Group urges CBN to make Mortgage Interest Drawback Fund a viable project

Housing Development Advocacy Network, an NGO, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the Mortgage Interest Drawback Fund (MIDF) a reality.

Mr Festus Adebayo, President of the group, made this call on Saturday in an interview with newsmen  Abuja.

Adebayo recalled that CBN had earlier announced the introduction of the MIDF to boost housing delivery through mortgage in the country, adding that it should be made viable.

“We are very happy to hear that President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the tenure of CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele for another five years; we congratulate him for another opportunity to serve Nigeria.

“As an advocacy group that is devoted for the promotion of housing in Nigeria and Africa at large, we will want the CBN Governor to use the second tenure to better the housing sector.

“The CBN Governor in his second coming should consider this as one of the policy he should push just the way he pushed Anchor Borrowers Scheme.

The housing expert urged the CBN to look into the issue of interest rate and replicate what it has done in the Agriculture sector, particularly the Anchor Borrowers Scheme to housing sector.

According to him, low interest rate is very fundamental if really we want majority of Nigerians, especially the poor to own affordable homes through mortgage system.

He advised that the interest rates could be brought down to one digit, while commercial banks would be given instruction on how much their percentage should go to housing to better the sector.

“We believe that housing is bedrock of any great economy, therefore, Nigeria should not be different.

“The investment and financial community are happy about the reappointment of the governor, which would usher in stability in the sector.

He lauded the stabilisation of Nigerian foreign exchange by the CBN, which to an extent had moved the country out of recession.

“If he could do that, he could as well do it for mortgage interest rate.

“There is no economy that moves forward without developing its housing sector; CBN also needs to push the envelope of policy because Nigerian environment has segregated housing for critical infrastructure.

CBN manages and regulates mortgage interest rate, interest rate is a demand and supply issue, and depending on financial market we want intervention in housing sector.

He called on the bank to create environment conducive to drive affordable housing creation.

“The government should fund infrastructure in road, water, electricity and housing, who will off take infrastructure if not the people that will live in housing.

Housing is a critical part of infrastructure, but it has not been treated that way, rather it was segregated alongside with finance, it needs to be addressed.

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