By Perpetua Onuegbu, NAN

Shelter Afrique and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) have formed partnership to address housing gaps and revamp abandoned projects across the country.

Shelter Afrique is the only pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa.

This was disclosed when a delegation of Shelter Afrique, an African continental bank, paid a courtesy call on the new management of FMBN on Thursday in Abuja.

The Managing Director of the continental bank, Mr Thiemo-Habib Hann, said the bank was focused on affordable housing and urban development across the continent.

He said it was ready to collaborate with FMBN and other institutions across Nigeria to really address housing gaps.

According to him, there are both challenges and opportunities in the sector and as a development finance institution, it is well positioned to collaborate with the government.

Hann said housing had potentials to create jobs and address security matters in different parts of the country.
The bank wants to intervene to resolve the crisis by investing massively in the housing sector.

“FMBN is strategically positioned to address the challenge in the sector it was set up exactly to address its challenges and it will be important if the new management could work very closely together.

“The first thing is to entrench corporate governance in the bank; it’s important to bring back that trust in the institution so that people can believe in investing in the institution.

“At shelter Afrique Developmemt Bank that has been our mission since the first year, FMBN should be the same, fix the corporate governance and bring back trust and partners like us can be with you to move forward.

Hann said Nigeria, being the second largest shareholder with 15.2 per cent of shares worth $220 million, they want to deepen collaboration and assist it in achieving its Renewed Hope Agenda in housing.

He outlined areas they intended to explore to include Financial Institution Group, Project Finance Group, Sovereign Public, Private Partnership and Fund Management Group.

Mr Shehu Osidi, MD, FMBN, was however optimistic about the partnership to help revamp abandoned estates tscattered across the country.

“One of the funding options that is available in Shelter Afrique actually provides infrastructural financing. We need to explore the possibility of that to revamp those estates.

“it is not just the construction and financing of houses, but that you know from day one that these houses are constructed for specific target under an off taker guarantee provided by the bank.

“Also, the students housing scheme is one of the options that the Shelter Afrique is coming on the table with and we will be happy to explore that.”

Dr Akinola Olakunle, Director, Urban and Regional Department, Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, said the bank wanted to leverage its construction finance to help Nigeria actualise the renewed hope cities.

“Shelter Afrique Developmemt Bank has been investing in Nigeria for a long time, having about 54 housing finance loans in Nigeria, totalling about $220.5 million.

Olakunle represented Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development.
The Chairperson, Board of Directors, Shelter Afrique, Dr Chika Akporji, said they came to identify areas of collaboration so that they could work together.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shelter Afrique is an African housing institution that was established in 1982 by 44 African countries and had the mandate to finance affordable housing on the continent (NAN)

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