Kingsley U.N. Chikwendu —
Going by the current increase in crude oil prices, stability of exchange rate, strengthening of foreign investments and diaspora remittances, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC) says it expects greater demand for homeownership and mortgages.
The Chairman, Mr. Charles Adeyemi Candide-Johnson (SAN), while making this disclosure at the Annual General Meeting of the company held in Lagos, said the coronavirus pandemic had a huge negative impact on the sector, “the slowdown of the economy resulted in job losses and default on mortgage obligations, NMRC’s investment income also came under pressure with historic decrease in interest rates”, he added.
Candide-Johnson noted that despite these challenges, profit before income tax decreased marginally from ₦N3.097 billion in 2019 to ₦N3.039 billion in 2020, while the company’s Balance Sheet increased from ₦N72.867 billion in 2019 to ₦N85.044 billion following the company’s series three bond issuance in November 2020.
According to him, the company had also made progress by increasing access to affordable housing finance in the mortgage industry by boosting the liquidity positions of mortgage lending institutions. It raised N29 billion from the capital market and deployed over N21 billion towards refinancing mortgage loan portfolios of commercial and mortgage banks in the country.
NMRC’s Managing Director, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, said the company has been removing barriers to homeownership, which have implications for the wealth, health and stability of communities. “We worked with Nasarawa, Ekiti and Ogun States and ensured that the model mortgage and foreclosure law was signed by their governors.
“We partnered with World Bank to conduct feasibility study on best practices of an electronic mortgage registry system and a gap analysis for the development of an Electronic Mortgage Assets Registry System (E-MARS) in Kaduna and Kano States, focusing on legal and regulatory issues.”
Ogundimu said the establishment of a property developed E-MARS system will improve the nation’s housing finance ecosystem by providing timely and reliable access to land, public access to data about mortgage interest and facilitate due diligence for mortgage transactions.
He said, notwithstanding the significant fall in interest income, the company was able to flat-line profits by cutting down on expenses for a decent financial outcome during the year.
Ogundimu further noted that the company had a positive variance on expenses with total expenses decreasing by N0.44 billion from N2.32 billion in 2019 to N1.88 billion in 2020. Profit before income tax decreased marginally by 1.6 per cent from N3.09 billion in 2019 to N3.04 billion in 2020.