In a pivotal move towards accelerating infrastructure development in Nigeria, the federal government has announced a strategic blueprint to capitalize on the N20 trillion pension fund and other local financial resources. This ambitious initiative was revealed by Wale Edun, the coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, following the conclusion of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu.

Edun emphasized the government’s commitment to harnessing domestic financial resources, particularly pension and life insurance funds, to drive national economic growth. He described this endeavor as a crucial stride towards bolstering economic advancement and addressing pressing infrastructure requirements.

“The availability of over N20 trillion within the country presents a significant opportunity to channel these resources into critical sectors like housing and long-term mortgage provision,” stated Edun, highlighting the vast potential for leveraging local funds to meet national needs.

As part of this comprehensive strategy, the government aims to tackle Nigeria’s estimated 20 million housing deficit by offering substantial housing and mortgage loans at competitive 12 percent interest rates, accompanied by 25-year repayment plans.

Edun underscored the importance of tapping into these local resources before seeking foreign investments, emphasizing the abundance of long-term funds within Nigeria’s pension, life insurance, and investment fund sectors. He emphasized the viability of these funds for financing infrastructure projects, signaling a proactive approach towards driving sustainable development.

“This initiative not only addresses our infrastructure gaps but also paves the way for robust economic growth fueled by domestic resources,” remarked Edun, articulating the government’s vision for a self-sustaining infrastructure ecosystem.

“There is upwards of N20 trillion available, and much of it is in short-term funding that doesn’t need to be. Pension money is long-term.

“People save over their lifetime for their pension. And so in conversation, in consultation, collaboration and cooperation with the private sector, we are now able to announce and with the full knowledge and support of all parties, that there will be an initiative to fund growth through investment in infrastructure, including housing, provision of mortgages, long term mortgages, 25-year mortgages at relatively low interest rates.

“Initially, of course, the government will stand back and provide some support, particularly in this era of high interest rates but eventually as interest rates come down, there should be less role for the government through providing, for example, guarantees and so forth.

“So, we can look forward to these huge funds being leveraged with the expertise, the ability, the capacity of the private sector, partnering with the government to drive economic growth.

“On the supply side, construction of houses will be funded. On the demand side, mortgages will be made available so that those constructing houses have an outlet and Nigerians who are saving so much by way of pension funds, have the added bonus of access to affordable mortgages.

“That really is the long and short of this initiative and you also as much as anybody else can understand and see what it means in the construction industry to do for the country. 

“That is the plan, that is the target that is the hope. And in this particular case, you have the best and the brightest that Nigeria has to offer, putting their minds together and committing to achieve their goals.”

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