As bank launches mobile/internet platforms
Says contributors to access accounts from comfort zones
By Chris Ochayi
The management of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, has disclosed that the apex mortgage bank has made disbursement to the tune of N41 billion for creation of mortgages in the last three years.
Managing Director of the bank, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, an architect, who disclosed this in Abuja during the launching of the National Housing Fund Mobile and Internet Platforms, explained that the amount brought mortgage loan disbursements by the bank since inception to N193.4 billion for 18,935 mortgages.
The NHF Mobile and Internet Platform is a multi-channel contributor-centric solution developed by the bank to further improve the management and administration of National Housing Fund contributions, with special focus on transparency and accountability.
Dangiwa, while showcasing achievements since the coming on board of his management team, mentioned the modest successes to include,”The disbursement of N41 billion for creation of mortgages, bringing the total mortgage loan disbursements by the bank since inception to N193.4 billion for 18,935 mortgages.
“The disbursement of N16 billion Home Renovation Loans to 16,031 beneficiaries bringing the total to N17.5 billion for 22,975 beneficiaries. The refund of N12.4 billion to 97,215 retirees bringing the total from inception to N23.3.billion refunded to about 229,820 retirees who have exited from the scheme.
He said the significant additions to the funding of over 26,000 housing units in estates spread throughout the 36 states of the federation and the FCT also include the “Introduction of the ‘Rent-to-Own’ product to make home ownership accessible to Nigerian workers without the need for upfront payment of equity or perfection costs.
“There is introduction of the NHF individual construction loan product; and reduction of equity contribution for mortgage loans from 10 per cent to 0 per cent (for mortgages of less than five million and below) and from the initial 20 per cent and 30 per cent to a flat rate of 10 per cent for loans between N5 million and N15 million.”
Dangiwa said: “I must mention that this event is coming on the heels of series of ground-breaking ceremonies held across the geopolitical zones of the country to deliver new homes to Nigerian workers under a collaborative scheme with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association. NECA.
“The scheme is to deliver 1,400 housing units in the pilot phase while the overall programme is to deliver 100 housing units in each state of the federation in line with one of the cardinal agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari-Ied administration which is the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians.
“The bank is eagerly looking forward to inviting its contributors, social partners, important stakeholders and you, our esteemed guests, to the commissioning ceremonies when these housing projects are completed.”
Speaking on the mobile and internet platforms, the FMBN boss noted that: “Despite these achievements, the management of the bank was not unaware of some of the critical challenges facing the National Housing Fund, NHF Scheme.
“Some of the challenges arose from employers who either failed to remit totally or only partially remit their workers’ NHF deductions to FMBN; employers failing to provide schedules of deductions; the cumbersome manner of the manual update of physical passbooks; and most importantly that most contributors do not know the status of their NHF contributions which largely question the accountability and transparency in the management of the NHF.
“It also became apparently clear that it was high time FMBN joined the league of technology-savvy institutions and its peers of financial institutions that have adopted IT as the standard mode of service delivery to customers.”
He said: “This realisation and the need to demonstrate accountability and transparency in the management of the National Housing Fund as well as our drive for excellent service delivery to improve the customer experience of our teeming contributors to the NHF scheme led to the adoption of our philosophy of FMBN digitALL.”
“The FMBN digitALL philosophy encapsulates our strategic goal to achieve fully automated, end-to-end IT business processes in the bank. The ultimate goal will see our customers, business partners, counterparties and the public being able to make enquiries or apply for any of our growing portfolio of loan products and services from the comfort of their homes or offices. Above all, they will be able to monitor their monthly contributions to the scheme and hold us accountable.
“Today’s launch event is an emphatic statement that we are taking giant steps in the bank’s journey of self-reinvention using information technology towards achieving that ultimate goal. Today, along with our other distinguished guests, we will have the pleasure of launching a bouquet of FMBN’s IT service delivery channels based on both internet and mobile platforms.
“These are:The ‘*219#’ USSD Short Code for GSM phones; The ‘NHF Mobile App’ for android and iOS platforms;The ‘wvvw.fmbn.qov.nq/nhfmobile’ Online Self-Service Kiosk’ and ‘Sms and email notifications channels.
“Aside from providing online, real-time access channels, these mobile and internet-based platforms are simply meant to deliver unfettered access to information to NHF contributors on the status of their contributions to the scheme. “This is in line with the ‘FMBN digitALL’ philosophy of efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability and excellent service delivery. Going forward, NHF will now be empowered to request and receive NHF information ‘on the go’ and from anywhere in the world.
“What we have chosen as the headline for the ‘FMBN digitALL’ launch is the ‘*219#’ USSD service. Your Excellency will have the pleasure of unveiling the campaign logo as the highpoint of this event.”