Sterling Bank Plc, has won the Housing Friendly Commercial Bank of the Year Award for its remarkable impact on housing delivery in Nigeria’s housing sector. Receiving the award at the 12th edition of the Abuja Housing Awards in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Sterling Bank’s Non-Interest Banking (NIB) Group Head, Mr. Basheer Oshodi said, the Bank was delighted at the recognition of the innovative efforts of the NIB group in the housing sector.
Oshodi said the model of engagement created by the NIB group enhanced the ability of many Nigerians to own houses under a flexible mode of payment, adding that the NIB group has done so much in making affordable housing available to Nigerians.
According to him, customers who express interest in the home ownership model are made to contribute between 20 and 30 per cent equity over the construction period of 18 months after which the facility is booked for future ownership. He added that rentals in the scheme are less than what would have been paid in a conventional banking arrangement.
“We have developed an innovative method of home ownership for Sterling Bank customers. The model gives an opportunity to the buyer to own a house without the stress of bulk payment. Where the house is already built, a prospective home owner simply makes equity contribution and is booked for future ownership. Even if there is no house on the ground and the customer signifies an intention to access a mortgage, the next step will be to start contributing equity,” Oshodi said.
He explained that once off-takers are identified and profiled, current accounts are opened for them so that they can start saving towards meeting their equity quotient while the deposits serve as a liability to the bank. He said since the rules do not allow NIB to invest in treasury bills or interest bearing securities, the deposits are normally used to buy off-plans from developers through a lease structure.
The lease can be either off-plan, which means the bank books the facilities even before construction starts, or a home finance which leads to ownership. The Abuja Housing Awards recognize and celebrate original and innovative businesses, consultants and teams, among others, that demonstrate excellence in the built environment.
This year’s edition was attended by senior government officials including the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; private sector operators and other stakeholders in the built industry both from within and outside the country. Oshodi disclosed that Sterling Bank also won “The European-Islamic Bank of the year Africa in 2016” award in London recently at an Awards ceremony organised by a United Kingdom-based magazine, The European.
On his part, Executive Director, Commercial and Institutional Banking, Sterling Bank, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, said the bank has made significant commitments in the real estate segment, especially in Lagos State and is willing to provide facilities to real estate developers.
According to Adesanya, Sterling Bank has done well in retail real estate financing and some of the projects financed include Crown Court Durumi, 360 low-cost housing units in Amuwo-Odofin, 210 semi-detached houses in Agungi-Lekki, 539 units of apartments in Lekki Phase 1 and 566 mixed housing units also in Lekki, among others.
Sterling Bank has been very active in the country’s housing sector. The bank is keen to contribute its quota to the development of affordable housing across the country and is currently collaborating with selected mortgage companies to develop housing estates.