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FMBN Extends Loans to NHF Contributors

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The Federal Government has assured the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) of legislative amendments of relevant housing industry laws that will pave the way for its recapitalisation to N500 billion to enable the bank carry out its cardinal objectives.

The bank for a long time has not been able to carry out its constitutional duties of giving loan facilities to contributors of the National Housing Fund.

These laws, according to the Federal Government, include the National Housing Fund (NHF) Act, 1992 and FMBN Establishment Act, 1993 which raises hope for the housing sector as expectation is that more people, especially those who are contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF), will get housing loan that will enable them to either buy or build their own homes.

Accordingly, it will impact the economy as more home owners will lead to increased productivity and economic activities that will create jobs for both skilled and unskilled labour in the housing sector.

Giving the Federal Government’s perspective on this recently at FMBN Management Retreat held in Abuja with the theme, ‘Transformational Innovation for Sustainable Development in Uncertain Times’ the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa who was the immediate past Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the apex bank, promised to ensure that FMBN gets all the necessary support at the highest levels possible to deliver maximally and optimally on its mandate to Nigerians.

“As minister, I am committed to being a way-maker, facilitator and catalyst to the evolution of the bank as a modern, impactful and resilient housing finance institution that delivers on the maxim that ‘everyone deserves a home,’ the Minister said.

He noted that FMBN must be seen as a tool of service to Nigerians, tasking the staff to see their jobs and the salaries that they are paid as recompense for the services that they offer to Nigerians. “We must ensure that we offer quality customer service to Nigerians which is very important,” he said.

He charged the bank to deliver on the Federal Government’s expectations and the needs of Nigerians for affordable housing, adding that what this means is that FMBN must transform, innovate and lead a new era of massive housing development and delivery even in these difficult times of high construction costs and lower incomes.

“This requires a radically new mindset, thinking out of the box and identifying the oppourtunities that these challenges present,” he said.

Dangiwa revealed that a lot of work has been done on the review of the NHF Act and FMBN Establishment Act as they have achieved successful passage by the two chambers of the National Assembly, but presidential assent was declined.

He added that the current efforts must specifically identify the reasons for the rejection, so that appropriate steps are taken to address the concerns of the relevant stakeholders.

He urged FMBN to make greater efforts towards reducing its non-performing loan portfolio and clearance of backlog of its audited accounts, saying, “A major step in this regard is to ensure efficient processing and approval of corresponding NHF loans for all completed projects, as well as to ensure effective off-take and inter-account settlement to clean up the bank’s books,” he said.

Based on the Federal Government’s goal to create a $1trillion economy within the next 10 years, Dangiwa said the trajectory in the housing sector must move towards putting a large chunk of the goal on the table.

“In this direction, we must deliberately seek to continually increase the real estate sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to fulfil its projected role as the bedrock of economic growth and wealth creation,” he added.

Tope Fasua, Special Assistant to the President on Economic Affairs, who was Guest Speaker at the retreat, said the country had potential for $200 billion investment in housing, attracting foreign investments and growing the economy by double digits.

Fasua noted that the big challenge in the sector has been the growing size of dead capital in the country which, according to him, is worth over $900 billion, adding that with artificial intelligence, all land globally will be documented and optimised.

Madu Hamman, FMBN’s managing director, said the institution has been providing mortgage finance and facilitating home ownership for low and medium-income earners through its various schemes and products. He noted, however, that these efforts are not enough to meet the growing demand for shelter and expectations of the Nigerian people.

“The housing sector has faced a severe shortage of and corresponding high cost of building materials that has negatively impacted the delivery of affordable housing in the country,” he said, adding, “these factors demand that we rethink our strategies, policies, and processes to ensure quality, affordable, and sustainable housing for Nigerians.”


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E-Financial

Access Pensions Reaffirms Commitment Towards PBMs for Nigerians

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Access Pensions has emphasized its commitment to offering thorough guidance and assistance to customers interested in Pension Backed Mortgages (PBMs).

Head of Customer Experience at Access Pensions, Ophelia Alex-Iwuanyanwu, reiterated this commitment during a recent webinar organised by the company.

She also highlighted the Access advantage, showcasing the robust financial ecosystem provided by Access Corporation and how the firm is committed to ensuring the best for its customers.

Additionally, Chief Investment Officer, Access Pensions, Wale Okunrinboye, Regional Head, Business Development, Adaeze Raji and Head of Benefits Administration, Access Pensions, Zainab Bello, provided valuable insights to webinar attendees, offering tips to enhance pension planning security and manage personal finances effectively.

They reiterated the company’s commitment to delivering top-notch relationship management services. Alex-Iwuanyanwu said, “We offer competitive pension backed mortgage finance tailored to your needs, ensuring your goal of home ownership is achieved.

“We also guide our customers through every step of the homeownership journey, starting well before the application reaches us. We offer end-to-end guidance from our team to ensure a simplified process that reduces the turnaround time, from initiation to PENCOM’s approval.”

She further added that clients benefit from dedicated relationship managers, access to digital channels, financial literacy programs and superior investment returns. Additionally, efficient benefits administration ensures timely pension payouts globally.

