Firm seeks support for affordable housing

To make house affordable to average Nigerians, foremost manufacturer of tiles, grouts and adhesives, West African Ceramics Ltd has called for the support of ‘Buy Nigeria’ campaign.

General Manager of the firm, Mr. Bhaskar Rao, made the call at the inauguration of two additional mega and ultramodern exclusive tile showrooms in Port Harcourt and Aba.

Stressing the firm’s support for affordable housing, Rao said, the showroom is a response to government efforts in resuscitating local production through effective distribution network.

The effort, he stressed is to ensure that products are available at the right time, right place, and at the right price; to cultivate and sustain the ‘Buy Nigeria’ behavior.

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According to him, consumers do not just buy products but the collective experiences of product quality, affordability, and reliability as well as all the functional attributes of the product.”

Corroborating, the Chief Executive Officer of Marchambers Int’l Co. Ltd., Mr. Ohazulumeh Chamberlain, a partner in the project, said the key focus is to grow the real sector and revive the community of local manufacturers.

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This, he said, can only be achieved when dealers in the value chain support the drive by pushing locally produced goods and services.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer of Nnadi Commercial Enterprises, Prince Sunny Nnadi stressed the need for architects, builders, estate developers, and project owners to support the ‘Buy Nigeria’ campaign.

Eno Bassey

Nigeria had no housing programme before Buhari’s govt came – Fashola

Nigeria had no housing policy until May 2015 when President Mohammadu Buhari administration came into being and introduced a coordinated housing policy and housing schemes are being built in thirty four states of the country.

Babatunde Fashola, SAN, Minster for Power, Works, and Housing stated this in Calabar on Friday while addressing senior staff of the three ministries who are in the city a three day retreat.

“I think I speak your minds if I say that there was no housing programme against three years ago and that today there is a national housing programme where we are building in thirty four states. “ I think I speak your minds if I say against three years ago, all the budget the work sector had for building of roads in the whole country was 18 billion and today we have close 300 billion naira and the work sector can say there is no state in Nigeria we are not building toad here or there”

He said three years ago the story was that transmission was the biggest problem and that there was not enough power to supply the power sector grid and there was not enough power to supply and averagely 2,690 megawatt was generated but that story has changed and generation has reached 7000 megawatts and 5,222 is being distributed, an all time national high. Is there any one person who can say he did it on own. Of course, the applause we are receiving from the public belongs to the entire team and the captain of our team President Buhari and the vice President”.

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He said emphasis should be on team work because he believe in the power of the team especially in public service.

“To reassess what we have done in the past years, I reflect to relevant ourselves and improve ourselves. From team work if you want to go fast go alone, nut if you want to far go as and team knowing that we have different capacities , strength and weaknesses and if we work together we will go very far.

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The Minster said he retreat is to enable the public servants o do more for the generality of he people. Our responsibility is enormous. I don’t intend to scare you but that is the truth. He said mistakes could be made but there is need to understand that in the public sector life, it is because there are problems and mistakes. It is a big responsibility is that in whatever public sector, one must work towards the achievement of the common good.

Emma Unah

 

Edo worldwide convention: Obaseki to showcases 1800 Emotan Gardens, reforms

With less than four weeks to the 27th edition of the Edo National Association Worldwide (ENAW) Convention, holding in Toronto, Canada, the Edo State Government is set to parade her achievements in the housing, education and other sectors at the event.

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, will lead the state’s delegation to the Toronto convention, which has become the single largest assemblage of Edo professionals and experts living and working in the diaspora, and forms a large part of the state’s critical mass.

At a strategy meeting between representatives of MIXTA Africa, the joint venture partner in the development of the 1800-unit Emotan Gardens, and representatives of the state government, Executive Chairman, Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA), Isoken Omo, assured that a mix of engagement strategies would be deployed in the state government’s effort to meet the housing and other needs of Edo people in the diaspora.

“The Edo State Government and her partners are upbeat about the Emotan Gardens and similar housing projects coming on stream soon. It is an opportunity many of our people have been waiting for to acquire decent housing through a very transparent process devoid of encumbrances,” Omo said.

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She explained that “the appeal of Emotan Gardens has been phenomenal, as would-be subscribers are just waiting for us to open sales. Governor Obaseki is passionate about this product and will be exhibiting it at the ENAW Convention.”

Also, at the meeting, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said “the governor will also be showcasing the technology-based teaching method, which is a component of the Edo State Basis Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) initiative.”

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The governor’s aide added that “Edo is the first and only state that has deployed the technology in public primary schools in Nigeria.”

According to him, “Another sector that will feature in the governor’s presentation at the ENAW Convention is the peace being enjoyed by developers following the signing of the Private Property Protection Law, which has abolished the activities of Community Development Association (CDAs).

“The sanity in the built sector now is beyond compare and we are happy to report a new era devoid of crisis over land and building construction across the state. “The abolition of CDAs was thought impossible considering the influence the members weighed and many Edo people could not build houses because of the activities of these misguided youths.”

The four-day Toronto convention, the 27th in the series, will hold from August 31 – September 3.

Vanguard

Presidential panel to recover N87bn bad debts for FMBN

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has disclosed plans to recover N87 billion bad debts owed the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) by developers.

The panel, in a statement on Wednesday, said its Chairman, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, made the disclosure when he visited the bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, in Abuja.

Obono-Obla said the debts arose from loans obtained by estate developers and primary mortgage institutions between 2009 and 2016, according to the statement signed by spokesperson of the panel, Lucie-Ann Laha. He said preliminary investigations revealed that some of the loans were not used for the purpose they were obtained.

According to him, the loans were not serviced due to the bank’s failure to “enforce due process and proce- dures.”

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Obono-Obla called on the FMBN management to co-operate with the panel by according it all the necessary assistance that would facilitate quick recovery of the debts.

The recovery, he explained, would enhance the financial base of the bank and reposition it to better achieve its mandate of facilitating home ownership by Nigerians.

Responding, the FMBN boss lauded the panel’s efforts in furtherance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign.

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Dangiwa assured his guest of the bank’s co-operation in that regard, adding that FMBN was in full support of government’s anti-corruption war.

He cited some programmes and policies adopted by the bank in line with this position.

Daily Sun

Housing women, housing our future

As part of the 12th Abuja International Housing Show, the Women in Housing Sector initiative (WISHI) was launched. The initiative is to serve as a platform both for mentorship and networking for professional women in real estate, and for home management and ownership training for marginalized women (widows, divorcees etc.) in our society.

Several dignitaries and power house personalities in the sector, both men and women, participated in the launch that introduced two flagship programs – “Empowering women, empowering our future” and “Housing women, housing our future”.

In support of the Empowering women, the key note speaker Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu, the Chairman Board of Directors Urban Shelter gave a powerful speech concerning women professionals in the real estate sector. It just makes business sense was the theme of his speech. Mallam Aliyu spoke about women who had played a pivotal role in his life and his business, from his maternal grandmother who raised him – a very successful business woman in her own right who participated in trade across all regions in Nigeria (Kano, Irobo, Ibadan) to Accra, to his most able daughter Mrs Saadiya Aliyu Aminu who now serves as the Urban Shelter MD/CEO.

Women have the innate ability to match their male peers in the housing sector thanks to their key strengths including budgeting, multitasking, negotiation and client relationship management. The best Project Manager he had personally worked with at Urban Shelter was a woman..

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Malam Aliyu also quoted studies by both McKinsey and Morgan Stanley in support of why having women in businesses enhances results. The Morgan Stanley report stated that “more gender diversity particularly in the corporate setting can translate to increased productivity, better decision-making, higher employment retention and satisfaction”. Mckinsey’s study took this argument a step further with a statistic that stated “companies with at least a quarter representation of women on their board make an average of 20% higher earnings than the industry average” – this is significant!

Echoing Malam Aliyu’s sentiment were the female and supportive male industry leaders who took part in the panel sessions including Mrs Tokunbo Martins a Director at the CBN, Yemi Shonubi, MD/CEO of Savant, Uzo Oshogwe, MD of Afriland, Isoken Omo, Executive Chairman of the Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA), Mrs. Mercy Lortyer, The First female president of the NIESV, Adeniyi Akinlusi, CEO of TrustBond Mortgage Bank and Kola Balogun CEO Mixta, amongst others.

Running their own statistics, Urban Shelter noted an increased drive in female entrepreneurial activities through the sales of their commercial/retail units – 40% were bought by women. Unfortunately, whereas professional women were increasing their activities in the sector, this was not the case for women with less purchasing power. For affordable residential units, only 10% were acquired by women.

