CSOs Laud FMBN’s Debt Recovery Drive, Seek NHF’s Patronage

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The League of Civil Society Groups (LCSG), a coalition of all civil society groups in Nigeria has commended the management of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for the recovery of over N1billion debt as well as the funding of estate projects in Oyo, Osun States and Abuja.

The league, as part of its performance review also stated that the strides made by the management of the FMBN headed by Ahmed Dangiwa have been quite impressive and needed commendation to be consolidated upon.

In a statement signed by Ambassador Mukhtar Akoshile, the League’s National Secretary, LCSG noted that the new board of FMBN took over at a time when confidence in the scheme was at its lowest ebb evidenced by the very low participation in the mortgage system in Nigeria.

“The management of Dangiwa inherited over 80 abandoned estates which are in at different stages of completion and mortgaging to the public. One of such estates, of over 200 homes in Gwagwalada, Abuja, has been occupied by University of Abuja staff.
“The management is repositioning the bank to fulfill its mandate of “raising long term financing for delivery to contributors”. The management has delivered on this mandate within the framework of a policy thrust of good corporate governance and transparency.

“Management has drafted a robust risk management framework, while doing cost containment.
“The new management, within its short time in office has also made recoveries of debt running into hundreds of millions of naira, as part of their target of recovering N1 billion before the end of the year, to further strengthen the pool of available loanable funds,” the statement said.

The management, the coalition said, has also ensured the reduction of processing and payment time for contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF), from the 90 days provided for in the law to 30 days.
It also urged all stakeholders in the housing sector to engage in aggressive awareness and enlightenment campaign to increase volume of participation to a level commensurate with the size of the nation’s economy.

While urging the National Assembly to speed up the process of amending the enabling Act of the FMBN to ensure better delivery of service to Nigerians in meeting their housing needs and eliminating the housing deficit in Nigeria, the CSOs also advised all the states which have stopped making contributions to the scheme to begin again as they deny their workers the opportunities available to them.

“The CBN should also ensure, as the regulator of the banking sector in Nigeria, that bank’s meet their obligation as enshrined in the law to invest 10% of loans in NHF. Contributions of insurance companies should also be made available to the FMBN as provided by law, and NAICOM should ensure that it meets it’s obligation to collect these funds and remit to FMBN.

“We commend Mr. President for appointing the right people into the management of the FMBN and urge him to support the bank further to jumpstart and help diversify the economy as a vibrant housing sector has the capacity to provide countless jobs for Nigerians,” the coalition said.