The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has partnered with the organised labour and civil society organizations to enable the bank achieve its objective of providing affordable houses.
FMBN Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Dangiwa explained that the bank was established as the apex mortgage bank in Nigeria in 1993 to provide shelter for Nigerian masses but has since inception not been adequately funded to deliver on its mandate.
Dangiwa who said this at an advocacy workshop on National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme held at the Royal Institute for Training and Human Capital Development, Suleja, Niger State.
The FMBN boss noted that some government agencies which were supposed to provide capital for the bank as its shareholders have not done so since inception. He said that the situation has left the bank grossly undercapitalised and in a disadvantaged position to carry out its primary function of financing housing delivery to the masses.
Dangiwa lamented that banks and insurance companies have made matters worse for the bank by not complying with the provisions of the NHF Act 1992.
He said, “The NHF Act compels all commercial and merchant banks to invest in the NHF, 10 per cent of their loans and advances at 1 per cent interest rate above the interest payable on current account by banks. The Act requires insurance companies to invest a minimum of 20 per cent of their non-life funds and 40 per cent of their life funds in real property development of which not less than 50 per cent shall be paid into the NHF through the FMBN at an interest rate not exceeding 4 per cent.
In effect, Section 11 of the NHF Act stipulates that “the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shall collect from commercial and merchant banks at the end of every year and not later than one month thereafter, the percentage of their contribution to the fund. The CBN shall within two months of making collection from the banks pay the money to the bank (FMBN) for investment in the fund”.
“Unfortunately, none of these provisions of the law has been implemented till date, thereby inhibiting the Bank’s capacity to provide affordable homeownership for Nigerians.”
He urged the non-governmental organisations to support the FMBN “in surmounting these challenges by being advocates and champions of the FMBN cause” through partnership to ensure that the National Assembly amends the relevant sections of the NHF Act and the FMBN Act 1993 to enable the bank function better. The FMBN boss assured that a well recapitalised and supported FMBN would empower Nigerians to become home owners, noting that the bank offers housing loans at 6 per cent interest rate, a rate which no other bank can offer in Nigeria.
Earlier at the forum, FMBN National Coordinator, Mr. Sadiq Garba, highlighted the benefits of the NHF Scheme as the cheapest source of home ownership, asking civil society organisations, the organised labour, cooperative societies and the general public to key into the scheme for the benefit of Nigerians.
Chairman, Sagamu Independent Power Plant Limited, Engineer Mohammed Nur Khalil, berated banks and insurance companies for not complying with the provisions of the NHF Act, saying “going by the Central Bank of Nigeria statistics, banks gave out a total of N66.996 trillion as loans and advances between 2011 and 2016.”