Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has canvassed for the establishment of a national mortgage system to tackle the country’s 22 million housing deficit.

El-Rufai said this while inaugurating the construction of 550 housing units in Gombe State, where he commended Governor Inuwa Yahaya for partnering with private sector investors to address the housing shortage.

El-Rufai explained that a national mortgage system would enable Nigerians to purchase houses and pay over a 25-year period at a very low rate of interest. He noted that people cannot afford to buy houses with a huge amount of money at once, and that the only way to reduce the housing deficit is through partnership with investors until the government establishes the national mortgage system.

El-Rufai explained that people cannot afford to buy houses outright with huge sums of money, and that a system should be developed that enables buyers to pay for their houses over 25 years at a low rate of interest.

He praised Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State for taking steps to address the housing deficit in the state, stating that the incoming administration of Sen. Bola Tinubu has promised to establish a national mortgage system with single-digit interest repayments over 15 to 20 years.

Governor Yahaya stated that the provision of quality and affordable housing is a major tenet of his administration. Gombe State, like other states in Nigeria, suffers from a widening housing deficit due to population growth and rapid urbanization. The inauguration of the 550 housing units in Gombe marks the beginning of a new phase of massive infrastructural development in the state, he said, adding that the Shongo Gardens layout will be the first of its kind where critical infrastructure such as roads, water, sanitation, and other vital public services will be provided.

The shortage of affordable housing is a significant challenge in Nigeria and has been linked to various social and economic issues, including urbanization, poverty, and inequality. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the country’s housing deficit is growing at a rate of 900,000 units per year, making it a critical issue that requires urgent attention. The call for a national mortgage system has been welcomed by housing experts, who believe that it will help to increase access to finance for low-income earners and facilitate the development of affordable housing in Nigeria.

However, it should be noted that Nigeria already has the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), which provides mortgage refinancing and promotes mortgage lending in the country. The NMRC has made 15–20-year mortgage loans possible, enabling more Nigerians to purchase homes. Additionally, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria provides single-digit interest rate loans payable over 30 years. There are also other housing development institutions like the Family Homes Funds.