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FG launches 10,000 mortgages

by Business News Report

The Federal Government on Thursday launched the first 10,000 mortgages for the commencement of the Presidential Initiative on the delivery of affordable housing units to Nigerians. The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said in Abuja that the launch was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to fulfill its promise of providing affordable houses to Nigerians.
“During the launch of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) in January, Mr President made the pledge to provide affordable housing by the end of the second quarter of the year. This is so that Nigerians will be able to apply for mortgages in large numbers; we are here to implement his vision and dream. The launch today is the actualisation of this promise to move on the road to affordable housing finance for Nigerians,’’ she said.
According to her, the launch is the kick-off of the first initial 10,000 mortgages to be provided by lenders. She said the NMRC would provide mortgage lending with access to more liquidity and long term funds. The minister said the NMRC mission was to provide more liquidity for longer term funding for the housing sector. She said the initiative would address the limitation faced by banks to deliver mortgage services.
According to her, the ability of banks to deliver mortgage services is limited by the fact that 80 per cent of all banks deposit are for 30 days only. “This does not make for great strength or sustainability in providing resources for the housing sector. The NMRC provides greater access for financing of tenures from 15 to 20 years, instead of people buying houses and paying up in either, 12, 24 or 36 months, it is changed,’’ she said.
She said that prequalifying people for the mortgage was a critical step to home ownership.

The minister said that once a person was cleared by a lender, he or she would be emboldened to buy a house within the limit of the mortgage provided.
Okonjo-Iweala said that the scheme would target first time home buyer to buy houses between two and N20 million.
Okonjo-Iweala said that upon completion of the form, the processing time for prequalification which used to be six to nine months had been reduced to three to six weeks. “This will be subject to the level of risk analysis that will be undertaken by the mortgage lender,’’ she added The minister said that developers would be prequalified for building standards.
“We will be willing to work with any developer with reliable housing stalk and we can also work with developer who are just about to start construction of estates,’’ she said
She said the scheme would equally accommodate beneficiaries with existing loans who might need micro loan to renovate their homes.
The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs Akon Eyakenyi, described the scheme as a mile stone in the housing sector. Eyakenyi said the programme was part of Jonathan’s transformation agenda to evolve a plan for the timely delivery of affordable housing units to Nigerians.
She pledged the ministry’s commitment for the commencement of the project in August.
According to her, the ministry has received support from some states governments through the provision of land documents for the provision of the housing units.
The minister, however, appealed to states that were yet to make commitments to do so in the interest of their indigenes.
She appealed to private sector to seize the opportunity and invest in the initiative aimed at reducing the housing deficit in the country. Also, the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Gimba Ya’u Kumo, praised the efforts aimed at providing affordable housing units to Nigerians. Kumo described the initiative as the beginning of a revolution in the housing sector in the country. He said the FMBN had concluded arrangement to introduce a housing scheme for Nigerians in the Diaspora before the end of 2014. Kogi, Niger, Anambra and Bauchi had keyed into the scheme.

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