By Aduragbemi Omiyale A pan African housing finance and development institution, Shelter Afrique, is planning to raise about N250 billion housing bond next month aimed to address the housing deficit in Nigeria. Shelter Afrique was created by African governments to address the need for a sustainable housing delivery system and related infrastructure projects on the continent. Shareholders include 44 African countries, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Re-Insurance Corporation, and Fonds de Solidarit\u00e9 Africain (FSA). At the moment, Kenya is the highest shareholder with 17.78 per cent, followed by Nigeria with 13.27 per cent of the shareholding, and the AfDB with 12.83 per cent. But Nigeria intends to increase its stake above Kenya and has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of $28.7 million in Shelter Afrique, according to the country\u2019s Minister of Finance, Ms Zainab Ahmed. At a meeting with the Group Managing Director and CEO of Shelter Afrique, Mr Andrew Chimphondah, in Abuja, she said the payment would be made in four instalments starting from January 2022. This development excited Mr Chimphondah, who lauded the Nigerian government for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation's financial turnaround. \u201cThis is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. \u201cThis is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique board and management,\u201d he commented. He stated that Shelter Afrique will soon commence a roadshow for the N250 billion ($500 million) housing bond to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. \u201cShelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), large developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 banks and primary mortgage lenders. \u201cThe significance of this is that Shelter Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,\u201d Mr Chimphondah said. He thanked Ms Ahmed for supporting the bond issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, noting that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique. The CEO further stated that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in addressing the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 million units against the continent's 56 million units. \u201cAs a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low-cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,\u201d Mr Chimphondah concluded.