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World Bank supports Nigeria with $300m

22 April 2013, 09:30

Washington - Dr Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala, the coordinating Minister for the Economy,  said the World Bank would support the Federal Government's mortgage financing with 300 million dollars liquidity.

Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this while briefing the Nigerian media delegation to the Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Sunday in Washington.

She said that demand for housing mortgage was high in the country, adding that mortgage financing would help to boost the economy.

``The World Bank has been a strong partner and it’s providing 300 million dollars of liquidity facility at concessional rate.

``That is zero per cent interest, 0.7 per cent commitment charge, 10 years of grace and 40 years repayment period to help us do this.

``This is very propitious and it will need to be coupled with other changes,’’ she said.

According to her, government has also asked for support of governors, who are ready to lift the constraints in achieving this project.

She said the project would be kicked off in the six states that had accepted to key into the system, adding that most issues that would come out of the project would be ironed out before it is extended to other states.

She said the states included Lagos, the FCT, Bauchi, Niger and Anambra.

She expressed the hope that by the end of 2013 the institution would be put in place to enable people have access to mortgage.

Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria had a deficit of 17 million housing units, but noted that government's target was to add two million houses every year.

The Governor of Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said: ``There is work being done on land use, on the cost of titling and on the charges by the banks.

``Work is going on on how to reduce the cost of building materials because the issue of housing goes beyond just finance.

``There is the cost of construction, the cost of  land, cost of perfection, absence of standardisation, so there is a whole holistic plan to address the housing problem rather than just deal with how do give people loans.’’

He noted that the mortgage financing would deal with how to reduce the cost of ownership, increase access, deepen the secondary market  and provide liquidity for institutions.



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