THE Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is working out modalities to roll out a diaspora product to assist Nigerians living abroad own homes in Nigeria.
Managing Director of the bank, Gimba Ya’u Kumo, who disclosed this at the fourth Nigeria Development Finance Forum in Washington DC, United States (US), said the product had become necessary, given the large number of Nigerians in the diaspora who wished 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, who have been remitting money for the building or buying of a house have 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 said.
Kumo added that the reason the bank had chosen the US was because out of the 17 million Nigerians all over the world, US had about 58 per cent, adding that “we are going to do our case study here and in the United Kingdom (UK). If it works well, we will try to replicate it in Asia and other parts of the world.”
He said the move would also lead to the inflow of finance from the diaspora to Nigeria, which would further assist to reduce the housing needs in the country.
The FMBN boss also said that the Utility Refinancing Company that would assist in financing the sector would kick off soon with the corporation of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance.