President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday urged state governments to simplify the process of acquiring lands by Nigerians for them to build houses of their own.
He said land titles could be used by owners to easily access bank loans to build homes.
The President made the call in Abuja during a meeting with the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
The council members were led to the Presidential Villa by the Chairman, Dr Uche Olowu.
Buhari noted that the lack of collateral was a reason many Nigerians could not access loans from banks, observing that the banks too faced challenges in addressing such issues.
“As a government, we are also facing such challenges as part of our various affordable housing programmes.
“But, I am urging state governments to assist by simplifying and rationalising land matters,” State House statement by Presidential spokesperson, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying.
However, the President commended banks for collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria to support agriculture and the government’s food policy.
The President added, “We can only feed ourselves by deploying capital to the right areas. I implore the banking community to keep this trend up.”
He also praised the country’s banking sector for its vibrancy.
“Nigerian bankers have not only proved themselves in Nigeria alone but across the entire continent and in other parts of the world.
“I am proud when I visit African countries and see posters or branches of Nigerian banks. I will ask all your members to continue to be great ambassadors of Nigeria as you expand within Africa and beyond,” he told the delegation.
On his part, Olowu lauded the government’s policies like the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
On the decision of the Federal Government to close land borders, Olowu told the President that the bankers supported the policy.