Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has urged financial market experts to support government’s efforts by developing an appropriate housing finance model that will significantly transform the housing sector.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Monday when he received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, a delegation from the Financial Market Dealers Quotation, FMDQ, Group led by its CEO, Mr Bola Onadele.
Economic experts say the housing deficit in Nigeria is estimated between 18-22 million housing units, while the ratio of mortgage finance to GDP in the country is only 0.5%.
It is 31% in South Africa and 2% in Ghana and Botswana.
After listening to a presentation by the FMDQ delegation, Prof. Osinbajo expressed hope that Nigeria would address the housing deficit.
“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 the Vice President, Nigeria’s Economic Sustainability Plan, ESP, has provides social housing.
“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.”
Prof. Osinbajo insisted that there is possibility of designing a housing financing model that would work.
“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.
“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that given the right mix of policy initiatives, we can get these things done.
“And your characterization 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.”
In his remarks, Mr 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, Mr 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.
The FMDQ is Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI) group, strategically positioned to provide registration, listing and quotation services, and is owned by the Central Bank and commercial banks in Nigeria.
Spokesman to the vice president Laolu Akande said that Vice President Osinbajo also received a delegation from the Independent Petroleum Producers Group.
At the meeting, the group commended the Vice President’s peace efforts in the Niger Delta in 2016 that ensured peace and security of investments in the region at a time when the nation suffered a recession.
Chairman of IPPG, Mr Abdulrazak Isa said the vice president has been a great supporter of the association.
“Recall that years ago, your unprecedented intervention helped in resolving the security situation that we faced in the Niger Delta region. Since that time, we have not recorded one incident of attack on our facilities.”
The immediate past president of the group, Mr Ademola Adeyemi-Bero added that since the intervention of the vice president when he visited oil-producing communities in the 8 states of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Bayelsa, Imo, Abia and Ondo, “we have not had one shutdown of our facilities.”
While soliciting the support of the Federal Government in securing investments in the sector, Mr Isa disclosed that the crisis resolution model deployed by the VP in 2016 will be replicated by IPPG to address emerging security threats on oil and gas facilities in the southeast.
Prof. Osinbajo assured the group of the Buhari administration’s commitment to the security of lives and property, noting that government is open to suggestions that would lead to permanent resolution of the crisis.
He called for collaboration between the federal government and other stakeholders in the oil and gas sector in advocating for a just energy transition regarding the global net-zero emission target in 2050.