FG launches N13bn mortgage scheme

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The Federal Government on Friday launched a N13 billion Federal Civil Servants Mortgage Refinancing Scheme to benefit 5,635 federal civil servants.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said at the launch in Abuja that the scheme was in line with government’s overall objective of providing the necessary stimulus to ensure growth in the economy.

She said that in recognition of the importance of housing, the federal government had in the 2016 Budget provided N40 billion for the implementation of a comprehensive housing scheme.

“This is to address the housing challenges facing the country, improve the living conditions and welfare of our work-force and people, as well as generate gainful employment for our teeming youths,’’ the minister said.

Adeosun said that civil servants played an important role in nurturing and developing the nation.

“It is only fair that those who serve the country can be afforded the opportunity of owning their own homes at retirement.

“We have to put in place the right incentives as part of our anti-corruption drive to plug leakages,’’ she said.

She said the scheme was a collaboration steered by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB).

The minister said that the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme (FISH) and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC) were also part of the collaboration.

She further said that the ministry had concluded arrangements to provide a complementary and sustainable housing market finance ecosystem to address the challenges of affordable housing.

Adeosun said that this would be done through Family Homes Fund (FHF) Ltd., an innovative private sector-driven financing programme.

According to her, the initiative is expected to catalyse funds from the private sector, pension and insurance funds, multilateral agencies and impact investors.

The minister said the fund would be used to selectively intervene in the areas of developer financing and mortgage provision.

She said that the scheme was being implemented in partnership with state governments which would contribute land with the necessary approvals.

Adeosun called on willing investors to explore the investment opportunities and support the federal government’s initiatives towards providing affordable housing for Nigerians.

The Managing Director, NMRC, Dr Charles Inyanete, said that it was imperative for the public and private sectors to come together to address the country’s housing problem.

He said that the company had taken the housing value chain approach to deal with the challenges.

“ We are looking at housing right from where we need to get land titles and infrastructure to support the land.

“We are happy to see FHF stepping in to really help in providing the construction finance that is critical and in also providing the mortgages that will fit into our refinancing activities.

“Our mission is to bring down the barriers that prevent home ownership by really providing the liquidity required by making home ownership more affordable and accessible,’ he said.

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