The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun has disclosed that the ministry has adopted a housing finance initiative that would culminate into the construction of approximately 300, 000 affordable homes to be supported by mortgages.
She also revealed that the building project would provide about 700, 000 new jobs across a range of disciplines and professions.
She stated this in Abuja yesterday at African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) conference in collaboration with Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) with the theme: ‘Housing and Africa’s Growth Agenda.’
Speaking on the topic, “Nigeria’s Mortgage Market and Opportunities for Growth’, she emphasised that foreclosure law and expedited legal process for dispute resolution was needed to support the development of mortgage markets in Nigeria.
The minister who was represented by Mr Seye Senfuye also harped on the need for monetary policies to support low interest rate as a means of boosting activities in the mortgage market adding that federal government is committed to thrashing down the current high interest rate.
She said that single digit interest rates are critical to ensuring the affordability of mortgages saying that long tenure repayment period is essential in acquiring mortgage loans.
According to her, “Nigeria deserve to acquire affordable homes, built to a standard of good quality and located in well serviced estates that will create ideal environments in which they can raise their families instead of being saddled with the challenges and risks of trying to build their homes organically.
In his address, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) lamented the acute shortage of housing market in Africa saying that housing is one of the necessities of mankind.
He wondered why the continent is unable to embark on initiatives that would lead to mass manufacturing of homes instead of building few homes.
The Ooni lamented that Nigeria’s housing deficit was beyond 17 million saying that he was closer to people at the grassroots who are challenged by accessing affordable homes.
He enjoined stakeholders to redirect their energy on solution and relevance of Nigerian culture to any policy formulation of the government that would lead to provision of affordable homes.
“Where are the research institutes and non- governmental organisations that were carrying out research on how our forefathers provided homes for themselves before the advent of bricks and mortar system”, he inquired.
He called on governments to invest idle funds into the mortgage market as a means of reducing the cost of housing.
On his part, the partner at BP Partners Consulting, Mr Ben Okuzu posited that 85 per cent of Nigerians live in rented accommodation while only 46 per cent live in urban areas.