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EFCC Arrests Police Commissioner for Alleged N1.9bn Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested and detained a Commissioner of Police, Victor Onofiok, over alleged N1.9 billion fraud.

The suspect, who was being detained at press time, was alleged to have favoured companies close to him in the award of contracts.

A top source in the anti-graft agency said: “A serving Commissioner of Police, Victor Onofiok, is being grilled by operatives of the EFCC over a N1.9 billion fraud.

“Onofiok, who is the CP Works at the Force Headquarters, was detained on November 30 after he was released for interrogation by the police.

“The officer, who has been CP Works since 2014, is alleged to have awarded contracts worth more than N1.9 billion to ‘companies’ in which he has interest.

“The companies include Dutse Allah Construction Ventures; Nne-Edak Technical Ventures; Puristic Adherent Company; Quality Watch Construction Company and Faksene International.

“These entities were found to be mere business names and not limited companies.”

As at press time, it was gathered that the EFCC was still trailing some likely accomplices of the suspect.

The source added: “So far, the CP is still in detention, but we cannot rule out likely accomplices. We are considering all clues.

“I can assure you that all those connected with the fraud will be brought to book.

“We have however intensified investigation.”

A police source said: “Based on a request to the IGP, Onofiok, who was elevated to the post of CP on January 23, 2014, was released to EFCC.

“We are awaiting the outcome of the police preliminary investigation before we can talk of the next disciplinary action against him.”

The uncovering of the N1.9bn fraud at the Force Headquarters came about 11 years after a former Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun, was arrested and tried for N5.7 billion fraud.

Meanwhile, the Chairman Senate Committee on Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, Senator Chukwuma Utazi, has assured the EFCC of the Senate’s support to ensure release of appropriated funds by the Federal Ministry of Finance toward the completion of the Commission’s head office complex.

Utazi, who made the pledge while inspecting the project, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work so far done.

“The quality of work done by Julius Berger is impressive,” he said.

A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, quoted Utazi as saying: “From the information we have got, N5 billion has been released, and we will ask the ministry of finance and budget office to ensure that the outstanding N2 billion that they are holding is released to the contractors so that they can push this job.

“We want that money released so that before we start looking at 2017 budget, we will have been done with the 2016 budget.

“It is very important that we are not just seen as saying we want to fight corruption. Even though we know we are tight on finances, this is of primary importance to us.”

Utazi expressed concern about the current location of the EFCC, stating that the place has a lot of distractions, which may compromise the integrity of investigations.

He expressed the 8th Senate’s commitment to seeing that the project is completed on time.

Utazi was accompanied on the visit by other members of the Committee, including Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu and Senator Jide Omoworare.

Source: thenationonlineng

Year In Review: The Biggest Housing Projects in 2019

Housing has dominated every big policy decision in San Jose this past year, as the city faces a growing housing and homelessness crisis. Slowly, the city is inching its way closer to meeting Mayor Sam Liccardo’s goal of producing at least 25,000 new housing units — 10,000 of them affordable — by 2022.

While city leaders say progress is being made, the city is still falling behind on reaching that goal by a long shot, as several challenges have stalled production. In 2019, only 4,392 residential units were either approved or under construction, 1,836 of which are under construction. In terms of meeting the mayor’s affordable housing goals, only 245 out of those 10,000 units have actually been built, while 1,640 are in the pipeline.

But there is some good news.

The city, along with developers, nonprofit partners and tech companies such as Google and Apple, invested millions in beefing up San Jose’s housing stock this past year. Finally, frustrated city leaders are starting to see more shovels in the ground, while many of those anticipated projects — including the city’s first permanent supportive housing project — opened in 2019.

Here are some of the city’s most highly-anticipated housing development discussions and decisions of 2019 — including several affordable housing complexes that opened their doors.

Second Street Studios

Downtown San Jose’s first long-term affordable housing development finally opened its doors in May, after a series of challenges halted the project’s opening for months. Prolonged delays cost Santa Clara County nearly $1.15 million in motel costs for the residents set to move in after weather challenges stalled development. Despite the hurdles, the first-of-its kind project in the downtown core — meant to address the growing homelessness crisis — now houses 134 individuals, considered some of the most vulnerable, chronically homeless and disabled residents in the county. The project’s opening has changed formerly homeless individuals’ lives, many of whom can now feel safe and secure in a new home.

A group of those formerly residents now pen a monthly San José Spotlight column about their experiences called “In Your Backyard.”

