In a bid to address the challenges facing the Nigerian mortgage system, operators in the housing sector have urged the Federal Government to collaborate with financial institutions to revitalize the sector.

The call was made at the home unveiling and site premiere of Noble Grounds’ Pleasant Hills Estate in Ogun State, where stakeholders highlighted the need for government intervention to tackle high inflation rates, simplify the process of obtaining Certificates of Occupancy, and provide affordable housing options.

The Managing Director of Noble Grounds, Olajide Dosunmu, said there was a challenge with the Nigerian mortgage system because the government was copying the model of the developed world.

He said, “Our major challenge is inflation, which is at over 33 per cent. The problem is that before any bank can give a loan, they would add the bank to bank lending rates, the monetary policy rate on inflation, and then the bank would add its charge. The reason for the inflation is because, at the point of repayment of the mortgage, the naira would have devalued. Hence, the money borrowed would increase as the years go by.

“To solve this problem, it is the responsibility of the government to bring down soaring inflation.”

The Branch Manager of Wema Bank, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos, Shola Adio-Moses, said that in developed countries, the government was a major player in the thriving mortgage sector.

She said, “Unlike developed countries that have avenues for long-term mortgages, countries like Nigeria cannot. What we do in Nigeria is commercialise mortgages by giving them a tenure of five years, or at most seven years.

“Mortgage is not an industry that controls it; it requires a holistic approach whereby the government would sit with the finance industry to collaborate.”

Meanwhile, Dosunmu asserted that there was a lot of rural-urban migration into Lagos, hence the need for more homes.

He said, “There is a need for affordable homes. So in the future, I expect more high-rise buildings by the government to accommodate more people at a subsidised rate.’’

“In this estate, however, we have a registered survey with the Ogun State government, a layout approval, and we have started the process for the global Certificate of Occupancy.

“However, because of the huge increase in the cost of C of O now, we are in talks with the Ogun State Government to perfect titles per lot for each owner, which is the global C of O process going to the tune of N600 to N700m.”

Punch