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Stakeholders Chart Ways To Reform Nigeria’s Housing Sector

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Stakeholders from the government and private sectors of the Nigerian housing sector have called for reinvention of the wheels to reform the nation’s housing industry.

They are holding a two-day workshop on the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Draft Bill in Abuja. The objective is to de-risk the housing environment.

Deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on financial systems stability, Mrs Aisha Ahmed, identified some of the various factors responsible for the poor growth of Nigeria’s housing and mortgage sector to include legal and administrative restraints. She said the factors were major hindrances to the growth of home ownership in Nigeria, rated even stronger than access to finance as a constraint. 

Apart from the unintended constraints created by some of the current laws such as the Land Use Act, 1978 and the multiple laws applicable to the creation and enforcement of housing mortgages, Ahmed , who was represented by the bank’s deputy governor, Corporate Services, Edward Adamu, said difficult legal processes, antiquated land administration infrastructure and policies, the significant costs and multi-layered processes involved in land titling and perfection of land related transactions, had left the housing and mortgage industry in an undesirable and untenable state.

In the aspect of property registration, executive director, Policy, Strategy & Partnerships at NMRC, Chii Akporji, asked the states to “Digitise your land registers so that you have adequate and proper record of who owns what. Technology has made that easy. It is too expensive today to register a property. Sometimes you find out that it costs about 35 per cent  of the cost of property to register it. Yet, it takes years to register a property. Review the charges downward, review the time it takes. Reduce everything so that you can incentivise people. An investor would be incentivised. If he knows that there is a mechanism for foreclosure, recovery of funding, he will be attracted to invest his resources.”

“The programme is being financed with a public-private partnership of $300 billion loan from the World Bank. The loan facility has a 40- year period. Whereas the CBN is not putting financial contribution to the facility, it underwrites some of the risks that come with the programme that include foreign exchange risk, and the CBN is underwriting that,” said CBN director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision, Tokunbo Martins.



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