…blames failure on Ministry of Housing
‘Blueprint not ready
The much-anticipated recapitalisation of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to N500 billion may not kick in on time as envisaged. New Telegraph findings showed that the blueprint expected to be submitted by the Bureau of Pubic Enterprises (BPE) in June is not ready.
An industry source, who is conversant with the issue, told this medium that BPE, which is saddled with the mandate, had yet to come up with the blueprint for the exercise. The privatisation agency,according to him, is yet to give progress report at the expiration of two-month deadline it set in April this year.
“The issue of recapitalising the FMBN has been a work in progress for years. The government and stakeholders in housing sector believe that for Nigeria to tackle the housing deficit gap estimated at over 18 million, the bank must be recapitalised.
“A recapitalisation threshold of N500 billion was suggested. The National Assembly had set machinery in motion for amendment of FMBN Act. But you know, everything about finance is domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. The ministry referred it to Bureau of Pubic Enterprises (BPE) to take it up,“ he said. The Bureau in April this inaugurated a joint technical committee to oversee the bank’s commercialisation and recapitalisation and gave a 60-day timeline for the report to be submitted. Contacted on phone yesterday, FMBN’s spokesperson, Mallam Lawal Isa, asked this reporter to get update from BPE.
“I don’t have an update on it. Get in touch with BPE,” he said. Amina Tukur Othman, Head of Public Communication at BPE, wasn’t available for response. However, a source within BPE attributed the delay to Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, whom he said requested for time to present memo on FMBN recapitalisation to the Federal Executive Council. “The Minister of Works and Housing requested for time to enable him present a memo before the Federal Executive Council. That was what delayed meeting the two months deadline. “That had been done. The comiittee has been meeting.
Even today the committee met,” the source said. Asked if the comiittee had a new timeline, having failed to meet the June deadline, the source, who is a top official of BPE, said it wasn’t to his knowledge. An eight-member committee comprising four members each from the BPE and FMBN was inaugurated in April by BPE to produce a blueprint for the recapitalisation and commercialisation of FMBN. Alex Okoh, Director- General of the BPE, had said that government was committed to bridging the country’s huge housing deficit estimated at 22 million as at 2019. He identified the terms of reference for the committee to include conducting “a diagnostic review of the bank’s existing institutional framework, organisational structures and operational modality. “To review and harmonise all existing policies, law and regulations governing mortgage banking in Nigeria in order to identify areas that would facilitate the implementation of full commercialisation and recapitalisation of the FMBN.