The Nigeria Housing Finance Programme (NHFP) on Saturday said the aim of its “My Own Home’’ housing scheme was to solve the nation’s 17 million housing deficit.
Mortgage Finance Consultant of NHFP, Mrs. Adenike Fasanya-Osilaja, made the assertion at a seminar by the organisation in Lagos.
Fasanya-Osilaja said that the scheme was programmed to specifically provide long-term funds for Primary Mortgage Institution (PMIs), developers and private individuals to build or buy houses.
She said that the housing scheme was designed in a way that the payment will be spread within a period of 20 to 25 years to allow the beneficiary conveniently repay and at zero per cent interest rate.
According to her, individuals need not have millions of Naira to own their own houses, adding that anyone who earns an income has the financial capacity to buy and own a house.
She said that the housing scheme was open and available to every Nigerian from 21 years and above who has a source of income.
Fasany-Osilaja also said that members of the formal and informal private sector could access the fund irrespective of their income level.
“This is the first time that the informal sector is being given an opportunity to access to a long-term mortgage loan that will enable them to buy or build houses of their own.
“We are creating long-term loans for operators in the informal sector like traders, commercial drivers and other self-employed private individuals to buy/build houses of their own.
“All that is required of them is to have an account with any mortgage or microfinance bank which will assess their income level and capability to repay the loan,’’ she said.
On his part, Mr. Adeniji Akanlusi, President of the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), said that the scheme was a market-driven programme, which was not accountable to any political entity.
Akanlusi said that the scheme was only getting support from the government and Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to him, the three mediums through which Nigerians can access the fund are the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), Mortgage Guarantee Scheme and the Housing Microfinance.
“We do not choose or build houses for people; our job is to provide the fund for prospective homeowners and developers to build/buy houses of their choice.
“Since the scheme is industry/market-driven, it can be sustained forever and cannot end at the expiration of any political tenure.
“Once a greater percentage of the population have access to decent homes, the rate of crime and unemployment will reduce resulting in an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy,’’ Akanlusi said.