By Ossom Raphael
The Nigerian Government on has launched the first phase of its 10,000 housing units under the Affordable Home Scheme.
The project, which is to be handled by the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company, will enable the Nigerians to own their houses at affordable rates.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy andq Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, launch of the scheme in Abuja, said with the commencement of the project, low income earners would begin to have the opportunity to own their houses under a flexible payment package.
Okonjo-Iweala said unlike in the past when it was difficult for Nigerians to own their houses through affordable mortgages; the process had now been simplified.
“Findings revealed that under the scheme, a unit of two-bedroom apartment might be sold for between N4.5m and N7.5m, depending on the location; while the three-bedroom apartment would be sold from N8m”.
“For instance, she said that under the new framework, the processing time for application for the mass housing project had been reduced from between six and 18 months to just six weeks”.
The minister said with the inauguration of the NMRC in January and its subsequent take off in June, the key barrier of finance to develop accessible and affordable housing in Nigeria had been removed.
According to Iweala “We want Nigerians to own their houses at affordable costs. The NMRC’s mission is to provide long-term funding for the housing sector.
“Since the ability of banks in providing mortgages is limited by the fact that 80 per cent of all the deposits are on 30-day period, which does not ensure great level of sustainability in providing resources for the housing sector, the NMRC is here to ensure greater access to financing of up to 10 to 15 years.
“So, instead of people not being able to own houses as they would have to pay up in 12 or 18 months; we are changing that now so that for 10 to 15 years, people can be able to pay for their own houses.”
Also at the launch, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, stated that the commencement of the scheme was a significant step in the Federal Government’s quest to tackle housing deficit in the country.
She said apart from the mortgage housing project being spearheaded by the NMRC, the ministry was implementing other complimentary projects to help provide affordable houses for Nigerians.
Eyakenyi, however implore all stakeholders to key into the scheme.