The Federal Government’s first phase of Affordable Home Ownership scheme received 66,402 applications for a 10,000 pilot offer.
According to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at a press briefing to give an update on the implementation of the scheme, in Abuja, said since the commencement of the program on August 11, majority of Nigerians had expressed huge interest in the project, adding that the applications received were spread across the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory with 63 per cent of applicants being male, while the balance of 37 per cent were female.
When asked what the government would do now that the first phase of the housing scheme had been oversubscribed, she said, “Now, due to the over subscription of 6 times, a decision has been taken to give all applicants to the lending members of NMRC to share on a pro-rata basis.
“As at Friday the 5th of September, 2014 (the initial closing date of the registration exercise), we had received 66,402 valid applications – with more still calling.
“That is more than 6 times oversubscription to our initial 10,000 pilot. We are extremely pleased with this outcome.
“The applications were spread across the 36 states including FCT. 63 per cent of applicants were male, while 37 per cent female.
“Eighty-nine per cent of applications applied for themselves – that is in their own name. Everybody seems to want to own their homes.”
“Of the 66,402 people that applied, 96 per cent of them are currently living in rented accommodation, while 51 per cent of all the applicants preferred to live in Abuja and 18 per 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 showing that Abuja is truly the centre of Unity,” she said.
According to the minister, only 11 per cent were joint applications (that is Husband and Wife), while about 60 per cent of applicants were in the 31-40 year age bracket, 15 per cent in the 21-30 year bracket.
“Nigerians showed that they preferred three bedroom flats/houses, with 62.7 per cent of applicants applying to acquire this property type.
“32 per cent of the applicants wanted two bedroom flats while a small percentage applied for one bedroom flats and one bedroom self-contained flats.
“While 92 per cent of applicants are in stable employed positions, while only eight per cent were self-employed.
“Lending members of NMRC are expected to have the refinancing window of up to 20 years. They will sift then analyze and pre-qualify all applicants culminating in the amounts each lender is willing to advance to the applicant.
“This lets the applicant know the value of property he/she can afford. Lending Members of NMRC have promised to complete this exercise within 6 – 8weeks from receipt of the list.”
“Owing to the importance which President Goodluck Jonathan attached to the scheme, the first completed 10,000 mortgages will be published in the newspapers while subsequent qualified applicants will be notified
“Once qualified or notified, each applicant can then begin to look for a home that is within their borrowing range,” she said.
The project, to be spearheaded by the newly established Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company, would enable Nigerians own their houses at low interest rate under a flexible payment package.