In an effort to reposition the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for better performance, its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, has said that commercial banks and insurance companies have shown more interest in playing their statutory roles.
According to him, this is part of efforts to reset FMBN and the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme on a stronger and more progressive footing.
Speaking with stakeholders at a webinar, he stated that commercial banks and insurance companies under the NHF Act were required to invest 10 per cent of their loans and advance portfolio, 40 per cent and 20 per cent of life and non-life funds respectively in the scheme.
New Telegraph gathered that for a very long time, banks and insurance companies failed in this responsibility, resulting in inability of FMBN to perform its function of mortgage financing and affordable housing delivery creditably. Dangiwa is optimistic that the performance will show the potential of FMBN to make a difference in affordable housing delivery if properly empowered.
He said: “With the cooperation of our stakeholders and our strategic reform initiatives, we are happy to say that we have reset FMBN and the NHF scheme on a stronger, more progressive footing than we met it.
When we came on board three years ago, the confidence level was low.”
He said the bank’s push to achieve access to affordable housing for more Nigerians was on course.
This, he pointed out, would include the N500 billion recapitalisation; review of the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme and FMBN establishment Acts and the overall automation of all FMBN business processes.
The managing director noted that while FMBN had in the last three years surpassed all key corporate performance indicators such as the size and speed of mortgage loan disbursements, refunds to retired contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme, housing stock construction amongst others, the overall goal of management is to fundamentally turnaround the bank by increasing the size of its capital, restructuring its legal framework and putting technology at the heart of its operations.
According to him, progress has been made in advocacy to the Federal Government to increase FMBN’s capitalisation from the current N5 billion to N500 billion. Such recapitalisation, he said, would give the bank the financial resilience to leverage additional financing to tackle the rising housing deficit. With the support of the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, we believe this is realisable,” the FMBN boss said.
Regarding the review of the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme and FMBN’s Establishment Acts pending at the National Assembly, the managing director stated that the bank was working closely with relevant stakeholders toward resolving the issues that caused the presidency to withhold assent. He stated that the management had consulted with key stakeholders to fix all issues of concern that were raised.
“We are happy to observe that we are making good progress. This groundwork that we are doing we hope will hopefully ensure that the emerging provisions in the bills will be acceptable to all parties and we will not experience the delay that occurred before,” Dangiwa said.
On the bank’s core banking project ,the managing director said he was hopeful that it will be implemented as a foundation for a total migration of the bank’s business operations from manual to digital, thus improving efficiency and service delivery.