James Emejo in Abuja
The Director General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki, has said the council is determined to investigate various consumer complaints bordering on alleged diversion of N128.32 million in mortgage loans and consumers’ deposits by Resort Savings and Loans Limited (RSL).
She said it would further probe the operations of the company as well as engage in other legal steps in line with its enabling law with a view to protecting the consumers of the services of the primary mortgage company.
The CPC boss said the council had already communicated the details of the complaints from the aggrieved depositors and mortgage contributors to the company for full response, failing which appropriate option of the prosecution of its principal officers would commence.
RSL is a primary mortgage institution licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to undertake mortgage business in Nigeria and it is also registered with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
She added that both regulators had been duly informed of the allegations against the company.
According to the council, some of the allegations by consumers against the company included its failure to pay back deposits made by consumers, even after the agreed tenor was over and repeated demands made by them, as well as its alleged diversion of loans disbursed to mortgage beneficiaries by FMBN.
The CPC also disclosed that consumers accused RSL of providing them with incorrect information about their applications for National Housing Fund loans, such as giving non-existent batch numbers, with a view to deceiving them into believing that their applications were under consideration.
Specifically, the council said one of the complaints was on behalf of a group of nine beneficiaries of FMBN Batch 54 loans, alleged that RSL in 2014 received N149.3 million on behalf of 14 beneficiaries and failed to disburse the loans to the developers of relevant beneficiaries.
The nine complainants further alleged that five of the 14 beneficiaries who are staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) brought in the CPC to intervene on the issue and thereby forced the mortgage company to disburse N47.25 million due to the five, leaving N102.1million undisbursed to the developers of the remaining nine.
The consumer protection agency stated that the group of nine complainants alleged that the action of the primary mortgage company not to disburse their loans led to the revocation of their letters of allocation by their developers.
The council also disclosed that other complaints bordered on default in paying back deposits to depositors and failure to refund equity contributions of disappointed mortgage applicants.
A statement from the CPC said the total worth of the claims against the company on the alleged diversion mortgagors’ funds and default in refund of consumers’ deposits amounted to N128,323,603.64.