Also, Okunrinboye, speaking on “Investment Management: How do we manage your pensions” said: “Our investment process is built around applying an analytical approach to securities analysis, asset allocation, optimal trade execution and a quantitative approach to risk management.”

Furthermore, Raji discussed the essential steps to achieve retirement goals, emphasising the importance of setting clear income targets and developing a comprehensive plan to achieve them. She noted that this involves identifying income sources, assessing expenses, establishing a savings strategy, and effectively managing assets and risks.

Bello delved into the specifics of pension benefits. She outlined the eligibility criteria for accessing retirement benefits, which include various circumstances such as mandatory or compulsory retirement, retirement due to medical reasons, or temporary loss of employment.

Additionally, she highlighted the factors that determine the amount payable to retirees, including gender, the total balance in the retirement savings account (RSA), final salary details, and the age at which retirement occurs.

The webinar, hosted by Head of Brand and Communications, Mojisola Coker, provided an enlightening platform for customers to engage in a question-and-answer session, fostering valuable insights.

 


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Former SEC Leadership Failed to Regulate, Develop Capital Market- ASCSN

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Senior Staff Union under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused the past administration of the Commission led by Dr. Lamido Yuguda of failing in its mandate of effectively regulating and developing the capital market, which is an intricate part of the nation’s economy.

Former SEC Leadership Failed to Regulate, Develop Capital Market- ASCSN

ASCSN also urged the federal government to exempt workers of the commission from 50 percent operating surplus remittance

Abba Mamman Ali, chairman of the Union, stated this on Monday during a briefing with journalists in Abuja.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had last Friday sacked Dr. Lamido Yuguda, former director general and announced a new management and board for the Commission.

While Mr. Mairiga Aliyu Katuka is the chairman of the new board, Dr. Emomotimi Agama is the new director-general.

Abba said the administration of the Yuguda “failed in its mandate to effectively regulate and develop the capital market, which is an intricate part of the Nigerian economy.”

Furthermore, he said the Yuguda-led Management “was insensitive and unresponsive towards issues of staff welfare especially issues bordering on staff promotion, gratuity and increase of staff emolument, amongst many others.”

He said, “Unfortunately, staff morale was at the lowest ebb under the regime of the immediate past Management.

‘It became clear to the SEC Staff Union and our parent body, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) that a vibrant capital market and a highly motivated SEC workforce could only be achieved through a change of SEC Management by Mr President.

“This prompted the Union to cry out to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. By clearing out the ineffective SEC Management led by Lamido Yuguda, His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has lived up to his sterling reputation as a listening President.”

He said the SEC Staff Union has pledged to collaborate seamlessly with the new board under the leadership of board chairman, Mr. Mairiga Aliyu Katuka and Director General, Dr. Emomotimi Agama, to deliver a vibrant capital market in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

However, to achieve this, he called for the commission to be exempted from the 50 per cent deductions on operating surplus as contained in the Finance Act 2024 because the Commission is a development institution.

He said, “We want this management to look into issues of staff promotion, vacancies and gratuity. We urge them to look at it very well and settle those issues as they concern staff directly.

“Also, there is need for Management to meet with the government on the issue of 50 per cent deductions on operating surplus. These deductions have almost incapacitated the Commission as the SEC has been having great difficulties carrying out its dual functions of regulating and developing the capital market.”

On the capital market, he said the Union is “urging the new management to constitute a market wide committee who will proffer solutions to the various issues currently bedevilling the market.”


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Kenya to Extradite Anjarwalla, Binance Executive Linked to Tax Evasion to Nigeria

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Kenya is preparing to extradite Nadeem Anjarwalla, a Binance executive wanted by Nigerian authorities for alleged involvement in tax evasion and a dramatic escape from custody.

Kenya to Extradite Anjarwalla, Binance Executive Linked to Tax Evasion to Nigeria

Anjarwalla was apprehended in Kenya over the weekend in a joint operation involving several agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Police Force, Kenya Police Service, FBI, and INTERPOL, following weeks of search efforts.

He is expected to be extradited to Nigeria within the week to face trial on tax evasion charges, with the possibility of additional charges related to illegal passport use and escape from custody.

Anjarwalla, Binance Africa’s regional manager, along with another executive, Tigran Gambrayan, encountered legal issues in Nigeria in February due to their association with the crypto exchange.

Anjarwalla evaded custody in March using a Kenyan passport and had been evading authorities until his recent capture.

This development adds to the ongoing tension between Binance and Nigerian authorities. Gambrayan, who has been detained since February, is currently facing trial for alleged tax evasion.

However, the proceedings have faced delays, with the court adjourning the case twice due to issues with formally serving charges to the exchange. Binance CEO Richard Teng has expressed willingness to cooperate with Nigerian authorities, but specific efforts to secure the release of the detained executives remain undisclosed.

Similarly, Gambrayan’Kenya to Extradite Binance Executive Linked to Tax Evasion to Nigeria attempts to secure bail have encountered obstacles, with a federal high court in Abuja postponing his bail application hearing.

He is presently held at the Kuje Correctional Center pending further legal proceedings.


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