“Moving in was as happy a time as I can remember after what seemed like a lifetime of struggle and pain,” wrote resident Cecilia Martin in a recent column. “Almost four months later, every day I think about how much this has changed my life and feel thankful.”

The 5-story, 100,000-square-foot housing complex also provides case managers, medical and mental health professionals and a “wellness” peer who was formerly homeless to each resident, according to Abode Services, the project’s service provider.

Villas on the Park

Earlier this month, the city opened the doors to a 6-story building with 83 units entirely dedicated to housing formerly homeless residents in the heart of downtown. Located at 280 N. Second St. near St. James Park, Villas on the Park cost $37 million, primarily funded through revenue from Measure A, a $950 million affordable housing bond approved by voters in 2016.

The highly-anticipated project took four years to complete, and through several private-sector partners, the project’s developers furnished and stocked each unit with basic essentials such as pots, pans, sheets, pillows, shower curtains and towels. The apartment complex is one of the first to permanently house the region’s homeless population, giving a second chance to those who braved living on the city’s streets.

“This place is a lot of relief,” Jimmy Hendrix, the first resident to move in, told San José Spotlight. “It’s easier to take care of yourself when you’re inside.”

Santa Clara University Teacher Housing

Against all odds, the San Jose City Council in a 9-1-1 vote in May approved moving forward with a plan to house teachers on a plot of industrial land.

The proposed project includes 295 units of below-market-rate homes, for teachers at Santa Clara University and aims to retain quality faculty and staff in a region where rapidly increasing housing prices have displaced and pushed them out. Despite opposition from city planners, citing a conflict with the General Plan’s goals of rezoning land meant for jobs to non-industrial uses, many city leaders said the proposed project is a step in the right direction to solving the region’s affordability crisis.

The site, located at 1202 and 1205 Campbell Ave., will be rezoned to transit residential use in order for Santa Clara University to continue with the project.

Google Village

Earlier this year, tech giant Google unveiled a massive plan to bring 5,000 new homes, 6.5 million square feet of office space and 500,000 square feet of retail, hotel, community and other “active uses” to the west side of downtown. The massive 80 acre mixed-use development will transform San Jose’s downtown, bringing a vibrant new community reflecting the beating heart of Silicon Valley’s tech industry.

The plot of land, located west of Highway 87 near a busy transit hub will revitalize the core of the city, attracting new growth, stimulating the city’s economy through the production of nearly 25,000 new jobs and creating a bustling transit hub next to Diridon Station and BART’s newest San Jose extension.

The proposal also includes a whopping 15 acres of public amenities, such as large plazas, parks and plenty of natural, green space. While construction on the ambitious project may take more than a decade to complete, eager city leaders are expected to approve the project by the end of next year.

Source: sanjosespotlight

Cutix Q2 Profit Dips 36percent to N141.2m Amid Low Sales

Cutix second-quarter result for the period ended 31 October revenue declined 12.4percent to N2.44bn from N2.78bn in the same period last year.

Profit before declined by 26.2percent to N294.5m, profit after tax declined by 36.9percent to N141.3m. Net Assets also grew by 5.6percent to N1.6bn from N1.5bn

From its Cables & Wire Sales, it earned revenue of 1.89bn as compared to N1.76bn same period last year, Metal

Product Sales increased to N5.19million while sales of armoured cables plunged to N534million from N1.02bn same period in 2018.

At the last annual general meeting shareholders of Cutix has approved the management’s plan to acquire Adswitch, a related electrical switchgear company that was delisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange ( NSE) about 3 years ago.

Adswitch had delisted from the NSE due to what the directors of the company then broadly described as harsh operating environment. The company, which was listed as a second-tier stock in 1991, filed for voluntary delisting at the NSE

As part of efforts to increase its installed production capacity, Cutix recently invested about N300 million on a new extension of its factory.

Cutix, a Nnewi-based cable manufacturing company was established in 1982. The company manufactures and distributes various kinds of cables such as electrical wires, telecommunication wires, to automobile wires.

Source: Businessdayng

Arc. Sonny Echono Emerges President of Nigerian Institute of Architects, Reveals Agenda

THE Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Echono, who was Saturday night invested as the 28th president of the association after its Annual General Meeting, AGM in Abuja, vowed to project the importance of the profession to the delight of everyone.

Speaking to reporters at the event, Arc. Echono said the focus of his administration would be the strengthening of the development control mechanism of the country.

