The federal government has said that henceforth housing mortgages below N5 million will no longer attract the usual initial payment of 10 per cent equity from approved off-takers.

In a statement by an Assistant Director of Information in the Ministry of Housing, M. A. Ahmed, in Abuja at the weekend, it said it chose to scrap the 10 per cent initial deposit on such cadre of housing loans administered by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to demonstrate its commitment to the provision of affordable houses to Nigerians, especially low income earners.

Though it did not disclose what the new arrangement for mortgages within this financing cadre would look like, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, however said that the waiver had been approved by the government.

The statement quoted Shehuri to have said during a recently commissioned 125-unit housing estate being financed by the FMBN and developed by a private developer, Messrs LCK Projects (Nigeria) Limited, in Enugu, that in view of the challenge of housing deficit in Nigeria, which has been put at about 17 million, the ministry would build mass houses in every state of the country for public workers and other interested parties over the next three years, using a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.