Kingsley U N Chikwendu —
The Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Madu Hamman has revealed recently that despite the economic uncertainties in the country, the Bank still strives to maintain its position which is providing mortgages to contributors of the National Housing Fund.
In a report gotten from Nigeria’s Vanguard, Madu disclosed that the Bank is adopting a strategy to curtail the high rising price of building materials that have resulted in high cost of houses in the country.
“It has not been easy to sail through these turbulent waters, Madu revealed.
“In spite of the prevailing economic challenges confronting the country, particularly skyrocketing prices of general goods and services including the cost of building materials, the Bank (FMBN) is striving to maintain its position in providing affordable mortgages to contributors who are desirous of owning houses.
“As a strategy to reduce the high cost of building materials resulting in the high cost of houses, the bank is emphasizing the use of cost-effective building designs and encouraging the use of locally produced building materials by stakeholders in the building sector.
“Similarly, we seek the assistance of State Governors to provide the Bank with free land and infrastructure to lower the cost of houses for their people.
The FMBN boss also enumerated two challenges he said are confronting the bank which he said have slowed its pace of achievements that would have a huge impact in the Nigerian housing sector.
“As I speak to you now, there are two major challenges confronting the bank as the apex Mortgage Institution in the country. One is the inadequate capital base to create and accommodate the increasing need for mortgages by our stakeholders, and two, the need for repeal of the National Housing Fund Act and FMBN Act for a stronger NHF Scheme, which will be in tandem with the prevailing economic realities of the 21st century.
“Those familiar with our challenges would agree that FMBN would have recorded greater achievements and impacted the housing sector more if the institution is empowered in these areas mentioned.
“The other challenge relates to the difficulty in perfecting land titles with state ministries of Land and other relevant agencies, Madu added.