Nigeria to build 675ha “Diaspora City” for citizens living abroad

Ahmed Dangiwa, centre, meeting with members of the Diaspora Union (Government Information Office)
Nigeria plans to build a “Diaspora City” for the 20 million of its citizens who live in other countries.

The idea is to give emigrants, who together send $24bn back home a year, the chance to take part in Nigeria’s housing market and a place to stay when they return.

“Our overall goal is to ensure that as our brothers and sisters’ sojourn abroad, they also have a decent shelter over here in Nigeria to call their home,” said housing minister Ahmed Dangiwa.

The government has set aside 675 hectares of land in the Federal Capital Territory around Abuja for the development.

Dangiwa said it would have a mix of bungalows, semi-detached and detached houses, and mansions.

He added that the ministry would work with the African Descendants in Diaspora Union, a body created to foster solidarity among the scattered expatriates.

It was announced in December that the city would be developed as a public-private partnership.

In September, the government launched the Diaspora Mortgage Loan, which is designed to enable Nigerians living overseas to use the National Housing Fund Scheme to buy a home in Nigeria.

Dangiwa said diaspora buyers would be able to finance their purchase with a National Housing Fund loan or a rent-to-own deal, with terms including a 9% interest rate and a payback period of up to 10 years.

The scheme is being organised by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Housing Authority.

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