The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) on Monday disbursed N643 million loan to 740 federal civil servants who benefited from its Home Renovation Loan (HRL) scheme.

The beneficiaries are the fifth batch in the scheme affords National Housing Fund (NHF) contributors opportunity to access mortgage loans of N1 million for renovation of their existing homes.

At the ceremony in Abuja, Managing Director of FMBN, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, commended the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) for collaboration with the bank in the programme.

“This bring the total loan approved and disbursed by the FMBN under this loan window to federal civil servants through the FGSHLB to N1.2 billion for 1,347 beneficiaries,’’ he said.

Dangiwa added that N3.35 billion had so far been disbursed to 4,342 beneficiaries of the scheme across the country for both federal and state civil servants and employees of the organised private sector.

He said that one of the major functions of the bank was the management of the NHF, a scheme established to address workers’ housing needs.

He explained that NHF could address constraints to the mobilisation of long-term funds for housing finance and ensure that workers accessed housing loans at affordable interest rate through NHF contribution.

Dangiwa stated that the realisation of the scheme had been hampered by several challenges to housing finance in Nigeria.

He listed the challenges as lack of access to land, inadequate funding to housing sector, inaccessibility of mortgage loans due to improper title to properties and cumbersome procedure for obtaining governors’ consent to land.

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He assured the Head of Service of the Federation of the bank’s unflinching commitment towards partnering the loan’s board in providing affordable housing for civil servants

On her part, Executive Secretary of FGSHLB, Dr Hannatu Fika, said the board had continued to explore other windows in the mortgage industry to improve on its delivery of service.

She said that when such windows were fully opened, public servants would smile better as ownership of their homes would come without much stress.

Fika said that it was in recognition of the critical role of improving the welfare of workers that government established the housing loan’s board in1924 and FMBN.

According to her, addressing the housing needs of the federal public servants will not only reduce the burden of payment of rents to landlords annually but will eradicate the perceived corrupt practices.

The ceremony was part of the activities of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation to commemorate the 2017 African Public Servants week celebration.