BREAKING: Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, the new minister for housing and urban development

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has released the list for portfolio for his ministerial appointees.

Among those listed is Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa who is appointed as the minister for housing and urban development.

Ahmed Musa Dangiwa is an example of the wisdom of putting around peg in a round hole when it comes to appointing people to run our national institutions….CONTINUE READING

The roundness of his peg comes from over 30 years in the real estate and infrastructure development sectors, which enables him to have specific ideas about the challenges of providing affordable housing to Nigerians and how to meet these challenges.

“We have provided over9,000 houses, and have provided mortgages worth more than N110 billion within the last three years,” he says with relish. He continues: “Apart from that, we have also created a micro finance loan which is given to individuals, especially to renovate their house.”

Before his appointment Dangiwa had also served as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank ofNigeria, Dangiwa, an architect, had been managing partner of AM DesignConsults, an architectural and real estate development consultancy firm, since1996. Before then, he was at Jarlo international Nig. Ltd, a construction company.

There is no doubt that supervising several outstanding projects in diverse areas and sectors across the country has opened his eyes to the enormity of the nation’s housing deficits. This includes his spell at TRIAD Associates, Kaduna, where he developed his professional career in designs and project management, rising to the position of associate partner in the group.

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Dangiwa knows why peopleare reluctant to go for the mortgage option in addressing their housing needs.He says that a civil servant cannot pay 30 percent equity for a house, which iswhat is on offer in commercial banks. So he led FMBN to come up with a drasticpolicy.

“So we had to reduce the equity to 10 percent for a house that he hasto buy for N10 million. The equity for houses between N5-10 million was reducedto 10 percent. But any mortgage that is below 5 percent is 0 percent, whichmeans they don’t pay any equity. With that I was able to get more mortgage forNigerians, especially the low and middle income earners, and some in theinformal sector.”

Dangiwa had his first and second degrees in architecture from Ahmadu Bello University, Zarian, where he also earned an MBA He is an alumnus of the prestigious Wharton UniversityPennsylvania, U.S.A. and has attended numerous training courses in HousingFinance, Computer Aided Designs, Design and Build Workshops and Project Management,as well as several other professional and leadership training programmes.

One of the challenges in the housing sector that he has grappled with is “how to make affordable mortgages more accessible, and even if you have to provide mortgages there have to be underlining houses. Most of the houses I met were those built by developers, who sourced their funding basically from open markets at high interest rates and high cost of land, other costs which majorly increases the cost of houses.”

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To address the issue of affordability,especially among civil servants, he says, “We had to enhance our constructionpanels in such a way that you will have to provide construction panels fordevelopers, to give them affordable interest rates to create affordablehouses and then we give mortgages.”

When he assumed leadershipof FMBN, he realized that many of the houses that banks had built not subscribed because people could not accessthem due to their equities being too high. “So we created another programcalled “Rent to Own”. Withthis subscribers approach FMBN offices in the states, who will give them accessto the house as tenants. While living in the houses as tenants, they pay eithermonthly or annual rents until the houses become theirs.

Dangiwa has also brought aninsurance scheme to the mortgage housing sector. In the event that the house isdestroyed by a storm, rain or other causes, insurance will be there tocover the loss, you, whose insurance also covers the eventuality of death, payingup the house on behalf of the deceased’s family.

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Another innovation that Dangiwahas introduced is the use of certificates of occupancy (C of O) for lands. “Insteadof them buying houses, we can give them individual construction loans to buildthe houses at their own pace on any location the land is situated,” he explains.Money is given to subscribers in 3 phases — 30 percent to start it; we giveyou 30 percent to roof it and the remaining 40 percent for finishing.

“All these things youcannot get anywhere, because if you go to the open market, they give you a loanat 25-30 percent,” he reminds you. “They cannot give you a loan of more than 5years.”

He identifies land availability as one of the major constraints to the delivery of housing, due to the stringent conditions state governments attach to allocation of land. He notes that “Some government agencies take a lot of time to issue C of O....CONTINUE READING

State governments have to ensure that they make access to land easy and they also have to make it easy for estate developers. Governments have to make sure that even if the lands are subsidised, there should be access roads into the land.”