On Monday, Finance Minister and Coordinating Economy Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced that in 2014, 10,000 Nigerians would own houses through the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC).
Okonjo-Iweala made the statement at the Stakeholders’ Housing Summit in Abuja. According to her, the government had already received funds for the programme from the World Bank and additional 25 million dollars (about N4.1 billion) for microfinancing and mass housing initiative.
The NMRC would beging operations in June, 2014.
“We are here to ensure that at the end of this year, so many Nigerians will say that, as a result of this initiative, they have been able to buy a piece of land to construct their houses,” the Minister said at the Summit and expressed hope that those Nigerians who do not have houses today will have access to housing.
“We have not yet created enough jobs to meet the number of entrants in the labour market each year; it is not that we are not creating jobs, but the issue is that we still have a gap of about 200,000 jobs,” the Minister expained. “We have to work harder to meet that gap because also accumulated over the years is a pool of about 5.3 million unemployed Nigerians.”
The minister said effective housing sector could create mass employment in the construction, building and other related industries.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi expressed optimism that governors in the 14 pilot states of the project would strive to enhance operations of their mortgage companies.