The Federal Government has concluded an arrangement to launch a Diaspora Mortgage Loan Scheme for Nigerians living abroad.

The scheme which would be launched before the end of the year, according to the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank, Hamman Madu, on Tuesday will provide opportunities for Nigerians living abroad to own property in the country without necessarily coming back home physically.

Madu spoke at the ongoing three-day Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit, with the theme: ‘Optimising Investment Opportunities for National Development’.

The managing director also said that the scheme would help bridge the housing gaps in the country.

He said, “The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, had recognised that Nigerians in the diaspora contribute significantly to their host communities and Nigerian economies. Money remitted back home has helped to stabilise our country. According to the Federal Government statistics, there are over 20 million Nigerians in the diaspora and the last one year, monies remitted back home is in excess of $20 billion.

“You invest in your family, friends and the country leading to a huge economic transformation. It is in view of the foregoing and in order to broaden its own mandate of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, that we developed a national housing fund product for Nigerians in the Diaspora.

“This product will afford Nigerians in diaspora the opportunity to register with the National Housing Fund Scheme, make monthly contributions and ultimately be able to access mortgage loans at reasonable rates in order to own their own houses back home without having to physically come to Nigeria before they can participate.

“The product is the Diaspora National Housing Mortgage Fund. The long window offers the Nigerians in the diaspora mortgage loans to build or to develop houses or to buy and develop houses in Nigeria.

“So why this product or this type? The product provides an opportunity to own a decent home at home. Man naturally ventures out to search for enduring means of livelihood and thereafter instinctively, heads home. His only impediment usually in any home is the absence of a decent accommodation to go back to.

“This product , therefore, provides him the opportunity to own such a decent home anywhere in the country. That is why the bank, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria developed the Diaspora Mortgage Bank Programme, targeted at Nigerians living outside the shores of the country to give them an opportunity to participate and benefit from the national housing scheme. It is also established that the volume of money remitted to Nigeria by our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora is usually large. Though part of these remittances are for family upkeep and other needs.

“A large chunk of it is usually meant for investment in residential development back home. And many of such investments usually fail to achieve the aspiration of our Nigerians in Diaspora and therefore end up alienating them from our funds coming back to Nigeria.”

Madu urged Nigerians living abroad to seize the opportunity provided by the product to all decent and affordable homes back in Nigeria noting that “we expect that this product will be shortly launched before the end of this year.”

In her welcome address, the Coordinator and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nigeria Diaspora Summit Initiative, Badewa Adejugbe-Williams said, “We understand that there is still a lot of ground to cover in property diaspora investments in the country.

“However, we are committed to building on previous achievements of attractive medical diaspora investment and foreign direct investment into viable businesses in the country.”