Posted by News Express | 24 July 2013 | 3,370 times
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has announced the establishment of a mortgage company which will make it possible for many Nigerians to own their own houses at affordable rates.
“The company will be launched by President Goodluck Jonathan between August and September this year,” the minister said through her Special Adviser, Paul C Nwabuikwu.
“Mortgage Refinance Company (MRC) which is promoted by the Federal Government with majority private sector ownership will help to address the acute housing challenge in the country,” Okonjo-Iweala disclosed yesterday in Abuja. She described the move as a key part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s vision to ensure that Nigerians have access to cheap mortgage funds from housing finance lenders.
Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that President Jonathan has directed her and the Minister of Housing, Ms. Ama Pepple, to fashion out appropriate and effective means of addressing the housing challenges in the country, pointing to the MRC as the result of such collaboration. She revealed that the World Bank has already bought into the emerging refinance institution with a soft loan of $300 million under the bank’s International Development Association (IDA) concessionary lending window.
The minister said the Federal Government was also working on mass housing schemes with a rent-to-own option for workers to reduce the housing deficit in the country. The country’s total housing deficit currently stands at 17 million units.
The target of the first stage of the mass housing scheme is to increase the number of completed mortgages from the current 20,000 housing units to 200,000 units in three years, according to Okonjo-Iweala.
“Though this target is quite a tough one, we believe that with the leadership of the President and the commitment and hard work of the various ministries and agencies involved, it is achievable,” she said.
The minister added that plans were underway to develop the required policy and legislations to support the proposed reforms in the housing sector.
•Photo shows Minister of Housing, Ms. Ama Pepple.
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