Nigeria enacted regulations allowing citizens to tap into their pension contributions to fund mortgages, as it looks for ways to help more people buy homes.
The National Pension Commission “approved the issuance and immediate implementation” of guidelines for retirement savings account holders to use a portion of their balance to pay for residential housing loans, it said in an emailed statement.
A pension holder must pay into the fund for at least five years to qualify, and can withdraw a maximum of 25% of the savings, it said.
Africa’s most populous nation, with more than 200 million people, Nigeria is trying to turn more of its citizens into homeowners. A report published by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2019 found the nation had a deficit of about 20 million housing units, which would require 21 trillion naira ($48.2 billion) to finance.
Citizens have faced challenges accessing property finance as most funds available are short-term whereas mortgages require payments over a long period of time.
By Emele Onu