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The Federal Government has announced the provision of N500 billion to resuscitate the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba-Shehuri made the disclosure yesterday in Lafia when he visited the site of a National Housing Project (NHP).

The minister, who was received by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Silas Agara said the aim was to make mortgage facilities easily available to Nigerians. He said: “The resuscitation of the bank with N500 billion would provide the institution with adequate funds to deliver mortgage facilities to interested Nigerians.

“The Federal Government in its mission to provide shelter to all Nigerians, had directed the FMBN to waive the payment of 10 per cent equity on mortgages below N5 million. This will greatly enhance the transition of low income earners from tenants to home owners,” he said.

 Baba-Shehuri added that the houses would be built based on the country’s housing design with 100 per cent local content to create employment for the youths. He said the ministry would leave no stone unturned in tackling the challenges of housing shortage in the country, which was about 16 million to 17 million.

He disclosed that government had commenced plan to construct mass housing units in every state for public and private workers in the next three years. Meanwhile, for the Federal Government Integrated Staff Housing programme (FISH) to be successful, it must be supported with an annual budget of N20billion. The Chairman, implementation committee of the programme, Yemi Adelakun, disclosed this in Abuja.

He said about 30, 000 civil servants had registered to own their houses since the programme began in 2014. He said the project was funded through the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), in collaboration with the Nigerian Pension Commission, SURE-P, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the offices of the minister of finance and director general, budget office.

The chairman added that equity financing was also needed to fund the programme, hence it had started consultations with Shelter Afrique, an international organisation on housing matters.

Source:Anthony Otaru and Cornelius Essen

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