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FMBN Scorecard 2015-2019: Buhari’s historic transformation in delivery of affordable housing to Nigerian workers

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(This is a co-created content  by Mrs. Zubaida Umar, The Group Head, Corporate Affairs, FMBN.)

 

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has delivered record-breaking achievements in the past four years as a vital institutional tool of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration in the delivery of affordable housing to Nigerians nationwide.

The achievements are a result of Mr. President’s clear vision for the development of the Nigerian Housing Sector, apparent by his appointment of a competent and reform minded Board of Directors and Executive Management Team for FMBN under the leaderships of Dr. Adewale A. Adeeyo, OON and Arc. Ahmed M. Dangiwa, fnia, ficen respectively

It is noteworthy that the Bank’s historic strides in the past fouryears (2015-2019) have found direction under the Buhari

Administration’s broad agenda, which is in tangent with its corporate mandate to, amongst others, advance affordable

home ownership through the supply of sustainable long-term liquidity to the Nigerian mortgage market; promote a viable primary and mortgage market and; the management of the National Housing Fund (NHF) – a contributory savings scheme designed to mobilize long-term funds from Nigerian workers, banks, insurance companies and the Federal Government to advance concessionary loans to NHF contributors.

Across all corporate performance indicators including loan disbursements, delivery in housing stock, funds mobilization, mobilization of new contributors to the NHF Scheme, available loan products, refund of NHF contributions, the Bank surpassed previous records of achievements.

Some of the significant areas of performance improvement are highlighted below.

N147.3 billion Mortgage Loan Disbursement Under the four years of the Buhari Administration, FMBN disbursed the total sum of N147.3 billion for affordable housing finance through National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme. This comprises

  • Estate development loans totaling N66.3 billion for the construction of 1,726 housing units;
  • NHF Mortgage loans totaling N36.6 billion granted 5,030 beneficiaries;
  • Home renovation loans totaling N22.7 billion granted To 27,618 beneficiaries; and
  • Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme loans totaling N21.7 billion for the construction of 1,619 housing units.

Remarkably, the total loan disbursement of N147 billion between 2015 – 2019 represents over 70% of total loan portfolio of N210.6 billion advanced by the Bank since commencement of the NHF Scheme 24 years ago. This translates to an annual average of N36.75 billion (or more than 600% increase) during the Buhari years compared to an annual average of just N6 billion in previous years!

 

Refund of NHF Contributions to retirees

In a move that marks a radical departure from the perennial problem of delayed refund of NHF contributions to retirees, in the last four years FMBN recorded over N23 billion as pay-out of NHF contributions to 181,436 qualified contributors.

This accounts for 70% of the cases of the cumulative of 257,396 refund applications successfully processed and 82% of the cumulative sum of N28 billion refunded since the NHF Scheme was established. The         significant improvement in the rate of NHF refund arose from the review of the Bank’s internal processes and Management’s commitment for improved efficiency in service delivery to Nigerian workers who are its customers.

 

Easing Access and Affordability for NHF Loan Products

In an historic move aimed at  at breaking longstanding financial barriers to homeownership by low- and medium-income earners in Nigeria, the FMBN reduced the equity requirement for NHF contributors wishing to access NHF mortgage loans. With effect from 2018, the following are the more affordable and accessible equity requirements for NHF mortgage loans:

  • Mortgage loans of N5million and under attract zero (0%) equity contribution, a downward review from the 10% previously required as loan own payment; and
  • Mortgage loan of over N5million  to the maximum amount of N15million now attract a flat equity contribution rate of 10%, down from the 20% and 30% previously mandatory to access the loan facility.

The drastic downward review of equity requirement for accessing the NHF mortgage loan has made it more accessible and affordable to Nigerian workers within the low- and medium-income brackets. The implication now is that workers who contribute to the National Housing Fund (NHF) consistently and are up-to-date are eligible for up to a N5 million loan without having to put down a single kobo as equity while those seeking for loans above N5 million to N15 million will only put down 10% as equity.

Introduction of FMBN’s ‘Rent-to-Own’ Homeownership Scheme

In a strategic effort designed to make homeownership more accessible and affordable for Nigerian workers, the FMBN recently introduced the ‘Rent-to-Own’ Homeownership Scheme. The scheme offers an easy and convenient payment arrangement towards homeownership for Nigerian workers. It makes it possible for a Nigerian worker to instantly move into an FMBN-owned housing property as a tenant and conveniently pay towards ownership of the property in monthly or annual installments over as long as 30 years at an interest rate of just 9%!

