By Lilian Chukwu
In a bid to proffer solutions to the nation’s housing deficit, a property consultant, Mr Afolabi Solesi, has advised commercial banks to assist in revamping the nation’s mortgage market for efficiency.
Solesi, a former Chairman, Nigeria Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Lagos Chapter, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
He said commercial banks need to play more active roles in the mortgage system, adding that normally, the banks were strategically positioned to revamp the mortgage market.
According to him, the banks have potential to financially assist in the nation’s housing development to save the collapsed of building construction industry.
“Commercial banks need to start offering mortgage services and products instead of other loans being disguised as mortgage,” he said.
Solesi said that commercial banks should be more proactive in discovering and rendering services that would boost the mortgage system.
“If more people can afford homes through sound mortgage services, it will improve the gross domestic products and have positive effect on the economy,” he said.
The former chairman of the institution said that commercial banks should not use specialisation as an excuse to run away from their duties.
“Commercial banks can provide full mortgage services to the public if they determined to do so,’’ he said.
Solesi said that commercial banks should serve as one-stop shop for all financial activities because of its proximity to people.
“A bank, claiming to be a commercial bank and not a mortgage bank, is only giving excuses, because in the UK, commercial bank like Barclays offers full mortgage services.
“You cannot expect a person living in rural areas like Ijebu to move far, looking for a mortgage-based bank, when a commercial bank is next door to him.
“Commercial banks are better equipped to provide mortgage services to people, no matter where one lives, because of the branch network of the banks,” he said.
Solesi urged the Federal Government to direct the banks to create more consumer-friendly mortgage products to jump start home financing, mortgage system and housing development in the country. (NAN)