By Emmanuel Addeh
The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria ((FMBN) has succeeded in increasing the National Housing Fund (NHF) from N232 billion it generated in 25 years to N383 billion in the last three years, an addition of N151 billion.
The NHF is a social savings scheme designed to mobilise long-term funds from Nigerian workers, banks, insurance companies and the federal government to advance concessionary loans to contributors.
The mortgage bank also disclosed that the contributors to the fund had increased from 4.5 million to 5 million, adding that the plan to recapitalise the fund to at least N500 billion to be able to tackle the housing problem in the country is almost materialising.
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Dangiwa Ahmed, who spoke weekend during a webinar tagged “Covid-19: Housing as a Solution-FMBN Leading Through the Crisis”, explained that in the last three years, a lot of innovations had been introduced to the NHF to attract more contributors.
He was joined at the meeting by the Director, Loans and Mortgage, FMBN, Rahimatu Aminu-Aliyu; ex-President, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr. Ugochukwu Chime; Dr Banjo Obaleye of Infinity Mortgage Bank; Head, Strategy and Performance, FMBN, Oladapo Obaleye; and Aliyu Wammako.
According to Ahmed, in terms of loans disbursement, the FMBN had approved N128 billion, while N94 billion had already been disbursed to the beneficiaries.
On the transparency of the bank’s operations, he noted that the FMBN was regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), adding that all the strict rules that apply to other banks also applied to the bank which was established in 1956, then called the National Building Society (NBS).
He emphasised that in recent times, the bank has improved its turnaround time by 30 per cent, generating mortgage loans for 4,000 houses and housing renovation loans for 43,000 buildings.
He said of all states in the country, only Oyo and Kano had not joined the contributory scheme, explaining that the focus is to get the 36 states on board, get institutional investors to sign on, integrate the informal sector and partner diaspora mortgages.
He said: “When we came on board, many of the states were not contributing. We had to bring them on board. Only two states have not joined, that is Kano and Oyo. We have improved in that aspect. We have improved the register of employers.
“We have brought in additional 1,629 from the 22,000 we met. Now, we have 23,716, over five million contributors, with over 500,000 added in the last three years.”
The chief executive of the bank said that cooperative societies had also been introduced to the scheme to encourage the informal sector, swelling the rank of the participants in the scheme by another 1,179 contributors.
He added: “When we came, the fund had collected N232 billion so far. We realised it was not enough. So, within the last three years, we have generated N151 billion more to the N232 billion the bank generated in 25 year, that is from 1992-2017. Now, we have a total of N383 in the fund.”
Ahmed noted that the bank was working hard to ensure that all those who have exited the fund get their refund, stressing that from N10.8 billion, the FMBN has now added N23.8 billion to make N34 billion.
“We are recapitalising the bank to the tune of N500 billion and we have gone very far. We are also reviewing the NHF and FMBN Act to tackle housing deficit,” he noted.
On the Covid-19 impact on debtors, he said that each of the cases will be treated on their merit, adding that those who deserve it will be granted a moratorium, especially the self-employed.