The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has between April 2017 and March 2019, disbursed mortgage loans totaling N58 billion.
A statement signed by Mrs. Zubaida Umar Group Head, Corporate Communications, FMBN said the amount covers the provision of National Housing Fund (NHF) Mortgage Loans to 3,171 Nigerian workers valued at N22.3bn, Home Renovation Loans valued at N16.9 billion to 20,429 Nigerian workers, Estate Development Loans valued at N13.6 billion, Cooperative Development Loans totaling N2.7 billion and Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme Project at N2.5 billion.
The high level of loan disbursements, averaging N29 billion per annum she said “represents a significant increase in performance in comparison to the N152 billion, which the bank had given out over a 24-year period at an average of N6.3 billion per annum (1992 – April 2017).”
Additionally, the FMBN also posted strong performance in the processing of applications for refund of contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF) by workers who have retired from service. “The company successfully processed 120,759 NHF refund cases and paid out a total of N16.5 billion between April 2017 and March 2019. The amount, which the Management has recorded in terms of NHF refunds in about 24 months, exceeds the total of N10.8 billion recorded between 1992 and April 2017, when the current Management took office” the statement read.
Furthermore, the FMBN within the period funded the construction of 6,538 housing units across the country.
Speaking on the development, the MD/CE FMBN, Arc. Ahmed M. Dangiwa stated that the results reflect the passion of Management to reposition the FMBN on the path of greater impact, responsiveness, and professionalism.
In his words “the remarkable results that we have been able to achieve in about two years since we were appointed to run the affairs of the Bank. They demonstrate our determination to justify the confidence of President Muhammadu Buhari in our capacity to reform the FMBN as an effective tool in the hands of government to tackle the lingering housing deficit. The FMBN remains the best route to affordable homeownership for the Nigerian worker and we seek the support of all housing industry stakeholders in our bid to transform and reposition it to deliver on its mandate of providing affordable social housing”.
COVID-19: Airtel Nigeria bows to pressure, removes charges on SMS
Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel Nigeria), on Tuesday succumbed to pressure from Nigerians as it announced the removal of charges for its short message service (SMS), for its subscribers, in the light of the current disruption triggered by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, THE WITNESS reports.
In a tweet on its verified Twitter handle, @AirtelNigeria, the telecom firm said: “Airtel announces free SMS to all customers to connect with loved ones.
“Free SMS can be sent to all your friends and families across any network.
“Please note a Fair Usage policy applies to prevent network congestion at this time when network stability is paramount to keeping all of us connected”
“Distancing does not mean disconnecting,” Airtel said.
Recall, Nigerians called on telecommunications companies in Nigeria to reduce tariffs for voice and data services on their networks due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sina Bilesanmi, national president of the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS) had urged the operators to be patriotic and not see the pandemic as an opportunity to make easy money. Bilesanmi, while calling for collaborations between subscribers and telecoms operators, further stressed that if the virus must be defeated, access to telecoms services must not only be available but also affordable.
Also lending his voice, the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, urged telcos to ensure they further subsidy, relax calls, data for citizens in this critical time.
The Minister tweeted: “As earlier conveyed, as the Minister of @FMoCDENigeria in charge of Policy of the Telecom Sector as in NCA, 2003, Part 1, I “urge” @NgComCommission, @MTNNG, @GloNg, @AirtelNigeria, @9mobilengCare, etc to ensure they further subsidy/relax calls/data for citizens in this critical time,” Pantami said.
Prudential Zenith Life launches virtual services to help customers cope with COVID-19
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown, Prudential Zenith Life Insurance is rolling out a range of services to help customers cope with the lockdown.
The new services include a range of additional COVID-19 insurance cover enhancements, without additional premium charges, and a waiver for ‘pandemic’ exclusions as contained in its policy language.
In line with the recent pronouncement of the federal government, the company will be temporarily locked down and has therefore set up a dedicated claims team with remote working capabilities, to enable customers make and receive claims virtually.
According to the statement from the insurance company, the claims procedure will be simplified to allow customers make claims through the WhatsApp channel.
This development makes it possible for customers to buy insurance products without any physical interface with sales personnel or visit to a physical branch.
Commenting on the changes, Prudential Africa CEO Matt Lilley said, “we realise this is a worrying time for everyone and we want to reassure you that protecting the health and wellness of our customers, employees and partners is our primary concern.
“At Prudential, we have been delivering promises for over 170 years and this time will be no different. I am proud of the measures we are announcing today and I know that they will provide our customers additional peace of mind.”
He added that the waiting periods for new cover have been reduced, and the company is providing additional training and incentives to sales personnel to continue providing advice and access to insurance, even as they work remotely.
He encouraged Nigerians to stay safe and adhere to the directives from the Ministry of health, Nigerian centre for disease control (NCDC) and other relevant authorities.
“We are going to get through these trying times together” he assured.
What you should know
Prudential Zenith Life Insurance was born when Prudential Plc, one of the oldest and most strongly capitalized life insurance companies in the world, acquired a majority stake in Zenith Life Assurance.
COVID-19: FirstBank donates N1bn to Nigeria
FirstBank has announced its donation of the sum of N1 billion towards the joint effort by the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to rapidly expand the health facilities; especially Testing, Isolation, treatment and the provision of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities pivotal to controlling the spread and importantly, treating individuals diagnosed with COVID- 19.
This is in addition to the Bank’s drive to move one million children to e-learning, together with an early partner – Roducate – as recommended by the Ministry of Education, Lagos State
In line with the 14-day stay home directive for Lagos, Ogun and FCT Abuja in the speech by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Bank has also reiterated its preparedness to provide essential Banking services through its alternative channels to its customers and the public at large which is in line with its robust Business Continuity Plan.
Updating on the Bank’s efforts; the Bank’s CEO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said “we promise to continue to look at all areas of intervention where our business infrastructure, reach, digital platforms and other natural strengths lie and can be deployed to further support all efforts for Nigerians; young and old alike.
To that end, we will continue to communicate ways in which we can do more together.
We thank our community of friends, customers and other stakeholders who have continued to send us ideas and initiatives and are gladdened at the solidarity we see as Nigerians come together to tackle this under one umbrella.
Please stay safe and let’s work together to flatten the curve”, he concluded.
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