These results from Urban Shelter give credence to the 2nd flagship program of the WISHI –Housing Women, housing our future. The program is targeted towards marginalized women who do not have access to housing finance instruments, nor understand the fundamentals of facility management to assure capital appreciation for their houses. In the Nigerian society still, women and their children stand to lose their homes in the event of a divorce or adverse family circumstances such as the death of a spouse. These women and their children are the ones most at risk of turning to crime or becoming negative contributors to society argued Nike Osilaja the founder and Chairman of WISHI.

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Home ownership can become a solution for both housing and financial empowerment/stability for these women and their children. Training, education as well as financial support are key requirements for these women.

WISHI’s goal is to go beyond the current “gifting” plans being put in place by the government and organizations such as Dangote Foundation. Many of these women have never managed the affairs of the housing structure and hence stand to lose their homes or their home values due to poor maintenance.

WISHI is working with the mortgage banks, Mixta, Urban Shelter and other select organizations to establish “Operation earn your own home”. Based on the premise that if you pay you value/retain, the aim of the program is not to “gift” these affordable homes to the women, but instead have them “earn” their homes through a credit system which will be a series of home ownership training courses. WISHI will provide housing pre-education classes on savings programs for down-payments and to improve mortgage credit worthiness.

Other training courses will include housing facility management to assure capital appreciation, entrepreneurial education on how to utilize the home for business opportunities and other financial tools. Through the credit system, these women will work towards home ownership and in the process gain the training and education they need to maintain their home and potential increase the capital values of their investment.

The Women in Housing Initiative is a worth-while cause for women in the real estate sector. Its multi-faceted programs will not only strengthen the network of professional women in the industry ensuring that their voices are heard, but by utilizing this combined knowledge and reach, they will in turn empower marginalized women by giving them training and access to home ownership. The initiative will overtime, help ensure that women are no longer invisible in the housing sector.

Chinwe Ajene-Sagna

 

In need of the visible hands: affordable housing market

Not all statistics are worth losing sleep over. Some are just for the informational content. The home ownership rate is one such: it is a measure of the proportion of people who live in their own houses. It indicates the strength of mortgage market and at best, a measure of aggregate prosperity. When it is low, it implies that something has to be done to increase prosperity – not home ownership per se – in the expectation that prosperity would bring the wealth and motives to acquire homes.

However, at some point in our development path, we took the wrong approach towards increasing the level of home ownership. The government, instead of investing in housing, conducted ‘fire sales’ of public lands to the highest bidders, increasing the relative scarcity of land and its prices. Soon, everyone wanted to own lands, it had become popular as the ‘best investment’ irrespective of its high capital-output ratio. Private individuals flooded the housing market. The government eventually exited the market as it became difficult to regulate.

Today, the effects of this unstructured deregulation include illegal sales, land grabbing, collapse of urban planning, rise in squatter settlements, unhealthy competition for lands, uncontrolled factor pricing, cost-push inflation, and rising housing deficit.These made other public infrastructure – water, sewage system, and transportation – necessary for urban planning almost impossible to develop. This approach to increase the rate of home ownership does not reduce the rate of homelessness, rather increases it.

There is a housing deficit of about 17 million. It would take the production of one million units per annum over a 20 year period to close this gap. But overall annual fulfilment is 100,000 units and a corresponding deficit of 900,000 units which carries a potential cost of US$ 16 million. The mortgage market is somewhat labyrinthine with 57 players, but mortgage financing to GDP is 0.58% (South Africa, 31%), home-ownership is 24% (Kenya, 73%). Mortgage conditions are stringent: interest rates are as high as 20%and a 25% down payment on an average mortgage size of US$ 18,000 – in country where 87 million people live below US$ 1/day. The focus should be eradicating extreme poverty not increasing home ownership.

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Presented with evidence of market failure, the visible hand of government is necessary to restore equitable distribution and social optimum in the housing market. But governments too have failed.

A number of state governments have attempted mass housing schemes: it is typically a few blocks of bungalow houses built in remote locations, deserted and often unlivable to those for whom they were intended. And when these governments realize their failures, they enter into a quasi-partnership with government compradors who connive with other individuals, in the guise of estate developers, to off-take the lands being sold out by government ministries and local communities under shady negotiations – with no pretension to transparent market process.

These pseudo-developers go on to build luxury houses for themselves and the upper class. No consideration for the vast poorly-housed lower class. Ogun state is a classic case: the government and communities are off-loading the lands to churches, private developers and foreign businesses in a fate of competition with Lagos state, ignorant of the current challenges Lagos state faces. They are losing the opportunity as a sparsely populated state to initiate urban planning and city development.

