By Jude Njoku
A primary mortgage operator, Mr Wale Osisanya says the mortgage business in Nigeria is still at its lowest ebb. Mr Osisanya who is the managing director of Jubilee Life Savings & Loans Limited rated the industry a paltry 20 per cent.
The Jubilee Life Savings & Loans boss who fielded questions from Vanguard Homes & Property also decried the delay in obtaining certificate of occupancy and planning approval especially in Lagos state.
His words:”We can say ok, we are doing well but if we are comparing the sector with what obtains outside Nigeria, you know that we have not got anywhere in mortgage. In this country now, it is difficult to find people talking about using loans to buy their houses.
Many want to buy their houses outright. In fact when many buy, they don’t want to sell but it is not so outside this country. A well developed mortgage institution or mortgage environment must give you the opportunity of buying and selling. You can change your title documents anytime, any day. The land tenure will be easy”.
Continuing, Mr Osisanya also talked about the difficulty in obtaining mortgages in Nigeria. “ On the issue of taking mortgage, when they look at your credit rating in most countries abroad, they will give you mortgage but it is not so in this country. All these problems have been hindering the flow of mortgage business in Nigeria.
In summary, If I am to rate the mortgage business in Nigeria using percentages, I may give it 20 percent and when you have 20 percent over 100, that is a serious failure. But we feel that with what is going on now, with the present government and the crying of people and mortgage institutions, something is being done,” he said.
He frowned at the cumbersome procedure of obtaining C of O and planning approvals but was optimistic that it would be addressed by the National Assembly. “As a media man, I am sure that you know that the issue of land tenure is being addressed by the National Assembly even though it has been there for a long time. That’s the major problem that we have.
We started this place (Kings Court Estate) about two years ago. It wouldn’t have taken so long if not the issue of land tenure, because before you can start, you need your C of O . C of O in this Lagos will take you about one year which is not right. When you take the C of O, you need consent and you go for that again.
After consent, you need approval; all those are the hindrances which are being addressed now. But I want to tell you in a nutshell that mortgage business in Nigeria is still at a very low ebb,” the Jubilee Life Savings & Loans boss said.