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NMRC urges FG to ease bureaucracy in property development

NIGERIA Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) Monday urged state governors to lighten the process of granting consent to property development.

Speaking at a conference on seeking finance for the mortgage in Nigeria which held in Abuja, a director at NMRC, Mrs. Chii Akporji said modern mortgage requires certain steps that state governments need to take in order to create the enabling environment for mortgages and housing investment to thrive.

She enumerated the steps to include issues of land titling, property registration and instituting a foreclosure mechanism as the key things that state governments are asked to look into with a view to reforming it.

According to her the issue of the governor’s consent “which is what you need to gain access to land ownership. Initially what we find is that sometimes this can take years, we find requests for governor’s consent piled up in most governors offices, what the new bill is proposing is that the governor either takes that as a priority or delegates it to a commissioner.”

She also lamented the difficulty in accessing land titles and urged state governments to leverage technology, digitise their land register, to have the adequate and proper record of who owns what in terms of land.

On registration of property, the director said: “sometimes, it takes years to register a property and so expensive, studies we did found that in some states property registration takes up 45% of the cost of the property itself this is crazy.”

To solve the problem, NMRC has urged state governors “to review this, review the charges downwards, review the time it takes to do that so it will actually incentivise people to now take the mortgage, knowing that they won’t have to suffer to get the basic needs and investors also will be incentivised.”

Speaking with reporters, Director, Other Financial Institutions at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Tokunbo Martins disclosed that the apex bank was underwriting a $300 million World Bank loan for the Nigerian Housing Finance Programme (NHFP).

She said CBN is the Project implementing entity of the NHFP and the NHFP is meant to re-fund the primary and secondary markets for mortgages.

It is a public-private partnership and we have a loan from the world bank so CBN itself is not putting anything indirectly.”

Also speaking, Head Nigeria Housing Finance Programme domiciled at CBN and head of the implementation team, Jones Adesanmoye explained that “the major driver of the programme, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) funds (N8.2billion and N11.1 billion) from the Nigerian capital market to refinance the mortgages that have been financed by Primary mortgage institutions.”

Adesanmoye said a component of the mortgage package is that money will be disbursed through seven microfinance banks across the nation, this money is given to them in naira.

“Between now and November we will be launching mortgage guarantee company hopefully by the president to widen and bring us to the tail end of modern mortgage system in such a way that those mortgagees the institutions are lending to our people can actually share risk so that more people will have access, to the housing fund.”

Credit: TribuneOnline

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