So while these estate developers continue to build for the top 1 per cent that could afford home-ownership and already own estates, nobody builds for the ordinary man. A subtle paradox ensues: a simultaneous development of luxury estates and slum estates; whereas the former is largely unoccupied, the latter is well overcrowded.

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The results of markets is not always optimal: no wonder while there are slum cities to revamp,scarce resources were rather directed towards building a new luxurious Eko-Atlantic city despite the number of unoccupied apartments in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and the environs. It was only recently that we realized that these empty buildings served other purposes as cash vaults to hide away stolen monies. This partly explains why rental prices are downwardly rigid these environs where there is a glut of albeit, luxury homes.

Housing, like education and health is a critical sector in which the government cannot laissez-faire. The high capital-output ratio in housing investments implies that unchecked markets would not yield socially optimum outcome. The visible hand of government is necessary both as a player and regulator to steer the market to desirable outcome. Housing is a major part of household consumption and savings motives in developing countries. Therefore, improving housing conditions would have positive implications for standard of living.

Concluding remarks
Sadly the housing production model continues to be about luxury homes even though it is not working!The diaspora city plan of the Federal Housing Authority to build estates for Nigerians living outside of Nigeria is a case of government betrayal of the majority of Nigerians living in Nigeria with no decent roof over their heads.

Government needs to return to the market:they need to increase the percentage of total land stock in the government’s possession even if it means revoking certain land titles. They need to provideproper incentives to local authorities, housing associations, private establishments and community organizations that have the resources and can endure the long-term risk-return nature of housing investments to produce standard rental units at affordable prices.

Housing units could be built and then sold apartment by apartment in which case the overall assets still remains in public ownership, allowing therefore for integrated maintenance and urban planning. This was the Jakande model in 1983 Lagos state.These sorts of collaboration and coordination are necessary to correct the market distortions and provide affordable homes for Nigerians.However, the rhetoric needs to be changed: everybody cannot be homeowners. Therefore, there should be provision of a minimum standard of housing unit for life-starters and those who cannot afford luxury home ownership.

Amamchukwu Okafor

Housing: Stakeholders push for new law

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said over N60 trillion is required to address the country’s 17 million housing deficit.

Malami disclosed this in his keynote address at the just-concluded workshop on the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Draft Bill, at the Rockview Hotel Royale, Abuja.

The theme of the workshop was: “Creating an enabling environment for the growth of the housing and mortgage Sector: The need for land and law reform”.

Malami, represented by Mr. Biodun Aikhomu at the three-day workshop, further said more than 80 per cent of the nation’s population lived in informal housing arrangements.

According to him, the constraints to housing sector development included the difficulty in securing governor’s consent; poverty and affordability gap; slow adjudication and bureaucratic processes involved in housing registration and perfection of title. He, therefore, advocated reforms that would foster short, medium and long term solutions to these challenges.

The AGF said the provision of housing is one of the objectives of the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) instituted by the Federal Government. He said the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme, which is being co-ordinated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and supported by the World Bank, is playing key role in the scheme.

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With this submission, Malami set the tone for various paper presentations, culminating in the issuance of a communique by participants.

It was, therefore, instructive when stakeholders at the end of the workshop spoke with one voice on their position regarding the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Draft Bill. One of this was the call for each state to draw a road map for the passage and implementation of the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law (MMFL).

In doing this, the states are to bear in mind the three pillars of the model – regulatory framework; collateral registry and education and public awareness. This process, they argued, should be fast-tracked as soon as possible to avoid the distraction of electioneering process that may arise later in the year. This position formed the fulcrum of the communique issued at the end of the deliberation.

As part of the communique, participants were unanimous that there was need for the existence of the political will across all tiers and levels of government, to pass the “Model law” as well as address other land administration challenges in the housing and mortgage sector.

It further noted that there is need for governors to take ownership of the process of passage and implementation of the MMFL; noting also that there is need for increased collaboration among stakeholders (executive; legislature; judiciary; operators and regulators) for effective policy formulation and legislation to engender housing and mortgage reform.

