1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Commercial banks are important financial intermediaries serving the general public in any society. In most cases, commercial banks hold more assets than any other financial institution. In some caseseven more than central bank. Apart from their many functions, commercial banks facilitate growth and development. Banks lends in many areas or sectors of the economy. Viewed from the building and construction sector, they contribute to investment, employment creation, and by extension, the process of infrastructure and economic growth. However, the researcher is examining the roles of the commercial banks in Nigeria in financing building and construction projects in Nigeria (Farrel, 1985).
The building and construction industry in both developed and developing countries may be viewed as that sector of the economy which, through planning, design, construction, maintenance and repair, and operation, transforms various resources into constructed facilities. Thetypes of public and private facilitiesproduced range from residential and non-residential buildings to heavy construction, and these physical facilities play a critical and highly visible role in the process of development(Kheni et al., 2008). The majorparticipants from the building industry include the architects, engineers, management consultants, general contractors, heavy construction contractors, special trade contractors or subcontractors, and construction workers, along with the owners, operators, and users of the constructed facility.
Olowo-okere (1985),(cited inEshofonie,2008)asserted that mostcountries put over 55% of their gross domestic investment into the creation of physical facilities, including infrastructure that isnecessaryfor development.The buildingsector has variouslevels of manpower rangingfrom highly skilled professionals to completely unskilled labourers. Indeveloping countries,physical construction activities alone provide between2 and6%of the employment demands of the nationandthe subsidiaryactivities provide an additional 2 to 4%,while in thedeveloped countries the figure rises to between 6to 10%and 4 to 6%(Cockburn andCharles, 1970;Okeola,2009). Ibironke (2004)and Shittuand Shehu (2010)statedthat the building industry plays a key role in satisfying a wide range ofphysical,economic and social needs and contributes significantly to the fulfillmentof various major national goals.
The commercial banks form animportant source by which many investors get fundsto finance building and other real property projects. Commercial banksare money creating financial institutions that performthree major functions, namely acceptance ofdeposits, granting or loans and the operators of thepayments and settlements mechanism.
The major issue in building, real estate development and investment is finance. There is no iota of doubt that funding is an important factor in real estate development and building projects. The complexity and to a large extent, its capital intensive nature demands proper and adequate funding to make it realizable. The terms and availability of the needed funds determine the trend of building operation. Availability and easy accessibility of building finance in sufficient quantity will definitely accelerate all forms of property development. Building financing is concerned with the production of finance for building houses and office complexes which are basic necessities in a growing economy like Nigeria. The benefits to be derived from a rise in building financing in Nigeria are many and include;
1. Increased rural and urban houses for the teaming Nigerian population.
2. The construction of industrial estate for the localization of industries and commerce.
3. An increase in employment for those in the construction industry.
The sourcing of funds for investment in building development poses a great deal of problem for the developer. This is largely due to economic instability and stringent measures imposed by most financial institutions. This is compounded by the fact that the interest rate structure has had an unfavourable impact on funding the development of building sector. Since the financing of building development is a long term project, it has necessitated the high interest rate that is being charged on the funds provided for such development purposes. Hines (1995) revealed that six major building financing methods are used across the world namely; Joint Venture, Equity and Debt Financing, Sale-lease Back Financing, Advance Payment of key money and Sale of Securities.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, the government had been the major player in the area of building and housing development in Nigeria, by providing direct finance to the builders for previous housing schemes. This was embedded in the housing policy of past administrations but today, the dwindling nature of revenue accruing to the government, coupled with gross mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds and revenue has prohibited the ability of the government to continue to play her role as before (Nubi, 2000). The mortgage finance institutions are faced with certain problems of low level of awareness of the services rendered by the institutions, bureaucracy in the granting and disbursement of mortgage loans to the borrowers, misunderstanding of the banking terms by the depositors and the public due to the used of technical and professional terms which are not understood by a layman and problem of repayment of loans by the borrowers. Commercial banks has the key player in the financial sector has contributed to the development of various sectors of the Nigerian economy by funding. However, the researcher will analyze the role of commercial banks in financing building projects in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to analyze the role of commercial banks in financing building projects in Nigeria and the following are the specific objectives:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study has the following significance:
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the role of commercial banks in financing building projects in Nigeria will cover all the financial investment in building and real estate in Nigeria considering the contributions of the commercial banks to the sector. It will also cover the activities of other mortgage financial institution in financing building development in Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Building: a structure with a roof and walls, such as a house or factory.
Financing: provide funding for (a person or project)
Real estate: property consisting of land or buildings.
Commercial banks: ' A financial institution that provides services, such as accepting deposits, giving business loans and auto loans, mortgage lending, and basic investment products like savings accounts and certificates of deposit.
Cockburn, A., and Charles, S. (1970). Construction in Overseas Development (A Search for Appropriate Aid and Trade Measure for the 1970’s), Overseas Development Institute Ltd., London. Pp. 1-20.
Farrel T (1985). The role of commercial banks in financial system. Mimeo, 1985.
Ibironke, O. T. (2004). Building economics (Birnin-Kebbi, Nigeria: TimlabQuanticost).
Kheni, N., Gibb, A. G. F., and Dainty, A. R. J. (2008). Health and safety management in developing countries: A Study of construction SMEs in Ghana. Construction Management and Economics, 26(11):1159-1169.
Nubi A. O. (2002). Financing low Income Housing in Nigerian Cities: A conference Paper on Perspectives, Issues and Challenges at ObafemiAwolowo University, October, 2001
Okeola, O. G., (2009). Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Assessment in the Construction Industry. 1st Annual Civil Engineering Conference Proceeding. University of Ilorin, Nigeria, 26-28 August, pp: 236-246.
Olowo-Okere, E. O. (1985). Construction industry in Nigeria. Journal for Building and Civil Engineering Contractors in Nigeria, 2(2):6–10.
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