The Senate has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to immediately pay its equity contribution of N1.5 billion to the management of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development, Sen. Barnabas Gemade, gave the directive during an oversight visit to FMBN headquarters in Abuja. He said the equity fund would assist the bank in providing affordable housing to Nigerians.

Gemade also announced plans by the committee to make budgetary provision in the 2017 budget to enable the Federal Government address issues of housing deficit. “We have seen the Central Bank of Nigeria make donations of billions of naira in this country and for them to leave a responsibility like equity in a bank that is the foremost mortgage institution in Nigeria and contributing to the welfare of ordinary people by providing mortgage financing unattended to all these years leaves a lot be desired. I think that CBN should be ashamed of this particular situation and should do something about as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Acting Managing Director of FMBN, Mr Richard Esin, in his remarks promised to implement a new business model with a sharp focus on the mass and middle income markets that will provide affordable houses at five million naira and below. “Over the next two dry season cycles, our plan is to, in phase one, ensure the completion of 24 estates. This will also lead to the generation of about 5,000 houses in the nation’s housing stock. A second phase with 38 estates, resulting in the erection of about 10,000 houses in the nation’s housing stock and then the last phase is the completion of 14 housing estates that will also bring in about 2,300 houses in the nation’s housing stock,” he said.

By Yinka Kolawole

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