CBN launches ‘My Own Home’ scheme in Lagos

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Central Bank of Nigeria

The dream of Nigerians to become homeowners was enhanced recently in Lagos, when Central Bank of Nigeria launched a scheme that aims to increase Nigerians’ ability to access loans in its Nigerian Housing Finance Programme (NHFP).

The launch is a direct campaign geared toward sensitising Nigerians that they have the right to access loans that can enable them build and own their houses. The scheme termed, “My Own Home” launched in Lagos is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement targeted at providing mortgages, mortgage guarantee and insurance as well as housing microfinance to the Nigerian populace.

Various institutions supporting the scheme include Federal Ministry of Finance, World Bank, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) that is into the scheme through equity stake in Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC).

Going by explanation of stakeholders that graced the launch, the scheme would scale up mortgage and housing finance awareness through mortgage literacy, customers’ rights, responsibilities and education. The NHFP intends to carry out the programme under four stumps that include, Refinance Products, Mortgage Guarantee Insurance, Microfinance Product via a vehicle of Technical Assistance. It empowers Nigerians from age 21, irrespective of trade or occupation that meets the borrowing requirements of a mortgage or housing microfinance bank to be eligible for the scheme.

While speaking to newsmen, CBN’s Housing/Mortgage Finance Consultant, NHFP, Mrs. Adenike Fasanya-Osilaja, explained that the “product is not designed to sell house but to serve as a catalytic product in jump starting the housing market and capacitate the banks to give subscribers loans. The programme is industry driven. The industry is the same irrespective of government and political parties in power. The scheme does not have its base in social housing and so sustainability is assured. The scheme does not discriminate on the basis of income. If you are able to pay your rent, then, you are able to subscribe to the scheme. It is a paradigm shift for home ownership in Nigeria and we will spread the initiative to all parts of the country.”

Assistant Head of Administration, NHFP, CBN, Mr. Jackson Imandi, stressed that for the programme to succeed, parties to it must ensure responsible lending and borrowing simultaneously to prevent hiccups in the process.

Phyllis Uzoma, Head, Risk Management, NMRC, in her explanation noted that owing to lack of access to long-term funds, most of the mortgage banks at best create only medium term mortgages, which has severely constrained mortgage creation in the country. She stated that NMRC has started addressing the hurdle through refinancing mortgages for long term funding constraints hindering the growth of the primary mortgage market in Nigeria.

MBAN President, Niyi Akinlusi, said, “the scheme would promote social stability among the millennial as everyone would be engaged in doing one thing or the other, have a source of income and be able to buy a house, start a house and would not be available for social violence. It will create total change. When the market booms, there is capital inflow and with all the relevant stakeholders working together, we can have the Nigeria of our dream and intention to own individual homes would be achievable,” he stated.

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