FMBN MD, Dangiwa
By CLEMENT NWOJI, Abuja
The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has under the National Housing Fund (NHF), since May 2015 to date, issued 2,724 mortgages worth N20.237 billion to assist Nigerians buy their own homes.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure at the inuaguration of newly reconstituted board of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
He said the Federal government is piloting a Housing Programme and currently constructing in 33 States of the federation to validate and test what type of housing design responds to Nigeria’s diverse cultural, climatic and religious needs, so as to ascertain what is acceptable and affordable.
He said :”We are at different stages of construction in different states, and we have commended these designs to FHA, without imposing them.
“Our decision is informed by the evidence of previous housing initiatives that people did not take up and empty houses that still abound in almost every state of Nigeria. These untaken houses, and the deficit of Housing, suggests to us that the untaken houses are either unacceptable or unaffordable or both.
“We see housing as a product, and we take the view that before they can be delivered to market, we must know what the people want and what they can afford.”
Fashola explained that when the pilot is fully completed, these answers would become self-evident and then the government can embark on mass produce.
“There is certainly nothing that stops FHA from undertaking other designs of housing if she can find a market for it, and she can deploy the income to cross-subsidize and make mass housing more affordable.
“As for the financing side, this is critical to affordability and it is as much the function of FHA in cost management and delivery as it is that of FMBN in delivering mortgages of affordable tenures and costs. Since May 2015 to date FMBN has issued 2,724 mortgages worth N20.237BN to assist Nigerians buy their own homes; under the National Housing Fund”, said Fashola.