Experts have demanded that the Federal Government enact laws that will facilitate Nigerians’ ability to obtain mortgages, hence promoting the development of the built environment.
According to The Punch, this happened at the Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders of Nigeria’s recent two-day National Conference on Mortgage and Real Estate in Abuja.
The stakeholders recommended that mortgage financing be taught as a discipline in all higher institutions across the nation, arguing that access to mortgages would close the enormous housing deficit in the nation.
A capital market professor, Uche Uwaleke, in his lead paper titled “Prospective Mortgage Finance Degree in Nigeria. Structure, Curriculum, and Objectives’’, said the current interest rates of over 18 per cent affect the uptake of mortgages.
“Interest rates are a function of overall economic conditions, and interest rates are generally high in this economy, which is affecting the uptake of mortgages,” the speaker stated.
He claimed that as of right now, there are thirty-four major mortgage banks. “More than 20 commercial banks are here. Through the national housing program, the federal government has attempted to support the Federal Mortgage Bank as well.
“Additionally, there is the refinancing company. Now, in part due to the state of the economy in our country, these efforts have not produced the expected outcomes. Because interest rates are so high, a unique arrangement is required for the mortgage industry. For instance, loans from the Federal Mortgage Bank have an interest rate of six percent per cent which is really really low.”
Earlier, Professor Andrew Zamani, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University Keffi, Professor Suleiman Mohammed, urged the government to create accessible mortgage options that would meet the diverse demands of borrowers.
“Reforms should be implemented by regulatory authorities to establish a business-friendly, effective, and transparent regulatory environment. A very important component is having an inexpensive mortgage package that can meet the diverse needs of borrowers. Promoting moral behaviour among members is also essential for safeguarding customers and fostering industry trust.”
Additionally, the President of IMBLN, Dachung Bagos, stated that fostering strong industry-academia collaborations was crucial to advancing mortgage finance education in Nigeria.
He pointed out that one approach to do that was to provide appropriate courses for educational institutions to include in their curriculum.