The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eximia Realty, Hakeem Ogunniran, has added his voice to other critical stakeholders in calling on the incoming government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be more intentional and radical about the reforms it plans to roll out in the housing sector upon assumption of office.
He stated this while speaking with Housing Development in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Ogunniran, who doubles as the Vice Chairman of the board of the Africa International Housing Show, tasked the incoming Tinubu-led federal government to avoid rhetoric and make the institutions in the housing sector work optimally, thereby creating efficiency for value delivery.
He said, “My position is against a merger. I would rather advocate for strengthening the (housing) institutions and giving them the right level of resources to deliver. Compared to what happens in other parts of the world and to the size of the problems that we have, these institutions are tiny. So, I would advocate that we strengthen Family Homes Funds, we also recreate its focus by making it focus a lot more on social housing and subsidized housing.”
Stating that the mandate of Family Homes Funds Limited should not be mistaken as being the same as that of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, Mr. Ogunniran offers clarification: “When you talk of funding for housing, you are talking about construction finance and retail finance. A mortgage refinancing institution plays a crucial role in providing liquidity that oils the wheels of progress. That is what NMRC is supposed to be doing. I think today, NMRC is struggling because we are not creating enough assets and, when we create these assets, we are not creating mortgages. So, NMRC has nothing to finance.
We need to step back and understand the roles that these institutions can play in the housing ecosystem in Nigeria if properly regulated and structured, and if their functions are properly delineated and appropriately integrated.”
On how the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria should be managed going forward, Mr. Ogunniran said the FMBN has its unique function, which is to refinance mortgages. He, however, noted that the NMRC has a duty to also refinance mortgages from other primary mortgage institutions, not just from the FMBN.
He said the failure of the government to do what he called “building to scale” is the bane of the country’s mortgage institutions. He, therefore, urged the incoming government to “overhaul where necessary. We should strengthen, we should provide more resources, we should give them a better orientation, we should give them a better focus and make them a lot more accountable”, he added.