N500bn Recapitalisation: FMBN Extends Loans To NHF Contributors

N500bn Recapitalisation: FMBN Extends Loans To NHF Contributors

The Federal Government has assured the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) of legislative amendments of relevant housing industry laws that will pave the way for its recapitalisation to N500 billion to enable the bank carry out its cardinal objectives.

For a long time now, the bank has not been able to carry out its constitutional duties of giving loan facilities to contributors of the National Housing Fund. These laws, according to the Federal Government, include the National Housing Fund (NHF) Act, 1992 and FMBN Establishment Act, 1993 which raises hope for the housing sector as expectation is that more people, especially those who are contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF), will get housing loan that will help to either buy or build a new house of their own.

This will impact the economy as more home owners will lead to increased productivity and economic activities that will create jobs for both skilled and unskilled labour in the housing sector.

Giving the Federal Government’s perspective on this recently at FMBN Management Retreat held in Abuja with the theme, ‘Transformational Innovation for Sustainable Development in Uncertain Times’ the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa who was the immediate past Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the apex bank, promised to ensure that FMBN gets all the necessary support at the highest levels possible to deliver maximally and optimally on its mandate to Nigerians.

According to him, “As minister, I am committed to being a way-maker, facilitator and catalyst to the evolution of the bank as a modern, impactful and resilient housing finance institution that delivers on the maxim that ‘everyone deserves a home,”

He noted that FMBN must be seen as a tool of service to Nigerians, tasking the staff to see their jobs and the salaries that they are paid as recompense for the services that they offer to Nigerians. “We must ensure that we offer quality customer service to Nigerians which is very important,” he stated.

However, he charged the bank to deliver on the Federal Government’s expectations and the needs of Nigerians for affordable housing, adding that what this means is that FMBN must transform, innovate and lead a new era of massive housing development and delivery even in these difficult times of high construction costs and lower incomes. 

In his words, “This requires a radically new mindset, thinking out of the box and identifying the opportunities that these challenges present.”

Mr. Dangiwa revealed that a lot of work has been done on the review of the NHF Act and FMBN Establishment Act as they have achieved successful passage by the two chambers of the National Assembly, but presidential assent was declined. He added that the current efforts must specifically identify the reasons for the rejection, so that appropriate steps are taken to address the issues that are relevant to stakeholders.

He therefore charged FMBN to make greater efforts towards reducing its non-performing loan portfolio and clearance of backlog of its audited accounts. In his words, “A major step in this regard is to ensure efficient processing and approval of corresponding NHF loans for all completed projects, as well as to ensure effective off-take and inter-account settlement to clean up the bank’s books.”

He continued, “In this direction, we must deliberately seek to continually increase the real estate sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to fulfil its projected role as the bedrock of economic growth and wealth creation.”

Special Assistant to the President on Economic Affairs,Tope Fasua, who was Guest Speaker at the retreat, said the country had potential for $200 billion investment in housing, attracting foreign investments and growing the economy by double digits.

Fasua noted that the big challenge in the sector has been the growing size of dead capital in the country which, according to him, is worth over $900 billion, adding that with artificial intelligence, all land globally will be documented and optimismized.

 FMBN’s managing director,  Madu Hamman, revealed the institution has been providing mortgage finance and facilitating home ownership for low and medium-income earners through its various schemes and products. He noted, however, that these efforts are not enough to meet the growing demand for shelter and expectations of the Nigerian people. In his words, “The housing sector has faced a severe shortage of and corresponding high cost of building materials that has negatively impacted the delivery of affordable housing in the country, these factors demand that we rethink our strategies, policies, and processes to ensure quality, affordable, and sustainable housing for Nigerians.” (The Sun).

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