By Yinka Kolawole
IN the quest to deepen mortgage penetration and promote home ownership in Nigeria, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kaduna State government.
The MoU covers various collaborations between NMRC and the state government in the latter’s determined and structured efforts to facilitate affordable home ownership for its citizens. Among other terms of reference, the agreement encompasses the government’s planned Millennium City Project aimed at providing affordable housing for citizens, as well as a commitment to support the provision of single digit mortgages through the creation of a sinking fund for citizens and public servants in Kaduna State.
The agreement was signed at Government House by Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Bala Bantex, an architect and NMRC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Prof. Charles Inyangete.
In his remarks Bantex noted that the partnership, apart from enabling affordable housing provision, also presents a tremendous opportunity for the state government to meet critical and strategic initiatives in job creation and poverty alleviation of its citizens: “Home ownership is one of the critical paths to migrating citizens out of poverty”, he said, while re-stating government’s commitment to lifting its citizens out of the poverty trap through intervention in three key sectors such as agriculture, mining and housing.
The deputy governor said the state government is delighted at the opportunity to partner with NMRC to speed up the adoption and passage of the draft Kaduna Mortgages Foreclosure Bill based on NMRC’s Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law. He commended the efforts of the counsellor to the governor, Mr. Jimi Lawal and the NMRC team in bringing the consultations and engagement to fruition through the signing of the MoU.
In his response, Inyangete commended the state government and key stakeholders that made the partnership a reality.
He restated NMRC’s commitment in supporting the people and government of the State in working together to break down the encumbrances to mortgage and home ownership in the state. He invited the state government to key into its recently launched Mortgage Market System which integrates the financing operations of the key components of the entire housing value chain, from construction finance, to primary mortgage origination and administration to secondary market mortgage refinancing.
A Steering Committee comprising representatives of NMRC and Kaduna State government was inaugurated to administer the execution of the terms of agreement. Members of the committee include Senior Adviser to the Governor, Jimi Lawal; Commissioner of Finance, Suleiman Kwari; Commissioner for Housing, Works and Transport, Hassan Mahmud and; Legal Adviser to the Governor, Aisha Dikko, representing the Kaduna State government. NMRC’s representatives on the Committee are Dr. Chii Akporji, Executive Director for Policy Strategy and Partnerships; Kehinde Ogundimu, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer and; Abel Owotemu,
Manager, Corporate Strategy. Key amongst the Committee’s immediate mandates will be the realisation of affordable mortgage provision and housing construction in Kaduna State, inclusive of a proposed collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, NMRC member banks for the setup of a mortgage interest rate intervention fund, amongst other initiatives.