No fewer than 66,402 applications have been filed for pre-qualification since August 2 when the federal government jump-started the new mortgage refinancing system for an initial 10,000 mass housing delivery programme.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo Iweala, who made the disclosure at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said all applications would be accommodated to meet the aspirations of Nigerians.
The minister stated that within eight weeks, the 66,402 applications would be shared among 21Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) to ascertain how many people are qualified to get the houses.
While advising subscribers to start looking for a house of their choice as soon as they are pre-qualified, she said the 66,402 applications were received from across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“There is enough funding to back this project, that is why we created the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC). What the interim CEO just said now is that they are ready.
“As long as the banking institutions and Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) meet the guidelines, there will be money to back this, if we cannot do 66,000 mortgages now, then we are nowhere.
“Remember, we are a country of 170 million people; this system is designed to try and help us deliver at least 200,000 mortgages in each year. So, don’t fear if all of them make it,’’ the minister said.
Giving further details on the applicants, she said 63 per cent of the applicants were male, with 37 per cent female, even as she said 89 per cent applied in their own name, including women.
Describing this as interesting as it showed that everybody appeared desirous of owning their own houses, she stated that only 11 per cent were joint applications (husbands and wives).
She also disclosed that almost 60 per cent of the applicants were between 31 and 40 years age bracket, and 15 per cent in the 21-30 year bracket.
The minister said this was a healthy development as 75 per cent of young people are willing to buy homes and could easily have tenors of up to 20 years for their mortgages.
The tracking of the various applications, she said, indicated that Nigerians preferred a three bedroom flats/houses with 62.7 per cent of applicants preferring to acquire this property type.
Her words: “32 per cent wanted two bed flats and a small percentage applied for one bedroom flats and one bedroom self-contained flats 96per cent of all applicants are currently living in rented accommodation and 51per cent of all applicants want to live in Abuja and 18per cent in Lagos.
“This shows that almost 70 per cent of applicants want to live in the two main urban areas and there is a strong belief in Nigeria that Abuja is truly the Centre of Unity,’’ she said.
Giving further details, she said 92 per cent of applicants were in stable employed positions while only eight per cent were self-employed.
Also speaking at the briefing, the President, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Johnson, said PMIs under the association were prepared for the exercise, noting that more staff had been employed to ensure effective implementation of the policy.
He assured that between six and eight weeks, all applications would be prequalified for beneficiaries to own houses.
Johnson said the funds were ready “and we are already working with developers who already have housing pools.’