Some participants at the ongoing 13th Abuja International Housing Show have advocated for the provision of adequate data and proper consumer education to mitigate housing deficit in the country.
The participants made the call in their presentations at the show on Wednesday.
One such participant, Mrs. Kecia Rust, Executive Secretary, Africa Union of Housing Finance, in her presentation on data and analytics, said that a sound data was a very critical component of housing finance.
According to her, having a good understanding of the income and mortgage data of the population of a place was of utmost importance in planning for housing.
She said that the lack of data was a key constraint undermining private sector participation and good policy engagement in the issues of provision of affordable housing.
Rust said that the development of a housing finance data in Africa would assist policy makers in the development of housing finances.
“The right data leads to information, information leads to knowledge and knowledge leads to good decisions,” she declared.
Mr Danladi Abalaka, General Coordinator, C-STEmp Construction Skills Training and Empowerment Project, an NGO, said that the show exposed them to networking and reaching out for collaborations.
“We need enough and good information to be able to provide good and affordable housing for our population; if we have accurate data, we will be able to plan well.”
On his part, Dr Banjo Obaleye, CEO, Infinity Mortage Bank Plc, who spoke on Mortgage Consumer Education as a Tool to Mitigating Credit Risk, said that a detailed consumer education was key to workable housing schemes.
He said that while mortgage loan offer many benefits, they also come with responsibilities from both the customer and the banks.
“Consumer education will strengthen collaborations among financial institutions, regulators and customers on responsibilities of lending and borrowing.
“While lenders have an obligation to lend responsibly, a responsible borrower should be sure they can afford the repayments of their loans and be committed to the contract consented to.
“The need to draw a line between marketing and customer education by bankers is imperative for better understanding and responsible behaviours,’’ Obaleye said.
He advised that more focus be placed on possible areas of disagreements, especially the pricing and default.
NAN reports that the show, which commenced since 2006, has in attendance stakeholders in real estate sector from more than 15 countries. (NAN)