FMBN CHARTS NEW COURSE FOR HOUSING DELIVERY

By NBF News
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The Board and Management of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has held a three-day retreat to fashion out better ways of improving housing delivery in Nigeria.

At the retreat which took place in Kaduna, the Chairman of the Bank's Board of Directors, Alhaji Deda Atta, urged participants to explore new methods of cutting the period used for processing housing loans by at least 50 per cent.

Noting that such a reduction would endear the National Housing Fund (NHF) loan scheme to Nigerians, Atta said he was optimistic that by the end of the retreat, the Bank's management would be better equipped to make the FMBN more competitive and more relevant to Nigerians in qualitative housing delivery and ultimately improved quality of life.

He charged the retreat to come up with ideas on how the FMBN can work better with Real Estate Developers and Primary Mortgage Institutions to bring about faster construction of houses of better quality for the nation's teeming population in various parts of the country.

Managing Director of the Bank, Mr. Gimba Ya'u Kumo, harped on the need for the retreat to develop a 'strategic work-plan' which outlines the FMBN goals, objectives, tactics and timelines as parameters that the Bank's Board should operate within.

Kumo noted that the FMBN Board of Directors have been in office for just eight months but enumerated their achievements to include return of Akwa Ibom State into the fold of NHF scheme as a contributor (the state remitted N111 million as NHF arrears of its civil servants to the FMBN last week); while states like Kano, Benue and Oyo have given firm commitments that they would resume contributions to the scheme.

Also, the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has directed its member associations to comply with NHF Act by making statutory contributions to the scheme.

The FMBN MD said that in the last six months, FMBN recorded NHF collections of N6.2 billion to achieve cumulative remittances of N70.8 billion under the scheme. From 1992 to June 30, 2011, the Bank's total loan portfolio stood at N137 billion, of which approximately N70 billion has been disbursed.

More than 53,000 houses have been delivered in various parts of the country through this funding. However, the nation currently suffers from a housing deficit of 16 million houses, which requires not less than N56 trillion to finance at an average cost of N3.5 million per house.

Faced with this stark reality, Kumo assured the retreat participants that the FMBN Management would work assiduously to ensure that the pronouncement by Vice President Namadi Sambo that the Federal Government would inject fresh capital of N200 billion into FMBN, is made a reality in no distant future.

The retreat which started on Thursday July 14 and ended on Saturday, July 16, 2011, rose with the resolve to ensure that the new management of the FMBN toes the path of providing more qualitative and quantitative houses for Nigerians within the shortest possible delivery time.