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Stakeholders in the housing sector have lauded the appointment of Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, as the Chairman of Shelter Afrique, claiming it would be beneficial to the sector.
The minister was named the new chairman of the company at its 42nd Annual General Meeting in Abuja recently.
Shelter Afrique is the only pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa.
Responding to the acceptance of his nomination as the new chairman of SHAF, Fashola, said, “The Nigerian government is transiting to another administration soon. We are embracing change but this is what SHAF needs to make progress. Change comes in different shapes, like changing board members, new ways of raising funds, having new directions, etc.”
He said the organisation needed to introduce new strategies to restructure SHAF.”
Reacting to Fashola’s appointment, the President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Johnbull Amayaevbo, said Fashola was a technocrat and was capable.
He said, “The Honourable Minister is a technocrat. He is smart and intelligent, coupled with the fact that he fits into whatever position given to him. Even though being a lawyer, he ruled Lagos State for eight years with tangible results; I do not have any doubt that if he had the time to look into the matters of Shelter Afrique, a lot would be achieved.
“Fashola is a goal-getter. However, my only fear is will he have the time? If he has the time, he will surely do well. On behalf of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, we wish him a successful tenure as the chairman of Shelter Afrique. And I hope that those who work with him are equally very smart and able to leverage his intelligence to achieve a lot.”
In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of Pelican Nigeria Limited, Babatunde Adeyemo, noted that it was a welcome development, considering the fact that people had begun to lose interest in Shelter Afrique.
He said, “Shelter Afrique has in the last three years been running at a loss, and they are on the recovery stage. Hence, the goodwill in Fashola as a person would be positive to add value to the goodwill of Shelter Afrique.
“Real estate entrepreneurs have generally been losing interest in seeking and accessing loans because of the high-interest rate and the bureaucratic bottlenecks involved. With Fashola coming in, people like us, who are not really interested in seeking loans, are becoming more interested. And what this means is that once funds are available, it will help towards reducing the deficit being suffered by the economy.”
According to Adeyemo, the housing deficit in Nigeria cannot be reduced drastically because of economic challenges.
He added, “The economy and housing work hand-in-hand because everything cannot be subsidised by the government. The only thing the government has is an island, which is not even available. Essentially, the government cannot use all of its budgets to provide housing for Nigerians because there are other sectors and infrastructures that should be prioritised as well.
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