Thursday in an interview in Lagos.
Omotosho urged the government to allow the private sector to drive the housing sector for maximum provisions to curb the nation’s housing deficit, estimated at between 17 and 20 million housing units.
According to him, all government needs to do is to provide the enabling environment and other necessities that will aid operation of the private housing developers.
Omotosho attributed the cause of the nation’s housing deficit to lack of full participation of the private sector in housing delivery.
“Government alone cannot provide the needed houses for the country.
“It needs full participation of the private sector, through a well-programmed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.
“This implies leaving housing delivery in the hands of the private sector, while the government provides the land and other necessary conducive environment.
“And to make the PPP scheme a success, it should have a legal backup such that the terms and conditions of the partnership will not be breached by any of the involved party,’’ the RICS chief said.
Omotosho expressed optimism that the active participation of the private sector in housing delivery would have great impact on the nation’s housing situation.
He said that for the PPP programme to have positive impact in addressing the nations’ housing needs, the government needed to go beyond provision of land and policy frameworks.
According to him, the government needs to grant incentives to private housing developers.
He said: “Examples of such incentives are import duty waivers on building materials, provision of infrastructure and credit facilities through effective mortgage system and tax relief, among others.
“Introduction of realistic building regulations and the removal of restrictive legislation, such as the Land Use Act of 1978, are some of the factors that can guarantee conducive atmosphere for private sector to thrive.”
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