By Obinna Chima
Concerned by the huge housing deficit in the country, Fidelity Bank Plc, through its ‘Fidelity Diaspora Mortage,’ is offering Nigerians in the Diaspora the opportunity to own homes in Nigeria.
The bank said the product was also introduced to complement efforts of the federal government.
The World Bank had estimated that the cost of bridging Nigeria’s 17 million housing deficit was N59.5 trillion and had underlined the vast and untapped investment potential of the country’s real estate sector.
However, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria had put the figure at about N56 trillion.
To this end, the Head of Retail Banking, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Richard Madiebo said the Diaspora Mortgage is primarily targeted at Nigerian professionals in various parts of the world.
According to him, the bank has gone into partnership with some professional associations abroad and is also working on developing such relationship with Nigerians in other parts of the world.
Madiebo said: “What we did was to collaborate with the Association of Nigerian Physicians in America (ANPA). There are also several other associations in Europe and America and we are in talks with them.”
Commenting further, he said the product would provide beneficiaries the opportunity for them to “own homes in Nigeria while they are working abroad. With it, you can buy a property of your choice at affordable rates and on convenient payment terms.
“Since we provided that platform, we have seen a lot of them indicating interest. That is one of those things that Fidelity Bank has done to reach out to Nigerians all over the world and also those in the country.”
He added: “Part of the benefit is that the potential home owner provides 30 per cent of the amount of the house he wants to buy, why the bank provides the rest 70 per cent, which is payable over a period of 10 years.
“So that makes it very flexible for the person. He or she can decide to liquidate the transaction before the expiration of the 10 years.
“We know that a lot of them may not really understand the country very well, so we connect them with mortgage and real estate companies, by making sure that they are discussing with credible people in the country.”