The recent partnership between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) on debt recovery is already yielding result as some bad debtors of the bank have started paying back.
Acting Managing Director of FMBN, Mr. Richard Esin, who disclosed this when the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, led by its Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade, went on oversight at the bank described his recent visit to the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu as strategic but did not declare the amount that has been recovered.
Daily Sun had reported that the anti-graft agency was to go after FMBN debtors as well as developers, contractors and primary mortgage banks that compromised standards in housing delivery including failing to provide infrastructure as stipulated in the original contracts with FMBN and National Housing Fund (NHF) contributors.
Esin outlined his efforts to reinvent the bank, noting that the focus was on four pillars of; corporate governance compliance; operational effectiveness; bank profitability; and debt recovery, which would ensure that it assumed a more definitive role in meeting stakeholders’ needs.
He solicited the Committee’s assistance in engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other shareholders to meet their obligatory equity contribution to the bank; implementing the upward review of the bank’s capital base to N500billion as endorsed by the National Council of Housing at its last meeting.
The FMBN boss also urged them to review the legal and regulatory framework of the bank, particularly the enactment of foreclosure law to develop the mortgage subsector.
Responding, the Committee Chairman acknowledged that the capital base of FMBN was insufficient considering its role in the development of the sector, and regretted the inability of core shareholders to meet their equity obligation to the bank.
Senator Gemade assured the bank of adequate legislative assistance towards meeting its mandate of providing affordable housing for Nigerians, adding that the NHF Act may be reviewed to reflect present day realities.