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ITMB boss outlines challenges facing mortgage industry  

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc, Dr. Olabanjo Obaleye, has said that the mortgage industry is faced with several bottlenecks that need the urgent attention of the..



Infinity Mortgage Bank presents facts behind the figures

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc, Dr. Olabanjo Obaleye, has said that the mortgage industry was faced with several bottlenecks that needed the urgent attention of the Federal Government if it was determined to provide the 17 million housing deficit.  

Obaleye, who said this in an exclusive interview with Nairametrics in Lagos on Monday, noted that most of the challenges facing operators in the industry were caused mostly by the government and macro-economic situation of the country.  

He said, “If you have a challenge from the external environment there is nothing you can do than to adjust your system to it. Whatever affects other economic areas will affect the mortgage bank. The high-interest rate is a concern to us as it is to prospective homeowners.  

“The interest rate in Nigeria today is about 18% and there is no bank that will give loan for less than that. When you talk of mortgage loan, the question is where the sources of funding are, and what is cost of funding? High-interest rate impedes the growth of homeownership and the housing sector.”  

[READ MORE:Why World Bank blacklisted CCECC, 5 other Chinese firms] 

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He added that mortgage banks needed a special window where they could get low-interest funds and crack down the interest rate on mortgages. 

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is a secondary market operator that operates the National Housing Fund (NHF) as contribution from members at no cost which they are managing. Their sources of funds are very limited and now awareness is high. FMBN has done very well, far better than what obtains in the past but the gap is so much to make an impact and they won’t do more than the funding they have.”  

According to him, the foreclosure law was another factor hindering the growth of the industry. 

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“We have classes of people that are on mortgage, they have the money but they are not willing to pay. We call such people chronic debtors. Do we have the right legislative infrastructure to ensure that you close any dispute on mortgage in a timely manner? We don’t still have it now.”   

Meanwhile, Nairametrics had reported earlier that Nigeria’s mortgage lending rates were the highest across the world. 

  • France: According to data from the Bank of France, the mortgage lending rate in France was 1.39% in June 2019.
  • USA: The average rate for a 30-year mortgage in the US was 3.67% while that of a 15-year mortgage was 3.1%, according to
  • Germany: In Germany, the comparison website, Interhyp, has it that the lending rate for a 10-year mortgage was between 0.5% and 1%
  • United Kingdom: According to statistics, the average mortgage lending rate in the UK for a 10-year mortgage is 2.63%, while a 5- and 2- year mortgages were1.97% and 1.65% respectively.
  • Hungary:  There is a consensus that mortgage cost was high in Hungary, but it was only 5% for a 10-year mortgage. 
  • Greece: One would have expected that mortgage rates in Greece would be high given its struggle with debts, (sovereign and corporate) in recent years but the average floating rate for mortgages in Greece was just 3.08% in June 2019.
  • Hong Kong:  Even with the effects of the political crisis in Hong Kong, the mortgage lending rate in that country, which inched upwards slightly, was still as low as 2.48%.
  • Japan:  Japan has been at the forefront of keeping mortgage rates low, aimed at making housing affordable. In Japan, a 10-year mortgage is priced at 0.65% and banks like Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank are offering rates as low as 0.53%.
  • Australia: Although it may not be easy to get a lender that can grant 100% mortgage in Australia, according to, the average mortgage rate in Australia was about 4.8% for a 5-year mortgage going by data from Australia’s four largest banks, (ANZ Bank, CBA, NAB and Westpac).
  • South Africa: South Africa’s average mortgage rate was about 8%.

 [READ ALSO: How indiscriminate premium discount is killing the insurance sector] 

With mortgage rates so high in Nigeria, is it any wonder that there is a housing deficit in the country? The mortgage rate is about the major consideration when deciding on taking a housing loan. 

Research and analysis have it that in almost all countries, housing activities are spurred whenever mortgage rates are deliberately reduced or reduced as a result of prevailing economic circumstances. 

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With Nigeria’s mortgage lending rate as high as 18%, there is no doubt that such high rate will act as a disincentive to housing activities and as long as the rates remain that high, the problem of housing deficit may not be solved any time soon. 

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - abiola.o[email protected]

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 3rd of December 2020, 343 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria



The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 68,303 confirmed cases.

On the 3rd of December 2020, 343 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.