“We are going to strengthen the development control mechanism but emphasis will be on the development planning so that we plan our cities, plan our local government headquarters, plan our urban centres first before we begin to develop.

“And at the development control stage, you are now monitoring the implementation of that plan, so you ensure that people don’t make the mistakes before you come and demolish the buildings because it is wasteful resources,” he said.

He spoke on his first priority assignments in office thus: “It is a tremendous privilege to lead the body of architects in Nigeria for the next two years and as I told my colleagues earlier in the day, my purpose will be first, to project the important roles that architects play in every society, to help galvanise and to activate all our resources within the economy and channel them properly towards national development.

“Architects are the ones that provide the needed infrastructures in any building, whether hotels, hospitals, schools or offices, “he explained.

Regretting that the average life span of buildings in Nigeria was just between 20 to thirty years instead of 100 to 500 years known in advanced world, Arc. Echono vowed that the trend would be stopped by his leadership.

According to him, the new leadership of the organisation he heads would ‘’ensure that the services of architects are available in every nook and cranny of this country, particularly, the rural communities.

“We don’t want our rural communities to fail before we now go and begin to demolish, begin to waste so much resources,” he said.

He spoke further: ”If you look at the quality of the buildings being built around the country today, the average life span is between 20 to 30 years. No country can afford that type of waste.

“A building is supposed to last at least a hundred years. And if it is properly designed and properly constructed using good materials, it is going to last a minimum of 500 years. We cannot continue to be replacing the buildings that we have every 30 years,” he added.

The new NIA president, while noting that: ”We have not been able to judiciously utilize our own land resources,” said ’’We are spreading buildings on the ground in spite of high cost of infrastructure and so on, so we need to also mould and change the attitude of Nigerians.”

”I know Nigerians like to defend space, you want to say ‘this is my plot, this is my building.’ But we are looking forward to promoting the idea of multiple complexes. You have blocks of flats for mass housing and so with limited space, you can accommodate more people because we have one of the highest population growth rate in the world, currently in the region of 3.2 to 3.3 percent per annum. “At some point, I can say I’m beginning to see that already happening, that the contest for land is going to become fierce in the years ahead, so we must find ways to use our lands more judiciously, more prudently and more productively.”

Speaking on why there are high rate of building collapse, he said ”It is unfortunate that most of the cases that you hear today are situations where either a client neglect to professionals at all and therefore hire quacks in an attempt to cut corners or he uses poor contractors, inefficient and unqualified contractors who carry on projects that they cannot handle or in some cases, they even engage consultants at the early stages to do the design. ” But when it comes to construction where supervision is required, they will say ’no, we will do it by direct labour or we can do it by ourselves. I have a younger brother who is so called local engineer, he can handle it for me.’ And this is causing lots of not just resources but also lots of lives. So, the regulatory agencies are working together in harmony, they are actually seven of them.

“We are working with engineers, we are working with land surveyors, estate surveyors, builders and everybody in the building industry is coming together to address this problem, because this is one of the things that we cannot afford as a country.”

According to him ”We need to spread our development planning first of all before we talk about our development control, because by the time you are doing the development control, you already have the background. It is like trying to cure what is already existing. ”

He spoke on how his intervention as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education led to improvement on quality of structures in public tertiary institutions.

“In my first meeting with vice chancellors, provosts and rectors of our universities, polytechnics and colleges of education as well of their governing council, few months after I got into the Ministry of Education, I said to them that the mere fact that I am here as a trained architect presupposes that going forward, any structure that is going to be put in any of our institutions must reflect the leadership, it should be structures that we can relate to and feel proud of and we sent this message out.

”We have been working with the primary agencies involved in the provision of these infrastructures – the National Universities Commission, NUC in terms if determination and then the funding agencies, the TETfund and UBEC, that the quality of our buildings must improve.

“I also said we must also ensure that the procurement process are such that will deliver competent contractors who have track record of performance and who have the capacity to execute those projects.

”I can confirm that there have been improvement in the quality of those buildings in the recent past.

“The ones, we inherited, some of them, I’m ashamed to associate myself with, but going forward again, these are some of the areas where we feel professional associations like the Nigerian Institute of architects should make their services available.

“They should hold their members to very high standard of performance and to eliminate all forms of savoury practices and ruthless competition, undercutting of each other within the various professions.’’

