Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has estimated the country’s present housing deficit at a staggering 20 million houses.
The vice president made the disclosure on Wednesday, when as the Special Guest of Honour, he performed the unveiling of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Digital Platform at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Office (OSGF) Gabriel Aduda, charged FMBN to rise to the greater responsibility of seeking innovative ways to attract funding for housing provision, through Public Private Partnerships and partnership with relevant government and financial institutions.
He noted that raising of long term housing bonds and other specialised financial instruments will guarantee provision of affordable housing for the public.
He requested that these initiatives must be targeted at achieving the ultimate aim, which is more affordable houses for greater numbers of Nigerians.
He described the digitalisation of the bank as another milestone in the long journey to reducing the country’s humongous housing stock and called for the joining of hands and working in unison for improved mortgage financing and better affordable housing delivery.
The vice president also restated his belief that repositioning of the FMBN is a huge plus that will improve housing provision in the country.
“The FMBN is one of the numerous programs of government since the early 70s aimed at housing provision. However, most have not been successful. Repositioning the FMBN we believe is a huge plus and will improve housing provision in Nigeria.
“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) has human capital development as one of its cardinal objectives and housing provision is key in achieving that goal.
“May I, however, call on the FMBN not to rest on its oars or get caught up in the success syndrome that says you have arrived but rather arise to a greater responsibility of seeking innovative ways to attract funding for housing provision through private sector funds,” Osinbajo said.