According to Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa, the Managing Director/Chief Executive, The rent-to-own housing product is designed to make sure that any worker who collects a salary should be able to live in his own home and pay conveniently over periods as long as 30-years!

This is a massive relief especially given how little workers earn.”

 

Leveraging on Technology

Another notable achievement of the FMBN during the first tenure of the Buhari Administration is the launch of FMBN Digital Platforms. The Digital Platforms have ushered in a new era of

transparency and accountability in the operations of the National Housing Fund (NHF) by empowering contributors with

real-time access to information on their NHF accounts. Key components of the FMBN Digital

Platform Solutions Suite of services include the following:

  1. The *219# USSD Short Code service via GSM Mobile networks
  2. The NHF Mobile Apps available on android & iOS platforms
  3. The online Self-Service Kiosk via the Bank’s web portal

(www.fmbn.gov.ng/nhfmobile) and

  1. SMS and email notification services to NHF customers.

The platforms enable contributors to receive instant notifications of NHF contributions on the go, update NHF personal records, check NHF balance of contributions, register and retrieve NHF numbers, request for statements of account, calculate home affordability and mortgage payments, and obtain latest NHF-related information from the FMBN Bulletin Board online service.

The greater transparency, clearer disclosure and convenient access to records of contributions from the comfort of homes and offices or while on the go via personal computers or mobile phones has boosted confidence in the NHF scheme.

As affirmed by the Managing Director, Arc. Dangiwa, “On resumption of office, we audited the system and discovered that most employers under-remit deductions, remittance schedules of deductions are not provided, contribution records are not updated or maintained in passbooks and most contributors do not know the status of their contributions. Having critically evaluated the issues, we decided to automate the process to give contributors unfettered access to information pertaining to their contributions and the policies associated with the Scheme for greater efficiency, transparency, accountability and service delivery.”

 

Implementation of the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme for Nigerian Workers

In a move aimed at strengthening stakeholder participation and confidence in the operations of the National Housing Fund (NHF), the FMBN in conjunction with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Trade Union (TUC) and the Nigeria’s Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) embarked on the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme for Nigerian Workers. The Housing Programme aims at a structured and sustainable approach to affordable housing delivery for Nigerian workers nationwide.

About 2,800 housing units are to be delivered in fourteen (14) sites across the six geopolitical zones of the country in addition to Lagos and Abuja, in batches of a minimum of 200 units per zone. House types include finished semi-detached bungalows as well as 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom flats.

 

Conclusion

The Buhari Years (2015- 2019) represent a period of unprecedented transformation, high-performance and impact at the FMBN in the pursuit of its mandate of deepening access to housing finance, providing access to affordable housing for low- and medium-income earners. This is a result of the visionary policy direction and strong support the Bank has enjoyed under the Buhari administration.

The stellar results and increased impact of the Bank are helping to change the longstanding narrative from negative to better corporate performance, improved transparency, greater efficiency and service improvement.

As the Buhari administration restrategizes for a second term in office, the FMBN remains poised to sustain the momentum of reform, high performance and impact with the objective of driving delivery of affordable housing and promoting the development of a more vibrant mortgage finance market in the country.

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INVESTIGATION

Publication threats: Billionaire bank debtors​ lobby CBN Gov to save faces​

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  • Our decision meant to avert another banking crisis – DMBs

 

Fresh information reaching The Witness has revealed that some top Nigerian billionaires are currently lobbying the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele to save their heads following threats by chief executive officers of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria to share details of chronic debtors and blacklist such.

The Witness reliably gathered from inside sources that since the disclosure of the decision by the bank CEOs, some top moneybags have continued to pressure the apex bank and its head honcho to intervene in the decision of the lender to give them time to clear up their debts.

Aside from this development affecting their businesses, bank debtors are more uncomfortable with the idea of making their names public, especially at a trying time like this. They are deeply afraid that the policy may throw them out of business, especially for those of them who need foreign exchange to operate.

Chronic debtors, analysts say, are those debtors who are unwilling to repay their loans to the banks.

