Government seeks Chinese funding to bridge housing deficit
HoS says Nigeria has huge market potential
The Federal Government has appealed to the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) to support Nigeria with reasonable finances to meet the country’s housing insufficiency.
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita made the plea at the weekend when an eight-man delegation of CADFund paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja.
She said that with 87, 000 federal civil servants, Nigeria had the huge market potential in terms of population, capacity, human and mineral resources.
According to Oyo-Ita, Chinese companies are already operating in Nigeria’s rail sector and other areas of the economy.
The HoS said China is already aware that her investment is secure in the country. This, she said is especially so because China will be dealing directly with the government.
Oyo-Ita specifically sought CADFund’s assistance in the FISH programme of the Federal Government, which she said is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the Head of Service, private developers and the Federal Mortgage Bank.
She maintained that provision of accommodation was important in human life, with funding, especially in Nigeria being the major challenge.
According to the HoS, what the Federal Government takes seriously is infrastructural development and soft loans for civil servants on a single digit basis since accessing loan from commercial banks had remained high risk.
She assured the Chinese delegation that they are assured of recouping their investment from the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.
It will be recalled that the Head of Service performed the ‘groundbreaking’ of 1, 000 housing units under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme on August 1, 2016 in Abuja.
Chairman, China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) Mr. Chi Jianxin, explaining the team’s mission to the Head of Service, said the visit was to discuss ways of intervening in the housing deficit in Nigeria and how to make housing more affordable to Nigerians.
“We will like to reduce the cost of owning houses by introducing more Chinese entrepreneurs to come and invest in construction materials,” Jianxin said.
China-Africa Development Fund is a private equity and venture capital investment arm of China Development Bank specialising in expansion stage, mature stage and buyout investments.