By Ella Anokam
The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), on Thursday, disbursed N46.9 million to 49 members of staff of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), under its Home Renovation Loan (HRL) scheme.
Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, Managing Director of the bank, while presenting the cheques in Abuja, urged more civil servants to key into the scheme because of its low interest rates and accessibility.
The HRL scheme affords National Housing Fund (NHF) contributors the opportunity to access maximum of N1 million loans for renovation of their existing homes.
Dangiwa, who was represented by the FMBN North Zone Coordinator, Mrs Shakirat Oyawoye, noted that the amounts given to the staff varied depending on their requests.
He added that contributors to another category of NHF scheme could also get between N5million and N15million, to enable them build or buy houses.
“Civil servants should be keen to contribute to the scheme; any civil servant who was unable to access the scheme while in service will be refunded immediately at retirement.
“We have received several applications from AMAC, approval has been given for up to five batches of beneficiaries for loan disbursement,” he said.
He urged the beneficiaries to utilise the loans judiciously, and cautioned them against using it for unnecessary purposes.
Mrs Felicia Aningo, FCT FMBN Coordinator, said that the HRL was introduced to enable more NHF contributors get funds to make their shelters habitable, under a conducive repayment plan.
She explained that area councils, institutions of higher learning and state civil servants were expected to repay in five years, and four years for federal civil servants.
Aningo said that Kuje, Abaji, Bwari and AMAC area councils have benefited immensely from the scheme, and urged other civil servants to apply through any FMBN office nearest to them.
“NHF scheme is the cheapest way to get or renovate houses by civil servants, some people in the interior areas can build houses with the N1 million.
“The loan of six per cent interest rate is paid directly into the beneficiary’s account; there is no need of primary mortgage institution or middle person,’’ she said.
The AMAC Chairman, Abdulahi Adamu commended the FMBN for the gesture, which he said would bring development to his staff and the society at large.
Mr Ayo Ajibola, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed joy and added that the loan would help refurbish his house.
“I am grateful to FMBN for coming to the aids of civil servants to enable them have a house over their heads before their retirement.
“This is a great opportunity because many people cannot save up to N1million to put their houses in order,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NHF scheme mandates civil servants to contribute 2.5 per cent of their monthly basic salaries, for provision of houses.