FG plans housing scheme for 17 million Nigerians abroad

By The Rainbow

THE Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is working on a diaspora product to assist Nigerians living abroad own homes in Nigeria, the Managing Director of the bank, Gimba Ya'u Kumo, has said.

According to him, the product has become necessary because of the large number of Nigerians in the diaspora who want to own homes in Nigeria.

Besides, he said the product would help reduce housing deficit in the country.

Kumo, spoke this at the fourth Nigeria Development Finance Forum in Washington DC, United States (US).

He said, 'We realized that about 17 million Nigerians are living outside the country and most of them have plans to have houses and they have not been able to do so.

'We understand that over the years, people, who have been remitting money for the building or buying of a house have not been getting good results. Stories have followed this money.

'What we are trying to do is that by the time we develop the diaspora mortgage model, it will be a model whereby Nigerians living abroad who want to buy houses can resort to FMBN and, at the end of the day, if they do not take the mortgage, they can get refund of their money with interest,' he said.

The FMBN boss said that the bank chose the US because out of the 17 million Nigerians all over the world, US had about 58 per cent.

'We are going to do our case study here and in the United Kingdom (UK). If it works well, we will try to replicate it in Asia and other parts of the world,' he said.

He said the move would also lead to the inflow of finance from the diaspora to Nigeria, which would further assist to reduce the housing needs in the country.

The FMBN boss also said that the Utility Refinancing Company that would assist in financing the sector would kick off soon with the corporation of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance.