Seven-Year Wait for Mortgage Cuts Nigerian's Dream of a Home

The Nigerian government faces a daunting challenge to close a shortage of 17 million houses, Bloomberg News reported. Gripped by poverty, Nigeria has no formalized title-deeds registry and most homes consist of informal structures on land passed down through generations. Rapid urbanization is also causing a proliferation of slums and shanty towns. Buhari’s drive to clear a backlog of mortgage applications comes ahead of a tough re-election bid next year and as the economy struggles to recover from 2016’s contraction. The 75-year-old is counting on lawmakers to this year approve a proposal to pump 500 billion naira ($1.4 billion) into Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, or FMBN, to increase its funding capacity. The state-backed lender is stepping up its game after meeting with mortgage providers two months ago, according to Olayemi Rabiu, managing director of Lagos-based Resort Savings and Loans Plc, which began operations in 1993 and is in talks for a recapitalization. Read more