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Osinbajo tasks financial markets on housing deficit

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has charged the nation’s financial markets experts to collaborate with government with a view to tackling Nigeria’s housing problem.

He has therefore, tasked the experts to develop an appropriate housing scheme model which will significantly transform the housing sector on a large scale and close the housing deficit in the country.

Osinbajo made this call recently at the State House, Abuja, when he played host to the management of FMDQ Group led by its chief executive officer(CEO), Mr. CEO, Mr. Bola Onadele.Koko.

Economic experts had put the housing deficit in Nigeria between 18-22 million housing units, while the ratio of mortgage finance to GDP in the country is only 0.5 per cent, 31 per cent in South Africa, and 2.0 per cent in Ghana and Botswana.

Speaking after listening to a presentation by the FMDQ CEO, Osinbajo said: “I like the point you made about the National Housing Blueprint. I very strongly believe that if we are able to unlock the conundrum in the sector, we can get things working.”

According to him, “in our ESP, we have something on social housing but one of the critical issues there is how to market these houses, how we are able to provide the finance so that people can afford to buy them. These are houses that are in the order of about N2 million or N2.5 million.’

“But there are still constraints on account of the fact that we just do not have anything like a feasible housing finance model, I think it is time for us to do so. It just looks like it has always escaped our capacity to find a real solution to the problem.”

On the possibility of having a model that will work, Osinbajo noted that “everyone recognizes that we are in very challenging times. But I agree with you that the sheer range and vastness of our potentials make it seem almost intuitive that we are bound to succeed.

Read more: Large scale housing delivery can be achieved through PPP

“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that given the right mix of policy initiatives, we can get these things done. And your characterisation of what needs to be done like attracting capital and sustaining it is so important because ultimately, capital will go where it is best treated.

“And if we are able to attract it (because we have the market, we have everything going for us), even in the worst of times, despite the situation, you find that there is still a great deal of interest.”

Earlier in his remarks, Onadele said the visit was to inform the vice president about the transformation taking place in the FMDQ and the need for government support in growing the financial market for the benefit of Nigerians and the economy.

While applauding the efforts of the Buhari administration in creating the environment for the transformation to occur, Onadele identified areas of interest for investment in the market to include housing finance and mobilizing capital for projects in the transportation sector, among others.

He reiterated FMDQ’s commitment to performing its strategic roles as

a market organiser, catalyst for capital formation, adviser to governments and regulators and financial markets diplomat, to support the development and implementation of innovative solutions towards attracting capital to boost productivity in Nigeria, reduce unemployment, bridge the infrastructure

gap, and support Nigeria’s achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Onadele also asserted that one of the top priorities for FMDQ was to support the development of commerce in Nigeria, postulating that commerce was the life blood of every nation, and that thriving and liquid money, capital and foreign exchange markets were sine qua non in the development of Nigeria’s

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