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Minister tasks mortgage banks on products that respond to current state of economy

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Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, called on mortgage banks in the country to to adopt flexible repayment plans for loans taken by Nigerians.

The Minister who made call on Saturday while delivering his keynote address at the 20th edition of Mortgage Banking Sub-sector CEO’s Annual Retreat, in Abuja, also recommended a rent-to-own mortgage options as part of strategies to develop innovative mortgage products and make commercial loans more affordable.

According to Dangiwa, business owners should not see the provision of housing and home loans from a business and profit motive, but as a moral imperative to reduce the number of homeless persons.

“I am pained to note that the same problems that have been militating against the growth of housing finance, mortgage adoption and housing delivery in this country are the same ones that still plague the sector today,” the Minister said.

Dangiwa, a former Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, lamented that unresolved constraints have continued to bedevil the housing sector since the retreat began 20 years ago.

He also noted that problems inhibiting the growth of housing finance, mortgage adoption and housing delivery in the country and stressed the need for innovation and creativity to implement solutions at every point in the value chain.

“You will agree with me that not much has changed. Most of these problems are still with us. This emphasises the need for all players to find ways to navigate the macro, legal and policy bottlenecks.

“There is a need for innovation, creativity and effective leadership at every point in the value chain. Leaders are supposed to navigate the complexities of situations to make progress.

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“So, while the government works to fix this macro-economic challenge, I still believe that as CEOs of mortgage banks, you can still find creative ways to develop innovative mortgage products that are responsive to the current state of Nigeria’s economic situation.

“This includes adopting rent-to-own mortgage options, and flexible monthly mortgage loan repayments to make commercial loans more affordable.

“I note with concern that the Capital Market has not been maximally tapped to raise long-term funds to refinance mortgage loans and to explore more creative ways to make mortgages more affordable even as we work to fix the larger macro-economic problems.

“As leaders, we must not only see the provision of housing and home loans from a business and profit motive but also see expanding access to affordable mortgages as a moral imperative.

“So, we must do all we can even in these difficult times to ensure that not only the elites, but Nigerians within the low- and medium-income segments have access to affordable mortgages,” he added.

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