FG, IFC partner to finance private sector developers
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on October 30, 2023
The Federal Government has said it is ready to create an enabling environment for increased private sector investment in housing and urban development.
This was as it deepened collaboration with the International Finance Corporation as part of strategies to enable private developers to access funding through IFC mechanisms and increase access to affordable housing for Nigerians.
The newsmen reports that the special funding was the crux of discussion when the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, received a delegation from the IFC, led by its regional country director, Dr. Dahila Khalifa, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
Earlier, the minister represented by the Minister of State, Tijjani Gwarzo, had expressed concerns that the country was yet to maximise its partnership with the body, especially in the area of housing and urban development.
He said, “As a new government with new priorities, our aim is to enhance and expand the partnership between the IFC and the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to deliver value to Nigerians.
“And we would like the IFC and our team to work out a workable and actionable framework that would see the Ministry and IFC sign a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement on Housing and Urban Development covering all areas of IFC’s interventions related to housing and urban development.
He noted that the focus and priorities of the new government require an enhanced and expanded partnership with the IFC through special funding for private developers in the country.
“A key part of our strategy is to create an enabling environment for increased private sector investment in housing and urban development. Therefore, we seek a partnership with the IFC that enables more of our private developers to access funding through IFC mechanisms, Tijjani stated.
Speaking further, the Minister reeled out the action plan of the ministry to include strengthening the institutional capacity of agencies under its supervision including the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Housing Authority, increasing the supply of decent and affordable housing, establishing a National Social Housing Fund, and implementing land reforms to enhance easy and cost-effective access to land.
Others include establishing Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs across the country, implementing a Nationwide Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading programme, as well as the development of New Cities that are integrated, and inclusive using a demand-driven strategy that will ensure prompt off take of units built.
While calling on the IFC to utilise its massive institutional capacity to support the nation’s dream of providing affordable housing to citizens, the minister said the federal government is developing a comprehensive framework for the reform of the housing and urban sector in the country and sought support on capacity building for developers.
“While we work towards an agreement, in the interim, we propose that our teams collaborate to develop modalities for a Ministry-sponsored Workshop.
“This workshop will facilitate a meeting between the IFC and our private developers to explain the procedures for accessing finance to drive their projects. In this new era, we want more Nigerian developers accessing funding using the mechanism of the IFC,” the minister added.
On his part, Senior Country Manager of the IFC, Kalim Shah noted that housing is a major focus of the IFC across Africa where they service both the supply and demand sides of the industry.