FMBN to address Police housing challenges

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The Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Richard Esin, has assured the Nigeria Police of doing its possible best to address myriads of its housing challenges.

Speaking when he received a delegation from the Police Headquarters, led by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Logistics and Supply, Maigari Dikko, at its head office in Abuja, yesterday, Esin said the FMBN management would address the 3, 000 pending applications of the police for refund payments as quickly as possible.

He, however, advised the potential beneficiaries to ensure they obtained their Biometric Verification Number (BVN) from their respective banks.

“I’m aware my predecessor made commitments and we’re committed to pursuing them to fruition. We enjoy a robust relationship with the police. In fact, the police are our biggest stakeholders. So, in terms of refund payments, we give police priority. Whatever delays we experience come from those without BVN, the BVN is a government policy and all of us should comply. So, no BVN, no refund payment. We should comply. The 3,000 pending applications will be cleared, but must come with BVN,” Esin stated.

The Acting FMBN boss also revealed that the Federal Government was driving a national housing model that would be launched before the end of the year. He noted that the model ranged from detached bungalows to blocks of flats.

“To drive standardisatiion, we’ll have designs from doors and windows as standards. There are opportunities for credible developers to get the houses while we provide the needed support,” he added.

In his remarks, Dikko who represented the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, listed 12 housing issues the police want the FMBN to address.


By Uche Usim

Plateau Workers Get Housing, Land Allocations

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Plateau State civil servants have been given special consideration to acquire certificates of occupancy for their houses and land in a new innovation package initiated by the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning.

The state commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Barr Festus Fuanter stated this  in Jos yesterday.

According to him, the new innovation entails that civil servants in  the state and local government service who own houses in Jos and other parts of the state can come forward and submit their applications for Certificates of Occupancy in the ministry, while the cost for processing will be spread on their salaries and paid instalmentally over time.

The commissioner also pointed out that this is in addition to 50 per cent reduction granted by the Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon Simon Bako Lalong, during the critical stakeholders meeting recently organised by the ministry.

He implored all civil servants in the state to take advantage of the friendly package to acquire the much needed title documents which, according to him, is of great value that can be used for economic transactions in the future especially at retirement.

He said, “This special package is applicable to corporate organisations such as Nasco, Grand Cereal and Oil Mills Limited, co-operative societies as well as federal government establishments in the state”.

According to him,  to benefit from such package, the organisations are expected to forward the names of their staff who are desirous of such title documents who would then be contacted by the ministry for the details of the location of such houses and land.


By Achor Abimaje

Mortgage: South African entrepreneur advises Nigeria to enact Foreclosure Law


Mrs Ethel Matenge-Sebesho, Head, New Markets Home Finance Guarantors African Reinsurance (HFGARe) of South Africa, has advised the Federal Government to introduce Foreclosure Law to boost mortgage lending.
She said that such a law would enable Nigerian mortgage banks to recover monies from defaulting borrowers.
Foreclosure law assists a lender to recover the balance of a loan from a defaulting borrower by forcing the sale of asset used as collateral for the loan.
She explained that Foreclosure Law allows banks to foreclose all the borrower’s properties and auction them to recover outstanding loans.
According to her, in South Africa, mortgage banks are not afraid of giving out loans because they have legal backing.
This, she said, made it easier to register a bond and for banks to collect title deeds at the point of providing mortgage services.
She also noted that the mortgage market in South Africa was well developed unlike in Nigeria where it was faced with lots of challenges.
She said that the absence of foreclosure law  compounded the challenges by making it difficult for banks to foreclose properties of defaulting borrowers.
“Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company should wake up; I think they should draft mortgage and foreclosure laws and send to various states so that it can be enacted into law.
“If this law is in place, it would make it very easy for mortgage lenders to foreclose when someone is defaulting.’’
She further explained that lack of long-term funding, especially by primary mortgage lenders was another problem hindering mortgage loans in Nigeria.
She noted that most mortgage banks in the country had only enough money for few clients because they depended on the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for assistance.
She also noted that mortgage banks in Nigeria were very slow in providing mortgage to their clients and were usually cash constrained.
“In South Africa, banks do not seem to have such problem; most of the banks there do not have that problem of long-term funding constraints.”
According to her, another problem facing the Nigerian housing sector is the developers, who most times develop houses for high income earners without considering the middle and low income earners.
Matenge-Sebesho, said it was regrettable that with Nigeria`s current housing deficit estimated at 17 million, most middle and lower income earners needed loan but were not considered by developers.
“Most of the housing developers here are just developing houses for the high income earners; they do not really look at the middle and low income earners.
“You find out that even though the housing need is so high in Nigeria, a lot of people who need loans are the middle and low income earners.
“And the developers do not seem to have stock for them because they are looking at the profits.
“They forget that if they produce a lot of stock for the low and middle income earners, they can still make money from it,’’ she said

