FEDERAL Government has finally approved that henceforth, mortgages below N5m (five million Naira) will not attract the initial payment of 10% equity from off takers. The decision to wave the percentage came as a demonstration of its resolute commitment to the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians, especially the low income earners, This was made known by the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri while commissioning a 125unit Housing Estate in Enugu State, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser Media, M.A Ahmed. He noted that the project was financed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN and developed by a private company, Messrs LCK Projects to help in reducing the challenge of housing deficit in Nigeria. Baba Shehuri stated that the Ministry plans to build mass houses in every state of the Federation for public workers and other interested parties, over the next three years, using the instrumentality of Public Private Partnerships. He added that “National Housing Models have been designed and approved for each geo-political zone, which takes care of our cultural and climatic diversities in our choice of house type and standardisation in the use of local building materials. “This will translate to affordability of housing for Nigerians and will also create employment opportunities for our teaming youths that are currently roaming the streets.” He said. While commending the effort of the apex mortgage bank, the Minister noted that it has a pivotal role to play in the actualisation of the aspirations of many Nigerians to own a home through mortgage. Shehuri said government would ensure FMBN is adequately recapitalised and repositioned to cater for the mortgage finance needs of Nigerian workers, who would be the major beneficiaries of houses built under the National Housing Programme. The Minister was also at Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, where he commissioned the 1st set of 72 units of houses out of 240 being financed by FMBN and undertaking by the Ebonyi State Housing Development Corporation, ESHDC. He was also at Owerri, Imo State for the commissioning of a 100-unit FMBN-Minfa Housing Estate. Mean while, Acting Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank Nigeria, Mr. Richard Esin, called on other Nigerians in private sector, who are currently not contributing to the National Housing Fund NHF, to key in.