- Management Trainee
By Dada Jackson, Senior Correspondent, Lagos
President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) Steve Onu says the nation’s mortgage system is still at infancy, stressing the need for the Federal Government to ensure that the much expected mass housing project gets to the targeted populace.
Onu noted, in an interview with **Daily Independent** last week that the country’s mortgage system was not yet ripe guarantee Nigerians access to home ownership.
He blamed this on the continued two digit interest rate being charged by commercial banks, and the fact that bank facilities are often short-term, making it impossible to use such for medium to long-term projects.
Onu who was recently inaugurated as the 20th president of the institute lamented that in developed climes, mortgage is used as an instrument for accessing home ownership, and that the reverse is the case in Nigeria.
He lamented a situation where most of the so-called mass housing projects across the country was being hijacked by the affluent of the society, adding that the involvement of the private developers in the provision of housing would not provide the desired houses for the masses.
Onu who was a former permanent secretary in the Imo State civil service called for a thorough overhaul of the housing policy, without which nothing meaningful would be achieved in the housing sector.