Reps probe banks, insurance firms for N7.5tn NHF shortfall

Reps probe banks, insurance firms for N7.5tn NHF shortfall

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to probe the non-implementation of the National Housing Policy, particularly breaches of the National Housing Fund Act, 2004.

It said the NHF had hardly been funded by banks and insurance firms as provided in Sections 5 and 11 of the Act.

This, according to the House, has left a backlog of N6.6tn and another N89.9bn yet to be ploughed into the Fund.

In a resolution following a motion moved by a member from Katsina State, Mr. Ahmad Kaita, the House said loans and advances made by banks between 2011 and 2015 alone stood at N51.46tn.

An additional N15tn was made as of the end of December 2016, it added.

It noted that by the provision of the NHF Act, which requires that 10 per cent of loans and advances should be invested in the Fund, a total of N6.6tn should have accrued to the NHF for the period 2011 to March 2017.

Similarly, the House said insurance firms generated over N747bn from non-life and life premiums between 2006 and 2010.

It added, “By Section 5(2) of the National Housing Fund Act, the insurance companies ought to have paid the sum of N89.9bn into the coffers of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for the NHF for the five-year period.”

The House observed that the non-funding of the NHF could make the promise of the Federal Government to provide four million new homes by 2019 a mirage.

At an average of N6m per unit, the House noted that the N6tn could have provided homes for at least one million Nigerians already.

The session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, mandated an ad hoc committee to conduct a public hearing on the issue and report back within eight weeks.

Among the stakeholders to resolve the matter are the Central Bank of Nigeria, National Insurance Commission, FMBN, insurance firms, and Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

In a separate resolution, the House condemned the frequent increase in electricity tariffs without commensurate power supply to Nigerians.

The House observed that the Multi-Year Tariff Order adopted by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in 2008 was expected to offer affordable and cost-effective power to Nigerians.

However, it said in recent years, both the regulator and operators had abused the MYTO, with the effect that tariff increases to the detriment of power consumers had become the order of the day.

The motion demanding a probe of the development was moved by Mr. Shehu Musa.

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