Sunday, 10 August 2014

Nigerian government rolls off mortgage scheme for 10,000 beneficiaries




Nigerians now have the chance to realize their dream of owning a home. 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 Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said at the formal roll-off of the scheme in Abuja that the scheme was in fulfillment of President Goodluck Jonathan’s pledge at the launching of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, NMRC in January to deliver the first 10,000 mortgages before the third quarter of 2014. The NMRC is a re-financing vehicle set up to provide mortgage lending institutions with increased access to liquidity and long-term funds to augment the limited capacity of banks to deliver mortgage services to Nigerians. Under the scheme, the NMRC is guaranteed to provide Nigerians access to finance by lender for tenors of up to 20 years to help accelerate the growth of the mortgage market for all income levels in the country.
Minister of Finance & Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, launched the programme last week, in Abuja. She said it was an actualisation of President Goodluck Jonathan's promise of delivering affordable housing before the end of the year.
The minister noted that the scheme is a private sector driven initiative which the Federal Government initiated with strong support from Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and implemented in partnership with 21 pilot states. She added that unlike the existing mortgage scheme which tenure is not more than 36 months, it is now possible for NMRC mortgage subscribers to pay back between 15 and 20 years.
"We've tried to aim this scheme primarily at the first time home buyer who is in the market to purchase a home costing between N2 million and N20 million. So, we tried to keep it low to address our first time buyers and above all, our young people. There will be a step by step presentation as to how the scheme works but essentially, what we've done is develop an online portal especially for this scheme, www.housingfinance.gov.ng, and you need to access this online portal. Applicants which meet the eligibility requirements will be handed over to the Primary Mortgage Lenders (PML) for final processing, the PML will originate the mortgages to be backed or refinanced by the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company.
"You will be asked to go through a checklist or eligibility requirements when you access this portal, and for verification to make sure that you've been paying your taxes, you earn a regular income and you're a first time home buyer. Once you've ascertained that you do meet the eligibility requirements when you log on, you will be led to complete a very simple form. "Each applicant must show evidence of regular income from his or her current employment, tax compliance and other requirements, People who are self employed may also qualify provided they show evidence of regular income and a bank account.. For self employed persons, drawings from their businesses will be used as evidence of income," she explained.
The minister added that the mortgage scheme is a public-private partnership aimed at deepening the Nigerian mortgage market and make housing more affordable.

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