Mr Festus Adebayo, President, Housing Agenda Roundtable has urged the Federal Government to recapitalise the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC) to solve housing issues in the country.
Adebayo who is also a Housing Activist and organiser of Annual Abuja Housing Show made this known on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja.
Adebayo noted that the FMBN has laudable schemes and initiatives aimed at bridging the housing deficit in the country but needed to be recapitalised for more Nigerians to benefit from their programmes.
“The new minister should look into the issue of FMBN and recapitalise it to solve the mortgage problems in the country’’.
Commending the new minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on his developmental strides in Lagos state, Adebayo urged him to tackle the high interest rate of commercial mortgage banks in the country and support the activities of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company for a better Housing delivery
The housing activist however appealed to the new minister to initiate a move to the presidency on the need to take a political decision on the interest rates of commercial mortgage banks.
“The minister should see how the interest rate of commercial mortgage banks in the country will be brought down. Today the interest rate for the mortgage in the commercial bank is within 24 and 28 per cent.
“And that is why we requested that FMBN should be recapitalised’’.
He noted that what could determine the interest rate was the market forces adding that all over the world mortgages are not done at two digits.
“That is one of the things that is killing the housing in Nigeria, and that is why houses are not affordable.
“When the mortgage is on two digits nobody can afford the houses it and they will be out of the reach of people’’.
He said there was a need for sustenance of the spirit of private sector participation and creation of infrastructure for private estate developers.
“We want to see the advantage of infrastructure provision for the private estate developers’’.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in his manifesto promised to deliver one million houses per year to Nigerians.
He however appealed to the federal government to ensure the fulfilment of the promise.
“The government should pay more attention on housing issues especially the 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria which required adequate attention.
“The minister should get the right team of people with good record in the area of housing delivery to work with him.
He called for the establishment of a land commission that could create a synergy between local state and federal government since lack of access to land was one of the housing challenges in the country.
He also appealed to the new minister to create a political will that would help Nigerians to own a home through socio housing scheme (i.e. those kind of houses meant for less privileged people)
“The government should set agenda on how the issue of slums can be fought in terms of opening or upgrading slum ravaged areas in the country through infrastructural development,’’ he said. (NAN)