By Chris Ochayi
…As NUJ, FMBN meet on housing challenge
Determined to ameliorate the nation’s housing deficit, the Federal Government said it had commenced discussion with China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, SINOSURE, and International Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, to source for a loan of N936 billion, to fund housing development in Nigeria.
Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, Mr. Gimba Ya’u Kumo who disclosed this at an interactive session aimed at creating a synergy between the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, in Abuja said, the loan has a tenure of 15 to 20 years.
Kumo who said the loan which will be provided under a single digit, stressed further that it shall be given directly to Chinese Construction firms on installmental basis of $1.5 billion, who are to build the houses under the supervision of FMBN.
He explained further that, FMBN’s responsibility shall be to create mortgages over the housing units, collect mortgage repayments and use the proceeds of the repayments to payback the loan over the tenure of the facility.
Explaining the business expansion initiatives by the bank, Mr. Kumo said, a 1,000 unit staff housing estate at Kagini, FCT, will be a model project for estate development in Nigeria. The estate, to be known as Goodluck Jonathan Legacy Model Housing Estate, according to him, will be funded by a commercial facility but projected to be delivered at affordable price to FMBN staff and general public.
He said the FMBN is also in partnership with Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, NECA, Trade Union Congress, TUC and Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, aimed at working out modalities for housing delivery to Nigerian workers.
Noting that a Joint Technical Committee was put in place for this effect, he said the report produced by the committee identifies several housing development models for adoption which include the fuller model, in use in Luvu Nasarawa State, Jigawa model; Red brick among others.
He said, “it recommends the enhanced use of alternative building materials and technologies tyo reduce cost and that, FMBN and NLC/TUC to drive the process of requesting State Governments to provide 5 hectres of land and infrastructure for pilot housing scheme in each state.
He said, “in order to redress the funding limitations of FMBN the JTC recommends short, medium and long term solutions some of which include increase in the approved capital base of FMBN from N5 billion to N200 billion.
“The joint stakeholders to collectively prevail on States that are not contributing to the NHF to commence contribution”, urging government to impose Housing Tax on oil majors to support housing delivery in Nigeria.
In his remarks earlier, the National President of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mohammad Garba commended the FMBN for reviving the mortgage system considering the huge number of housing deficit in the country. He also commended the efforts of the management of the bank at ameliorating the suffering of Nigeria workers through the transparency applied in the management of the National Housing Fund, NHF scheme.