As the impact of the economic situation of the country bites harder on the housing sector, Dangote Group has called on the Federal Government to urgently initiate a tax credit facility that would enable developers to embark on construction of affordable housing units to meet the deficit in the country. The head of Sales and Marketing, Rabiu Umar, who stated this at Africa International Housing Show (AIHS) in Abuja on July 27, 2023, added that the tax credit has become imperative to achieve low-income houses.
Tax credit is an amount of money that taxpayers can subtract directly from the taxes they owe. It is different from tax deductions, which lowers the amount of someone’s taxable income. Federal and state governments may grant tax credits to promote specific behaviors that benefit the economy, the environment, or anything else that the government deems important. An example is running projects that help to achieve net-zero by 2060 and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The government may grant tax credit to an individual or organization that does this to encourage others to do the same.
Policy will stimulate investment in the sector.
In this case, this policy will grant tax credit for investors in the sector. Umar argued that the immediate past government introduced the same in road infrastructure to give back to society. He urged the stakeholders in the industry to buy into the ideas by signing the memorandum of understanding with estate developers and banks. He added that housing is a compelling need of citizens. So, the private and public sectors must synergize. He stressed that the housing deficit in Nigeria and Africa is daunting and both sectors should work towards resolving the crisis.
According to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria presently has a housing deficit of 28 million units. As the years go by, this number has gradually worsened. In the 1990s, it was less than ten million. However, in the 2010’s, it had risen to over 15 million units, reaching a 20-million-unit deficit in 2019. It has always been difficult for Nigerians to access affordable housing, especially as the cost of building materials continue to skyrocket.
REDAN president urges FG to provide land infrastructure for investors.
Meanwhile, the managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Madu Hamman, said the AIHS has become a veritable platform for cross-fertilization of ideas on national developmental challenges in housing and mortgage sectors. He added, “We remain the only institution offering affordable mortgage to Nigerians at single digit rate between six and seven percent through products like Individual National Housing Fund Loan, from N15 million to N50 million.” As well, Olusade Adesola of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) informed Abuja residents that the masterplan outlined a vision for a well-planned city. He said that the administration will implement the plan meticulously, adhering to its principles and ensuring a vibrant environment.
Also, the coordinator of AIHS, Festus Adebayo, disclosed that this year’s event would focus on the theme: “Beyond Rhetoric to Homes: Making Housing Happen.” He noted that Africa is facing various hurdles in its pursuit of sustainable housing strategies and agenda. In the same vein, the president of Real Estate Developers Association (REDAN), Aliyu Wamakko, urged the Federal Government to provide affordable financing, land infrastructure for investors to key into. He said that this is necessary to bridge the housing gap in the country.
CEO says government has no business building houses.
Wamakko, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Jedo Investment Company Limited, explained that the government has no business in building houses because it cannot build houses and give them out for free. He said that Nigeria was not a socialist country. According to him, the buck stops at the table of private investors to help the government in building affordable houses. He announced the unveiling of a special package for the 10th National Assembly: a four-bedroom terrace apartment with roof top, a four-bedroom semi-detached duplex and two semi-detached duplex. He said that the project is endorsed by REDAN under the cover of AIHS.