The Federal Government on Thursday launched the first mortgage scheme for 10,000 beneficiaries aimed at redressing the constraints posed by poor access to finance in the development of affordable housing in the country.
The federal government’s 10,000 mortgage scheme was inspired by President Goodluck Jonathan’s pledge to help tackle the country’s 17 million housing deficit.
On January 16, 2014, the President launched the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company with a view to making mortgage accessible to Nigerians to enable them purchase and own their own homes.
To qualify as a beneficiary of a mortgage under the scheme, the prospective home owner must be pre-qualified to look for a home to buy, within the limits of the mortgage provided. Interested mortgage applicants are required to access a dedicated online portal for the scheme – www.housingfinance.gov.ng to go through a checklist of eligibility requirements to verify his or her status as a tax-paying Nigerian, who is a first time home buyer with a regular income.
Once eligibility of the applicant has been established, he would be directed to complete and submit a form requesting his personal and employer’s details, state of origin and residence as well as salary range.
On this segment of Sunrise, a member of the Ministerial Committee on the project, Architect Ezekiel Nya-Etok, and the Chairman, Public Private Partnership, Real estate developers association of Nigeria, Sola Enitan, discussed the impact the project would have in spite of the 17 million housing deficit.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved an $82 million loan facility from the Japan International Corporation Agency to speed up the eradication of polio in the country.
The loan, which has an annual interest rate of 0.2 per cent, will give a boost to the Federal Government’s effort to completely eradicate polio in the country.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the council meeting, the Minister for Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochepke, who joined the Information Minister, Mr Labaran Maku, decried a situation where the water resources available in Nigeria do not have a proper management.
The FEC also approved a new National Water Resources Master Plan which aims at not only making fresh water available to Nigerians but puts Nigeria on the same pedestal with other countries of the world.
The FEC also applauded the recent data from 2010-2013 by the World Bank which has placed the poverty level in Nigeria from 62 to 31.1 per cent.
Mr Maku said that the report is an indication that the various poverty measures adopted by the present administration have been working.
The council further noted that the development in agriculture and the new methods of distributing seeds and fertilizers in the country have contributed to the reduction of poverty in the country.
The Information Minister also spoke about the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the benefits so far, as well as efforts to make houses available to Nigerians using the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company.
The Federal Executive Council also urged President Jonathan to keep his eyes on the ball, hoping that, despite distractions from terror attacks, Nigeria will be among the largest world economies.
The Federal Government of Nigeria is working on reviewing the Public-Private Partnership arrangement for housing delivery.
The Supervising Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development, Musa Sada, at a media briefing, explained that the Public-Private Partnership would need to be improved upon. He said that the Federal Government was focusing on making housing affordable in Nigeria.
Sada lamented the high cost of mortgage system in the country, which encouraged inflated cost for houses.
“People have not been able to afford houses in Nigeria because it is a cash and carry situation. Nowhere in the world do you acquire houses through cash and carry, even in African country.
“What happen is that you get a mortgage system whereby you will be able to own a house and pay for it sometimes for over 15 to 20 years.
“There should be an arrangement whereby, as long as you are servicing your mortgage, you will have your house until you finish the payment,” Mr Sada.
He was, however, optimistic that the newly established Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company would reduce mortgage by bringing in more finance for housing in the country.
At the presidential launch of the company in January, President Goodluck Jonathan decried the short tenure of loans to Nigerians by commercial and mortgage institutions.
He said that he would do all in his powers to alleviate the constraints to rapid housing development in the country.
State governments were urged to improve land registration systems in their states to enable Nigerians have access to land titles. since the call, some state government have started the issuance of electronic Certificate of Occupancy to land owners.