According to the Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN), the federal government’s approval of the regulations allowing pension fund account holders to access 25% of their holdings for mortgage purposes is a significant step toward addressing the housing shortage in the country.
In a statement released by MBAN’s president, Ebilate Mac-Yoroki, and executive secretary, Mr. Kayode Omotoso, yesterday, they responded to the National Pension Commission’s (PenCom) approval of guidelines allowing holders of Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) to access 25% of their savings for a home mortgage.
It nevertheless urged the federal government to take the next step in solidifying the effectiveness of the financing initiative by creating and launching the Nigeria Mortgage Guarantee Company (NMGC), a platform for credit enhancement that it claimed was already being finalized by the FSS2020, a division of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The acceptance of the guideline, which now permits qualified RSA holders to contact their Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) in order to access 25% of their pension funds, purely for mortgage purposes, was announced by PenCom on Friday.
The group also applauded PenCom and President Muhammadu Buhari for their decision, which will make it simpler for working-class Nigerians to own homes.
It commended the initiative that resulted in the approval, saying it is one of the landmark steps and decisions for which the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration will be remembered, praising the director-general of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, for her role in the approval.
According to the statement, Mac-Yoroki described the approval as an elixir for the staggering housing deficit, as well as positively impact the economy generally.
It expressed delight at the fruition of a move it claimed to have initiated as an advocacy issue with PenCom, and later further escalated by other stakeholders in the sector.
“We are indeed glad and elated that this novel idea has finally become a reality. It commenced silently as an advocacy issue with PenCom that originated from MBAN, which thereafter was escalated to a full advocacy issue by stakeholders on the platform of the former Nigerian Housing Finance Program (NHFP).
“However, all the continuous efforts were in the last few months finally coordinated with PenCom by FSS2020 and MBAN, which culminated into the broad guidelines issued by PenCom on the idea.
“The Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria wishes to commend the federal government, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), and particularly the National Pension Commission (PenCom), for this landmark approval. This is another reason for which the President’s name will be remembered positively.
“The estimated over 28 million units of housing deficit is staggering indeed and will be requiring trillions of naira to offset. This new approval, though not all that might be needed to solve the problem, will be a giant step towards bridging the housing gap for many Nigerians, whose major setback has been financing.
“With granting of the approval that allows Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders to access 25 percent of their balance towards payment of equity for a residential mortgage, the government will be solving more than just the problem of housing, but will also be giving the economy a boost as many mortgage-related sectors, like construction and banking, will receive more vigor.
“As an association, which is directly concerned with the mortgage market, MBAN will, in its usual approach, be doing everything necessary to support the government in ensuring that the primary target of giving the approval, which is eliminating the housing gap and creating an easy environment for beneficiaries to acquire their dreamed homes, is achieved to the adequately.
“This step by the government will have a rippling impact on our nationhood and achieve the sort of reform we have hoped for in the workplace, either private or public. For instance, it will rejuvenate the work ethics and culture across the sectors because, as they say, a man or woman who has solved his housing question is a more productive employee”, the statement said.