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FG kicks off N400bn housing loan scheme for 1.5m Nigerians

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images FG kicks off N400bn housing loan scheme for 1.5m Nigerians

The Federal Government under the National Economic Sustainability Plan is to provide 300,000 low cost housing units to 1.5 million Nigerians at an estimated cost of over N400 billion.

To achieve the goal government hopes to provide mortgage loan guarantees to low income earners at low interest and collateral free basis, a member of Economic Sustainability Committee disclosed Monday.

According to him, the implementation of the social housing plan is expected to kickoff next week as early sites for the housing projects have already been identified.

The source which pleaded anonymity as he was not authorised to speak, said the Committee has already approved the plan to ensure that the 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units will cost as little as between N1.8million to N2million, while financial assistance would be available for Nigerians to pay the mortgage.

In June, the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari had approved a N2.3 trillion Economic Stimulus package after Economic Sustainability Committee, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had submitted its report.

Buhari had directed Osinbajo to supervise the implementation of the plan alongside the Economic Sustainability Committee.

Under the programme, there would also be Rent to Own option with job generation target put at 1.8 million.

According to the source, identified sites in the six geo-political zones including the FCT are in Ekiti and Ogun in the Southwest, Enugu and Abia in the Southeast, Delta and Edo in the South-South, Yobe and Bauchi in the Northeast, Kaduna and Katsina in the Northwest and Nasarawa and Plateau in the North- Central and Abuja.

Already, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has committed to N200 billion facility guarantee by the Federal Ministry of Finance at 5 percent interest rate. He stated that at least 400 houses would be built in each of the 774 local government areas (LGAs) in the country.

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COVID-19: Sterling Bank pledges N10bn to revamp domestic tourism

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download 4 COVID-19: Sterling Bank pledges N10bn to revamp domestic tourism

Sterling Bank Plc, has pledged a N10 billion facility for the purpose of revamping domestic tourism in the country post COVID-19.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, made the commitment while addressing participants at a tourism webinar organised by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) with the theme: Nigerian Domestic Tourism: Re-Imagined.

Suleiman who spoke on the topic: “Investment for the Tourism Sector to Enhance Domestic Tourism,” noted that, “Sterling Bank has funding capacity and is ready to inject N10 billion into domestic tourism” if the right stakeholders are available in the industry.

He enjoined stakeholders in the industry to collaborate rather than compete, saying stakeholders need to come together to offer worthwhile experience in different aspects of the industry.

Suleiman encouraged operators in the domestic tourism industry to sit down with their bankers to build the experience together, adding that the sector is a billion dollar business. He stressed the need to have extensive discussion with stakeholders in the tourism sector in order to scale up. He advised the stakeholders to stop approaching the government as individuals but as a team so they can push for policy initiatives that would be beneficial to the industry.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who declared the virtual meeting open, noted that tourism assets and other social imprints in the country are huge just as tourism remains the largest employer of labour.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Isu Gekpe, said the restriction of the tourism sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the most vulnerable groups in the industry.

She observed that the promotion of tourism is the first step to re-starting the economy post COVID-19 and encouraged stakeholders to promote existing tourism assets in the country while a robust legal framework is being worked out.

Also speaking, Director-General of NTDC, Mr. Folorunsho Coker, expressed the hope that the commission would be able to exploit opportunities in the hospitality industry through packages, affordability of flight and access to tourism destinations. Coker said there was a need to have a solid foundation for domestic tourism which international tourism could lean on in the future.

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Naira slides to 460/$ at parallel market

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images 48 3 Naira slides to 460/$ at parallel market

The naira fell slightly at the parallel market on Monday , as it exchanged to the dollar for N 460 / $ as of the close of work .
The naira had exchanged to the dollar on Friday for 458 / $ .
This is as the country ’s external reserves continued to maintain its downward trend.
Figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed that the country ’ s external reserves which stood at $35 . 75 bn as of October 02 had lost $ 78 . 34 m to close at $ 35 . 67 bn as of October 16 .
The CBN had stated in its report on ‘ Monetary, credit , foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020 / 2021 ’ that external reserves were expected to lie between $ 29 . 9 bn and $ 34 .3 bn by 2020 ending .
It said, “ Sequel to the COVID -19 pandemic, the viability of the external sector in 2020 is expected to deteriorate , given the present worsening current account balance and depletion of external reserves driven, largely , by decelerating export receipts, particularly oil .
“ Specifically , the degree of external reserves accumulation is expected to decelerate , as outflows are expected to outweigh inflows .
“ As a result , external reserves are expected to lie between $ 29 .9 bn and $ 34 .3 bn at end -December 2020 ( predicated on current declining oil price between $ 20 and $ 40 ) . ”

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External reserves drop to $35.67bn

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images 42 3 External reserves drop to $35.67bn

Nigeria’s external reserves, last week, fell for the fourth consecutive week to $35.67 billion even as the naira depreciated to N462 per dollar in the parallel market.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) show that the reserves fell to $$35.672 billion on Thursday last week from $35.725 billion the previous week. This translated to week-on-week (w/w) decline of $53 million dollars, more than 100 percent increase from the $23 million w/w decline recorded in the previous week.

According to the CBN data, the reserves have been on the downward trend for four weeks since September 17th. It fell by $139 million to $35.672 billion last week Thursday from $35.811 billion.

Prior to the four weeks decline, the reserves rose steadily for two weeks, by $145 million to $35.811 billion on September 17th from $35.666 billion on September 2nd.

Investigations reveal that the sustained decline, especially at a time of relatively stable crude oil prices, might not be unconnected to the CBN’s dollar injection in the foreign exchange market in a bid to keep the exchange rate stable.

However, in spite of the intervention, the naira depreciated by N5 in the parallel market last week, though it remained stable at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

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