The Acting Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Richard Esin, has urged the Federal Government to re-capitalise the FMBN from its current capital base of N2.5 billion to N500 billion.

Owning a home is one of the biggest challenges facing workers due to funding and land acquisition issues, which made the government, set up the FMBN to promote the growth of viable primary mortgage institutions to service the need of housing delivery in all parts of Nigeria.

Esin, who spoke during a visit to the Customs Service, in efforts by the Bank’s management to collaborate with other relevant government agencies towards achieving its mandate urged the Customs to ensure compliance by any business entity, private or public, seeking or doing business with the Service.

Esin also called on the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) a government revenues collector, to assist the Bank clear and take possession of some 16 containers of building materials trapped at the port meant for a housing project in Abuja, which had accumulated demurrage to the tune of N171 million.
He further urged the Customs Service to assist the Bank in enforcing compliance with the provisions of the National Housing Fund (NHF) Act, a scheme, to which workers are to contribute 2.5 per cent of their monthly salary annually.

Esin commended the Service for full compliance with NHF remittance, stating that compliance is mandatory for all workers, adding that employers should be encouraged to remit monthly contributions of their employees to the Bank on time.

He encouraged the officers in the Customs to take advantage of the existing 95 estates funded by the Bank across the country at various stages of completion to become home owners, which in turn would improve staff productivity in the Service.

He also noted that home ownership is a major tool for fighting corruption, given that it satisfies the fundamental human need for shelter, while conferring socio-economic advantage and a safety net for otherwise vulnerable citizens.

He observed that the Bank had funded the construction of an estate in Kuje, Abuja for officers of the Nigerian Customs, and sought the intervention of the Service to compel the developer to repay the outstanding loan balance.

He said the Service had fully paid for the houses in favour of its personnel directly to the developer, who failed to remit same to the Bank.

On his part, the Comptroller General, the Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ahmed Ali (Rtd.) appreciated Esin’s sincerity, and the role the Bank had played in facilitating homeownership for officers of the Service.

He promised to look into the subjects discussed, towards forging a stronger relationship based on mutual collaboration and cooperation of the Service with the Mortgage Bank.

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze