Gabriel Enenche —
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has charged the nation’s financial markets experts to collaborate with government with a view to tackling Nigeria’s housing problem.
He has therefore, tasked the experts to develop an appropriate housing scheme model which will significantly transform the housing sector on a large scale and close the housing deficit in the country.
Osinbajo made this call yesterday at the State House, Abuja, when he played host to the management of FMDQ Group led by its chief executive officer(CEO), Mr. CEO, Mr. Bola Onadele.Koko.
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FMDQ is Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure group, strategically positioned to providing registration, listing, quotation and noting services; integrated trading, clearing & central counterparty, settlement, and risk management for financial market transactions; depository of securities, as well as data and information services, across the debt capital, foreign exchange, derivatives and equity markets, through its wholly owned subsidiaries.
Economic experts had put the housing deficit in Nigeria between 18-22 million housing units, while the ratio of mortgage finance to GDP in the country is only 0.5 per cent, 31 per cent in South Africa, and 2.0 per cent in Ghana and Botswana.
Speaking after listening to a presentation by the FMDQ CEO, Osinbajo said: “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 him, “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.”
On the possibility of having a model that will work, Osinbajo noted that “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 characterisation 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.”
Earlier in his remarks, 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, 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.
He reiterated FMDQ’s commitment to performing its strategic roles as
a market organiser, catalyst for capital formation, adviser to governments and regulators and financial markets diplomat, to support the development and implementation of innovative solutions towards attracting capital to boost productivity in Nigeria, reduce unemployment, bridge the infrastructure
gap, and support Nigeria’s achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Onadele also asserted that one of the top priorities for FMDQ was to support the development of commerce in Nigeria, postulating that commerce was the life blood of every nation, and that thriving and liquid money, capital and foreign exchange markets were sine qua non in the development of Nigeria’s
trade, industry, and commerce. He indicated that FMDQ demonstrated its agenda in this respect through the establishment of the FMDQ private markets, to promote the inclusion of private companies in the capital markets, and provide access to long-term private capital to small, medium,
and large enterprises.
Also yesterday, at another meeting with stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry under the auspices of Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), the group commended the VP’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, declared that Osinbajo had been a great supporter of the association saying “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 VP in 2016 will be replicated by IPPG to address emerging security threats on oil and gas facilities in the southeast.
Also speaking, the immediate past president of the group, Mr. Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, added that since the intervention of the VP when he visited oil-producing communities in the eight states of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Bayelsa, Imo, Abia and Ondo, “we have not had one shutdown of our facilities.”
Responding, the VP 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.
Osinbajo also 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.