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Stimulating economic growth through housing finance

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By YINKA KOLAWOLE
The housing sector is seen as an important sector for stimulating economic growth in most developed countries. Indeed, housing construction indices are some of the most common measures used by analysts to gauge economic trends in OECD countries. Today, housing and construction sector still accounts for only 3.1 percent of the GDP of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy with a GDP of N80.3 trillion ($510 billion) as at 2013. Despite the size of the Nigerian economy, mortgage debt to GDP is only about 0.5 percent. Minister of Finance/Supervising Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, noted at a recent World Bank forum, highlighted the potential contribution of the housing sector to national development in three possible ways.