Sun Trust To Serve As Banker For FG’s N13bn Housing Project

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BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja

The federal government yesterday signed an agreement with Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) for the disbursement of N13 billion mortgage refinancing loans to public workers.

And Nigeria’s leading personal, mortgage and small business bank, Sun Trust Bank, will act as bankers to the transaction, where the funds are being warehoused.

This is in fulfillment of government’s desire to deliver decent and affordable houses for civil servants in the country,

The agreement allows the NMRC to refinance the 5,635 mortgages that will be captured under the scheme.

The signing of the agreement, which took place at the headquarters of NMRC yesterday in Abuja, signifies the immediate release of the funds for the disbursement of the N13 billion refinancing of the housing loans to enable them have liquidity to originate more mortgages

Civil servants can now apply for new mortgages from the federal government federal loans board.

Managing director, Sun Trust bank, Mohammad Jibril said, “The funds have been released. Any moment from now, the civil servants can access the N13 billion.

“We are the bankers to the fund. We are the bankers to the transaction, where the funds are being warehoused. Anytime we take instructions, payments are made”.

ME/CEO of Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company, Professor Charles Inyangete, said the loan has a 15-years repayment duration.

Addressing stakeholders in the agreement, Prof. Inyangete noted that the refining of the loans was in line with the commitment to the mandate of the NMRC.

“We are disbursing it straight away. What you saw us doing is signing of the disbursement agreement. That agreement allows us to begin to disburse. The loan has 15 years duration”.

Speaking at the event, Executive Secretary, Federal government staff housing loans board, Dr. (Mrs) Hannatu Adamu-Fika, expressed joy over the realisation of the dream, saying the NMRC-funded mortgage is particularly interesting because it lacks hidden charges like the ones that are offered by most conventional banks.

According to her, the loan applicant must be an employee of the federal government of Nigeria, a confirmed officer whose application must be rooted through the agency where he/she is employed and must have valid and verifiable collateral as part of the requirements to access the loans.

“We have quite a number of applications in the office right now. With this money coming in, we just put finishing touches and there we go”, Adamu-Fika told LEADERSHIP yesterday.

Although Adamu-Fika failed to state how much interest rate the loans would require, she  simply said the federal government is looking forward to a single digit interest rate.

She said the N13 billion loan facility intervention will make significant impact in the reduction in housing deficit in the country, just as she observed that there is no country that does not have housing deficit.

She added that the market doesn’t provide for single digit interest rate at this point in time and so, “It is a little higher; unlikely to be single digit”.