Nigeria’s Mortgaged Housing is under-financed—MBAN



Dr Femi Johnson, the President, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), says about five per cent of the 13.7 million housing units in Nigeria are currently financed with a mortgage.
Johnson said this in an interview at the just-concluded African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) 2016 Conference.
The AUHF 2016 Conference with the theme: “Housing Africa’s Growth Agenda’’ was co-hosted by the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) from Sept. 14 to Sept. 16, 2016.
Johnson said that the low mortgage finance in the country was as a result of affordability gap and dearth of titled property.
He explained that a lot of properties in the country lacked title, adding that due to lack of title, it would be difficult for anybody to finance such properties.
“Mortgage penetration is low because less than five per cent of houses in the country have formal title registration.
“One cannot lien on a property that does not have title because it is that title that you are going to collect as security that you create a lien or legal mortgage on.
“When you want to refinance or go to the capital market it is that title they will also collect from you.
“Because the cost of registering that title can be as high as 15 per cent of the cost of the property, people now buy property but do not care to do the title registration,’’ he said.
The expert expressed worry that a lot of state governments were also hiking the price of title registration and transfer, charging as high as 15 per cent.
He stressed that high cost of title registration and transfer was a big challenge facing the industry, adding that it was as high as 22 per cent in some states while others charged 15 per cent.
“People also buy land and build but they do not care to obtain document showing that they are the owners.
“So, if someone comes to the mortgage bank, trying to buy a house without document, there is no way a mortgage bank can lend on that type of property,’’ the president said.
Johnson, who is also the Managing Director of HOMEBASE Mortgage Bank Ltd., urged the government to reduce the high charges associated with title registration and transfer for mortgage to be accessed.
Speaking on key challenges in funding the Mortgage Portfolio in Nigeria, Johnson recalled that the mortgage industry generated 100,000 transactions from 1960 to 2009.
He further stated that currently, mortgage industry had generated 181,519 transactions from 2010 to 2016, adding that the contribution of mortgage finance to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was about one per cent.
He described Nigeria as a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market with a nominal GDP of 582.986 billion dollars.
According to the president, Nigeria ranks 21st largest economy in the world, and 20th largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity.
He listed the key players and regulators in mortgage market as Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), MBAN and Security and the Exchange Commission (SEC).
“CBN is an external regulator for Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs), while MBAN is an internal and self regulator for PMBs’’.
He further listed the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as a mortgage regulator and lender through the mortgage banks, identifying sources of long-term Funds as the National Housing Fund (NHF) and NMRC.
On the achievements so far, he identified recapitalisation of mortgage banks, establishment of NMRC and development of Uniform Underwriting Standards (UUS) for the formal sector.
He listed other achievements to include improved Operational Efficiency for Mortgage Banks and seamless integration of the customers of mortgage banks into the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) platform.
“The achievements also include issuance of NUBAN Numbers to facilitate online transactions for mortgage bank customers.
The president also noted that there was an amendment of Pension Act to facilitate withdrawals from Retirement Savings Account (RSA) for down payments on equity contribution to boost inclusion.
He said that there was an establishment of Mortgage Brokerage firms, reduction of cost of title registration and transfer from 13 per cent to three per cent in Lagos State.
“Loss of job insurance which is new in our market and currently covers three months is to be extended to 1 year.
Speaking on the key challenges he noted lack of long term funds, high cost of funds, and interest rates and few eligible borrowers due to high cost of funds.
He identified other challenges as lack of foreclosure law, inadequate cadastral system, high inflation rate, informal sector exclusion and lack of infrastructure, making it difficult to develop new cities where land is cheaper.
Other challenges are; lack of Affordable housing, especially in cities, high cost of land and title registration and transfer, unfavourable investment climate and exchange rate.
The expert also expressed worry over the slow bureaucratic procedures involved in registration and transfer of title which could take from six months to two years.

