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National Housing Fund delivered 25,850 houses in 25 years

The National Housing Fund (NHF) has funded the delivery of 25,850 housing units across the country. The Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, disclosed this at the annual Lagos Housing Fair. He said the bank has funded origination of over 18,085 mortgage loans and 11,927 Home Renovation Loans during the period. Dangiwa, who was represented by the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of the bank, Mr. Abiodun Fashina, said a total of N19.3 billion has been refunded to 201,534 beneficiaries who had retired and consequently exited from the scheme. “I am pleased to inform you that the NHF has funded the origination of more than 18,085 mortgage loans, the delivery of 25,850 housing units across the country and 11,927 FMBN Home Renovation Loans, while a total of N19.3 billion has been refunded to 201,534 beneficiaries who have retired and consequently exited the scheme,” he said.

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These achievements, Dangiwa said, has undoubtedly made the National Housing Fund the most impactful source of housing finance in Nigeria for Nigerian workers. But former Chairman, Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Abiodun Oluwaluyi, bemoaned FMBN’s management for low performance. He stated that if after 25 years of inauguration of NHF, only 25,850 housing units had been delivered and 18,085 mortgage loans in the midst of the nation’s 17 million housing deficit, FMBN would need to up its game. He urged the management of the bank to come out with workable strategies to increase their performance in the areas of mortgage loans and housing delivery. Other experts at the forum tasked the Federal Government to remit its statutory contribution to the NHF and also compel commercial banks and insurance companies to do same for a robust mortgage financing.

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However, Dangiwa stated that the NHF scheme has contended with periods of rejection by workers over the years, but that as at date, it has recorded a customer base of 4.6 million individual contributors and 22,290 organisations. “Currently, workers in 28 states of the federation comply with the NHF Act by making monthly contributions. Regarding financial inclusion amongst the non-salaried, informal sector, 21,320 informal sector workers have been registered through 1,078 cooperative societies as contributors to the fund. According to the Managing Director, FMBN, 80 percent of the Nigerian households are not able to afford a N2.5 million mortgage loan for home ownership, while only 14 percent could afford mortgage on concessionary loan terms provided by the NHF scheme.

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Dangiwa blamed challenges of affordability and low-income levels among Nigerians for hindrance to home homeownership. Citing a joint study of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Centre for Affordable Housing and McKinsey in 2011, he said: “80 percent of the Nigerian households are unable to afford a N2.5 million mortgage loan while only 14 percent can afford same based on concessionary loan terms provided by the NHF scheme. “Affordability remains a major challenge to deepening the Nigerian mortgage market due to low-income levels in the country,” he said.

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According to him, affordability reflected in the slow sale of housing and real estate property, leading to significant rise in mortgage default. In his presentation entitled: “Exploiting opportunities offered by the national housing fund (NHF) scheme,” the managing director of FMBN, said the bank was in the process of amending the enabling legislation to make the scheme more robust, adding that the process had already begun. He pointed out that workers’ contributions have been the only source of funding the NHF scheme since inception, noting that inability to enforce mandatory investments by commercial banks and insurance companies posed a serious challenge to the operation of the apex mortgage bank.

Source: New Telegraph

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