The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), is set to launch a housing programme that will enable Nigerians abroad to access a loan of up to N50 million to build their house in Nigeria.
The Secretary of the Commission, Dr Yakubu Sule Bassi, disclosed this to newsmen on the sideline of the 4th summit of the standing committee on diaspora matter and the state diaspora focal point officers in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the programme which will be launched in November during the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit will address the issue of fraud in the process of acquiring properties by Nigerians in the diaspora.
“What we have discovered is that for many diasporas, their first trust-building point is that they want to own a house in Nigeria and if possible, in their state or villages.
“But they don’t have the lump sum money to engage in that. Others, who are sending money gradually to relations, to friends, we have had so many cases of people being duped of their hard-earned money.
“That is one area of trust deficiency we have discovered because we are receiving petitions on a daily basis from diasporas that have been duped by their family members, by friends.
“So, we have approached the mortgage bank with a programme that will create a diaspora mortgage programme for our diasporas.
“We have been working on this for the past three years and that programme has passed through all due diligence at the federal mortgage bank, it has been approved by the board of the federal mortgage bank, it has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria because they are sending their contributions in foreign currency so they need a domiciliary account to deal with that.
“Diasporas will choose the amount they want to contribute every month, they will be sending this amount through a dedicated domiciliary account that is customised to each person that wants to participate.
“And after one year, The Federal Mortgage Bank is prepared to advance a loan of N50 million for them to build, to buy a house in any location of their choice in Nigeria,” he said.
Dr Bassi added that the repayment of the loan which will be in foreign currency depends on the number of years chosen by the participants.
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Mission of the International Organisation for Migration, Prestage Murima, said more than $20 billion come in yearly from Nigerians abroad.
Represented by Victor Lutenco, the Head of IOM in Lagos, she said their savings would be three times bigger, adding: “We should try to encourage them to invest those savings in this country.”