Workers can own homes with their pension contributions. OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO reports how Nigerians are reacting to the new development and how to access the mortgage.

The Federal Government’s approval to workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme (PenCom) to use 25 per cent of their pension to access residential mortgage has continued to generate reactions.

Last Friday, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) approved the guidelines for accessing Retirement Savings Account (RSA) for residential mortgage.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN) described 25 per cent pension savings for mortgage as a good move towards addressing housing deficits.

In a statement, its President, Mr. Ebilate Mac-Yoroki, and Executive Secretary, Mr. Kayode Omotoso, welcomed the Federal Government’s approval of the guidelines, noting that it is a major solution to the nation’s housing deficit.

MBAN charged the government to take the next step of firming up the effectiveness of the financing initiative by setting up the Nigeria Mortgage Guarantee Company (NMGC), a credit enhancement platform, which it said, was being finalised by the FSS2020, a department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The body lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and PenCom for making it easier for workers to become home owners.

MBAN further commended the initiative that resulted in the approval, adding that it is one of the landmark steps and decisions for which the Buhari-led administration would be remembered. It praised the Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, for her role in the approval.

The statement read: “The approval as an elixir for the staggering housing deficit, and positive impact on the economy.

“We are indeed glad that this novel idea has finally become a reality. It commenced silently as an advocacy issue with PenCom that originated from MBAN, which thereafter was escalated to full advocacy issue by stakeholders on the platform of the former Nigerian Housing Finance Programme (NHFP).”

A financial analyst, Kalu Aja, said on Twitter: “The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has finally linked RSA to mortgages.That’s a big deal, a huge positive development and achanger.

“It’s been in the works. Finally, it happened. Great job, Federal Government and PenCom”

Another Twitter user, Richard Martins, wrote: “It’s been in the works for years.Why this administration, though?

“It was private sector-driven and Pencom finally did it. Quite a blessing.”

Nkem added: “My own is that they should amend the law, so I can withdraw 100 per cent from my RSA. Country hard. Doubt, if RSA makes sense to any young person like me.”

While for Odeh: ‘This is amazing”; to Anionaman: “This is a positive step.”

Okoroji wrote: “Most federal staff contribute to housing scheme that they don’t get any benefits from. If this is a game-changer, what happens to the National Housing Scheme ‘fraud’ that they still deduct till date? Everything isn’t social media.”

Ade added: “This is great really. But I still have so many questions”.

“Great news,’’ says Babatunde.

Abu Tasleem said: “Another win for Buhari.”