Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing has said that one of the major obstacles to housing delivery in Nigeria is access to mortgage finance.

He said this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the Board/Management Retreat of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) themed: ”Strategy Repositing for Optimised Performance, Organisational Culture Change and Informal Sector Integration’’

The minister noted that in order to address housing delivery challenges in Nigeria, access to mortgage finance needs to be addressed.

What the minister is saying
Mr Fashola said there has to be a way to help Nigerians pay their rents using their salaries.

He said, “If we fail to remove this impediment, then we will be failing in the reason for setting up the bank.
“There must be something done to help people pay their rents via their salaries, especially the problem of two-three years rent payment demand by landlords in advance from tenants whose salaries come in arrears.’’
The minister urged the Bank to work hand in hand with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation contributors’ fund like other commercial banks do.

He noted that it will really help in financing the mortgage of contributors since there was nowhere in the world that the government does 100% housing financing.

He charged them to focus the retreat on better ways to serve the people saying that performance and repositioning were key to setting up the bank to provide housing services to the people.

Mr Ayodeji Gbeleyi, Chairman, Board of Directors, FMBN called for the review of both the FMBN and National Housing Fund (NHF) Acts to incorporate increment in the bank’s share capital.

He said “Give more flexibility in determining share capital structure in line with emerging realities. There is the case to amend the NHF Act to increase the accretion of contributors to the funds through percentage increase in contributions.

“Source diversification, adoption of initiatives to attract banks and insurance companies and other prospective contributors to participate actively in the NHF scheme.

“The Land Use Act has no specifics provisions for the foreclosure of mortgages and this poses a challenge for investors, as mortgages can take undue advantage of the gap to delay the foreclosure process.

Mr Gbeleyi noted that in order to bridge the gap, states should be encouraged to put in place foreclosure laws through their States Houses of Assembly, adding that only Lagos and Kaduna states had enacted their foreclosure laws.