The Federal Government has approved N9 billion for the creation of 1,244 mortgages loans for civil servants under the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme across the country.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola stated this at the 2016 Business Performance Review Session of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), in Abuja, recently.

The minister, who was represented by the acting Managing Director, of FMBN, Mr. Richard Esin, said: “Of the bank’s 2016 performance included, N9billion approved by the for the creation of 1,244 mortgage loans across the country, under the NHF scheme.

“The disbursement of N1.2 billion to 1,600 beneficiaries under the bank’s home ownership renovation loan scheme, the disbursement of the sum of N2.7 billion to 22,716 retired contributors as refunds, in line with the NHF Act.”

He said the tripartite committee of the bank, the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and MBAN, will functions as a clearing house for niggling issues affecting efficient housing delivery in the country.

The minister was impressed with operating surplus of N2.7b posted by the bank for 2016, adding, that this is marking the bank’s return to profitability for the first time in over two decades.

Also speaking, Esin said the bi-annual programme as part of the bank’s retreat was conceived to provide an opportunity for the different units and officers to report on their key performance indicators, identify critical factors affecting performance, and proffer pragmatic solutions.

He said: “Additionally, the session allows for brainstorming on strategies for improved performance and sustained growth in the immediate future and a review of the broad provisions of the 2017 budget and communicate its goals to the top management of the Bank.

“The minister appreciated and commended staff for their efforts and achievement in 2016, and outlined his expectations for 2017, including closer Inter-Agency collaboration, optimal utilisation of resources, stronger stakeholder relationship, and improved staff productivity.”

In a bid to ensure easier access to the NHF Loan Scheme for low income earners, the bank had secured the approval of the ministry to capitalize equity contribution and perfection fees for mortgage applications of N5 million and below, for the bank’s funded estates nationwide.

“This means that Loan applicants will now have 24 months to pay the associated equity contributions and perfection fees for loan amounts under N5 million threshold, which would normally attract upfront equity contribution of 10 percent of the loan amount,” he said.

The acting MD stressed the need to be proactive in the face of the anticipated increase in the supply of mortgage-able housing stock, which will be brought on stream through various efforts of the bank and government including the National Housing Model expected to deliver 30,000 housing.

According to him, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between FMBN and Shelter Afrique to provide $2 billion construction finance, accessible by members of REDAN aimed at providing 10,000 housing units annually for the next 10 years.

The fund, he said would be deployed to drive the bank’s funded estates across the country, previously abandoned, explaining that they were capable of supplying over 25,000 housing units, over the next three years.

Esin expressed optimism that the efforts of 2016 will yield the desired results in 2017, and urged Staff to be focused and steadfast in carrying out their functions, adding that the management would prioritise staff welfare and capacity development.

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