By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah,
The National Housing Fund (NHF) has been voted as the best housing initiative of the Federal Government since independence by a poll conducted by leading housing sector platform, Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN).
The Fund which is domiciled in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has been a major source of affordable home ownership for a lot of Nigerians in the formal and informal sectors.
Beating off competition from other equally important initiatives like REDAN, Family Homes Funds, NMRC, MBAN, AHCN, FGSHLB, FHA and FISH, the National Housing Fund according to a statement signed by the President of HDAN, Festus Adebayo has proven itself as a consistent creator of homes and jobs for many Nigerians in all states of the federation.
‘’The initiative,’’ according to Adebayo, ‘’is the indisputable leader that is still helping many Nigerians to become home owners and is under the custody and management of Federal Mortgage Bank. Their importance and innovativeness in a very tough housing environment has earned them this recognition by those who voted them as the winner of the poll.’’
The NHF was established by Act 3 of 1992 with the sole objective of managing contributing savings scheme known as National Housing Fund in Nigeria.
The core responsibilities and objectives of the Fund includes the mobilization of funds for the provision of affordable residential houses for Nigerians; Commercial and Merchant Banks to invest 10% of their loans and advances portfolio; Insurance Companies are mandated to invest 20% of non-life and 40% life funds in the housing sector with 50% of these directly in the funds; Financial contributions of the Federal Government.
Some of the numerous benefits of the Fund includes housing loan of up to 90% of the cost of the house; Interest on loans remains fixed throughout the life of the mortgage at 6% per annum; Long period of repayment of up to 30 years; Contributions can serve as additional old age security; Up to N15 million can be borrowed; Refunds with 2% interest on retirement; Loan repayment is about the same as a typical monthly rent; Every contributor has: a lifetime registration number, a passbook for personal recording of contributions and the account statement.
The Fund has also made it possible for all contributor to monitor the progress of their fund from their mobile phones, making it a very transparent and dependable scheme that is equally in tune with technological advancements. Anyone can apply through any accredited Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB) in Nigeria.
The Housing Development Advocacy Network in partnership with Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) are the promoters of Nigeria Housing Awards which is an annual event for rewarding and promoting excellence in the housing sector.