Mortgage operators seek CBN’s N500b intervention fund

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

CASH-STRAPPED Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) – hard pressed to provide long-term funds for prospective homeowners, have turned to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for facility with which to jump-start their operations.

Citing unfavourable business environment, the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of mortgage banks in Nigeria under the auspices of Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), noted with serious concern, the recent decision to provide intervention/ matching funds for certain sub-sectors of the economy without any such provision for the mortgage and real estate arm of the economy.

They urged CBN to inject a minimum of N500 billion as intervention/matching fund at a single digit interest rate to stimulate development of the sub-sector.

In a communiqué issued after its 11th Annual CEOs’ Retreat at the Epe Resort, Lagos, the association also pleaded that government should increase the current N5 billion capital base of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to at least N500 billion, to adequately position the institution to deliver on its mandates as a secondary mortgage institution designed to perform in creating long term funding for housing finance to Nigerians.

The association also observed that the current slide in revenue generation to the Federation Account from oil is a blessing in disguise for the country, as the mortgage/housing sub-sector has the potentials to develop and sustain the economy with its value-add and capability chain to generate huge employment.

MBAN called on all stakeholders to take advantage of multiplier effects of the sub-sector to extend mortgage finance to the low and middle income groups for their housing reeds, and which would in turn, grow the economy of Nigeria.

The document signed by MBAN President, Dr. Femi Johnson and Executive Secretary, Kayode Omotoso applauded the robust customer complaints resolution mechanisms put in place by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to protect depositors as well as the Consumer Protection Department of CBN to protect the general public including stakeholders and customers of mortgage banks.

They further recommended the removal of the Land Use Act 1978 from the Constitution by the National Assembly to make for easier amendments to same as at when deemed fit; and re-iterated its call on all State governors to fast-track land title registration processes and reduces cost of perfection of titles, so as to encourage more citizens to obtain their land documents, which would ultimately enhance the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) profiles of the various States.

The CEOs re-affirmed that the mortgage/housing sub-sector is an energizer and major catalyst in the transformation of some hitherto regarded third world countries like Dubai, Taiwan, and Singapore to first world countries and called for the assembly of accomplished professionals in the sub-sector.

They further resolved that MBAN should collaborate with other Stakeholders such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) for the purpose of approaching the National Assembly for expedited action on amendments to the Laws affecting the legal and regulatory framework of the Mortgage/Housing Sub-Sector; in particular, the early passage of the various Bills with the National Assembly that are relevant to the sub-sector especially those related to foreclosure and restructuring of the National Housing Fund (NHF) into the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) Scheme.

The group called on the Federal Government to galvanise all major stakeholders in the sub-sector to develop a comprehensive home-grown mortgage model that would be the catalyst for survival, growth and development of the sub-sector in Nigeria. “The purpose-fit Mortgage Systems that suit the culture, lifestyle and economic realities of various countries had been adjudged as the most effective way of solving housing problems across the world,” MBAN added.

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