The sponsor of the bill seeking the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Mortgage Bankers and Brokers of Nigeria, Senator Tolulope Odebiyi, has explained that the bill would reshape the country mortgage system if enacted into law.

Odebiyi, who spoke in Abuja when the Senate’s Committee on Establishment and Public Service held a public hearing on a bill, said it also aims to raise the profile and value of mortgage banking as a profession, as well as confer on the association a hallmark of trust and quality, thus enhancing its credibility.

The senator, who represents Ogun West in the Red Chamber, said: “The Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria’s bill offers me an opportunity to once again present a bill that I strongly believe will fundamentally change the mortgage sector as well as impact the socio-economic development of the country.

“If you look at Nigeria now, yes, we have a lot of companies offering mortgages. However, for me, I can say that we are not really giving out mortgages because when you give out mortgages and you are charging 18%, 22% or 25% interest, that’s a death warrant. That’s not even mortgages.

“First is to organize the mortgage bankers and brokers association of Nigeria into a chartered professional body so that they can make sure they are well trained and informed of the process of mortgage lending.

“What we’ve done today is therefore, to pass a bill recognizing them or proposing that they become a chartered mortgage bankers association of Nigeria into a professional body that empowers them to do various things like teach, train, give licenses, among many other things which will be recognized by law which is what we’ve experienced today.

“I’m hoping that the next step will now be to have a roundtable discussion with them at a later date to now brainstorm on the mortgage challenges in Nigeria. The number one issue that’s so serious at this time is the issue of long-term funding which is not readily available in the country”, he said.

Speaking on the possibility of the bill being passed into law, Odebiyi expressed optimism for the speedy passage of the bill.