The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has recovered N27 billion owed the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN,Â by debtors.
ICPC been embarking on system review of the mortgage bank following petitions filed before it by aggrieved persons and groups against some of the bank officials and loan defaulters, and in the process uncovered N27bn as unsettled mortgage loan portfolio covering six years.
An order to this effect, according to ICPC Consultant on Media and Public Matters, Mr. Folu Olamiti, was issued by the Chairman, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola.
The ICPC operatives had also discovered some high level financial improprieties on the part of some bank officials bordering on illegal conversion and diversion of funds.
To this effect, the anti-graft agency had taken possession of a list of bank defaulters containing names of eminent Nigerians listed by the bank as bad debtors with the aim of arresting them on completion of the on-going system review of the bank.
The Federal Mortgage Bank was established by Decree No. 7 of 1977 essentially to provide banking and advisory services and research activities pertaining to housing. Decree 3 of January 1991 empowered bank to license and regulate Mortgage Institutions in Nigeria.
The bank is expected to source for funds, administer and raise revenue from the national housing fund contributions from workers and participants in the fund. As spelt out by law, deposit accounts of customers, loans from institutional lenders, grants and soft loans, and capital injections from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are other sources of revenue of the bank..
The bank is to provide long-term credit facilities to other Mortgage Institutions in Nigeria at such rates and on such terms as may be determined by its Board in accordance with the policy directives of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
SinceÂ inception, Civil Servants in Nigeria have been contributing 2.5 percent of their basic salaries to the Federal Mortgage Bank towards a pool fund for granting of mortgage loans by the bank under National Housing Scheme, whereas, only a negligible number had been beneficiaries of loans meant to be offered by the bank.
Olamiti who spoke on the issue said ICPC had begun the process of recovering the loans in line with facts and figures made available to it by the Mortgage bank, noting that the initiative by the anti-graft Commission was part of its drive towards returning confidence and integrity to public institutions in Nigeria.
The ICPC chairman has of late been harping on the value of Integrity as a code being adopted by the Commission for addressing the problem of corruption in Nigeria, contending that corruption could be tackled from the root if conduct of Nigerians are governed by Integrity.
The Federal Mortgage Bank has consistently been releasing the list of its debtors most of who are eminent Nigerians including retired miliatry officers, top politicians, businessmen, industrialists and others, while setting a time limit for them to balance up.
Till date, the Bank has not been able to bring any of its â€œbad debtorsâ€ to book, despite threatening repeatedly to hand them over to the anti-graft agencies on failing to offset their debts.