The provision of adequate housing that is safe, secure, accessible, affordable and sanitary is a fundamental human right, as enshrined in the United Nations Habitat Agenda – the global call on human settlements. Housing has been universally accepted as the second most important human need. It is a basic need for human survival, and an essential component to the advancement of the quality of life of the citizenry. This universally accepted fact has been acknowledged by successive Nigerian Governments, as evident from the series of initiatives and programmes in mass housing development over the years. Despite these efforts, housing delivery remains a major challenge.
The housing sector is the bedrock of the economy of developed nations. In the more advanced economies like the United States of America, Great Britain and Canada, this sector contributes between 30% and 70% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These countries rose to become the greatest advanced economies on the tide of housing development. In Nigeria, the housing sector contributes an insignificant 0.38% to GDP.
With the potential to generate employment, bolster productivity, elevate living standards, and alleviate poverty, the housing sector’s impact is profound. It possesses the unique capability to curb crime rates, insurrections, militancy, and terrorism while addressing wealth distribution and security concerns. Such far-reaching influence emerges from housing’s ability to affect every facet of life, exerting a multiplier effect on economic development. This impact radiates through forward linkages to financial markets and backward linkages to land, building materials, tools, furniture, and labour markets.
Tinubu’s vision for housing
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his Renewed Hope Action Plan has outlined ambitious milestones that he hopes to implement to change the narrative and unlock potential of the housing sector to boost economic development, create jobs, foster inclusive growth, and ensure access to affordable and decent housing for all. This includes notably the utilization of 20% of the cash reserve fund N5 Trillion (1 Trillion), in CBN, set aside to promote long-term (20-30 year) mortgages and affordable consumer credit, reviewing the PENCOM regulations to allow increased investment of pension funds in the mortgage asset class, working with state governments to provide credits and incentives to developers of affordable housing amongst others. These reforms successfully implemented will no doubt increase liquidity in the housing market and also create the enabling environment necessary for much needed enhanced private sector participation.
Leveraging Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa’s expertise in real estate financing
To drive the vision, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, on Wednesday 16th August 2023 appointed Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa as the Minister for Housing and Urban Development. This follows his nomination and successful screening on August 1, 2023, by the Nigerian Senate in Abuja. Adjudged by many as a gentleman, a competent administrator and an accomplished technocrat, Arc. Dangiwa brings to the Tinubu cabinet over 30 years’ experience in real estate, mortgage financing and housing development that span private and public sectors as well as academia.
As the MD/CEO of FMBN, Arc. Dangiwa championed historic reforms that helped to reposition the nation’s foremost apex mortgage bank on the path of transparency, profitability, efficiency, innovation, and wider impact as a social housing delivery institution.
During his five-year term at FMBN that spanned April 2017 to April 2022 and in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive for him to transform the nation’s apex bank as an impactful tool for delivery of affordable housing to Nigerians, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa developed and implemented a roadmap of strategic reforms that delivered unmatched results. He led the FMBN Executive Management Team to beat all Corporate Performance Indices since the establishment of the Bank.
As of April 2017, when Arc. Dangiwa assumed management of the Bank, only N232Billion had accrued to the NHF Scheme over a 25-year period (at about N9.28billion per annum). Within five years, Dangiwa led his team to mobilize N279 Billion in additional contributions to the NHF scheme at an average of N55.8Billion per annum. He was able to do this by ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of the NHF scheme, engaging state governments to resume contributions to the NHF scheme and building strategic partnerships with labor centers such as the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
As a result of the increased financial inflows from the NHF Scheme and in line with the goal of reducing the high housing deficit, Dangiwa led FMBN to deploy 175 Million towards the provision of affordable single-digit home loans to NHF subscribers and for the construction of quality houses in collaboration with reputable developers nationwide. Some of the practical results of this historic loan disbursement include the provision of NHF Mortgage loans to 5,938 beneficiaries. This represents over 34% increase from the cumulative total of 17,092 beneficiaries as of April 2017; provision of home renovation loans to 77,575 beneficiaries representing over 2,926% increase from the 2,579 beneficiaries as of April 2017 and provision of affordable construction finance for delivery of 13,339 affordable housing units nationwide. This represents an over 59% increase from the cumulative total of 20,435 housing units as of April 2017 when we assumed office.
Also, Dangiwa conceived and began implementation of the N40billion FMBN Mega Cities project under the FG National Economic Sustainability Program (NESP) to deliver 5,000 housing units with 1, 250 houses delivered by Brains and Hammers at Bungalow City Kubwa Abuja.
Furthermore, Dangiwa championed several initiatives that have made FMBN affordable housing products more affordable. This includes the downward review of equity requirements for FMBN housing loans. As of April 2017, when he assumed office at FMBN, equity requirements for accessing FMBN housing products were as high as 30%. He championed the reduction to 10% for loans above N5m, and 0% for those below N5m while retaining the single digit interest rate regime for personal loans.
