3 August 2014

Nigeria: Diaspora Scheme to Broaden Mass Housing Delivery - FMBN Boss

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) plans to begin the Diaspora mortgage model for Nigerian abroad willing to own their homes in the country.

According to the bank's Managing Director, Gimba Ya'u Kumo, the Nigeria Diaspora Loan Scheme was developed to broaden the delivery channels for mass housing through the National Housing Fund Scheme (NHF) as provided in its core mandate.

Kumo said FMBN is presently concluding arrangements to secure an international payment gateway through which the funds will be channeled, and that "we want to carry everybody along once it become operational and that is why we are seeking to secure an international gateway payment means through Visa and MasterCard.

"Already, we have had two meetings with them and also liaising with the Central Bank of Nigeria for necessary assistance and approvals".

Continuing, he said the money from the product will be domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), because it is foreign currency and also to give the FMBN the opportunity to use it as security to borrow internationally to fund the project.

Part of the guidelines for accessing the product Kumo explained, is that the Nigerian in Diaspora makes monthly contributions of the equivalent sum of $100 over a minimum period of three years. The cumulative monthly contributions he said constitutes savings to the contributor which is refundable with interest upon exit from the NHF Scheme in accordance with the NHF Act.

The product is offered to Nigerians in the Diaspora who satisfy conditions of being above the age of 18 years, earn regular income and have evidence of the right to reside in their country of residence.

He said the product has become necessary, given the large number of Nigerians in diaspora who wish to own homes in Nigeria and also as a means of reducing the housing deficit in the country.

"We realized that about 17 million Nigerians are living outside the country and most of them have plans to have houses and they have not been able to do so. We understand that over the years, people have been remitting money for the building or the buying of a house has not been getting good results. Stories have followed this money.

"What we are trying to do is that by the time we develop the Diaspora mortgage model, it will be a model whereby Nigerians living abroad who want to buy houses can resort to FMBN and at the end of the day if they do not take the mortgage, they can get refund of their money with interest," he added.


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