“It has too many processes which are slow, cumbersome, unreliable and inefficient, government needs to look into it,’’ the expert added.

NatanelFlorens Floats Talk-to-Andre in Rent-to-Own Initiative

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NatanelFlorens Limited prides itself as the firm that pioneered rent-to-own initiative and the only company that does not require equity contribution or charge interest on payments made by investors I the scheme. It is a plug and play mode; you pay your rent and at the end of the specified period, the apartment is yours.

In addition to this, the firm has come up with an advisory tool called ‘Talk-to-Andre’, which is a free channel for everybody to get useful tips before making comment s on property purchase, sale or lease.

Talk-to-Andre was presented by a team of NatanelFlorens’ official: Executive Director, Mr. Yinka Daramola; Technical Director, Mr. Wasserman; Executive Director, Mr. Oguche Agudah; and Head Finance, Ms. Bolaji Makanjuola, at a Press conference in Lagos recently.

Daramola said that despite the fact that there are 13.6 million units of home in the country; about 11.5 of the number are rented homes. “So, it goes to show that most Nigerians working in the streets today don’t have properties of their own; they are renting. The truth is that most Nigerians have lost hope because the means to acquire assets is not there. Nigerians don’t have access to mortgage neither is it affordable, and we have seen instances where people have waited 15 years, trying to save to build a home; it is a major challenge in Nigeria and we thought that there must be a way out and that was what actually gave birth to NatanelFlorens”.

The mandate, he said was to ensure that they assisted in reducing the high rate of inability to own houses by at least a per cent in the next 10 years. “The figures are huge, but we have started because, as we speak, we have 500-600 units that we have acquired through developers scheme and close to 90 per cent of these have tenants. What gives us joy is to see the smiles on the faces of Nigerians who never thought they could own homes of their own being given keys and moving into their apartments through our rent-to-own scheme by paying rent through a 15 to 20 year period”.

He said they started rent-to-own in the real sense of the word and that their mission was to blaze the rail for others to follow, adding “today, we have people who have also followed that trail. However, they still have not been able to deliver as good as ours because their scheme still comes with some elements of interests. Ours is zero per cent interest, no equity contribution and the rate remains flat for the tenure of that transaction”.



Another trail-blazing initiative of NatanelFlorens, Daramola introduced is Talk-to-Andre, which he said was the first of its kind and that they believed it would go a long way in reinforcing their beliefs, vision and their essence as a premier real estate development and advisory firm in Nigeria.

About Talk-to-Andre, he said “Before you make any property decision; whether you want to buy or rent, Talk-to-Andre and Andre is NatanelFlorens. What we are offering the public is free property advice. You can say I have X amount of money to invest in property but I don’t know how to go about it. We offer hassle-free investments and above make returns. Property is the only asset that is recession-proof. It is a hedge against recession”.



There are financial gains in rent-to-own. Daramola said, “First of all, we believe that all gainfully employed Nigerian have a right to own their own property with ease. In a country where 85% of Nigerians are tenants, there is indeed a cause for worry. The truth is that this high rental figure is a testimony to the large pool of people below the “rich” line. Without your own house, the propensity to create wealth is zero. Owning your own home is an important factor to wealth creation. Rent-Own-EarnTM is NatanelFlorens wealth creation version of Rent-to-own. It is being able to live in the property you want to acquire, pay a yearly rent and after a period, certain the property becomes yours.

“So, with NF’s Rent-Own-EarnTM, you can Rent and own your property after a period certain and thereafter start earning an income while still living in the apartment (This only happens after you have fully discharged your obligations and now own the property). This is likened to convertible long tenancy where the house fully reverts back to the tenant after the leasehold tenure on the land. This also allows property owners to earn free income for the tenor of the Title leasehold”.

