The Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) has urged both the federal and state governments to simplify the legal and legislative procedures for land acquisition in the country.

MBAN president, Ebilate Mac-Yoroki, made the plea during a visit to the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Housing and Habitat, Hon. Aminu Balele, to discuss the housing agenda for Nigerians.

According to a statement, the meeting was to discuss critical issues as panacea for affordable housing infrastructure development under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

The call was part of recommendations presented to the Committee chairman in which it called on the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development to prevail on the federal and state governments through the avenue of the National Council of States to consider the adoption of the MBAN Formula (1:3:1) as recipe for land registration, titling and title transfer.

This, he said entails reduction in the cost of Title Transfer to a maximum of one per cent of the property value, time to a maximum of three days, and the procedures to be reduced/ limited to only one Desk (1:3:1).
The Formula, he said, would alleviate the cumbersome legal and legislative frameworks for land acquisition.

He said the existence of a cumbersome process of title documentation on land ownership which is reinforced by an inadequate cadastral system makes mortgage financing very difficult.

The MBAN president said this has also been regarded as one of the factors responsible for the slow disbursement of Loans under the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme.

Mac-Yoroki, who called for the support of the House, also recommended the passage of the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law (MMFL).
He said it is expected that its passage would be moving the sub-sector in the right direction.

He noted that a similar Law passed by Kaduna State immediately attracted Foreign Investment of $250 million.

He also called for expedited action on Draft Bills for Review of the Laws that are having effects on Housing and Housing Finance that had been pending with the National Assembly for amendments.

The laws are as follows: The Land Use Act 1978, National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme Act 1992, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Act 1993, The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Act 1990 and Foreclosure Law Bills -Residential Mortgage Act and Residential Mortgages (Incentives) Act.

Other recommendations, he presented included a mandate to the State Housing Corporations to develop new geographical areas in their states of operation; formalisation of the tenure for existing land/property owners in all states of the Federation; that governments at the three tiers should facilitate the automation and eventual integration of all records and processes in the local, state and federal government land registries; the introduction of a new framework to strengthen property/security rights by; the removal of the requirement for governor’s consent on land transactions from the Land Use Act 1978; the removal of the arrangements for foreclosure proceedings on real estate transactions from the General/Common Law Provisions; and establishment of Specialised Courts/Tribunals to handle arbitration on housing and mortgage-related matters/disputes.

Mac-Yoroki reiterated that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria ought to operate at a minimum of one trillion naira; hence, the industry must collaborate or partners with the NGX Capital Market.

He said there is a quick need to create secondary value for all mortgage assets through a strategic enabling environment for the mortgage market.
He also said Single Obligor Limits that can accommodate Huge Volume of Mortgage Loans at Economies of Scale by PMBs as Operators should be considered.

He said, “The under-listed points should also be included for consideration; Creation of Mortgage Assets Registry (MAR)/Central Depository and Clearing System/ Dematerialization all Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) etc. Ownership should be by electronic copies.

“The Land Tenure System should be addressed. Building materials should be localised and all companies producing building materials should be given tax incentives. This would further reduce the cost of the houses.
“The Creation of Commercial Mortgages should be addressed.

A central housing monitoring committee of past Ministers, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directors should be created. Mortgage education, awareness and sensitization should be done publicly at all levels.

“In conclusion, we want to express our sincere appreciation to the federal government of Nigeria for the modest progress made in the Mortgage and Housing Sector in the years past, with higher volume of Mortgage Loans under the National Housing Fund Scheme created within the past five years, while the great initiative that must be deepened as a legacy of the sub-sector,” he said.

He said housing is a major component in creating stable and healthy communities and it is one of the visible indicators of social living conditions.

Regrettably, he said due to its long-term nature and the huge capital requirement for its procurement, a housing unit can rarely be purchased directly from a household’s earnings.

He said access to external sources of finance is therefore indispensable in the acquisition of a house and all over the world.

He said housing finance has become a critical component of the Financial Systems which is a reason that both developed and emerging economies are promoting Home Financing through Mortgages.

“The Housing Finance/Mortgage Banking Sub-Sector is thus a very important Sub-Sector of the Nigerian Economy because of its effects on the economy at large; as Housing/Real Estate is one of the primary drivers of economic activities in both the developed and emerging economies.

Since the concentric transactions of Construction, Purchasing, and Sale of Properties involve so many related activities, as the Presidential Committee on Job Creation in Nigeria, in Year 2007 alluded to that fact and reported that the Real Estate Value Chain encompasses a minimum of 50 separate job functions,” he said.

He highlighted some of the challenges to affordable housing which revolve around the Legal Framework surrounding land administration to include property/security Rights, cumbersome land titling and property registration processes, land management/records system, legal issues, and economic issues.

The committee chairman on Housing and Habitat, Hon Aminu Balele, assured the Association of support.

He said the Committee was committed to the renewed hope agenda of President Tunubu to improve the lives of Nigerians through affordable housing.

He said the committee would work with MBAN, and would not relent in its efforts to ensure Nigerians get the best.

Source: Leadership