The Federal Government has called on Chief Executive Officers of mortgage banks to explore creative ways to make mortgages more affordable to Nigerians of all income brackets.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa who made the call in Abuja at a retreat organised by stakeholders in the mortgage banking sub-sector said the nation’s Capital Market had not been maximally tapped to raise long-term funds to refinance mortgage loans.

He said adopting the Rent-to-Own and Flexible Monthly Mortgage loan repayments would make commercial loans in the country more affordable.

The minister cited a report that identified some of the challenges in the sector which include the affordability gap in home ownership, absence of long-term funds, critical need for enhanced capital and resource base of Primary Mortgage Institutions, difficulty in accessing Land and secure title to Land due to the shortcomings in the provision and implementation of the Land Use Act of 1978.

Others include inadequate legal framework, inadequate housing infrastructure, inadequate incentives, concessions and taxes, non-availability of insurance framework, insufficient production, high cost of building materials and inadequate skilled labour.

He, therefore, stressed the need for all key players to find ways to navigate the macro, legal and policy bottlenecks to address challenges in the sector.

According to Mr Dangiwa, this could be achieved through effective leadership and innovations.

He said the ministry was also poised to establish building materials manufacturing hubs, construct over forty thousand houses which would be tagged the Renewed Hope Cities and upgrade slums across the country.

“Our Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Program seeks to deliver 40,000 housing units ranging from 1,000 housing units per site in one location in each of the six geo-political zones of the country and FCT namely: Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Borno, Nasarawa, Rivers, and Enugu States”.

The theme of the event was, ” Advancing Sustainable and Affordable Housing in Nigeria: Navigating Macro-Economic, Legislative, and Policy Frontiers”.

Philip Ichaba

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