Prof. Abdulqadir Abikan, the National President of Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), has commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for introducing ‘Non-Interest Rent to Own Housing Product’ to enable a broader spectrum of Nigerians own their homes.
According to the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) Bulletin issued on Monday, Abikan made the commendation when he led a team of MULAN executive committee members on a courtesy visit to the FMBN Management Team at the Bank’s Head office in Abuja.
Abikan, who is also the immediate past Director of the School of Preliminary Studies, Unilorin, said the association received the news of FMBN’s approval of the non-interest rent-to-own product with extreme excitement.
“This is because it provides an alternative mortgage scheme for many Nigerians whose religious beliefs do not allow them to benefit from the Bank’s housing products because of their interest-based nature.
“We believe the decision will engender a more inclusive mortgage system for a broader spectrum of Nigerians.
The MULAN president added that the association is ready and willing to partner with the FMBN towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the non-interest housing products through the provision of relevant advisory services by its members.
He explained that FMBN developed the product to eliminate the challenges that eligible Nigerians who want to own their homes through the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme face because of the interest-based nature of the bank’s existing housing products.
“The product uses a rent-to-own model that allows beneficiaries to move into FMBN and non-FMBN-funded homes and conveniently pay towards full ownership using or annual rentals.
“The product’s financing structure is based on the non-interest financing contract of Ijarah Muntahia Bitamleek (Lease to Own),” he said.
Abikan noted that FMBN retains ownership of the property until the financing term ends or at any time during the lease period that the beneficiary wishes to purchase the property.
Receiving the MULAN team, Mr Madu Hamman, the Managing Executive of FMBN, commended them for the visit while assuring of the bank’s readiness to collaborate with the association towards ensuring a hitch-free provision of the non-interest housing product.
Hamman, who was represented by the bank’s Executive Director, Loans and Mortgage Services, Alhaji Lukman Mustapha, observed that the FMBN non-interest rent-to-own product is available to Nigerians who must be contributors to the NHF scheme.
He added that it covers both FMBN and non-FMBN-funded properties with a maximum price of N15 million.
Hamman explained that beneficiaries have the options to pay to own the property in or annual rental installments over 30 years, depending on their age and years in service.
He encouraged members of MULAN to become ambassadors of the non-interest rent-to-own product.
The FMBN boss advised the association to take the news outside of the association to other prospective home owners within their respective areas of influence and network.