The decision which the DMB’s are ready to implement to the letter, is aimed at forestalling the growing amount of non-performing loans NPLs, in the books of financial institutions to avert another banking crisis in the country.

Recall, CEOs of DMBs across the country recently agreed to share details of chronic debtors and blacklist such.

The bankers made this known after a meeting held to discuss how some debtors have been allegedly using law enforcement agencies to harass and criminalize bank CEOs.

In a statement, the group said the affected debtors are not ready to repay their loans. The group spoke in Lagos after reviewing what it called the “harassment and criminalization of banks’ CEOs by law enforcement agencies.” It noted that chronic bank debtors were now in the habit of enlisting law enforcement agencies including police, judiciary and state security to harass and criminalize bank CEOs, saying this was unacceptable. “Notably, these loan defaulters are known to have abused court processes as well as using social media to propagate their smear campaign against the banks,” the group said.

A communique issued following the meeting noted that these activities by the law enforcement agencies and the bank debt defaulters were capable of adversely affecting the banking system vis-à-vis the CEOs’ reputation amongst international banks, destroy the economy, and called for these to be checked and managed.

In order to tackle what they see as an emerging threat to banking business in Nigeria, the committee outlined a five-step resolution of actions that banks would need to take. The resolutions and planned actions were arrived at after members discussed and considered different options for dealing with the issue.

Specifically, the banks’ CEOs said there was an urgent need for all banks to cooperate and collaborate to identify and ex-communicate chronic debt defaulters, noting that this goes beyond “publishing names of such defaulters in national media (which is inevitable), but involves all banks speaking with ‘one voice’ and sharing information about those entities, and refusing to do further business with them until they settle their obligations.”

To avoid the kind of crisis that rocked the banking sector 10 years ago, the CEOs urged all agencies and stakeholders to step up and help fight the inherent menace of chronic loan defaulters.

According to the CEOs, the banking industry is the backbone of the Nigerian economy, therefore, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders – regulators, police, judiciary, corporate organizations and media to help save it from activities of delinquent debtors.

Besides, the group resolved that all cases of defaults would be presented and passed through the Bankers’ Committee Ethics Committee just as it intends to work with legal councils and come up with ways and strategies to manage related cases effectively without disrupting businesses and the system.

In a recent publication, Access Bank had threatened to publish the names of customers refusing to settle their debts in national dailies.

In a statement, the bank had said it is acting in line with a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“All Access Bank Plc (including former Diamond Bank Plc) debtors are directed to pay up their past due obligations in order to avoid punitive actions being taken against them,” the bank said.

The statement added, “Please note that we shall publish our debtors’ names in newspapers in two weeks.

“Similarly, in the event that these obligations are not fulfilled, we shall take such further actions against such delinquent individuals and companies as we may consider necessary and shall relentlessly pursue full recovery of all our debts.”

While experts appear to condemn the act of borrowing and refusing to repay the loans, they are more afraid of the bad implication it could have on the macro economy.

Managing director/CEO at BIC Consultancy Services, Dr. Boniface Chizea, in a chat with newsmen believes that since the CBN has autonomy it can take decisions in the best interest of the economy.

He, however, said the idea was good for the banks, but advised that caution should be applied in order to publish only names of those who actually owe.

”The autonomy of the Central Bank should have instrument autonomy which implies that the Central Bank should have unhindered freedom to decide on how best to achieve its mandate without any dictation from any quarters. If the Bankers’ Committee which the CBN chairs decides to publish the names of debtors, so be it.

“We just hope that in embarking on this name-and-shame approach, due care is exercised so that the names of actual debtors are published.

”We had an experience during the immediate past administration when a deluge of rebuttals and retractions followed an attempt to embark on similar exercise. We must avoid such embarrassments this time around.

“If names are to be published, due care must be exercised to ensure the names of only those culpable are published. It is embarrassing and unfair otherwise considering the potential damage to reputation such a move will occasion. It is not good for the creditors for their names to so published as most of these recalcitrant debtors are the juggernauts in our midst; the movers and shakers; the financiers of electoral campaigns who often think that because of their access to the powers that be they remain beyond the law.

”This is a last resort desperate measure meant to stem the wind of distress overtaking the banks leading to a harvest of bank failures. It is good for the banks generally as it has the effect of sanitizing the banks to restore them to sound health to continue to provide banking services, sustain the going concern and continue to return dividends to their many shareholders and stakeholders,” he concluded.

