By Ella Anokam
The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), has expressed its readiness to refinance affordable houses for Nigerians at the rate of N1.5 million.
NMRC is co-host of the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) 2016 conference.
Prof. Charles Inyangete, NMRC Managing Director, made this known to newsmen in Abuja on Monday at a conference jointly organised by AUHF and NMRC to unveil the union’s forthcoming conference.
The 2016 AUHF 32nd annual conference is scheduled to hold in Abuja from Sept. 14 to Sept.16.
AUHF is an association of 56 Mortgage Banks, Building Societies, Microfinance Institutions, Housing Corporations and organisations, involved in mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing in Africa.
Inyangete said that the NMRC was ready to refinance houses at N1.5 million if permitted by technology to drive the process of delivering affordable housing through practical solution in Nigeria.
“We are ready to refinance houses as cheap as N1.5 million, we are not looking at the money market but hope that technology will allow us to actually build houses at that price.
“It will first of all drive down the affordability because the prices of houses in Nigeria are particularly very high,’’ Inyangete noted.
(Also read: Buhari plans cheap houses for Nigerians)
He decried the extent of inequality created by the crisis of affordable housing on the African continent, adding that a practical solution for sustainable housing should be encouraged.
He said that the three day conference have been designed to reflect a balance between the need to craft policies that could drive sustainable affordable housing finance on the African continent.
Inyangete further said that the conference would bring together practitioners and investors in African and beyond to share, learn from the network with the best in the world on housing finance.
He noted that the conference would proffer practical solutions to providing access to affordable housing finance set in the context of the “Housing and Africa’s Growth Agenda’’
“The outcome of the conference in the form of “Abuja Declaration’’ will feed into the work of AU’s Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Unit of the Africa Delegation to Habitat III meeting, in Equador in October 2016.
“The conference will also explore how to grow Africa’s mortgage markets to provide sustainable access to affordable housing finance as well as public-private partnership for affordable housing delivery’’.
According to him, the conference will examine the capacity of housing micro-finance with housing micro-finance academy hosted by Lafarge Holcim and French Development Agency.
Mr Oscar Mgaya, Chairman, AUHF noted that problems associated with housing cost, low income earners, mortgages, interest rates, among others would also be addressed.
According to Oscar, a country’s monetary and fiscal policy play major role in determining the interest rate.
Oscar, who is also the Managing Director of Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company, said that the union was looking at how to solve the interest rate problem which he termed as a continental problem.
He stressed the need to provide some subsidy as a mechanism for builders to build affordable houses.
The purpose of the conference, according to him, is to bring together housing practitioners and leading leading policy makers from the private and public sector to discuss issues of housing finance facing the sector.
He said the problem was not unique for individual country, rather was a continental problem and needed to be dealt with by collaboration of different countries.
No fewer than 170 confirmed participants, representing about 23 African countries, state governors, foreign technical experts, will be attending the conference.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, is expected to deliver the keynote address which will unveil the road map to develop the housing sector.