BY GLORIA USMAN, ABUJA – The Senate has assured stakeholders in the housing sector of providing the needed conducive environment towards reducing Nigeria’s housing deficit.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu, gave the assurance at the opening of a workshop, with the theme; “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Development in Nigeria” organised by the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), in Abuja.

Egwu said his committee would give priority to bills seeking to address challenges in the housing sector so as to make suitable, adequate and affordable housing available to all Nigerians and therefore urged the association to recommend necessary bills for consideration just as he advised members of REDAN to redirect housing investment to low income earners.

According to him; “For real estate developers to effectively play their role in delivering affordable housing to citizens, they must understand the emerging trends in real estate development globally.

Earlier in his address, President of REDAN, Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, said the training is to give participants insight into the realms of how best to do business with less stress, risk and impact positively the development of the economy.

Chime said the association was involved in capacity building for all practitioners in the sector which include artisans adding that other direct home construction personnel need be trained and retrained to increase their competencies in constructing durable homes.

He said; “The training is part of the process of dimension and de-risking the real estate value chain and operating environment. We must support government in fighting criminality and our members must comply with extant laws.

“That is why our Code of Conduct is tailored towards ensuring compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) rules.

“The support and collaboration of all well-meaning Nigerians is urgently needed to curb this menace,” Chime said, adding that the association is partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to stem the element of fraud and terrorism financing and money laundering to weed out fraudsters from the sector.

In his own remarks, the Managing Director, Family Homes Funds, Mr Femi Adewole, whose organisation recently commissioned close to 11,300 homes targeted at low income earners, said the training was apt and well thought out.

He said it would go a long way to build the capacity and skills of those in the sector and at the same time create awareness to refocus attention to the housing needs of the common citizens even those in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

Group Head, Analytic, Projects and Special Examination, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Adesemoye Adedeji, said the organisation was making efforts to ensure that monetary policies that would encourage mortgage is put in place.

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