By Perpetua Onuegbu

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, has tasked the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to identify innovative opportunities for housing development in the country.

Dangiwa gave the charge in a Keynote Address at the 2024 Management Retreat of FMBN on Saturday in Niger State, with the theme: “Transformational Innovation for Sustainable Development in Uncertain Times”.

He said that FMBN must transform, innovate and lead a new era of massive housing development and delivery even in difficult times of high construction costs and lower incomes.

“This requires a radically new mindset, thinking out of the box and identifying the opportunities that these challenges present. Housing finance institution that delivers on the maxim that ‘Everyone Deserves a Home’.

“FMBN should make greater effort toward reducing its non-performing loan portfolio and clearance of backlog of it’s audited accounts.

“A major step to take in this regard to ensure efficient processing and approval of corresponding NHF loans for all completed projects to ensure effective offtake and inter-account settlement in order to clean up the bank’s books.

“The broad ambition of the current administration is to create 1 trillion dollars economy in Nigeria within the next 10 years. Therefore, our trajectory in the housing sector should move towards putting a large chunk of this on the table.”

Also speaking, Sen. Aminu Tambuwal, Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, assured the bank of the National Assembly’s support for the call for N500 billion recapitalisation.

“I want to assure you that the National Assembly will support to repeal some of those Acts that need to be worked upon for effective housing delivery.

“And your capital base should be very high; if your capital base is over 500 billion, it will help you people settle.”
Tambuwal was represented by Sen. Victor Umeh, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing.

Dr Tope Fasua, Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Economic Matters, speaking on “Transformational Innovation for Sustainable Housing Financing and Development under the Renewed Hope Agenda” said that planned housing transforms a society.

According to him, it adds form and respect and attracts foreign investments.

“It shapes mentality of people away from primitiveness and brings about tremendous opportunity to deploy capital in Nigeria.

“In Lagos, Jakande built 29,000 housing units for public servants in 1979-1983, Nigeria needs to think big and transformative.

“Housing provides opportunity to growing the economy by double digits and has potentially over 200 billion dollars worth of investment required.

“FMBN can achieve financing of affordable housing through cooperative societies, awakening dead capitals, President Tinubu credit culture and mortgages,” Fasua said.

Mr Madu Hamman, Managing Director, FMBN, in his remarks enumerated constraints that impede the effectiveness of the bank to deliver on its mandate, among which included the need for recapitalisation to N500 billion.

“The CBN Single Obligor, Ownership structure – the Federal Government should be the single shareholder.
Obsolete Acts – review of FMBN and NHF Acts and Land Use Act – last reviewed in 1978.

“Accordingly, the FMBN has taken the bold and visionary initiative in embracing transformational innovation in various ways.

“We have been partnering with private developers, state governments, cooperatives, labour centres and other stakeholders to deliver affordable housing for Nigerians.

“The Bank has created and approved a number of innovative policies that streamlines the Banks procedures and processes with international best practices that include: An Enterprise Risk Management Framework (ERMF).

“Environmental and Social Risk Management Framework and eased the equity requirements on NHF mortgage loan as follows: NHF mortgage Loans of N5 million and below reduced from 10 per cent to zero per cent.

“NHF mortgage Loans of N5 million to N10 million reduced from 20 per cent to 10 per cent and NHF mortgage Loans of N10 million to N15 million reduced from 30 per cent to 10 per cent, among other measures,” Hamman said.

On his part, the President of Real Estates Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, urged FMBN to adapt innovative financing programmes and capacity-building initiatives.

He also tasked FMBN on establishing channels for dialogue, forming a joint team with REDAN for effective loan monitoring, and providing support resources for developers.(NAN)

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