Eagerly awaiting the palliatives that will cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the real estate sector, operatives have jump-started collaborative efforts to provide leadership and leeway for the re-vigoration of the industry.

Courtesy of the seven professional bodies in the built environment, namely Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyor’s and Valuers (NIESV), Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) and Nigerian Institute of Surveyors (NIS).

The Guardian gathered that the presidents of the seven professional bodies discussed recently in a virtual meeting piloted by NIOB President, Mr. Kunle Awobodu to marshal their strategies on ways to overcome the challenges bedeviling the sector.

Sources disclosed that the meeting held penultimate week was called after behind the scene discussions among the various presidents. The meeting tagged “Interface among the Presidents of the Built Environment Professional Bodies in Nigeria” was attended by all the presidents.

They are Sonny Echono(NIA), Awobodu (NIOB), Mohammed Babagana (NSE), Sir Rowland Abonta (NIESV), Alabo Charles (NIS), Mohammed Abba Tor (NIQS) and Lekwa Ezutah (NITP).

The essence of the meeting was to work towards giving the sector a voice in the polity to enable the bodies serve Nigerians better. The sector, despite being critical in the development of any country has often been neglected during policy formulation.

The members reviewed the effect of the coronavirus pandemic and noted their critical role in the development of any country and resolved for a start to present a position to the Federal Government on the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan post COVID 19. In the plan, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is strengthening the sectors by providing a combined stimulus package of about N3.5 trillion to build a more resilient, more self-reliant economy.

They also noted that members of the built professions are critical for the successful implementation of the plan to build 300,000 houses yearly. In the plan, the Federal Government is targeting the creation of 1.8 million jobs through the construction of the new homes in the next 12 months, as part of initiatives to stimulate growth in the economy.

Under the Federal Government’s COVID-19 response, CBN is providing an initial intervention of N500 billion over the medium term, specifically targeted at manufacturing firms to procure state-of-the-art machinery, equipment and automated manufacturing models that would fast-track local production and economic rejuvenation, as well as support increased patronage of locally processed products such as cement, steel, iron rods, and doors, amongst several other products.

CBN is also bridging the housing deficit by facilitating government intervention in three critical areas: housing development, mortgage finance, and institutional capacity.

The bank plans to pursue the creation of a fund that will target housing construction for developers that provide evidence of profiled off-takers with financial capacity to repay.

The government is also considering ways to assist the mortgage finance sub-sector as well as build capacity at the State levels for land administration agencies to process and issue land titles promptly, implement investment friendly foreclosure laws and reduce the cost of land documentation, since these have remained major inhibiting factors in the provision of affordable housing in the country.

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