The federal government, through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), says it is working in collaboration with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to assist Diaspora Nigerians who want to buy or build houses back home.
This, it said, would be achieved through a housing scheme launched recently.
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Daily Trust reports that Nigeria has a Diaspora population of 1.7m as of 2022, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The Executive Director of FMBN, Lukman Mustapha, who disclosed this, explained that the action became necessary due to many sad tales narrated by Nigerians in Diaspora who were reportedly swindled by agents, friends and relatives while trying to acquire properties back home.
He spoke at the National Diaspora Day 2022 celebration in Abuja, which was attended virtually by many stakeholders and Nigerians in the Diaspora.
The celebration had as its theme, ‘Diaspora Engagement in a Globally Challenging Time’, with the real estate sector featuring in the discussion.
Mustapha said, “Nigerians in the diaspora want to own, build or acquire their own houses. But we have heard or seen cases of these Nigerians being swindled or duped in the process of trying to own a house in Nigeria. This is why FMBN and NIDCOM came up with a scheme that will enable them to take loans and buy their houses.”
NIDCOM celebrated this year’s event in partnership with Palton Morgan Holdings, a real estate investment and development firm that focuses on ultra-luxury developments.
The company’s group chief operating officer (GCOO), Nidal Turjman, noted that the firm and its subsidiaries have strategically positioned themselves in the real estate sector as a notable player in the industry for over 12 years, with operations spanning across Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.
“Over the years, we have created and deployed economic strategies that have improved the industry and made the industry more attractive for Nigerians both at home and abroad to invest in their own country.
“With a track record of over 7,000 housing units and serviced plots delivered, and about 2,000 units still under development, we have positioned ourselves as a leader of the industry,” Turjman said, citing The Oceanna, Paramount Twin Towers, Skyvilla, Claren Villas, The Meadows as some of the iconic developments in their portfolio.
He assured Diaspora Nigerians that the sector is a good destination for investment, noting that the country’s housing deficit still stands at more than 20 million units which is a huge opportunity for investors.
“This is the highest housing deficit in Africa and we at Palton Morgan believe that the sector can live to its full potential with the right developers who have got the actual pedigree and, of course, financial and technical capability supported by the right policies from government,” he said.
Earlier, in her opening remarks, NIDCOM’s chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, commended Nigerians in Diaspora for their interest in the growth of the Nigerian economy through their regular remittances.
An unconfirmed report says about 10 per cent of the $20bn annual remittances by Nigerians in Diaspora went into real estate, and this explains why many of the estate developers, especially those playing in the luxury segment of the market, like Palton Morgan, have their products targeted at Nigerians in Diaspora.