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Other recommendations include the passage of the MMFL and resolution of other land administrative issues to be escalated to influential fora such as the National Economic Council; Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Attorney Generals’ Forum. It also stressed the need to automate land registries and land titling processes in all states for better co-ordination of activities and information sharing in the industry; need for interface between the Land Registry and Mortgage Registry in states where these registries are separate; need for state governments to see discounts/reduction of statutory fees and rates as incentives to increase internally generated revenue (IGR) as well as broaden the revenue collection base of the state, thus making the MMFL an incentive to the states.

It was further submitted that there is need to consider the financial implication of the legal framework being proposed by the MMFL and the possibility of adopting existing structures to minimise cost and serve as an incentive, rather than a dis-incentive to the passage of the law; need to address potential conflict of interest between the proposed state Mortgage Board and the existing Land Registry/Authority.

It stressed the need for operators to be realistic in their projections/models in determining the types of houses built in states and fixing unit prices of such houses to suit the various states and income/salary scale of housing beneficiaries and mortgage schemes, bearing in mind the housing/mortgage policy that not more than 33 per cent of a beneficiary’s income should be used to service a housing loan/mortgage; need to simplify and modify mortgage creation to meet modern trends and exigencies of the housing and mortgage industry.

Others include the need to expedite the process for obtaining governor’s consent (by delegating the authority to more than one person) in respect of secured transactions or reassess/streamline the process to eliminate the delay in obtaining such consent so that transactions involving real property would be easier and more seamless; and also the need for states to provide the necessary infrastructure and social amenities (i.e. motorable roads; electricity supply; pipe borne water etc.) to make housing estates attractive to Investors; developers and potential homeowners.

Muyiwa Lucas

 

NMRC beats economic headwinds, grows PBT 58.3%

The Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has demonstrated resilience in Nigeria’s weak economic and business environment with an impressive and profitable outing in its financial year ended December 31, 2017.

Besides a 31.4 percent rise in net interest income to N3.97 billion in 2017 from N3.02 billion in 2016, the company, within the period under review, grew its profit before tax (PBT) to N1.9 billion, up from N1.2 billion in 2016, representing 58.3 percent increase.

Kehinde Ogundimu, acting chief executive, who gave these hints Tuesday at the company’s 4th Annual General Meeting in Lagos, also revealed that their balance sheet increased to N42.54 billion, up from N40.79 billion in 2016.

“Our cost-to-income ratio, capital adequacy ratio, and other regulatory and performance metrics were significantly better in 2017 than 2016”, Ogundimu told shareholders who commended the performance, and also approved all the resolutions presented at the AGM, including the resolution for the up-scaling of the company’s debt issuance programme from N140 billion to N440 billion to enable the company deliver on its mandate of making housing finance more affordable and accessible.

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Notwithstanding the slow, fragile and vulnerable recovery of the economy, the company is optimistic of a better outing in 2018, believing that the economy will pick up on the back of pro-growth policies and structural changes being implemented by the government.

The company is not unmindful of the uncertainty surrounding the 2019 general election and its attendant risk to economic growth. But, according to Charles Okeahalam, the comnpany’s chairman, “we believe that our company is well positioned to adapt and benefit from the improvements in the economy in 2018 and beyond”.

Inaugurated in January 2014 with the mandate to not only increase access to housing, but also make it affordable to a good number of low income and home-seeking Nigerians, NMRC which is Nigeria’s only secondary mortgage institution, has left strong footprints in the country’s fledgling mortgage market.

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The company is a private sector-led company with the public purpose of developing the primary and secondary mortgage markets by raising long-term funds from the capital markets, encouraging and promoting home ownership in Nigeria.

Recently, it completed its N11billion 13.80 percent Series 2 Bond Issuance under its N440 billion Medium Term Note Programme. The net proceeds from this issuance will be used to refinance eligible mortgage loans originated by the participating mortgage lending banks.

Before now, the company had raised its inaugural N8 billion 14.9 percent Series 1 Bond issue in July 2015 – which was fully deployed towards refinancing legacy mortgage loan portfolios of the participating member-mortgage lending banks.

Through partnerships, the company has been able to address some of the challenges limiting the growth of the mortgage market in the country. Ogundimu revealed that their collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN) and other stakeholders, led to the development and deployment of the Uniform Underwriting Standards for the self-employment or the informal sector of the economy.

To address the dearth of short term funds for mortgage origination by member-banks, NMRC also partnered with other stakeholders to setup the Mortgage Warehouse Funding Limited (MWFL) which, Ogundimu explained, was a special purpose entity that would provide affordable funds to member-banks for the origination of mortgages that NMRC would refinance.

