|Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank PC recently emerged winner of the Africa Mortgage Bank of the year, Mortgage Development Category (Diamond Award) of the Africa Finance Awards 2019. |
The awards was presented at the 6th Africa Finance Awards ceremony which was held on Thursday 9th of May at Sheraton Hotel Ikeja, Lagos.
According to the organisers, the programme is designed to honour outstanding professionals and corporate organisations in the pension, finance, insurance and other financial support services sectors.
The event was witnessed by leaders and decision makers across different sectors in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.
Some of the companies honoured were Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank, PAC Capital, KCB Bank Kenya, Hollard Insurance Ghana, IHMS, Outsurance and Linkpoint Resource, amongst other institutions nominated for the awards.
The 2019 awards were based on a number of criteria including, professionalism, innovation, impact performance, efficiency, value delivery, customer services, acceptability and a lot more.
Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank PLC was rated on all the criteria and emerged Africa Mortgage Bank of the year (Mortgage Development Category) and was awarded the Diamond Award at the event.
Speaking during the special CEO session at the Awards ceremony on Financing African Housing Development, the Strategic Role of Mortgage Bank, Dr. Obaleye Olabanjo. MD/CEO Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank noted that the pressing issue impairing the development of housing finance and mortgage sector in Africa is the cost of borrowing, which has persistently kept the interest rates on mortgage very high, so much so that having a single digit interest rate seem like a dream that cannot be realised.
He highlighted that, it is difficult for government to control the interest rate on loans because, in Nigeria for instance, government is the highest borrower in the economy.
He stated that 80% of the pension fund in Nigeria is being borrowed by government through treasury bills and bonds; adducing that the interest payable on them will need to come down for the interest on mortgage and housing development loan to be reduced.
He advocated that government in Africa, especially Nigeria should drive the single digit interest rate on mortgage to facilitate better development in the sector and encourage deepening the mortgage market and reducing corruption.
Dr. Obaleye noted that “we don’t emulate the market structure and the economies we claim to align with”. He said in most advance economies the interest rate on mortgage is below 5%, quoting Japan at less than 1%, in fact as low as 0.65%, Canada, USA, China and Germany doing between 1.25% and 5% depending on tenure, and the tenure in each case is as long as 30 years.
Speaking about the role of mortgage banks in housing development, he zeroed in on ITMB, which has since inception remained a true reflections of its unalloyed commitment towards providing Nigerians with endless opportunities through affordable home ownership.
He said, ITMB have wholly or partly financed no fewer than 14 modern estates in Abuja, thereby providing decent and affordable accommodation to over 3000 Nigerian families with the mission to be the role model for mortgage businesses through excellent customer service, leveraging the best in technology, abiding by ethical and professional standards while creating shelter and wealth for all stakeholders.
He encouraged everyone in the finance and financial services sector to join in encouraging government to create an enabling environment for economic growth through the financial markets.
Previous winners of the awards include, Keystone Bank, Vitafoam Nigeria, Powergas Africa, First Registrar, PTAD, Orange Insurance Brokers, and ARM Pension Managers, among several others.