NMRC Boss, Kehinde Ogundimu Charges Stakeholders on Demand Based Housing Development

The Managing Director of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) Kehinde Ogundimu has called on housing sector stakeholders especially those in the mortgage sub sector to understudy the needs of customers before rolling out their mortgage plans.

Speaking at the 3-day Mortgage Banking Sub-sector CEOs’ annual retreat organised by Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN) in Lagos from November 29 – December 01, 2019, Ogindumu said mortgage stakeholders shouldn’t always be waiting for houses to be constructed before creating mortgages.

‘’I think we should start doing what is called reverse engineering. We are the closest to the customers because they come to us. Let us understand the kind of things they need. Is it micro living? Tiny apartments and things like that? When we understand what they need, we can now go back to developers to see the things we should build. We don’t have to wait until someone has built a 4 bedroom house then we say we want to look for those who will take mortgage because that is not what the millennials are looking for.

‘’Let us as an industry carry out a survey to find out the demand and how to create the mortgage. We should influence the kind of houses that are being built which suits the taste of the buyers. My challenge to us is to have that introspection and determine what the needs are and have a pipeline of products we can create mortgages for,’’ he advised.

Speaking on the theme ‘’Critical Success Factors for Continuity and Viability of the Mortgage Banking Sub-Sector in Nigeria: Mortgage Digitization, Human Capacity Development and Management Succession,’’ he said with digitalization, the stakeholders can disrupt the industry in Nigeria like it is done in many parts of the world.

‘’Once we can demonstrate what we can do, the customers would always be willing to accept it. For us as a sector, we need to seat back and see what we need to do to get to that next level. I think we are standing on the threshold. The only way we can gain leverage in the market is through digitalization –something fast, efficient and cheap.

According to him, the theme of the retreat is very apt because there is no success without succession. He said that as they look to the future, they should also look at empowering those coming behind.

He hailed MBAN for organising the event and recognised them as a trusted ally.

‘’We have had a good experience with MBAN. NMRC has always partnered with MBAN in every of its projects, both within and outside the country. We will always be there to support and work with MBAN,’’ he said.

The top 10 Cities In The World for Expats to Live and Work Abroad

Workers who daydream of packing their bags to move abroad may want to consider Taipei for a personal and professional reset.

For the second year in a row, Taiwan’s capital was named the No. 1 city for expats to move abroad for work, according to the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations, an online resource group for expats around the world.

More than 20,000 expat workers participated in the survey and represented 178 nationalities living in 187 countries or territories.

For the best cities ranking, expats rated 25 elements of living abroad that measured quality of life, getting settled, work-life satisfaction, financial security and housing, and local cost of living.

Taipei came out on top thanks to its high ratings for overall quality of life. The city ranked third out of 82 cities for this particular category. Tokyo, Japan, came in first, while Zug, Switzerland, came in second for top quality of life standards.

Expats in Taipei were especially satisfied with local transportation, as well as available and affordable health care.

Workers did note that getting settled in Taipei was more difficult, likely because of a language barrier where many residents primarily speak Mandarin Chinese or Taiwanese Hokkien. However, newcomers did rank locals high in terms of friendliness, and the majority of people who recently moved to Taipei said they were happy with their new social life.

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, was named the second-best city to move to for expats and was identified as the world’s easiest city to get settled in. While Malay is the official language of the country, English is widely used, and 92% of expats found it easy to live in Kuala Lumpur without speaking the local language. That’s compared to a 47% average of expats who feel similarly in other cities across the world. Expats in Kuala Lumpur rated financial security and affordable cost of living highly, and though long-term career opportunities were lacking, expats said they were very satisfied with their jobs in general.

Recent reports have found people who move abroad are happy not just with the change to their daily lives, but they’re also seeing benefits to their careers. One MetLife survey found 91% of expat workers who receive company benefits are satisfied with their jobs, compared to 73% of their colleagues who stay local. And according to HSBC’s latest expat survey, the average 18 to 34-year-old’s salary rose 35% after relocating overseas, from $40,358 to $54,484.

Here are the best cities around the world to move to for work.

