The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa says more than N9 billion National Housing Fund (NHF), has so far been refunded to over 200, 000 retirees nationwide.
The managing director said that every NHF contributed by civil servants was refundable with interest once they attained 60 years.
Dangiwa made this known at the Affordable Housing Summit organised by Zvecan Homes and Estate on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme of the summit was: “Attracting Foreign and Local Investors, for Housing Construction and Acceptable Business Models for Infrastructure Development and Equity Plan Scheme for Mortgage Financing In Nigeria’’.
Dangiwa, represented by Mr. Oladapo Fakeye, said that the summit was critical to bridging housing deficit in Nigeria, as it would generate solutions for the development of Nigeria’s housing sector.
He called on government to prioritise housing for low-income earners as many Nigerians could not afford to own a house.
“High poverty rate of 70 per cent has hindered many Nigerians from owning their own houses,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Governor of Bauchi State, Alh. Abdullahi Abubakar, said that Nigeria needed 700 million houses before 2050.
According to him, the UN projects that population growth will increase to 400 million by 2050.
He noted that Bauchi had a backlog of 600 housing units as many housing projects were abandoned for about 15 years.
The governor said that the abandoned houses had been completed and would be allocated in May.
Abubakar also said that the state plans to address the unemployment challenge through housing.
In his remarks, Mr. Oguntuase Kingsley, the Commandant Housing, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said that housing was one of the most fundamental human needs after food.
Oguntuase noted that many public servants could not afford a house because their salaries were very small.
“You and I know that our salary is low, cost of living has made things very difficult.
“With all these traditional responsibilities on our shoulders, in terms of taking care of extended family, this makes it impossible for us to afford houses,’’ he said.
He called on the government to encourage private developers by making access to land easy for them, adding that it would go a long way in tackling the housing deficit in the country.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Zvecan Homes and Estate, Mr Nicholas Ogbedo, explained that the essence of the summit was to find out technical areas that would hinder investors in the sector.
He said that shelter was a major challenge in Abuja and as private developers, their aim was to address the challenge by providing low-income houses.
“The aim is to enable them synergise and harness with our foreign technical partners, to see how we can solve a major challenge in Abuja.
“We have come to realised that most of retirees cannot afford a house.
“So, we came up with the idea of the summit and partnership with some foreign investors from China, to see how they can invest in the housing sector in Nigeria,’’ Ogbedo said.
Credit: PM News