- Housing Mortgage Expert, (Mrs.) ADENIKE FASANYA-OSILAJA Reveals
Mrs. Adenike Fasanya Osilaja is a housing mortgage expert. She has lived in the US for close to 30 years studying various courses related to housing. She has more than 15 certifications. In the last 2 years, she has been shuttling between Nigeria and USA, attending real estate seminars, different fora, and sometimes called upon to present one lecture or the other, on the Nigerian real estate sector.
In the course of her diligent service, she has caught the attention of the stakeholders. She’s the Owner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marvel Ventures Mortgage, Inc. She has built this company into one of the most successful, privately-owned mortgage brokerage firms in Chicago, USA with expertise in every mortgage product offered in the market today to fit today’s consumers.
Last May, CBN appointed her a Contract Specialist Consultant to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the World Bank National Housing Finance Program. She is now the Technical Adviser on all Housing matters in the areas of policy development, industry training, standardization and quality control. Few weeks back, she spoke to City People’s Senior Property Reporter, ISAAC ABIMBADE on My Own Home program, an event that enables Nigerians access home funds for their dream homes.
Tell us more about ‘My Own Home scheme?
Well, every human being wants their own home; we don’t want somebody else’s home. It might be cliché but it speaks truth.
My home is my castle, It could be a face me I face you or it could be a 5 bedroom mansion in Banana Island, what I want is when I enter my house and I lock my door, you can’t come and bang on my door for no good reason. That is the essence of my own home.
Tell us the brain behind this initiative and the institutions that supported it?
The NHFP is a programme; it’s not an institution. There’s no organization called NHFP. The NHFP is a programme or a multitude of collaborators. So, the World Bank is involved. When the World Bank does anything, they do it with the government of a country.
So, the Federal government of Nigeria is involved. When the Federal government receives money from anywhere, they disburse through Central Bank of Nigeria. The Central Bank is involved. When the Central Bank wants to effect change, they go through the industry operators. So, the industry is involved. When the industry wants to effect change, they come together and develop a partnership in the industry itself, which is what led to the creation of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, an entity that was developed and invested in by the government and the industry.
So, that’s how they all came together. What we are doing now is a campaign to bring awareness about the programme and it’s beneficiary to every single Nigerian because we believe they have the right to that knowledge.
What do I need to have to qualify me for the program? And what is the scheme all about?
My Own Home Scheme is designed to expand home owner access. So right now, maybe 20 percent of the population have access to home ownership, that does not mean they can’t afford it, they just never tried it! They never tried it because they believe they will never make it anyway. So, my own home scheme is designed to bring information and knowledge to cure that skepticism and fear of inquiry because you have the right to ask. Worst case scenario, you get a no but like I always say, if you don’t ask, it is a zero percent change for you to get.
Another thing we are doing is helping the bank get the message out. We are helping the bank to let the world know that this exists. We are helping the banks develop capacity; we train the banks and as they continue to develop products, they will develop their own products under this programme and that is why we are encouraging everybody to go to their banks; go online and Google my own home. We have a website, we have a facebook page. You can find out information there. We are not saying you will get a home by all means; we are saying you will know where you stand.
Who are those eligible for this?
Any Nigerian over the age of 21. If you can sign a contract and have it valid and legally bidding, you can own a home. Remember, we have a Mortgage loan but we also have microfinance. If you can’t qualify for a loan, you can qualify for Microfinance. If you can qualify for either, at least you should know; let them say it to your face. If you are qualified, you shouldn’t be limited to what you can buy, who you can buy from.
What is Central Bank doing to bring down the rate?
That is what happens in a system that must become self sustainable. Yes, the rates are high today but that’s what your market dictates. It’s when you start to tamper with market that you create unsustainability because in order to reduce the rate somebody has to pay that difference because the market dictates that rate. If you put money in the bank today, you expect certain returns on it. If you put money in a company, you expect dividends.
That’s going to come from somewhere. So, we need to go back and look at where the money is coming from. What is the base that Nigeria is able to get money from? What is the base rate that we are able to access funds at in Nigeria? This is what dictates the market. Now, what we are saying is that, with a programme like this, the market will start to sanitize and you will start to see a long-term market. Well we start to see more predictability and investors will start to look at the market and they would be thinking of coming in and give money at 6 percent. Then, the pension funds start to look at it. Then international investors start to understand the market.
So, it’s not chaos anymore because the market is now transparent; you can now see it and then we will have data to support that transparency. You will start to see low interest rates, long term international money flowing into the market. And market itself will then correct and the rates will lower in a sustanainable manner because it was dictated by the market forces, not by government putting money in it, which the money would neither end one day or that government will go out of power and the next government will remove that programme. So, that’s why we are so passionate about this programme because we believe that, with the right planning and implementation, it’s an everlasting programme and this is how every settled economy has been able to build the sustainable housing market.
Will people who are unemployed or in the informal section be eligible for this programme?
We don’t discriminate; if you are a Nigerian and you are 21 and above you have the right to ask. Your bank discriminate on the basis of set under ridding guidelines, and you can ask your bank for those guidelines. There is nothing hidden. The guidelines are transparent, there are even online.
So, banks have certain guidelines they use to review your eligibility for the loan. If you can not buy, they will tell you. If you can buy they will tell you, at least you know and that is what the whole campaign is all about.