By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Against the backdrop of the current global economic meltdown, Bayelsa State government has hailed the management of Trans Atlantic Mortgages for not recording any indebtedness during this fiscal year.
The state Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Chief Ayakeme Whisky, who made the commendation at the Companyâ€™s Annual General Meeting in Yenagoa, weekend, urged the firm to sustain the tempo.
He said the state government decided to invest N500 million in the firm because of its desire to boost its internally generated revenue and also ensure that Bayelsans owned their houses with ease.
According to him, â€œone reason government invested in Trans Atlantic Mortgages was not necessarily that it is going to provide mortgage loans to Bayelsans but that it would facilitate the process of Bayelsans accessing mortgage loans from the Federal Mortgage Bank.”
â€œTrans Atlantic Mortgages is only a primary mortgage institution that does not, on its own, have the resources to lend to end users but it can be a bridge between the end user and those who have the resources.
â€œThat was the understanding behind the investment in the company. It is an indigenous company that can stand for government, an indigenous company that carries our aspirations as Bayelsans in accepting mortgages from the Federal Mortgage Bank.â€
The commissioner also explained that part of the accord between the firm and government is for it to manage the allocation of the Ekeki and Okaka Housing Estates which it did successfully in the allocation of the flats to those who really met the terms of purchase.
Addressing the Board of Directors and shareholders at the meeting, the Chairman of the firm, Chief Ephraim Faloughi-Spiff, said the company began full operation in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, in 2008 with a share subscription of N500 million from the state.
The chairman, who said the company commenced real business in 2007 with an authorized share capital of N300 million ordinary shares of one naira, said it had no outstanding indebtedness other than ordinary hours of business.
Faloughi-Spiff explained that in accordance with section 357 of the Company and Allied Matters Act, 1990, a chattered accounting firm had been consulted by the company to audit its accounts.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the firm, Preye Ogriki, appealed to Bayelsans to take advantage of the presence of the company in the state to ensure they owned their own houses.
Ogriki, a former commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning in Bayelsa, said the Trans Atlantic Mortgages was the only indigenous mortgage firm with a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) license.
â€œThe firm is also pioneering the provision of home construction loans to private persons who are not qualified to access the National Housing Funds as result of not being in formal employment,â€ he said.