Real Estate Developers' Association of Nigeria REDAN, key players in the real estate sector of the nation's economy, have called on the Federal Government to recapitalize the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria FMBN, to the tune of N1trillion to enable the apex mortgage bank increase delivery of affordable housing to subscribers of the National Housing Fund NHF, Scheme.
They argued that with over four million subscribers to NHF, FMBN's current capital base of N5 billion is grossly inadequate to solve the huge housing deficit confronting the country.
The President of REDAN, Aliyu Oroji Wamakko, made this disclosure when he led the newly inaugurated National Executive Council of REDAN on a visit to the Board and Management of the FMBN in Abuja weekend.
Wamakko emphasized that the long-overdue recapitalization of the bank is fundamental to the growth of the housing industry as it will empower the FMBN to service both the demand and supply sides of the housing market in Nigeria.
According to him, "We know that with over four million subscribers to the National Housing Fund scheme, FMBN's current capital base of N5 billion is grossly inadequate to provide both mortgage and construction loans to lessen the housing deficit in the country.
"We shall sustain this advocacy until the federal government increases FMBN's capitalization to grow the housing sector."
He commended the management of FMBN for the central role that the bank is playing in stimulating housing development and sought for stronger collaboration and support in the areas of increased estate development loans to its registered members, quality control and prevention of quacks in the industry, project monitoring and housing stock development.
Additionally, he sought for continual partnership with FMBN towards stemming money laundering and fraud in the sector.
Responding, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of FMBN, Ahmed M. Dangiwa, an architect, congratulated REDAN for its successful investiture of the 4th president and inauguration of the 6th EXCO members while congratulating Wammako on his appointment as the new president of REDAN.
"This visit is timely and important in view of the urgent need for all stakeholders in the housing sector to work together more than ever before to force a new, creative and more definitive path forward towards tackling the housing deficit in this country.
"As we all know, the major challenge facing the housing sector is funding and affordability, representing the supply and demand sides respectively. We need to fix this head to make progress"
Dangiwa noted further that "It is on this note that the bank introduced several reforms to make its services affordable. This includes a flat equity contribution of 10 per cent across board for mortgage loans above N5 million, while those for N5 million and below attract zero equity.
"Others are collaboration with domestic and international large scale developers, partnership with the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, Trade Union Congress TUC, and the Nigeria Employers' Consultative Association NECA, as well as introduction of new products such as home renovation loans, individual construction loans and the rent to own scheme."
Dangiwa added that over the past three years, FMBN has made substantial improvements and increased delivery of affordable housing to Nigerian workers with the little resources available.
"We remain hopeful that the Federal Government will recapitalize FMBN soon. This will enable us to scale our operations to ensure that more Nigerians have access to affordable housing."
He thanked REDAN for their visit and promised that as the country's apex mortgage institution, FMBN is ready and committed to continuing its collaboration with REDAN to making a positive and historic difference in the delivery of affordable housing in the country.
Vanguard News Nigeria.