The average Nigerian worker’s dream of owning a house of their own was reinforced on Thursday at the banker’s committee meeting held in Abuja.
During the meeting, the Managing Director of FSDH Merchant Bank, Ambah Hamda, disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria has plans to work in synergy with the Pension Commission (PenCom) towards ensuring that contributors to the Retirement Savings Account access 25% of Nigeria’s N9.03 trillion pension assets for mortgage purposes. This will be in conformity with the 2014 PenCom Act.
Shedding more light on this plan, the FSDH MD stated the following;
“Once it becomes a reality, an RSA holder will then be in a position to walk up to his pension fund administrator and ask to access 25 percent saved up in his name and would like to borrow money to build a house.
“With such approval, you will then approach your banker. It would make the bank very willing because you will then be coming with a sizeable sum of money where you would also contribute to the project.”
Meanwhile, CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, who also spoke during the event, noted that the 25% pension contribution would ultimately constitute workers’ equity contribution for mortgage. Workers will then approach their banks who will finance the 75% balance.
Why this matters: Apart from the fact that the scheme will enable Nigerians in the public service and the organised private sector to become homeowners, it is also expected to help significantly reduce the country’s housing deficit.
A 2018 report credited to Centre for Affordable Housing in Africa had put the country’s housing deficit to be between 17 and 20 million.
Similarly, the plan will help to unlock the huge potential in the real estate sector of the economy by fostering rapid growth and providing funding. In so doing, several direct and indirect jobs will be created.
As Hamda noted that “25% of N9 trillion is worth over N2 trillion and this fund can be used to stimulate demand for mortgage loans in our economy.”
She further disclosed that the CBN will make the process easy by working with other regulators and “with the government of various states to make the whole process of land transfer and titling a lot easier so that many more people across the nation can access mortgage financing, thereby stimulating demand in our economy.”