Hope rises for low rate housing loan as NMRC refinances mortgage pushes for model mortgage, foreclosure law adoption
The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), the private sector-led secondary mortgage institution in Nigeria, has raised hope for low interest rate on housing loan as it commits to its mandate of refinancing mortgages created by the primary mortgage banks (PMBs) in the country.
Riding on the successes it has achieved in the last couple of years of its establishment, the company is also pushing aggressively for the adoption of a model mortgage and foreclosure law by its pilot states.
Recently, the company demonstrated uncommon resolve to create affordable mortgage with N1 billion disbursements to Imperial Homes Limited, a primary mortgage bank, for the refinancing of its existing mortgages.
Industry chiefs have described this as a great milestone. “It is an outstanding achievement in the march towards the realisation of affordable and single-digit interest rates for mortgages in Nigeria,” says Ben Akaneme, Imperial Homes managing director, assuring that the bank would continue to strive to achieve its mission of enabling easily accessible and affordable mortgages to Nigerians in order to ensure housing for all.
Presently, interest rate on mortgage loans is almost at par with commercial loans at a spread of 22-25 percent, but Charles Inyangette, NMRC’s CEO, assured during an interview with BusinessDay on the sideline of a training workshop for mortgage operators in Lagos that, though their interest rate was still market-driven, the long-term expectation was single digit or lower double digit rate.
As part of efforts at growing a mortgage system that will drive affordability, the company is presently driving a legislative reform in the mortgage sector by proposing a model mortgage and foreclosure law for key pilot states including Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Kano, and Ogun.
Analysts say this is good news for home seekers who may need mortgage facility, explaining that the foreclosure law, upon adoption, would fast track the process for creating legal mortgages, ensuring timely resolution of disputes and creating an efficient foreclosure process.
According to authorities of the company, the model mortgage and foreclosure law is in its final form for engagement with 21 pilot states that are committing to the implementation of an enabling environment for the development of the mortgage market.
At the company’s first annual general meeting for the year ended December 31, 2014, in Lagos recently, Herbert Wigwe, interim chairman of the company’s board of directors, said as they entered their new financial year, the company would be focusing on building capacity and completing outstanding operational activities.
“We will be embarking on an aggressive drive towards the procurement of an ICT infrastructure for the mortgage industry, the completion of our second tranche equity capital raise, and, most importantly, the completion of our first round of mortgage refinancing. We will work hard to meet our mandate to revolutionise the Nigerian mortgage landscape,” Wigwe said.
Wigwe said NMRC was very conscious of the demands and obligations inherent in the Nigerian business environment, assuring that “we will continue to anchor all our services on global best practices, good corporate governance and strict risk management practices.”
Inyangette explained to the shareholders at the AGM that the management was seeking their approval to, among other things, increase their share capital to N8.5 billion for three main reasons including capital adequacy, mortgage refinancing and procurement of necessary infrastructure.