10. Basel, Switzerland

Premium: Basel 170314 EU
Switzerland Basel-Stadt Basel
Unkel | ullstein bild via Getty Images
  • 93% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 82% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 59% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 50% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 72% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 63% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

9. The Hague, Netherlands

GP: The Hague, Netherlands
Getty Images
  • 88% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 70% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 69% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 56% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 73% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 68% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

8. Zug, Switzerland

Zug Switzerland
Frank Bienewald | LightRocket | Getty Images
  • 98% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 87% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 67% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 43% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 65% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 67% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

7. Barcelona, Spain

GP: Park Guell
Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain.
Ihor_Tailwind | iStock | Getty Images
  • 82% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 88% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 77% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 77% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 65% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 70% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

6. Lisbon, Portugal

GP: Lisbon, Portugal
Getty Images
  • 96% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 72% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 73% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 79% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 63% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 74% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

5. Montreal, Quebec, Canada

GP: women walking in rain in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Getty Images
  • 91% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 64% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 66% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 71% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 73% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 73% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

4. Singapore

Central Singapore’s iconic promenade and skyline.
Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
  • 100% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 79% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 73% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 77% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 64% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 54% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

GP Tan Dinh church in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Getty Images
  • 79% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 68% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 71% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 71% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 79% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 71% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

GP: Kuala Lumpur Skyline 181106
Petronas Twin Towers at sunset, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Laurie Noble | Getty Images
  • 78% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 86% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 75% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 74% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 80% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 68% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

1. Taipei, Taiwan

GP: Taipei, Taiwan
Getty Images
  • 96% of expats feel safe in their new city
  • 94% of expats rate the availability of health care positively
  • 75% of expats feel at home in the city
  • 67% of expats find it easy to adjust to local culture
  • 72% of expats are satisfied with their job
  • 76% of expats are satisfied with their work-life balance

Source: cnbc

Dangote To Support Kano Skills Centre

Africa’s foremost entrepreneur and philanthropist, Aliko Dangote has said his company, Dangote Group, will provide expertise for the multi-billion naira skills acquisition centre recently  built by Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje in Kano State.

Speaking, after paying an unscheduled visit to the Centre, Dangote inspected the world class training equipment and promised to provide experts to manage the Centre.

He said his support to the Centre was borne out of the need to complement the initiative of the Ganduje administration geared at bridging skills `gap in the country and addressing unemployment among Nigerian youths

Dangote urged the government to increase the number of potential trainees from 500 to 1,000 at a time, considering the needs of the society.

Aliko Dangote round the complex, Governor Ganduje revealed that several billions of naira were invested in the project on infrastructure and equipment.

Source: Dailytrustng

NBS: 18 Bankers Sacked Daily Between January and September

An average of 18 people were sacked every working day between January and September 2019.

This is according to data made available by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the ‘Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectorial Breakdown of Credit, e-Payment Channels and Staff Strength’ report, 3,582 people were sacked between the first and third quarter of 2019.

There are 195 working days between January and September.

Between the first and second quarter, the staff strength of the banking sector reduced by 653 people and further declined by 2,929 between the second and third quarter.

Contract staff were the worst hit, declining by 3,083 between the second and third quarter.

However, the number of junior staff within the sector increased by 414 from 39,980 to 40,398.

The report covered commercial banks, merchant banks, non-interest banks and deposit money banks.

In July, Ecobank had been in the news for laying off some of its workers.

The staff had protested the dismissal benefits.

In response, the bank had said the people that were laid off were contract staff adding that it decided not to renew the contract of its third party recruitment agencies.

Level of non-performing loans drops

According to the report, the level of non-performing loans dropped from 9.3% to 7.5%.

The total loans issued by the banking sector increased by 4.8% to N16.6 trillion, the highest growth in 10 quarters.

This can be attributed to a recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that banks increase their loan to deposit ratio to 65%.

Loans recovered from the oil and gas sector were the highest from N738.15 million with the power and energy sector repaying N116.01 billion.

Source: thecableng

Onukwugha Emerges President as AHCN Elects New Officials

The Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria, AHCN has elected new officers to steer the affairs of the Association for the next two years.

At a keenly contested election held during the 45th AGM/100th Council Meeting combined with the 2-day training workshop of the Association held in Uyo last Thursday, Dr. Victor Onukwugha who is the Managing Director of Bauhaus International Limited Abuja emerged President of the Association defeating the Managing Director of Ogun State Properties and Investment Ltd Abeokuta, Mrs. Ibiyemi Adesoye.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the body’s executive secretary, Toye Eniola.

Dr. Victor Onukwugha who prior to the election was the first Vice President of the Association emerged the first elected private sector member of the Association to become the President of the AHCN.

The Managing Director of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Arc. Ayodele Har-Yusuph emerged as the first Vice President, while Arc William Idakwoji of Federal Housing Authority was elected as the second Vice President with the Managing Director of Centre Base Consult Ltd, Mr. Sesan Obe voted as the scribe of the Association.