To date, 68,303 cases have been confirmed, 64,291 cases have been discharged and 1,179 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 779,708 tests have been carried out as of December 3rd, 2020 compared to 756,237 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 3rd December 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 68,303
  • Total Number Discharged – 64,291
  • Total Deaths – 1,179
  • Total Tests Carried out – 779,708

According to the NCDC, the 343 new cases were reported from 14 states- FCT (123) Lagos (106) Kaduna (72) Nasarawa (14) Rivers(5), Bauchi (4), Imo (4), Ogun (4), Ekiti (3) Edo (2), Oyo (2), Plateau (2) Akwa Ibom (1) and Kano (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,545, followed by Abuja (6,991), Plateau (3,904), Oyo (3,730), Kaduna (3,245), Rivers (3,001), Edo (2,705), Ogun (2,237), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,799), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332),  Kwara (1,110), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,030), Osun (947), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (778), and Borno (745).

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Imo State has recorded 681 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (493), Bayelsa (456),  Ekiti (377), Akwa Ibom (340), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (166), Taraba (163), Yobe (100), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Engineer Sanusi Garba assumes office as Chairman of NERC

The new NERC boss has assumed office today in an investiture event witnessed by other Commissioners of the Commission.



Engineer Sanusi Garba, today, December 3, 2020, formally assumed office as the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

This is according to the statement issued by the media team of the NERC via the official Twitter handle of the Commission.

Engineer Garba whose appointment was confirmed by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday will be replacing Professor James Momoh, the outgoing chairman of the Commission.

Speaking at the handover ceremony today, the New Chairman of the Commission recognized the efforts and the hard work of Prof. Momoh and thanked the outgoing chairman for his contributions to the development of the Commission and the sector in general.

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However, Professor Momoh on his part pledged his continuous support to the Commission and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve the country.

What you should know

  • The new Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engineer Sanusi Garba is a seasoned professional in the Nigerian Energy Supply Industry (NESI), and also a top officer in the Commission.
  • Prior to his nomination as the Chairman of NERC, Garba served as the Vice Chairman of NERC, under the leadership of Prof. Momoh. He also served as the Chief Executive of Katsina Steel Rolling Co. Ltd and the Director (Power) in the Federal Ministry of Power with responsibility for the Generation, Transmission and Distribution aspects of the electricity industry.
  • He also served as Executive Director (Generation) at the Niger Delta Power Holding Co. Ltd during which he provided technical and commercial leadership for the efficient operation of seven (7) NIPP thermal power plants.
  • Engr Garba, who is a seasoned professional has served on many Federal Government Committees including the Presidential Committee on Power Sector Reform (2007/8) and the Presidential Task Force on Power (2009/10).

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#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu gifts families of slain police officers N10 million each

Governor Sanwo-Olu has compensated the families of slain police officers with the sum of N10 million each.



Sanwo-Olu to stop pension for former governors, deputies, #EndSARS: Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to include Lekki toll gate incident – Sanwo-Olu, Lagos approves resumption of all classes in public, private schools, Lagos takes major step towards delivery of Fourth Mainland Bridge, Lagos to construct rail line to airport terminal for international passengers, COVID-19: Lagos State to begin curfew on Sunday to disinfect metropolis, Lagos state government discharges 7 more coronavirus patients, Lagos state will reverse to full lockdown, Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office, Lekki regional road: Sanwo-Olu revokes land titles of Elegushi Royal family, Lagos pays N1.3 billion into the RSA of 246 retirees, Lagos State to empower 2.5 million youths in Arts and Crafts

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has brought respite to the families of police officers killed during the violence witnessed in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.

According to the disclosure on the Twitter page of the Lagos State Government, the families were handed a cheque of N10 million each and the children of the slain officers awarded scholarships by the government.

What they are saying: Commenting on the recent development, a tweet by the Lagos State Government read thus: “Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children.’’

Why this matters: The recent effort by the Governor is in fulfillment of the promise he had earlier made to compensate affected victims of the post-EndSARS protest which led to the loss of lives and valuable properties both in the state and the country at large.

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The compensation will be viewed by serving officers as a motivation, aimed at promoting patriotism, loyalty, commitment and dedication to national service.

What you should know

  • Lagos State Government had earlier set up a N200 million fund for victims of police brutality
  • As a follow-up, Nairametrics had earlier reported that Lagos State Government offered scholarships to children of slain police officers.

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