The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) says it has committed N102 billion into construction of houses since it commenced the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme in 1992.
The Acting Managing Director of the bank, Mr Wemmy Osude, who said this at a news briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, noted that the sum was spent on the construction of 35,000 houses. Osude was responding to allegations by the Association of Senior Civil Servants that the bank had not been responsive to the aspirations of its members to own land and houses.
â€œFMBN, since the inception of the NHF scheme, has funded approximately 35,000 houses across the country at a cost of N102 billion and the primary beneficiaries of these houses are mainly federal and state civil servants. It is not true that funds have been mismanaged.
The NHF scheme is very solvent and has been responsibly and efficiently managed,â€ Osude said. He also denied the allegation that the N10billion stimulus fund released to the bank by the federal government had been misappropriated by some top government functionaries.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the federal government had approved the release of the fund in the 2009 Supplementary Appropriation Act.
The sum, which was subsequently disbursed to the bank on Dec. 31, 2009, is a revolving loan to enable state and federal civil servants own land and houses. Osude further said the account in which the money was lodged was one of the operational accounts maintained by the bank, The fund, he said, was intact and had not been disbursed, adding that stakeholders were yet to agree on the modalities for its disbursement.
â€œIn an attempt to ensure a judicious disbursement of the said fund, the FMBN has held several meetings with representatives of the Budget office, federal civil servants, Housing Loans Board and organised labour, â€ he said. He assured civil servants and all eligible Nigerians that the FMBN had been repositioned to provide more effective and efficient services to its numerous clients.
Osude pointed out that government alone could not bridge the mortgage funding gap, adding that the bank had taken steps to connect the mortgage market to local and international capital markets.â€œWe have even entered into cooperative agreements with foreign investors who have indicated their willingness to invest in the housing industry,â€ he said.