It would be recalled that the immediate-past CBN governor, now Emir Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had published names of those indebted to some of the banks that failed the second phase of the apex bank’s stress test in 2009.

Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON had in 2013 called a governorship candidate in one of the South-south states of Nigeria a chronic debtor for his unwillingness to liquidate his debt to some banks.

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Homeowners accuse CMB Building Company, its CEO Mbagwu of fraud, petition EFCC

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The residents of Pearl Garden Estate and Pearl Nuga Park Estate located at Sangotedo in Lekki/Ajah area of Lagos State have petitioned against the CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Company Ltd to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged fraudulent mortgage of some of their homes to secure unapproved bank loans.

Meanwhile, the association of homeowners in the estates have barred representatives of CMB, a building and maintenance firm owned by Kelechukwu Mbagwu from maintaining the homes at Pearl Nuga Park Estate and Pearl Garden Estate.

The separate petitions dated May 28, 2019 and addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, were signed by Mr Patrick Olowokere, the President of Pearl Nuga Estate and Reverend Adesola Adebawo, President of Pearl Garden Estate respectively.

According to the petitioners, CMB obtained a mortgage from Wema Bank Plc using the affected homes at Pearl Nuga Estate as collateral without the knowledge or consent of the affected homeowners.

Image: Repossessed property at Pearl Gardens Estate from fraudulently-obtained bank loan

“The affected homeowners, namely; Bridget Eko, Osagie Aimiehnoho Jude, Mr Akinola Alabi, Mrs Oluwadara Alabi, Nosakhare Igbinobi and Amos Gaga, paid CMB for those houses to be built and had taken possession of their houses from CMB at different times.

“CMB and Mr Mbagwu fraudulently withheld the title deeds of the houses from the affected homeowners as it withheld those of several other homeowners within the estate,” they alleged in a petition duly acknowledged and signed by the EFCC, copy of which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

However, the bank has begun a recovery of the six houses within the estate following the failure of CMB, the property developer, to repay the loan, according to the petitioners.

Similarly, Pearl Garden Estate also accused CMB of using the homes of four of their members — Mr and Mrs Michael Bassey, Mr Oyeleke Jegede, Mr Larry Amaraibi and one Mr Felix — who had already paid in full to allegedly obtain a N10 million loan from Diamond Bank (now Access Bank).

Meanwhile, the association of homeowners in the estates have barred staff or representatives of CMB from Pearl Nuga Park Estate and Pearl Garden Estate.

The petitioners said, “We have no other choice but to believe that other houses of our members and homeowners within the estates may be the subject of similar fraudulent mortgages.’’

Another resident, Mr A. Akeredolu, said: “Some of us have waited endlessly for the commencement of the ‘fictitious’ Pearl Royale Scheme, Pearl Garden Extension and Pearl Nuga Park.

“We paid for these in full since 2010 but have yet to be shown the location of our purchases, let alone the allocations.

“We know projects fail, but they have yet to make any official statement or promise of refund. These people are so bold and fearless, one wonders who is backing them!”

All efforts by our reporter to reach Mr. Mbagwu for his angle to the allegations proved futile as calls and text messages placed to his mobile line were not responded to as at press time.

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Presidential panel probes Delta Senator, Peter Nwaoboshi over corruption allegations

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Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is in hot soup as the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has referred him to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Etsu Umar, for prosecution.

In its letter signed on behalf of the chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, by Dr. Celsus Ukpong, urged the DPP to prosecute the senator on charges bordering on his failure to declare his assets before the panel in violation of section 3(i)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act 2004.

The letter stated that the violation was punishable by the same provision of the Act.

It stated that it had forwarded draft charges to the DPP.

Accompanying the letter dated June 7, 2019, and received by the DPP office on June 10, 2019, were documents contained in the case file forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.

The letter read, “I am directed to you above-named case file for further action.

“The above suspect is under investigation before us for possession of suspicious assets far and beyond his legitimate earnings.

“He has refused to declare his assets before the panel after lawful demand by the special presidential investigation panel.

“This refusal is contrary to and punishable under section 3(i)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act 2004. It shall be appreciated if a charge is brought against him for his offence pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

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