Other elected officers of the Association include Arc. Macaulay Udoka the MD of APICO as Financial Secretary, Mr Sadeeq Babaginda of Jigawa State Housing Authority as the Auditor, Mr. Olusola Martins of LSDPC as the Treasurer and Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi, the General Manager of Niger State Housing Corporation as the Chairman of the Technical Committee.

Arc. Adamu Tanimu of FHA became the Public Affairs Officer while Mr Daniel Makava of NBRRI elected as the Secretary of the Technical Committee. The former President of the Association, QS. Mohammed Baba Adamu and Paul Yeigba of Bayelda State Housing development and Housing Authority were elected as ex-officio members.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Family Homes Funds Limited, Mr Femi Adewole has called on all State Housing Corporations to embrace rental housing as a means of sustainability and a way out of non-functional housing agencies in the country.

Speaking at the workshop of the Association in Uyo, Mr. Adewole noted that members of the Association were strategically positioned to serve as viable catalyst of reducing rising housing shortage in Nigeria if only housing corporations would rise up to the challenge of attacking housing shortage and affordability challenge from the rental housing perspective.

The training workshop was put in place to acquaint members of the Association with requisite leadership skills and winning attitude in emerging real estate market and to stimulate them to speedily embrace strategies require for driving change for transformation amidst global economic disruption that will enhance corporate effectiveness and profitability in emerging economy.

The Association which was established in 1964 was in the fore front of mass housing in Nigeria with development of various housing estates in major state capitals across the federation until recently when most housing corporations saddled with various constraints that rendered them inactive is poised to rekindle the old trade of mass housing with a new focus of attacking housing shortage with new commitment.

FMBN Has Disbursed N75.5bn NHF Loans since 2017, Increased Processing Speed by 45% – Dangiwa

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has re-stated strong commitment to the speedy processing of qualified housing loan applications in line with its mandate to boost the provision of affordable housing to Nigerian workers that are registered contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme.

The FMBN MD/CEO, Arc. Ahmed M. Dangiwa stated this while assessing results of the bank’s strategic efforts to clear backlog of housing loan applications; tackle longstanding issues of delays in the treatment of loan applications and disbursement of funds by subscribers to the NHF scheme.

He explained that the pro-active efforts of the current management of the bank have led to a 45% increase in FMBN’s speed of processing NHF housing loan applications and as a result the bank has been able to reduce substantially the huge backlog of loan applications that they met when they assumed office two years ago.

“I am pleased to note that we have recorded unprecedented improvement in the turnaround time of 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. This is a significant improvement. 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”

“From day one, improving the turnaround time of housing loan applications has been the priority of our management because we understood quite early that it has been a big issue over the years, which has led to the accumulation of huge backlog. When we came on board, we set out clear strategies to reduce it. And we have made decent progress”
“From 2017 when we came on board to date, we have been able to successfully process and disburse loans totaling N75.5billion. 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”.

These figures represent a marked improvement in the performance of the scheme since it was established 27 years ago.
Speaking on the backlog of housing loan applications, the FMBN boss, Arc. Dangiwa said FMBN will continue to prioritize the 100% clearing of all qualified housing loan applications that have gone through the various stages. He added that the bank is aware that though it has made significant progress in reducing the backlog and disbursing loans to beneficiaries, efforts would be sustained to ensure that everyone is attended to.

Arc. Dangiwa seized the opportunity to appeal to its Partner Primary Mortgage Banks to key into the efforts of the FMBN to improve turnaround time for NHF mortgage loans by ensuring speedy treatment of applications and prompt forwarding to FMBN for approval and disbursement.

He however added that the bank’s weak financial capitalization remains a major handicap to its ability to deliver on its social housing mandate of affordable housing. He therefore re-stated his call on the Federal Government to increase the Capitalization of the bank from the meagre N5billion – with only N2.56billion fully paid up – to N500billion as a necessary first step to strengthening the capacity of the bank to meet the housing demands of Nigerian workers.

According to him, a stronger capital base for the bank will put the institution in a better place to leverage more finance from the private sector, capital market and international development agencies for deployment towards the provision of affordable housing to Nigerian workers.

He applauded the support and recent calls from the National Assembly Leadership, industry leaders and stakeholders for the government to empower the FMBN so it can play a stronger and wider role in tackling the spiraling housing deficit.

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