19 June 2018

Nigeria: Shareholders Task Govt On Ease of Land Acquisition Process, Fees

In a renewed move to attract more real estate investors and encourage effective property documentation in the country, shareholders are seeking Federal Government's intervention to ease land documentation process and fees charged on documentation.

National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, NDSA, Mr. Patrick Ajudua, made the appeal at the just-concluded 12th Annual General Meeting of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank, ITMB, in Abuja, saying the Federal Government should simplify land documentation process and reduce the cost.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank, ITMB, Adebanjo Obaleye at the AGM noted: "We take delight in the number of people we have been able to make home owners, and we count those numbers every year. Till date, we have been able to do almost 4,000, of which about 70 per cent (2,800) are first time home owners. So, we continue to make people home owners and this delights us more than profit-making

'There is a lot to say about ITMB. We try to create affordability for people. We make Nigerians own their homes by giving them long-term payment budget instead of giving them big money to buy a house. You can come to Infinity Trust and we will break it down for you.

"The bank remained profitable in year 2017 achieving a profit-before-tax of N260m indicating that the bank has consistently recorded profit for the past 12 years," Obaleye said.

According to him, the company is proposing to pay a cash dividend of 2k per ordinary share and 7k per preference share to deserving shareholders, pointing out that with this dividend declared, the mortgage bank has declared dividend for the fourth year running as a listed company and for the 12th consecutive time since 2006. He added that the bank is the only mortgage bank in Nigeria to achieve this feat.

According to Ajudua, "If government that is supposed to provide the infrastructure did not do it, if the government that is supposed to increase interest rate did not do it, and if government that is supposed to ensure legal work in terms of regularisation of title documents did not make it exorbitant and out of reach of people, it will be very difficult for banks like this which is in the mortgage industry to survive.

"The first issue is the cost and the second is the documentation process. When the process becomes cumbersome, when the process becomes very difficult, and also the timeliness of that process, you get worn out and discouraged as an investor. So, we expect the government to reduce the time and the fees to make it attractive for people to be in that industry."

The National Coordinator of Domicile Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Shopeju Adetutu expressed her appreciation of the company's effort and prudence, saying: "I thank the bank's board and management for not touching the bank's shareholders' fund to pay dividend and for consistently putting smiles on the faces of shareholders in the past 12 years."

Another shareholder, Pastor Williams Adebayo from Abeokuta, Ogun State, who thanked the bank for its consistency in dividend pay-out, said the encomiums the company received from its shareholders were for the fact that the bank has also committed itself to Corporate Social Responsibility CSR.

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