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Housing project: FHA eyes $35bn Diaspora fund



Housing project: FHA eyes $35bn Diaspora fund

Project meant to guide against corruption scourge confronting the country


As part of preparation to tap into $35billlion being remitted to the country by Nigerians in the Diaspora annually, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is already discussing with some developers/concessionaires for early kick-off of housing projects targeted at them, New Telegraph has learnt.

The latest move, according to the Managing Director of FHA, Professor Mohammed Al-Amin, was to ensure that the huge amount of money being remitted by Nigerians in the Diaspora is channeled through the right system towards the rebound of the nation’s economy.
Besides, he said it was meant to ensure that Nigerians living outside the country who wish to own their own house in Nigeria actually realise their dreams.

Speaking to this newspaper in Lagos, Al-Amin hinted that his agency is getting into discussions with concessionaires of Festac Phase 11, Messrs New Festac Development Authority, for partnership to build Lagos Diaspora City within the estate, aside the national mass housing project.
He said the Federal Housing Authority Diaspora City project was on course, adding that it would be built in five cities in Nigeria.

He said: “One of the things that we have designed for the FHA is to get into discussions with the concessionaires to take part of the land and build the Lagos Diaspora City within it with all facilities and services that are required .This is something that the concessionaires are also aware.”
Nigerians in the Diaspora had recently hinted about plans to launch a model city in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The project, which is in partnership with the FHA is to be replicated in Port Harcourt, Benin, Lagos and Enugu.

The initiative, which is the brainchild of the Nigerian in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), will be known as FHA Diaspora city and it is to be institutionalized as a model for doing business in Nigeria.
Justifying the essence of the scheme, the FHA boss said: “Last year alone, Nigerians in diaspora remitted $35billion; but this is through the black market and not through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

So, the country’s economy doesn’t benefit from that. So, part of the Diaspora project is to see that these monies that are being remitted into the account are channeled through the national economy so that our economy would rebound.

Also, it is meant to help them own their houses.”
He said FHA introduced Diaspora housing project out of mere desires of Nigerians that are outside the country to own houses, adding that they have made a lot attempts but end up in the hands of dubious people.
NIDO’s Worldwide Coordinating Chairman, Kenneth Gbandi, said Nigerians abroad are facing too many challenges due to the corruption scourge confronting the country.

According to him, the project was meant to address the negative perception foreign investors have about doing business in the country.
He regretted that it was the corruption issue that led to the blacklisting of Nigeria’s Internet Protocol, which has made it impossible for anyone to engage in financial transaction on the Internet with other parts of the world.

While noting that the contributions of Nigerians abroad to the nation’s economy cannot be overemphasised, Gbenga Adewuyi, Chairman, NIDO USA, said having remitted $24billion back home in addition to the fully subscribed $300million Diaspora bond, efforts should be made to deal with corruption with strong law and political will to implement it.

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