Osinbajo urges financial market experts to support FG’s housing scheme

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged financial market experts to support the Federal Government’s efforts by developing an appropriate housing finance model that will significantly transform the housing sector on a large scale.

Osinbajo stated this on Monday when he received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, a delegation from the Financial Markets Dealers Quotations Group led by its CEO, Bola Onadele; who came alongside a delegation from the Independent Petroleum Producers Group.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Let’s unlock Nigeria’s housing deficit, Osinbajo tasks financial market experts.’

Economic experts posit that 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 per cent, it is 31 per cent in South Africa and two per cent in Ghana and Botswana.

In his address, the Vice President said, “I like the point you made about the National Housing Blueprint. I very strongly believe that if we can unlock the conundrum in the sector, we can get things working.

“In our ESP, we have something on social housing but one of the critical issues there is how to market these houses, how we can provide the finance so that people can afford to buy them. These are houses that are in the order of about N2million 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.”

Speaking on the possibility of having a model that will work, Osinbajo noted that “everyone recognises 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.”

Speaking earlier, 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, he identified areas of interest for investment in the market to include housing finance and mobilizing capital for projects in the transportation sector among others.

In a separate meeting with stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry under the auspices of Independent Petroleum Producers Group, Osinbajo 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.

In a delegation led by its Chairman, Abdulrazak Isa, the IPPG 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.

He said, “Your Excellency, you have been a great supporter of our 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.”

While soliciting the support of the Federal Government in securing investments in the sector, Isa disclosed that the crisis resolution model deployed by the Vice President in 2016 will be replicated by IPPG to address emerging security threats on oil and gas facilities in the southeast. PUNCH

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