N48.3 billion housing fund trapped in 60 mortgage banks, others

NO less than 60 mortgage banks and building societies are indebted to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to the tune of N48,304,975,056.9.

The National Housing Fund facility was reportedly siphoned off or misappropriated by the mortgage banks and private property developers who benefited from the initiative.

The loan was given to developers for the construction of affordable housing for Nigerians, but an investigation by the FMBN and the former Special Presidential Investigative Group on the Recovery of Public Assets indicates that many companies have failed to deploy the funds for it. goal.

The investigation revealed that the developers either fled with the money or completed the projects, sold the property, but refused to repay the loan.

The joint report on the FMBN / SPIP recovery exercise was submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on the evaluation and condition of all loot, movable and immovable property recovered from 2002 to 2020 by the agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective/Efficient Management and Utilization.

The report obtained by Sunday PUNCH recommended the valuation and takeover of three delinquent companies with debt to the tune of N1,523,826,132.30.

It listed the names of 25 property developers holding 22.5 billion naira, as well as 23 others with debt of 10.8 billion naira who agreed to repay their loan by bank transfer or Remita platform.

Six other companies with a debt portfolio of N2.8 billion have agreed to repay their loans by bank draft, checks and bank guarantees.

However, the case of three companies indebted to the tune of 6.4 billion naira could not be resolved by investigators while the 704,847,320.86 naira owed by two real estate companies were categorized as unclassified.

It also listed three companies that allegedly demonstrated “obvious criminal intent to defraud the bank”.

The report states: “During the year, it was observed that promoters largely failed to take responsibility for their inability to use funds wisely. Thus, they placed all the blame for their failure (of the installation) on the bank.

“These developers received huge funds and either ran away with the money or completed the projects, sold the property and refused to return the money to the bank. During the exercise, they did not appear in front of the team.”

FMBN said it has extracted payment commitments from developers for the sum of 43.7 billion naira spread over 18 months.

Based on this, the investigation team ordered that all post-dated checks received from the debtor be collected and officially forwarded to FMBN for safekeeping and cashing as they become due.

However, the report indicates that the majority of promoters based their inability to complete projects and repay their loans on the staggered or delayed disbursement of funds by FMBN. The promoters also claimed that the delay in processing loan applications negatively impacted the project as the bill of quantities accompanying the loan applications was overtaken by inflation.

Promoters also blamed cumbersome inter-account settlement requirements and documentation at the end of transactions, as well as systemic issues such as slow loan application appraisal and lengthy disbursement procedures.

An official from FMBN’s business department, Ahmed Mohammed, said he was unaware of the matter and promised to liaise with the relevant department to provide the status of the refunds.

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