Better days may be in the offing for property investors and prospective homeowners, if developments emanating from the nation’s leading and foremost mortgage refinance company are anything to go by.

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has moved to develop a Uniform Underwriting Standards for the informal sector, which will benefit potential borrowers working in the informal sector and enable them to purchase homes from developers at an affordable cost.

The Managing Director of the company, Prof. Charles Inyangete who made this known at the company’s second Annual General Meeting in Lagos, said the outlook of the company would remain bright.

He revealed that the company refinanced the mortgage portfolios of three member banks to the tune of N1.8 billion. The refinancing of the portfolios of 110 loans is expected to enable the beneficiary banks to generate a further 100 new mortgages.“We actually see some light at the end of the tunnel because housing is now being put very high in the government’s agenda. That will allow more affordable housing to be built.

“We are issuing longer loan tenor up to 20 years and even beyond refinancing. We are making it cheap and more affordable for Nigerians to own their own homes.

On the operating environment, he said: “We do have issues of the mortgage environment not been clear. You don’t know exactly the clear process for creating mortgages itself, registering the mortgage. Until we have clarity on that, it will continue to be an issue.

“Of course, we do not have clear processes of foreclosure and that too creates hazy feeling in the minds of people who provide facilities for mortgage creation. So, we need to address mortgage environment in terms of new laws for clarity on mortgage creation and registration. We need to have foreclosure laws and set out clearly process for foreclosure.

Meanwhile, NMRC recorded significant increase in its profitability (N482 million in 2015 versus N160million in 2014) and in its total assets (N39.01 billion in 2015 versus N10.6 billion in 2014).

The shareholders approved all the proposals put forward by its Board of Directors, including the appointment of four independent Directors (Dr. Charles Okeahalam – Chairman, Mr. Charles Candide-Johnson, Dr. Anino Emuwa and Mrs. Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman). The appointment of Mr. Adeniyi Akinlusi as a non-Executive Director was also approved.

Prof. Inyangete noted that as NMRC continues its journey towards greater financial strength, the main focus and long term strategy of the company is on improving mortgage penetration by growing the supply and demand side of the housing value-chain.

He also stated that despite the headwinds confronting the housing sector in Nigeria, the company will continue to explore opportunities presented by its access to long-term funding from the Ccapital market to drive its mandate and ultimately reverse the widening housing deficit while ensuring superior performance and returns to investors and stakeholders.

By CHINEDUM UWAEBGULAM

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