The Federal Government on Thursday announced that it had so far disbursed a total of N20.24bn for 2,724 mortgages to support Nigerians in buying their own homes since May 2015.
According to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the disbursements were made through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria under the National Housing Fund.
Fashola stated these at the inauguration of the governing boards of the FMBN and the Federal Housing Authority in Abuja.
“Since May 2015 to date, the FMBN has issued 2,724 mortgages worth N20.237bn to assist Nigerians buy their own homes under the National Housing Fund,” the minister said.
Fashola told the board members that the policy of the government was to deliver affordable homes that were acceptable to Nigerians and the two agencies, adding that the FHA and FMBN were the implementing arms of the Federal Government in housing delivery and financing, respectively.
He said, “For your information, we are piloting a housing programme and currently constructing in 33 states of Nigeria. We do this 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.
“We are at different stages of construction in different states, and we have recommended these designs to the 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 suggest 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 the market, we must know what the people want and what they can afford.”
The minister, however, noted that after the completion of the pilot housing projects, the answers to housing delivery would become self-evident and that would be when the government would produce houses in large numbers.
Fashola also noted that there was certainly nothing that stopped the FHA from undertaking other designs of housing if the agency could find a market for them and could deploy the income to cross-subsidise and make mass housing more affordable.
“As for the financing side, this is critical to affordability and it is as much the function of the FHA in cost management and delivery, as it is that of the FMBN in delivering mortgages of affordable tenors and costs,” he said.
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