‘FG approves $300m loan to tackle housing deficit in Nigeria’

Date:

Dr-Yerima-NgamaThe Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the request of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to obtain a $300m credit facility from the International Development Association housing projects in the country.

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The council, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, also approved the applications of 174 foreigners who sought Nigerian citizenship.

The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro; and the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.

Ngama said the council approved that Okonjo-Iweala should execute the interest-free financing agreement that would be repaid over 40 years on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Muhammed Adoke, would issue the legal opinion required to formalise the project.

He said the objective of the Nigeria Housing Finance Project was to increase access to housing finance by deepening the primary and secondary mortgage markets in the country.

Ngama said housing demand in the country had expanded rapidly due to current urbanisation trends, putting the estimated demand annually at 700,000 units, which he said was far above the current production level of below 100,000 units.

This, he added, had led to a deficit of 17 million housing units nationwide.

The minister said, “Right now, we only have primary mortgage institutions. So, we are going to establish a Mortgage Refinance Company that will benefit from this. Hence, $250m will be devoted to the establishment of the Mortgage Refinance Company.

“The remaining money will be used for three other companies for the Nigeria Housing Finance Project. The establishment of a mortgage guarantee product targeted at the lower income borrower will gulp $25m. This guarantee will enable people who otherwise cannot provide adequate collateral to access loans. There will also be $25m, which will be lent to housing microfinance banks so that they too can provide housing finance.

“We know that one of the major issues constraining the development of our mortgage industry is the lack of technical competent as well as capacity building. So, $10m will be devoted to capacity building and also as technical assistance. This will give them the capability to drive the mass housing scheme.”

Moro said based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Nigerian Citizenship, the 174 applications for citizenship approved by the FEC included 45 by registration and 129 by naturalisation.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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