Journalists lament stringent conditions for housing loan
Media practitioners in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have flayed stringent conditions associated with accessing mortgage loans, which has made it impossible for members to build their own houses.
They urged relevant stakeholders to come up with a special housing scheme for the media profession and called on the Federal Government, as well as financial institutions to assist them to develop journalists’ housing estate in Abuja.
At the Conference on “Housing for All: The Role of Cooperative Societies and Financial Institutions,” Jide Oyekunle said challenges attached to social housing loans have made it difficult for their members to access the mortgage loans.
Oyekunle also explained that ‘Journalist Village’ is imperative as part of efforts to give urgent attention to the welfare of media men and women towards ensuring that they have decent apartments and properties.
He declared: In principle, the mortgage loan is easy to obtain and repayment is flexible but in practice, the reverse is the case, considering the prevailing economic reality in the country. Sadly, there is a growing housing shortage, generally.
The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Madu Hamman, in a presentation said their mission is to provide loans to Nigerians for the purpose of building, purchasing and improving residential houses.
Hamman said they have been disbursing National Housing Fund loans to contributors through the Primary Mortgage Bank, as well as, Estate Development Loan saying, “we have now expanded its scope to members of the cooperative societies.
“We will continue to encourage the development of specific programmes that would ensure effective financing of housing projects, in particular low cost housing for low income workers. We disbursed N29.3 billion nationwide,” he added.
A developer, Mr. Collins Mbeh of Domak Garden City, said that since Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council have 6,000 membership, they would be looking forward to tripartite arrangement with them and Family Homes Funds.
Mbeh, however, hinted that they are currently working on 25,000 housing units, in Karishi, Nasarawa state, adding, we work with numbers and as real estate firm, we had made a paradigm shift aimed at focusing on the construction of the middle class homes.
On his part, NUJ Council Chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche, called on stakeholders in the built industry to rid the sector of quacks, saying, “it is their desire that practicing journalists own their homes because they have paid supreme price for our democratic rule in Nigeria.”
He, therefore, explained that the issue of media practitioners having houses cannot be overemphasised, saying, this is very critical and we have to move from here to somewhere. That is why a cooperative society for journalists is a welcome development.