By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government has said henceforth, housing mortgages below N5 million will no longer attract the usual initial payment of 10 per cent equity from approved off-takers.
It said it chose to scrap the 10 per cent initial deposit on such cadre of housing loans administered by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to demonstrate its commitment to the provision of affordable houses to Nigerians, especially low income earners.
Though it did not disclose what the new arrangement for mortgages within this financing cadre would look like, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, however said the waiver has been approved by the government.
A statement from an Assistant Director of Information in the Ministry of Housing, M. A. Ahmed, on Sunday in Abuja contained this development.
The statement said Shehuri disclosed this when he recently inaugurated a 125-unit housing estate being financed by the FMBN and developed by a private developer, Messrs LCK Projects (Nigeria) Limited, in Enugu.
According to the statement, Shehuri stated that in view of the challenge of housing deficit in Nigeria, which has been put at about 17 million, the ministry would build mass houses in every state of the country for public workers and other interested parties over the next three years, using a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
He said national housing models have been designed and approved for each geo-political zone to reflect the cultural and climatic diversities of each region, as well as enable the country standardise the use of locally manufactured building materials.
This, Shehuri said in the statement, would make acquisition of houses affordable to Nigerians, in addition to creating jobs in the built industry for the country’s young and unemployed population.
He also commended the effort of FMBN in the construction and mortgage of homes to Nigerians, saying it has a pivotal role to play in the actualisation of the aspirations of many Nigerians to own a home through mortgage.
According to him, the government will lend its full support to the FMBN to ensure that it is adequately recapitalised and repositioned to cater for the mortgage finance needs of Nigerian workers, who would be the major beneficiaries of houses built under the National Housing Programme.
The statement also contained remarks made by the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, during the inauguration and in which he said the state would continue to provide an enabling environment for housing and property development to thrive.
It equally stated that Shehuri was also in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, where he inaugurated the first set of 72 units of the houses out of 240 being financed by FMBN and undertaking by the Ebonyi State Housing Development Corporation (ESHDC), as well as in Owerri, Imo State for the inauguration of a 100-unit FMBN-Minfa housing estate.
It said, the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, stated that the state was willing to partner with the FMBN in the provision of affordable housing for its workers, adding that the completed units have been allocated to the state’s public workers through the Office of the State Head of Service on an owner-occupier basis.