He said the reception from the public has been overwhelming. And I mean that with all sense of responsibility. That however is not farfetched, in an environment where the average middle class Nigerian takes like 5-8 years to develop his property, in those 5-8 years; he is still paying rent somewhere else and struggling to complete his own. Isn’t that like double wahala? (Apologies to Fela). Its therefore pretty easy for Nigerians to deduce that it makes more sense to pay your rent in a property that you can own, live there and after a certain period of between 10-20 years, it becomes yours.

Let me tell you something that happened last year when we introduced a 30 unit estate to the public through our rent-to-own proposition. In 36hrs, all the 30 units had been paid for. This has been the reaction every time we put properties on sale through the scheme. Today, we have assets taken up by our off-takers across 10 or more estates in Lagos. We are building another 250 units in Lagos and also a sizable number in Abuja. Our intention is to go into other states as soon as possible. Our fulfillment comes from seeing the joy on the faces of our prospective homeowners and their prayers for us keeps us at NatanelFlorens motivated to help in reducing the housing deficit by half over the next 20 years.


Impact on real estate sector…

According to Daramola, the impact is already being felt in the real estate sector across ‘clusters’. “The developers are excited about our offer, that hitherto lying down unoccupied. We have had to deal with developers because no matter how much NatanelFlorens develops we can’t bridge that huge housing gap. Developers also have discovered that to get themselves out of sitting on assets that are ‘idle’and without off-takers, it will make more sense to collaborate with an institution that has the capability of providing off-takers as well as funding to eventually pay them off.

“In the case of government, we strongly believe that this is about the only answer to the housing challenge we find ourselves in. Renting to own is a convenient, hassle-free option of owning your own property. Government’s intention as always is to provide shelter for its citizenry and every government wants to do this without imposing burdens on its citizens. We therefore believe there is a DNA match in NatanelFlorens intention and that of government. We are currently in discussions with some state governments who believe this is the way forward”.



He said being a composite real estate advisory and development firm means we are able to offer end to end solutions to our clients as regards properties. “We develop at a cost that is clearly the lowest in this part of the world due to our procurement capabilities. We rent out these developed properties through our Rent-to-own proposition and also offer advisory services to property owners in a bid to get them to optimize the yield/return they get from their properties.


By Bennett Oghifo


Estate Developers, Financiers,Facility Managers join Counterparts at Exporeal in Germany

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Real Estate Developers are set to attend EXPOREAL 2016, the 19th international trade fair for real estate and investment is scheduled from October 4-6 in Munich,Germany. The event is the platform for the wide range of real-estate market. It premiered in October 1998 in Messe Munchen exhibition center in Munich, Germany. The event takes place annually and brings together global and local real estate developers, architectural and planning firms, investment companies, bankers, universities and colleges, fund companies, tax advisors, mortgage finance institutions and property consultants. EXPOREAL is an integrated exhibitor forum focusing on efficient networking with decisions makers and financiers. It provides an opportunity for finding potential business partners for every stage in the real estate cycles: from idea and conception through investment, financing, realization and marketing to operation and use.

Nigerians will be joining over 18,985 visitors to the next EXPOREAL scheduled to hold from October 4-6, 2016 at Munich, Germany.

Niche  PR and Events a Lagos- based public relations company is working with MESSE MUNCHEN INTERNATIONAL and Trade and fairs consulting, Germany to recruit  participation from Nigeria, handle logistics required to ensure that the Nigerians is well represented.

Niche PR and Events focuses on managing prime exhibitions and international expos with a view to positioning Nigerian Brands while promoting joint venture partnerships. In the last decade, the company has worked with international show organizers and trade associations.

Niche PR has invited key industry players to sponsor Nigerian exhibition booth under the Africa Pavilion in order to entice B2B to the Nigerian participants.

The essence of incorporating a booth dedicated to Nigeria is that 75% of visitors are decision makers.

They will visit the booth to discuss and conclude businesses, in addition, there will be forums with 80 conferences, panel discussion and symposia 400 recognized participants discussing bank financing and refinancing among other topics.

According to Marcella Iyitor, CEO of Niche PR, companies like SWISSTRADE, urban shelter ltd, Federal Staff Housing Loans Board, Federal Capital Territory, Federal Ministry of Housing, BJ Fire systems ltd., AM Design consult, real estate developers, members of relevant professional association have indicated interest in attending the expo.