The sum of N24bn has been refunded to Nigerian workers contributed to the National Housing Fund program across the 36 states of the federation through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
Executive Director, Business Development and Portfolio Management, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Umar Dankane Abdullahi disclosed this while speaking at the Southern Zonal Retreat for staff of the organization in Calabar, with the theme: Motivating the Informal sector to embrace the NHF Scheme.
In addition to this, the cumbersome processes which made it difficult for Nigerian workers to access their contributions when they retire from service has been streamlined and workers now get their funds within 30 – 60 days after retirement.
In his words the bank helmsman said, “We have achieved tremendously and one of the area where Nigerians have a bad impression about the Bank is in refunds, the back bone of the bank is the National Housing Fund scheme, the mandatory contribution scheme where all Nigerians are expected to contribute and after their retirement we refund them, we got that bad image.
“Nigerians retired without getting their funds and I want to assure you that today as we are talking we have refunded 24 billion naira to Nigerians and out of that 24 billion naira, it is this incumbent management that has refunded 18 billion.
“We have reviewed the situation, improved on it and are now paying back the contributed money because the contributed money is still in the bank and has not been tempered with. The problem is with the procedure.
“Sometimes people apply for their funds and it takes years after retirement and they cannot access it, but that is no longer the case with this management because there is a paradigm shift and Nigerians are now happy with what we are doing because you can now get your money within 30 60 days after applying for it”, he said.
The bank Executive director lamented on the poor capital base of the bank stressing that with N5bn capital base, the bank is not in a position to meet the emerging needs in the Housing sector adding that a request has been made to the federal government to increase the capital base to N500bn so that the bank can meet up with present day realities.
“The bank was created with a per capital base of just 5 billion naira and is the foremost secondary mortgage market where they can no longer cope with the reality on ground. Today even the Primary Mortgage Bank have a capital base of 5 billion, and can you imagine the foremost secondary mortgage market in Nigeria relying on the 5 billion capital base.
“So when we came on board, we reviewed the situation and we have put forward to the government that this bank needs to be recapitalized to the tune of 500 billion naira and I believe that with this we can really expand the mortgage market in Nigeria and the sky will be the limit”, he said.
On the reason why the bank was set up, Abdullahi maintained that the bank is set up in order that it can assist the Nigerian workers solved housing problem stressing that it was the basis for insistence by the financial institution that the interest rate must remained at the single digit of 6%.
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