Economy

Bankers Committee, PenCom plan N2tr loan for RSA holders to acquire houses

Hopes of more Nigerians owning houses brightened on Thursday as the Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria cementing a strategic partnership with the Pension Commission of Nigeria (PenCom) to earmark 25 percent of the N9 trillion Pension asset to assist Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders acquire houses.

The committee also disclosed that it was ready to disburse funds to players in the creative industry who have bankable projects that need funding.

Briefing journalists at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, a member of the committee, Mrs. Hamda Ambah of FSDH Merchant Bank said: “We will work with the pension industry. We now have N9 trillion worth of pension assets since the creation of PenCom in 2004. PenCom is committed to spending 25% of that figure which is over $2 trillion. RSA holders will use it to access mortgage loans. We are not there yet, but we are almost there. It will be all-encompassing. It’s a work in progress. The idea is to make workers have funds to make equity contributions to build homes.

“CBN will speak with state governments to make the process smoother. Other options other than mortgages was also discussed.

We talked about financial inclusion, to look at what we’re doing in the next few years as a body and with the assistance of regulator, being the CBN”, she said.

On the package for the creative industry, Kayode Akinkugbe of the FBN Quest Merchant Bank said all banks were participating in the creative industry deal.

The package covers fashion, information technology, movie production, movie distribution, music and software engineering student loan

He said: “All beneficiaries are to have a bankable project. CBN has a central collation point where all proposals come.

“Export support fund is also available. Interest rate is 9% all cost inclusive. We want to make it as easier for beneficiaries as possible.

“The committee discussed the need to remind Nigerians that modalities for accessing financial support have been published as regards creative industry.

They can approach their banks now because we are now at the execution stage.

“We’re receiving cooperation from state governments. We’re setting up infrastructure base to set up creative industry in Lagos State. Some other states are giving lands for this.

The export drive is also encouraged. Now, it is time to deliver”, he said.

Under the creative industry support programme, beneficiaries can get a loan of up to N3 million for software engineering student; N30 million for movie production business; N500 million for movie distribution business; cover rental/service fees for fashion and information

technology business; cover training fees, equipment fees, and

rental/service fees for the music business.

The amount to be disbursed to operators in the creative sector is put at N200 billion and up to 10-year repayment depending on the category and type of project.

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-Sun

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