Nigeria is estimated to have about 20 million housing deficits. This means that more than 20 million families need roofs over their heads.

And the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN believes the refusal of state governments to issue Certificates of Occupancy, C of O, on time is contributing to this deficit.

The Deputy Director, Nigerian Housing Finance Program at CBN, Adedeji Adesemoye said this on Tuesday at a workshop on Nigerian Housing Finance in Lagos.

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The two-day workshop, organised by the CBN for 34 mortgage institutions, was aimed at addressing the housing deficit in Nigeria.

Adesemoye said that the housing sector has the potential to create massive job opportunities if state governments issue C of Os which could provide the required cash for mortgage institutions.

According to him, there was opportunity to refinance mortgages “in excess of 30 billion dollars but this is impossible since most of the properties have no C of O.”

He said most of the estates in the country have no C of O but only have development lease agreement which does not meet the underwriting standards.

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“So, it is tying down assets by not allowing liquidity to come in.

“The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have some estates that have been sold and transferred to people across the country and they are not signing C of O.

“Many of such C of Os have been there for years that are not singed. If signed, they could be brought to the state to regularise and the money can come in.

“If we are serious that we want housing supply to increase, the money that is coming from demand must have a place to move in,’’ he said.

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