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Petition fallout: FMBN board decisions questioned

Yinka Kolawole
Following a petition last week, by a group of stakeholders in the housing sector, to the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Nduese Essien, alleging that the current constitution of the board of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is illegitimate, some operators in the mortgage sub-sector have declared that all decisions so far taken by the said board should be deemed illegal.

Some operators in the mortgage industry, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, are of the opinion that if the constitution of the board violates laid down regulations, it means it is an illegal body and as such any decision that may have been taken by the board should be null and void.

The chief executive of a primary mortgage institution (PMI) made a particular reference to a recent decision by the board of FMBN to expand mortgage loan originators to on-lend NHF loan to include universal banks, insurance firms, pension funds and micro-finance banks subject to their meeting the criteria and requirements laid down for PMIs and the provisions of their enabling laws and regulatory authorities.

The PMI chief however conceded that the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), which is the umbrella body of PMIs in the country, are in an on-going dialogue on the matter. MBAN claimed at the time that it was illegal for FMBN to expand mortgage loan originators to on-lend NHF loan, contending that relevant provisions of the subsisting NHF Act do not give FMBN the powers to venture into such a route, until the Act is duly amended, and requested for a meeting.

The board of FMBN had early this year approved an increase on mortgage loan accessible by an individual contributor to the National Housing Fund (NHF) to a maximum of N15 million, from the previous N5 million.

It also agreed to expand mortgage loan originators to on-lend NHF loan to include universal banks, insurance firms, pension funds and micro-finance banks subject to their meeting the criteria and requirements laid down for Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) and the provisions of their enabling laws and regulatory authorities.


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