By Christiana Ekpa
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) that they will pull out civil servants from the National Housing Fund’s (NHF) contributory funds over non-remittance of deduction made.
Comrade Joe Ajaero, President, NLC made the threat while appearing before the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Non-Remittance to the NHF and Utilisation of the Funds from 2011 till Date.
Ajaero said FBN had failed to send alerts to civil servants how much they have been contributing including their monthly deduction.
He urged the lawmakers to take drastic steps to remove the encumbrances to affordable and quality housing to millions of Nigerians especially workers who make the most contributions to the NHF.
This according to him is as identified in the memorandum and other memoranda submitted to the committee.
According to him, the immediate past Managing Director of FMBN Mr Ahmed Dangiwa who is now the Minister of Housing and
Urban Development said he left behind N120 billion in the coffers of the bank.
“He said he was able to mobilise 249.1 billion to Nigeria’s housing fund, and increased subscription to 197,000 between 2017 and 2022.
He said in spite of these milestones, millions of Nigerian workers who are in line with sections 4 and 10 of the Act are unable to access finance to acquire, build or renovate personal housing property.
He said the ease of reimbursement to retired workers of contributed funds even after failure to access housing loans is a source of discouragement.
He said in spite making the statutory contributions of 2.5 per cent of annual salary to the NHF, many workers were unable to access the loan due mainly to administrative bottlenecks.
“While the Act provides for 90 days from the date of application for the loan to disbursement, the experience by many workers are horrific as the undue delay in approving the loans force many workers to abandon pursuit of the loan”.
He said many resort to third party agencies to fast track the loan application at unofficial fees thus creating perception of corruption in the process of housing loan approval and disbursement to workers who needed the funds.
Madu Hamman, Managing Director, said the total amount of contribution from MDAs from 2011 till date is N238 billion, adding that individuals contribution from 2011 till date was N225 million
He said that the ministerial housing scheme was N34.5 billion.
He however time to reconcile the conflicting documents from the ministerial housing pilot scheme which was missing from the one the chairman had.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman of the committee Rep. Musa Bagos while cross examining the agency aid,with the deference in the documents submitted by the MD was inconsistent.
He said should the committee continue with the hearing, many officials of FMBN would be on their way to Kuje prison,
Bagos therefore adjourned the hearing to Aug 24, following a request by the MD to enable them put all the necessary documents together.