•FG launches diaspora mortgage scheme, plans land commission
Emmanuel Addeh and Micheal Olugbode in Abuja
The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, yesterday assured that President Bola Tinubu was determined to break down all obstacles militating against the expected investments in the housing sector.
Speaking at the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) in Abuja, where a mortgage scheme dedicated to catering for the diaspora was launched, the minister acknowledged that there are over 20 million Nigerians in Diaspora remitting an average of over $24 billion per annum.
He spoke on the theme: “New Vistas, Aspirations, New Vision: The Diaspora and National Development”.
“I believe it is important to communicate and assure the Diaspora that Nigeria is open for business in the housing and urban development space. That President Bola Tinubu, has a bold vision for the sector and is committed to backing it up with the necessary political will to break down all barriers that discourage investment in the sector.
“As the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, I have taken Mr. President’s vision and I am determined to actualise it. Our aim at the ministry is to implement the most historic housing and urban sector reforms the country has ever witnessed,” he said.
Dangiwa, explained that being of interest to the diaspora, the government aimed to streamline land administration that cut through the bureaucracy and systemic inefficiencies to ensure cost effective access to land for both individuals and investors in the country.
“Currently, we have a situation where the Land Use Act, which was enacted in 1978 has no complementary institution set up alongside it to provide the necessary framework, guidelines, and regulations for operationalising it.
“We aim to fix this systemic anomaly. We are working to establish a National Land Commission. Part of their work will be to outline clear implementation guidelines for the Land Use Act to chart a new path of effective land administration in the country,” he stated.
Aside that, he noted that the government plans a nationwide adoption of the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law, which provides contemporary provisions on the creation, registration, and enforcement of mortgages, along with remedies like foreclosure and the enforcement of mortgages on real properties and related purposes in Nigeria.
Till date, he explained that the law has been passed in only four states, including Lagos, Kaduna, Ekiti, and Nasarawa states, stressing that he aims to drive its passage in all the states of the federation.
Explaining that the government also aims to boost local manufacturing of building materials, Dangiwa stated that Nigeria’s shortfall in the supply of quality housing stock presents a good opportunity for investors.
“To drive this, we aim to create an enabling environment for private sector players to produce building materials locally to lower cost, create jobs, grow the local economy, and ultimately ensure inclusive growth.
“To do this we are planning to establish six manufacturing hubs – one in each of the six geo-political zones in the country. The hubs will be provided with relevant facilities, including access roads, electricity, fit for purpose housing and relevant linkages for manufacturers to site their firms and operate,” he affirmed.
According to him, the Diaspora Housing Mortgage Scheme was designed to enable Nigerians living overseas participate in the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme so they can access up to N50 million to own their homes in Nigeria.
Participants, in the scheme, he said, can access the loan via an NHF loan, Rent-to-Own or the Individual Construction loan window.
“The terms are affordable and best market rates. This includes a single-digit interest rate of 9 per cent, and a payback period of up to 10 years.
“As part of the initiative, the FMBN will facilitate the construction of affordable housing units in major cities that meet the specifications of Nigerians in Diaspora,” the minister pointed out.