The Managing Director of Infinity Mortgage Bank, Mr. Sunday Olumorin has asserted that inability to mobilise finance continues to be a drawback to development of the mortgage subsector in Nigeria.
Mr. Olumorin, who said this at the 2023 Annual General Meeting of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Tuesday in Abuja, added that except it is addressed, it would be difficult for the sector to address the country’s growing housing deficit.
He said: “In spite of the significant levels of success, we are striving to achieve more milestones to boost the development in the Sub-Sector because mobilizing finance for housing delivery remains crucial to the development of the Country and for sustainable recovery from the present economic recession.
“A good starting point is to ensure increased access to Mortgages by Nigerians, especially in the Informal Sector, which represents about 70% of the economy, but is largely excluded from formal financial services, as well as the low and middle income earners, who incidentally need housing finance the most.
“A well-functioning housing finance system is imperative for a prosperous nation as it indeed plays an important role in stimulating economic growth and creating the much-needed jobs within an economy. Housing Finance Market in Nigeria is capable of growing the GDP of Nigeria to 70-80% of its present size, as Investment in housing construction would accelerate growth in other Sectors in the Value-Chain. Thus increasing the stock of affordable housing would accelerate growth of Nigerian middle class, deepen the Nigerian market and increase aggregate demand in the economy.”
Olumorin, represented by Group Head, Business Development of the Bank, urged the government to eliminate the bottlenecks surrounding access to mortgage for people in the informal sector of the economy.
“The informal sector is reported to have great potential as it contributes more than 58% to the country’s economy, therefore denying them access to mortgage has amounted to neglecting a potentially huge market.
“Until now, the informal sector has been largely excluded from mortgage and formal housing finance services. Although it is believed that people in this category cannot afford a mortgage, more often than not, even when they are financially capable of taking mortgage loans, they are denied access to them because they do not have proof of the consistency of their financial capability,” she said.