Mr Gbenga Ismail, Chairman, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), has appealed to governments and professionals in built environment to create data on housing developments in the country.
Ismail told newmen Lagos that there was no comprehensive record on housing developments that could serve as a guide in planning for the housing sector.
He said the need for such data/record had become important because the occupied and unoccupied houses were not factored into the national data on housing deficit computed from outside the country.
Ismail said that large number of houses have been constructed but were not occupied by people may be due to the high cost of rent or other challenges.
The RICS chairman said that a sizeable number of houses were being managed by professionals in the built environment, adding that with the data, information about their rental values would be available.
“The data will reveal the exact number of needed houses, number of available houses, figure of unoccupied and unoccupied houses, and even number of people living in decent houses among others.
“A building that is not let for at least a year should be categorised as unoccupied building.
“Some of the challenges are either that the rent is too high or that the buildings are not consistent with the need of the proposed end users.
“If we can gather this kind of data, we will begin to see what is obtainable and what the government and building professionals have not been able to do,” he said.
Ismail said there was need for the Federal Government to strengthen the policy on regulation of housing development to ensure that all available houses and the unoccupied ones were made habitable.
According to him, the quoted 17 million housing deficit of the country is an estimation being used for over 10 years now.
He said that nobody knows the exact figure of housing deficit in Nigeria.
“If the house deficit is put at 17 million about 10 years ago, it is expected that after a year or more, the figure will either reduce or increase considering the fact that the government and private individuals might have built houses.
“But Nigeria’s housing deficit has been put at 17 million for years now, this is not ideal.
“Therefore, the need for the data on housing developments becomes imperative to define the true state of housing deficit in the country,” Ismail said.