(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:
- The *219# USSD Short Code service via GSM Mobile networks
- The NHF Mobile Apps available on android & iOS platforms
- The online Self-Service Kiosk via the Bank’s web portal
- 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.
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.
REVEALED: Why NSA Monguno did not attend Service Chiefs’ meeting
Presidential Adviser on National Security, Major General Babagana Monguno (redt) has gotten what seems a fresh Presidential endorsement just a week after his stinking memo to the Chief of Staff Abba Kyari was leaked.
In a Presidential statement, the NSA was named Co-Chair along with Humanitarian Affairs Minister for the newly formed National Humanitarian Coordination Committee.
A source in the presidency informed The Witness “that is an indication that the President has no issues with the contents of the memo,” even though there are concerns in the Villa on how the memo was leaked.
Also the source explained that National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno did not attend the meeting between Service Chiefs and President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday because he was out of the country.
It was revealed that the movement of the NSA has never been put in the public domain.
“This is an intelligence matter, no one issues a statement stating that the NSA and other Service Chiefs are travelling, and that is so for security reasons.”
The source explained that the movement of the NSA is not subject to public exposure. “The truth is that on Monday the President approved the constitution of a National Humanitarian Coordination Committee (NHCC) and he appointed the NSA as co-Chairman.
“The NSA and the President have a smooth working relationship and the same can be said of his relationship with the Chief of Staff. I think Nigerians need to learn more about the sensitivity of the role of the NSA,” the source said.
Some Nigerians on social media had raised eyebrow over the absence of the NSA at a meeting with Security Chiefs claiming that it could have been as a result of the memo leak from the Presidency.
A letter by NSA Monguno to the Chief of Staff was leaked to the media by unknown persons.
In the letter, Mr Monguno said Mr Kyari’s directives to service chiefs were sometimes issued without the knowledge, much less approval of the president, a practice he said has added to government’s failure to contain insecurity.
“Chief of staff to the president is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country,” Mr Monguno, a retired major-general, said in the December 9, 2019, letter.
“As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr President.
“Such acts and continued meddlesomeness by chief of staff have not only ruptured our security an defence efforts, but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”
Ex-staff fights embattled billionaire Onajite Okoloko‘s Notore Chemical Industries, wins in court
The National Industrial Court, Lagos Division, has ordered Notore Chemicals Industries Plc, owned by embattled Nigerian billionaire Onajite Okoloko’s, to pay Mr. Ayodele Balogun, a former employee of the company the sum of N20, 525, 999 (Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira, Sixty Kobo only) as outstanding balance of his gratuity payment due to him since 2013.
In a judgement monitored by The Witness, and delivered by the presiding judge, Hon. Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, the court held that the company action credited to external advice which prompted the defence of ‘mistaken payment’ was not justified, and cannot override the obligation to pay outstanding balance due to the claimant.
The claimant- Ayodele was employed on 1st October 2008 as Chief Marketing Officer, that by a letter dated June 14, 2013, sent via e-mail on Wednesday June 19, 2013 he tendered resignation, and indicated that it would take effect on 1st October 2013, that as a result of his service to the firm spanning 5 years, that he has become entitled to payment of gratuity upon successful exit from the Company that a total settlement package was communicated to him via e-mail out of which only 50% was paid and all effort to get balance proved abortive.
In argument, the firm submitted that Ayodele did not attain the threshold of ‘continuous service greater than 5 years and up to 10 years’ to be qualified for monetary payment in addition to ‘Testimonial of Service’, which is the only package available for those who were in ‘continuous service up to 5 years’, under the company gratuity that the payment already paid to the Claimant was a mistake and it was because of the discovery of the error that the Defendant refused to pay the balance and also seeks refund of it.
Counsel to the firm further argued that the Claimant’s resignation becomes effective on date of receipt of the letter of resignation by the employer, and as such, the correct effective date of the Claimant’s resignation is June 14 2013 (submission date), and not the 1st October 2008 contained in the resignation letter that the Claimant’s case lacks merit and should be dismissed while upholding the counter-claim for refund of the sum already paid to the Claimant in error.
Counsel to the claimant U. U Njoku, Esq contended that the Defendant failed to tender its payroll to disprove that the Claimant was no longer in its pay roll as at 1 October 2013 urged the court to so hold and grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering judgment after careful evaluation of the submissions of both counsel and the processes filed, Justice Ogbuanya held that where date is not provided in the resignation, it takes immediate effect upon receipt of resignation, but when effective date is provided, it becomes effective on the last day of the notice period.
“I also note that it is part of the court’s equitable jurisdiction to preserve earned benefits, particularly those of pecuniary nature, and court usually tilts towards resolving such emerging controversy in favour of the beneficiary rather than in favour of one trying to take away or expropriate the benefit.
“From the tenor of the above provisions of the company Gratuity Policy, I find that once an employee attains 5 years of continuous service with the defendant, such an employee shall/must be entitled to not only cash payment as gratuity but also other testimonials and certificate of appreciation and or asset gift.
“In the circumstance of the claimant, I find that he has attained 5 years of continuous service with the defendant and there was no evidence disputing that he resigned willfully and there was no evidence of any skirmish of probe or low performance tainting his voluntary resignation. I so hold.” Justice Ogbuanya ruled.
In all, the court dismissed the counterclaim for lacking merit.
Lagos commissioner, Ajibola Ponnle’s rising profile
Ajibola Yewande Olufunke Ponnle is the Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions.
Until her appointment, she was the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, the industry regulator of the profession of Human Resource Management in Nigeria.
Born on the 9th of September, 1973, she has 25 years uniquely diverse professional experience. Building on her B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan and a M.Sc. in Organisational Psychology from the University of London, she gained key skills in the fields of finance, strategy, organizational development and human resource management, with a specialisation in executive/leadership and team coaching.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and an International Coach Federation Accredited Professional Coach.
Mrs Ponnle started her career in 1994 with Arthur Andersen (now KPMG), thereafter, joined British American Tobacco as one of the founding pre-merger staff and left as a member of both the Finance and Marketing Senior Management teams. In 2004, she became an entrepreneur, setting up a series of companies including TeamBuilding Africa Consultancy, the regional representative of Team Building USA where she was at the forefront of shaping the experiential team development industry in Nigeria, serving also as visiting faculty on the Executive Management Programme at Lagos Business School. In 2015, she pioneered the establishment of the Nigeria Chapter of International Coach Federation (ICF) and served as the Founding Chapter President, a Trustee and a member of ICF EMEA regional leadership team.
She became the first Nigerian to earn the ICF Professional Certified Coach accreditation and also the first Core Energy Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner in the country. In recognition of her contribution to the development of professional coaching in the region, she was selected as one of five founding members of the Africa Executive Coaching Council.
In January 2017, Ajibola launched the Centre for Core Coaching, dedicated to certifying professional life and corporate coaches, becoming the first programme in West Africa developed to meet the International Coach Federation accredited coach training standards. Ajibola is a seasoned learning facilitator and international speaker. A visionary, change champion and consummate professional who is fully committed to pursuing the ‘Human Agenda’ in the nation.
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