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Dangote pledges collaboration with FMBN, supports N500bn recapitalization

Africa’s richest man and President/CEO, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has pledged collaboration with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in the bank’s renewed drive towards affordable housing delivery for the largely un-housed Nigerian citizens.

Dangote who was at the apex mortgage bank’s office in Abuja on courtesy visit along with Isyaku Rabiu, chairman/CEO, BUA Groups of Companies, expressed preparedness to partner with FMBN to boost affordable and social housing delivery for Nigerians.

This development has brought both excitement and hope in the nation’s housing sector given that the two business moguls are frontline cement producers. What they can do to the housing sector using their cement product which is a major component of housing development can only be left to the imagination.

“Dangote, who ranks as Africa’s richest business man and investor, and Rabiu, a leading Nigerian businessman with vast investment in manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture, are Africa’s two largest producers of cement, a critical input in the housing construction industry”, a statement from FMBN obtained by BusinessDay at the weekend noted.

Dangote told members of the FMBN board during the visit that he was in total support of the proposed

N500 billion recapitalization of the bank, explaining that it was a much needed development that would help power FMBN’s efforts at more effectively discharging its mandate.

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Recently, the federal government announced plansto inject N500 billion (about $1.4 billion) into FMBN over the next five years in an effort to spur homeownership that has failed to take off in the country.

Expectation is that the inability of the mortgage industry to bridge the huge housing deficit estimated at 17 million units may soon turn the corner following this intervention. The support for the fund coming from Dangote has given fresh hope for the fund and its purpose.

Experts in the mortgage industry expect the N100 billion annual fund intervention to make housing more affordable as it is expected to encourage Nigerians to take mortgage as a preferred choice of raising fund for owning homes.

Interestingly, Dangote also assured that his company was ready to collaborate with FMBN towards reducing the housing deficit by increasing the tempo and scale of social housing provision across the country.

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“Count me as a friend of FMBN. We are open to collaborating and supporting the good work that your bank is doing towards ensuring the provision of affordable housing to medium and low income earners in Nigeria”, he said, advising the management of the bank to consider adopting mass housing models that have worked in other countries such as Ethiopia.

In the same vein, Rabiu also said he was committed to a close partnership with FMBN. “I am committed to forging a partnership that will add value to FMBN’s work and I look forward to further engagements in this regard”, he said/

Adewale Adeeyo, FMBN’s board chairman, commended the two business moguls for their visit and good intentions to partner with FMBN, assuring that the bank would work closely with them towards the consolidation and implementation of the partnership.

Endurance Okafor

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