NMRC to issue N20bn bond for affordable housing scheme

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company will before the end of this quarter raise the sum of N20bn through the bond market to finance its affordable housing scheme for the citizens.

It is also planning to issue a N2bn sukuk bond as part of its portfolio of products towards addressing the housing financing needs of low income earners.

The Managing Director, NMRC, Prof. Charles Inyangete, disclosed these on Wednesday at the 11th Abuja International Housing Conference.

He spoke on the theme: ‘Solving Nigeria’s housing challenge through innovative finance and infrastructure solutions’.

Inyangete said the bond would be floated under the NMRC’s N440bn bond issuance programme.

He explained, “The sukuk bond is a small-size transaction of about N2bn or slightly less, and the essence of it is to test the market for sukuk. What we have really done is that one of our member banks has a sukuk portfolio, which is not very large, and we are using that portfolio to go to the market.

“We have approval from the Sharia Board for it and we are currently going through the process of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We are also about to raise the sum of N20bn from the bond market. We are gradually overcoming the hurdles that are holding down the speed of creating mortgages, and we now also have a way of creating new mortgages through the warehouse fund, which will pre-finance mortgages.”

The NMRC boss described the housing deficit in the country as huge, adding that Nigeria currently needed about 700,000 housing units annually estimated to gulp about N3.5tn to address the housing challenge.

He described the amount as enormous as it was currently half of the Federal Government’s 2017 budget.

Inyangete noted that with such huge funding gap, there was no way the government could address the country’s housing needs through budgetary provisions.

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