The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) does not have a strong capital base and this is affecting its ability to provide low-cost housing in Nigeria thereby exposing Nigerian workers to high-end properties within the country.

FMBN’s Managing Director, Ahmed Dangiwa, said government’s intervention was needed to raise the bank’s capital base from N5 billion to N500 billion so that it would be appealing to local and international investors.

According to Dangiwa, out of the bank’s present capitalisation of N5 billion, only N2.56 billion was fully paid up. He said the mortgage bank would be in a better position to request for more funds for affordable homes from the private sector, capital market and international development agencies if FMBN’s capital base was strong.

Application processing timeframe cut: In a bid to reduce housing deficit and applications received for the National Housing Fund scheme, the Managing Director disclosed that in two years, a total of N75.5 billion was disbursed for 3,541 mortgages and 25,242 home renovation loans.

Dangiwa said the bank had been able to drastically reduce the number of applications pending as its processing speed had increased by 45%. He disclosed that the processing time for NHF scheme used to be two years, but in recent years, the management had been able to cut the timeframe down to four months.

Speaking on the numbers of application and amount disbursed, Dangiwa stated in a Punch report that, “From 2017 when we came on board to date, we have been able to successfully process and disburse loans totalling N75.5bn. This includes 3,541 mortgages and 25,242 home renovation loans. We have also financed the construction of over 7,286 housing units within this period.”

FMBN not there yet: However, in spite of the improvement in response time, the FMBN boss said the Mortage bank wasn’t at the level it should be.

“We have recorded improvements in the turnaround time of the NHF loan applications. While before now it used to take an average of two years to process an NHF loan, we have been able to bring this down to four months.

“Of course, we are still not where we want to be, but at least we are now moving in the right direction and intend to do more,” Dangiwa said while calling for improvement from primary mortgage banks in their application process for NHF mortgage loans.