BY AGBO AUGUSTINE, Abuja |
The federal government has been commended over reforms in the housing sector with plans to reposition the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as a profitable entity.
The chairman, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), FCT chapter, Mr Osilama Emmanuel Osilama, made the commendation in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists.
He noted that if the apex mortgage bank is repositioned, it will lead to optimum performance and accelerate housing development nationwide.
According to him, the nation’s huge housing deficit estimated at 22 million as at 2019 will be drastically reduced.
Osilama, who is also the chief executive officer of Nuel Osilama Global Investment Limited, said that a well-funded FMBN will have more mortgage loans to give out to real estate developers to improve the housing sector just as he decried the bank’s current low funding by government.
The real estate expert further enjoined the federal government to make good its promise of injecting money into the housing sector through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to salvage it from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Recall that the Bureau Public Enterprises (BPE) last Wednesday inaugurated an eight-member committee for the full commercialisation and recapitalisation of the FMBN, adding that the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) which has 60 days to conclude its task comprises four members each from the BPE and the FMBN.
The committee is expected to, among others things, conduct a diagnostic review of the Bank’s existing institutional framework, organisational structures and operational modality.
The committee would 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 commercialization and recapitalization of the FMBN.
The Committee is also expected to harmonise and synchronise all the reform processes of the FMBN with the ongoing reform of the Housing sector; develop strategies on how to reform FMBN that would enable it to raise funds from the money and/or capital markets without government guarantees.
It would further undertake a review of the legal, institutional and operational frameworks of mortgage banking in a few African counties and other emerging economies with a view to learning from their key success factors (KSFs) that can be replicated.
Officials of the BPE had met with the management team of FMBN mid-February for talks on the proposed plan for the commercialisation of the bank in line with its 2021 work plan and as approved by the National Council on Privatisation(NCP).
The proposal is also in line with the ongoing efforts of the FMBN’s management to reposition the Bank, for better delivery as articulated in the 5-year strategic plan developed by the Bank.
“It was after this that it was resolved that a joint Technical Committee be constituted to prepare the bank for commercialisation and re-capitalisation by reviewing the 5- year strategic plan with the view of embedding it within the overall reform plan of the Bureau for FMBN,” Okoh stated.
He said members were chosen in recognition of their wealth of knowledge and expertise in the reform project and expressed the hope that the outcome of their assignment would pave way for the transformation of FMBN into a viable entity that would play a pivotal role in the housing sector value chain.
He said the assignment is of critical national importance and encouraged the members to approach it with the highest sense of responsibility.
The managing director of FMBN, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, pledged support for the commercialisation and recapitalisation process and raised optimism that the new initiative would help address the huge housing deficit in the country.