Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Seven-Year Wait for Mortgage Cuts Nigerian's Dream of a Home

  • Africa’s most populous nation only has 50,000 housing loans
  • President Buhari seeks to boost home ownership as vote looms
A pedestrian walks along a dirt path towards a newly completed residential housing estate in Abuja, Nigeria, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. A drop in crude prices in the past year has put pressure on public finances, while the naira has declined 7 percent against the dollar this year.
Photographer: George Osodi
Updated on

Pius Okebe has waited so long for a loan to build a house in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos that he’s worried he may be getting too old to qualify for the amount needed to finance it.

Seven years after applying, the used-tire trader is now banking on the latest government attempt to kick-start the Nigerian mortgage market: President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to inject $1.4 billion into a state-backed lender. The measure is part of efforts to boost home ownership in a country where only 50,000 people out of almost 200 million have housing finance.