CHUKA UROKO

Nubi Tasks FG On Mass Production Of Affordable Housing

Director, University of Lagos Centre for Housing Studies, Prof Olugbenga Timothy Nubi has called on federal government to crash the cost of construction through mass production of affordable housing.

He said that until government commences mass production of houses, that the poor cannot live in a compound.

He stated this in Abuja at the 12th Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS), with the theme, “Driving Growth & Sustainability in Nigeria’s Housing & Mortgage Markets- Improving Structures and Policies for Impact”.

Nubi pointed out that more than half of the entire urban dwellers in sub-saharan Africa lives in slums. The don recalled that about 20 years ago that means of transportation in Lagos state was almost zero, saying that if ‘molue’ was phased out that slums would also disappear.

Nubi stated that the disappearance of molue on Lagos roads was as a result of conscious effort by the state government, which also led to the introduction of BRT buses.

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He disclosed that 70 percent of prime land in Lagos state is sitting on slums adding that slums like sickle cell are African problem. To this end, he enjoined states, federal and local governments to immediately focus on urban regeneration as was done in Liverpool.

Nubi pleaded with stakeholders to change the narrative of the World bank that 50 percent of Nigerians are living in slums, stating that government’s should devote the next 50 years in urban regeneration.

On his part, the director of AIHS board, Rev Ugochukwu Chime noted that the provision of acceptable, safe, secure, accessible and affordable shelter is a fundamental human right as well as an essential component in the advancement of both the economic development of the nation and the promotion of quality of life of the citizens.

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Chime who is also the president of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Rev. Ugochukwu Chime said that section 16(l) (d) of 1999 constitution under the fundamental objectives of state policy mandated the government to provide adequate shelter for Nigerians but regretted that home ownership has been a mirage for the middle and low income segment of the society.

Leadership

$25m World Bank loan to boost home ownership in Nigeria

Nigerian government has obtained a $25 million loan from the World Bank in order to orchestrate its plan of starting up a loan guarantee programme come 2019, with the hope of lending to low-income earners to boost home ownership.

According to Bloomberg reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria is currently planning a project that will see to the start of a firm by the end this year called Nigerian Mortgage Guarantee Co., which the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) will be the first shareholder in the company.

Speaking with BusinessDay, Dolapo Omidere, founder of Estate Intel, said, “NMRC just refinances loans that are being given by the mortgage firms, and people don’t go to them to get loan majorly because of the risk involved as well as interest rate. The introduction of the Nigerian Mortgage Guarantee co will make loan available and more accessible to an average Nigerian as they will act as a guarantor to the borrowers if they default.”

The NMRC is a private sector-driven mortgage refinancing company with the public purpose of promoting home ownership for Nigerians while deepening the primary and secondary mortgage markets.
The NMRC was basically established to redress the key barrier of lack of access to long term funding to catalyse growth in the market and promote home ownership.

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Africa’s most populous nation has a housing deficit of about 17 million units and its mortgage rates ranging between 7-10 percent for the Federal Mortgage Bank 0f Nigeria (NHF) and between 15-25 percent for commercial mortgage institutions is considered by industry experts as one of the highest around the world.
Despite the various policies and strategies adopted by the FG aimed at combating the housing problems of the citizenry, not much as been accomplished.

Current mortgage to GDP ratio in Nigeria is estimated at 0.6%, as opposed to 2% in Ghana, 31% in South Africa, 32% in Malaysia, 77% in the United States and about 80% in the United Kingdom.
Despite this lingering problem, real estate experts are optimistic about the new development.

The plan of setting up this firm by the central bank is to establish a mortgage guarantee product, targeted at lower income borrowers that will be used to guarantee some of the credit risk for this special group of lenders.

Also, Hakeem Sadiq, founder of Zama, a real estate investment advisory firm, said, “Parameter that is being put in place makes it easier for an average Nigerian to walk up to the mortgage industry and apply within the scope given to them.

“Having a guarantor is basically a good step, but there is still room for more improvement.
“The said amount would not be enough to tackle the deficit in Nigeria but it is a start and a good one at that.

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It is something that can help mortgage industry that is way out of reach for the average Nigerian more accessible.”

This initiative is set to be a life changing decision to the low-income earners thereby giving them the courage to seek for loans from mortgage banks without fear of the high interest rate.

Jonathan Aderoju & Oghogho Edosomwan

 

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