The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, has disclosed that the Federal Government has allocated 675 hectares of land for the Diaspora City project situated at Maitama 2 in the Federal Capital Territory.

According to a statement signed by the Director of Information, Badamasi Salisu Haiba, the minister revealed this when a delegation from the African Descendants in Diaspora Union, led by the Union’s Diplomatic Administrator for Nigeria, Dr Abraham Onwubuya, visited him in his office recently in Abuja.

He assured Nigerians living in the diaspora of an enabling environment for participation in Nigeria’s housing market ecosystem, by putting in place the right frameworks for secured homeownership.

According to Dangiwa, the project would be designed to have bungalows, semi-and detached duplexes, and mansions to reflect its inclusive essence.

African Descendants in Diaspora Union is a platform created to foster unity, solidarity, and empowerment among African descent in the Diaspora.

Dangiwa also expressed the commitment of the ministry to work with the union to achieve a shared vision of a prosperous and united Africa that would in turn create a better future for all citizens, both at home and abroad.

The minister also acknowledged the importance of the diaspora to the government, adding that the over 20 million Nigerians in the diaspora remitting an average of over $24bn per annum was a massive capacity, crucial to catalysing development in all sectors of the economy.

However, a member of the  Monetary Policy Committee, Bamidele Amao, claimed during the last meeting that the inflow of diaspora remittance declined by 7.4 per cent to $4.58bn, principally due to lingering global economic challenges in advanced economies.

The minister asserted, “We are doing this in collaboration with the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission and the two federal housing agencies that are under the supervision of our ministry, which include the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Housing Authority.”

He also recalled the launch of the Diaspora Mortgage Loan at the 6th Edition of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit in September 2023, a loan designed to enable Nigerians living overseas to participate in the National Housing Fund Scheme to access up to N50m to own their homes in Nigeria.

He explained that participants could access the loan via a National Housing Fund loan, rent-to-own, or the individual construction loan window, with affordable terms at the best market rates, which include a single-digit interest rate of nine per cent and a payback period of up to 10 years.

While stating that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, as part of the initiative, would facilitate the construction of affordable housing units in major cities that meet the specifications of Nigerians in the Diaspora, Dangiwa notified the union that the Federal Housing Authority was also involved as part of the ministry’s sector-wide effort to cater for the Diaspora.

He affirmed, “They have undertaken to develop the Diaspora City Project under a Public Private Partnership, comprising the FHA, the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, the Federal Capital Territory and the private sector.