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THE ROLE OF THE CBN IN ENSURING AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR NIGERIANS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and 8th in the world, with a population of 173 million. Over the past decade the economy has been growing at an average rate of around seven percent yearly and, after Johannesburg, Lagos has the biggest, most liquid market in the region thereby creating the need for massive housing development. A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on printing the national currency, which usually serves as the nation’s legal tender (Arthur and Sullivan, 2003). Example is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The various roles of CBN will however in no doubt have specific impact on housing delivery in Nigeria.
According to Wikipedia.org, Central banks around the world play similar functions some of which may include- implementing monetary policies, determining Interest rates, controlling the nation’s entire money supply, the Government’s banker and the bankers’ bank (“lender of last resort”), regulating and supervising the banking industry, setting the official interest rate – used to manage both inflation and the country’s exchange rate– and ensuring that this rate takes effect via a variety of policy mechanisms and managing the country’s foreign exchange and gold reserves and the Government’s stock register.
Shelter is one of the basic necessities of life. Indeed, the housing sector plays a very critical role in a country’s prosperity as it directly affects not only the wellbeing of the citizenry but also the general performance of other sectors of the economy. Thus, provision of housing has, since the early 1970‟s, engaged the attention of most countries, especially the developing ones, for a number of reasons. First, it is one of the three most important basic needs of mankind. Consequently, programmes of assistance in the areas of finance, provision of infrastructure and research have been designed by governments to enhance adequate housing delivery. The focus on finance has, however, been very prominent for the reason that, housing provision requires huge capital outlay, which is often beyond the capacity of most of the citizens (Akeju, 2007).
Increase in the rate of urbanization has exerted pressure on government and other government agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria to develop plans for housing development in Nigeria as a result of situation experienced in most cases that the demand for housing units outweighs the supply. To address this gap, individuals, firms, and government must intervene.
The first attempt at institutionalizing housing financing through the apex bank in Nigeria was the establishment of the Nigerian Building Society (NBS) in 1956. Thereafter, regional governments set up housing corporations, savings and loans banks and cooperative banks through the supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide funds in the form of mortgage credit for housing development (CBN, 2003). Following the Indigenization Act (1972) which aimed, amongst others, at promoting and transferring the ownership and control of foreign enterprises to Nigerians, the Nigerian Building Society, in 1977, was renamed and metamorphosed into the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, (FMBN) to reflect the 100 per cent ownership of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Within two years of the establishment of the FMBN, its capital base was increased from N20 million when it was bought over by government in 1977 to N150 million in 1979, reflecting an increase of over 600 per cent. The current equity base of the FMBN is about N5 billion, with only 50 per cent of it paid-up (CBN, 2011). Equity in the bank is split between the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN). In 1994, the FMBN was granted the status of the premier and apex mortgage institution in Nigeria under the supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria. However, the researcher is analyzing the role of CBN in ensuring affordable housing for Nigerian citizens (CBN, 2007).
The Central Bank of Nigeria through the FMBN has encouraged the emergence and promotion of the growth of viable primary mortgage institutions to service the need of housing delivery in all parts of Nigeria; mobilized both domestic and offshore funds into the housing sector; linked the capital market with the housing industry by establishing and operating a viable secondary mortgage market to support the primary mortgage market; and distributed the National Housing Fund (NHF) in accordance with the provisions of the NHF Act” (CBN, 2011).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of housing has become a daily discussion in all quarters of the public and private sector of the Nigeria economy and has prompt several government agencies to implements plans for housing development for both their staffs and the general public at affordable cost. It has become increasingly glaring that most of the urban population in Nigeria live in dehumanizing housing environment while those that have access to average housing do so at abnormal cost. According to Onibokun (1986), Nubi (1991), rent in major cities of Nigeria is about 60% of an average workers disposable income. With the high cost of house building and the effort of government and its agencies that has been inadequate in the housing delivery, the researcher will analyze the role of CBN in ensuring affordable housing for Nigerians.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
HO: CBN has not contributed to the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians.
HA: CBN has contributed to the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the role of the CBN in ensuring affordable housing for Nigerians will cover the contribution of the Central Bank of Nigeria towards sustainable housing development in Nigeria. It will also cover the overview of the services rendered by Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria FMBN which can be likened to a subsidiary of the CBN.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
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