Arc. Dangiwa’s leadership saw FMBN create innovative housing products that expanded access to affordable housing to Nigerians. This includes the rent to own, which allows NHF contributors to move into FMBN funded houses and pay towards homeownership in monthly, quarterly, or annual instalments, the individual construction loan, which allows Nigerians with legal title deeds to get loans of up to 15 Million to build their own homes with payment tenors of up to 30-years and the Diaspora Mortgage loan to help Nigerians living abroad own their homes without being duped by relatives or friends in Nigeria. He also developed the Non-Interest Rent-to-Own (Ethical RTO) scheme to cater for the needs of many Nigerians yearning for non-interest housing products.
In recognition of the need to chart a reliable path for effective repositioning of the Bank, Arc. Dangiwa spearheaded the development of a 5-year Strategy Plan in collaboration with Messrs. KPMG. The Strategy document is expected to run from 2020 – 2024.The plan aims to deliver 100,000 housing units annually, grow NHF annual collections from N50 billion to over N300 billion, expand the NHF customer base by 25 million new contributors drawn mostly from the informal sector to 31m.
Another notable area of impact is the Digital Transformation Roadmap for FMBN that increased transparency and accountability in the management of NHF operations. He launched FMBN Mobile Platforms that enhanced NHF contributors’ access to their accounts using *219# USSD and other online platforms. His efforts to ensure the migration of the FMBN’s manual business operations to digital received a boost in December 2021 with the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval for FMBN to procure and deploy a Core Banking Application for the bank.
Read also: Improving access to affordable housing
Before his appointment as the Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, in April 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari Arc. Dangiwa was the Managing Partner of AM Design Consults, an architectural and real estate development consultancy firm, and Jarlo International Nig. Ltd, a Construction Company, where he supervised the delivery of several outstanding real estate projects across the country.
With the potential to generate employment, bolster productivity, elevate living standards, and alleviate poverty, the housing sector’s impact is profound
Arc. Dangiwa started his professional career at TRIAD Associates, a reputable architectural firm based in Kaduna where he gained practical field experience in Designs and Project Management. As a result of his hard work, dedication, and resourcefulness, he gained rapid promotion rising from the position of Pupil Architect, Principal Architect, Senior Architect and Associate Partner within the short period of time that he worked at the firm.
He also worked at the Sahel Mortgage Finance Bank Limited, where he gained considerable experience in mortgage banking. He started as a Property Manager and rose through the ranks to head the Credit Control Unit of the bank. His remarkable performance eventually led to his elevation to the position of Manager, Mortgage Banking Division. In this capacity, Arc. Dangiwa oversaw the design and delivery of a wide variety of mortgage products and real estate projects, especially social mass housing.
Dangiwa the politician:
On the political front, Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa, after leaving the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in April 2022 contested for the All-Progressives Congress ticket for the 2023 Governorship Election in Katsina State during the APC Primary Elections in May 2022, though not successful. As a dedicated and loyal party man, Arc. Dangiwa was appointed the Director General, Tinubu/Dikko Campaign Council, APC, Katsina State for 2023 General Elections. He led the Campaign Council to give APC the 3rd highest votes across the country, after Lagos and kano in the Presidential Election, APC overwhelmingly won all the three (3) Senatorial seats in Katsina State, the Party won nine (9) seats out of the fifteen (15) House of Representative seats in Katsina State, APC overwhelmingly won the Governorship elections, returning the Party’s candidate, Dr. Dikko Umar Radda as the Governor-Elect for Katsina State, and APC also won thirty-three (33) seats out of the thirty-four (34) House of Assembly seats in the State Assembly elections in Katsina State.
Having delivered the above successes for the Party in the 2023 general elections, he was appointed Co-Chairman, APC Transition Council to oversee the Preparation and Handover of Documents between the Outgoing and Incoming APC Governments on May 29, 2023, in Katsina State.
On May 29th, the Executive Governor of Katsina State, Dr. Umar Dikko Radda appointed Arc. Dangiwa as the Secretary to the State Government. He held this position until President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR nominated him as a Minister.
As an academician, Arc. Dangiwa worked in 1988 at the Katsina State Polytechnic where he doubled as Consulting Architect.
He is a Fellow of several respected professional organizations. This includes the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA); Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); Risk Managers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN); the Institute of Corporate Executives of Nigeria (FICEN); Institute of Credit Administration (ICA); Institute of Strategic Customer Service & Trade Management (ICSTM); and Chartered Institute of Loan & Risk Management of Nigeria (CILRM). He is also an Associate Member of American Institute of Architects (AAIA).
Arc. Dangiwa holds an MSc. (Arc) and MBA both from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in addition to a bachelor’s Honors degree in Architecture from the same Institution. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Wharton University Pennsylvania and has attended numerous training courses (local and international) on Housing Finance, Computer Aided Designs, Design and Build Workshops and Project Management, as well as several other professional and leadership training programmes.
With Arc. Dangiwa’s educational qualifications, experience in the private and public sectors, a stellar profile of achievements at FMBN, he will add a lot of value towards achieving the vision of His Excellency President Ahmed Bola Tinubu for a prosperous Nigeria that works for all.
Chieshe is a housing policy analyst based in Abuja.