Fresh efforts are underway to seek pragmatic and contemporary solutions to the challenges in the mortgage sub-sector, following plans by the operators to extend loss of job insurance scheme, which will cover mortgage default up to a year.
The scheme is already in place and covers up to six months. Mortgage insurance, which is widely used in other countries and is compulsory in Nigeria, allows mortgage providers to protect themselves for potential losses suffered as a result of a borrower defaulting by insuring part of the loan.
Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), president, Dr. Femi Johnson who spoke at the the bi-ennial general meeting/elections, said the housing finance sector represents a growth reserve for the Nigerian economy as it has immense potentials to boost economic growth.
According to him, “the opportunity for growth lies in the challenges inherent in the sector; burgeoning housing deficit could translate to productivity and profitability, rapid urbanization creates a continuous demand for housing and by extension Finance, high population of the young and middle aged guarantees the proliferation of new households whose demand for housing ensures the sustainability of the sub-sector.”
He said that the the housing finance sub-Sector is capable of growing the Nigerian GDP by 70-80per cent of its present size. “Investment in housing construction would accelerate growth in other sectors of the value chain. Thus, increasing the stock of affordable housing would accelerate the growth of the middle class, deepen the Nigerian market and increase aggregate demand,” Johnson said.
MBAN out going president, charged the association to engage with the regulatory agencies, and other concerned parastatals on the provision of intervention funding for the Sub-Sector like has been done for other sectors.
“We need to put in place robust operational guidelines to enhance profitability of mortgage banks, especially with respect to loan margins, diaspora lending, foreign exchange denominated and matched lending, and loan loss provisioning.
“The association need to develop and implement a Mortgage Banking Tariff that is different from the regular banking tariff, and mortgage banks need to be allowed to develop housing microfinance products and mortgage-related consumer and commercial loans.”
Meanwhile, the association has elected members of the National Executive Council for a period of two years. The managing director, TrustBond Mortgage Bank Plc, Mr. Adeniyi Akinlusi was elected president, while Mr. Akintayo Oloko of Safetrust Mortgage Bank Limited, vice president.
Other elected officials include, Mrs. Ruby Okoro, Delta Trust Mortgage Finance Limited, Deputy President (East); Mr. Babangida Umar, Jigawa Savings & Loans Limited Deputy President (North); Mr. Richard Olubameru, Haggai Mortgage Bank Limited, Deputy President (West).
Others are Mr. Remi Olatunbode, Jubilee-Life Mortgage Bank Limited, treasurer; Mr. Olabanjo Obaleye, Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc,Publicity Secretary and Mrs. Olamide Ipadeola, Gateway Savings & Loans Limited, Legal Adviser.
Originally published in The Guardian