The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has called on the Federal and state Governments to prioritise housing provision for low-income earners in the country.
It said in order to forestall the problem of homelessness nationwide, housing must be substantially subsidized for the poor and the less-privileged.
Ogun State’s Chairman of NIESV, Salmon Shobanke, who made the call while briefing reporters in Abeokuta as part of activities marking the body’s 2018 Week, also urged government to activate monitoring control to stem incessant building collapse in some parts of the country.
Shobanke appealed to government at all levels to invest more in the provision of housing accommodation.
According to him, housing should be regarded as a social service and not luxury for the people.
He said, “The performance of housing sector, especially that of housing construction industry, is often the barometer by which the health or ill-health of a nation is measured. Therefore, for any nation, housing is a set of durable assets which account for a higher proportion of a country’s wealth and on which household spend a substantial part of their income.
“For low income earners who can neither build, buy nor even rent, they need to be assisted substantially. Hence, government needs to subsidize the provision of housing accommodation to this class of people to avoid homelessness.”
Shobanke also charged government to encourage mortgage system in helping the citizens to own houses.
“It is only in this country that housing has been turned to cash and carry. In other countries, if you do that, the authorities will start looking for you to probe,” he noted.
Shobanke, who described the issue of building collapse as endemic, warned Nigerians against engaging quacks as well as unregistered surveyors and valuers for their property transactions.
He attributed the issue of building collapse to faulty design, inferior building materials, poor workmanship and lack of supervision, among other factors, saying such causative factors must be addressed.
He added, “Property acquisition and purchase is about the single large stand most expensive investment that can be undertaken by any individual at a time and this should be placed in the hands of qualified professionals and not in the hands of charlatans or quacks, to safeguard such investments.
“Registered estate surveyors and valuers are trained, equipped and skilled in providing real estate services in all its ramifications. Hence, they should be consulted when it comes to real estate and related issues.”
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