The managing director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Arc Ahmed Dangiwa has emphasised that addressing the nation’s over 20 million housing deficit required efficient promotion and utilisation of local building materials and technology.
This he believed would not only reduce the cost of houses but make Nigeria self-dependent in the comity of nations.
Dangiwa who stated this in Abuja at the Archibuild 2019 Exposition with theme: “Driving Nigerian Architecture through Technology’’, noted that the issue of building collapse required urgent intervention, given its frequency and consequences across the country.
He harped on the need to confront the challenges frontally and generate implementable ideas to resolve them, saying that NIA has a key role to play in addressing the challenges.
The MD hinted that aside the huge housing deficit and lack of adequate finance, that professionalism is under serious threat in the sector.
According to him, “The association must continue to engage the government and policymakers for the enthronement of essential regulations to guide all facets of the country’s operations in the sector and eliminate quackery”.
Dangiwa said that there was no stakeholder in the financial market that offered mortgage rates lower than the FMBN, saying that the bank had continued to reduce the obstacles to ensure that more Nigerians had access to mortgages.
He asserted that FMBN has enhanced mortgage affordability level for Nigerians by eliminating equity payment for mortgage loans of five million and below.The MD disclosed that the bank reduced 10 percent interest rate for loans above N5 million to N15 million from the initial 20 to 30 per cent.
He hinted that the bank also developed the rent-to-own mortgage product that required no equity payment aside from the monthly repayment, pledging to embark on more initiatives if the bank attained its vision for recapitalisation.
Dangiwa begged federal government to recapitalise the bank to the tune of N500 billion as recommended by the National Council on Housing and Urban Development in 2017 and 2018.
He added, “I have no doubt that the recapitalisation of the bank will be a game changer for the country’s mortgage finance sector and ordinary Nigerians desiring to own their homes through affordable mortgage financing”.
The MD noted that archibult expo had impacted on government policies on the building and construction sector, just as he lauded federal government for the promotion of local content in building materials and construction technology.
He pointed out that the expo should be sustained to engage the government at all levels, policymakers, professionals and sector players on the advancement of Nigeria’s built environment and the entire economy.
Dangiwa hinted that the bank has adopted innovative technologies that would bring their services to the doorstep of contributors through the unveiling of *219# USSD short code, mobile apps for android & iOS platforms, online self-service kiosk, SMS and email notifications. He appealed to workers in the organised private sector and self-employed individuals who are yet to join the scheme to urgently register and commence contributions of 2.5 percent of their monthly income.
Dangiwa stated that plans are underway to kick-start its rent-to-own pilot housing scheme with 3000 houses at the existing estates funded by FMBN nationwide and non-funded estates.
On his part, the Minority Whip, House of Representative, Hon. Gideon Luka promised to formulate implementable laws to address housing deficit in the country.
He stated that the house would ensure that the members of Nigerian Institue of Architects (NIA) were supported and protected, even as he pleaded with stakeholders to join forces in resolving the challenges in the built environment.