The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Housing to, as a matter of urgency investigate the structure, operations and challenges facing the Bank and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action.
It also urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to overhaul the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in order to address the housing malaise in Nigeria.
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion titled: “Need to Investigate the Activities of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria moved by Julius Ihonvbere (APC, Edo) during plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion, Ihonvbere said the House noted that by virtue of Section 5 (a, e-f) of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Bank is mandated to:
“(a.) provide long-term credit facilities to mortgage institutions in Nigeria at such rates and on such terms as may be determined by the Board in accordance with the policy directed by the Federal Government
“(e.) collect, manage, and administer the National Housing Fund in accordance with the provisions of the National Housing Fund Act;
(f.) do anything and enter into any transaction which in the opinion of the Board is necessary to ensure the proper performance of its functions under this Act”.
He said the House also noted that according to the Daily Trust Newspaper of Wednesday, February 26, 2020 the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria has over N360bn (three hundred and sixty billion naira) in its kitty and yet, only an insignificant sixty-three thousand out of the five million contributors have been able to access the fund over the past twenty- eight years.
According to the lawmaker, the House is: “Worried that over four million, six hundred and forty-seven thousand (4,647,000) contributors are left at the mercy of shylock landlords all over Nigeria largely due to no fault of theirs, but the bureaucratic nature and slow pace of doing business in Nigeria.
“Concerned that the bank has only been able to deliver a paltry twenty-eight thousand housing units across the country in the face of the ever burgeoning demand for housing in Nigeria.
“Aware that the process of urbanization is an ongoing trend in developed and developing countries, with urban centres in Nigeria experiencing rapid and continuous growth over the years, due to rural-urban migration.
“Also aware that there has been an inadequacy of the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of the increasing urban populace as studies have shown that about 75% of urban settlers live in slums and improper housing, which is antithetical to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of enhancing human dignity.
“Also concerned that with the pace at which the Mortgage Bank is going, a large percentage of contributors will never be able to actualize their dreams of owning a house of their own in their life time;
“Disturbed that the Federal Mortgage Bank, in-spite of the large sums of contributors’ money and the force of legality at its disposal, has failed to deliver on its mandate of providing housing for Nigerians and the continuous retention of such large sums of money by the Bank is a veritable source of corruption which should be discouraged”.
James Kwen, Abuja