The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), is seeking the assistance of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the recovery of about N90 billion bad debts from fraudulent developers and others who obtained housing loans from it but misappropriated such funds.
Acting Managing Director of FMBN, Richard Esin, made the request when he paid a courtesy call on the Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Monday in Abuja.Esin informed the anti-graft boss that but for the resilience of the bank; it would have been unable to meet the financial requests of thousands of Nigerians including staff of the EFCC because of fraudulent developers.
According to Esin, ??Fraudulent partner developers have a huge debt overhang with the bank put at about N90 billion, explaining that they obtained construction finance from the bank to build estates, but diverted such funds into other non-productive and non-regenerative activities. Some developers completed the estates, sold the housing units and failed to remit the sales proceeds to the bank. Even some Primary Mortgage Banks that obtained funds from the bank for Mortgage Finances, for on-lending to qualified National Housing Fund (NHF) contributors declined to disburse the funds to the applicants.??
According to him, others who obtained equity contribution from would-be mortgagors also refused to deploy same in the provision of mortgage finances to the applicants benefit.
Esin expressed worry that despite the revocation of their operation alliances, some of the operators of the Primary Mortgage Bank (PMBs) are still deceptively encouraging innocent and unsuspecting mortgagors to continue to repay their mortgages to them through fictitious accounts with no intention of remitting same to FMBN.
He appealed to Magu to assist in the recovery of bank funds from contractors and vendors, who were mobilised to execute various contracts for the bank, but failed to execute same and misappropriated the bank?s money.
?These activities are fraudulent, and constitute financial crimes. We therefore, seek the EFCC?s kind assistance in the recovery of these funds, which belong to the Nigerian workers.?
Esin informed Magu that his management remained committed to helping the staff of the Commission own houses, noting that after the historic MoU between both organisations, the FMBN has disbursed N3billion in 10 batches to 156 staff of the EFCC.
He further disclosed that N1.6billion worth of NHF loans for 113 staff of EFCC packaged by FGMB are currently awaiting Board approval, while N1.3billion has been approved as NHF loans for EFCC staff but not disbursed because the targeted houses are no longer available.
?FMBN will work with other interested Primary Mortgage Banks [PMBs] to revive the scheme once they are able to provide the bank with a suitable and acceptable security.?
He assured the EFCC chairman that the FMBN is in support of the war against corruption, which is hinged on one of the four pillars of the bank?s self-reinvention journey of Corporate Governance restoration.
This started with a Corporate Governance Audit of FMBN and Staff training for over 120 staff in the leadership cadre by the BPP on procurement practices and processes to engender the right kind of ethical behaviour among the staff. He told the chairman of EFCC about the establishment of a vibrant Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) in the bank and staff training of over 120 staff in the leadership cadre by staff of ICPC on anti-corruption programmes.
Bringing into operation, of the globally acclaimed Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Manual, this will serve as a key guide in driving our operations and the management of all facets of our relationships with our stakeholders.?We have also redefined our business to sharply focus on the low and middle income earners, collaborating with credible developers to deliver affordable houses at not more than N5m per unit, to enable us achieve the required spread among NHF contributors in the delivery of mortgages.
?Our goal is to make affordable mortgages, a veritable tool in the fight against corruption??We have introduced the FMBN Home Renovation Loan for interested contributors desirous of renovating their homes via home expansion and other forms of value-enhancement. We will encourage the staff of EFCC to take advantage of these opportunities for their benefit,? the acting MD said Responding, the Chairman of EFCC, Ibraham Magu, promised that the commission?s readiness to assist the bank to recover the funds.