Bwari (Abuja) – The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has disbursed N27.6 million cheques to first batch of beneficiaries of Home Renovation Loan (HRL) scheme at Bwari Area Council, Abuja.
Presenting the cheques to 29 staff of the council on Thursday, Mrs Shakirat Oyawoye, FMBN Zonal Coordinator, noted that the gesture was the first of its kind in the area councils in FCT.
Oyawoye said that FMBN also could give out housing loans between upto N15 million to assist civil servants purchase or building houses through the NHF scheme.
“The contributors can also ask for mortgages if they wished to do so but because of the high cost of buying houses within the FCT, they were able to access the HRL as alternative.
“The HRL beneficiaries can also key into the housing loan by applying for mortgages whenever they like after paying off the HRL. It is working effectively, the repayment will come from the employers salary,’’ she said.
She said the renovation loan was introduced to encourage contributors who have not benefited from the NHF scheme to enable them refurbish their houses.
Oyawoye, however called on other area councils within the FCT to key in, to benefit from the scheme, stating that few local government areas were contributing to the NHF scheme.
She thanked the council for its cooperation and contributions in processing the loan, thereby making disbursement of the loan a success.
Mrs Felicia Aningo, FMBN, FCT Coordinator, disclosed that another batch of 49 beneficiaries has been approved by the bank but yet to be disbursed.
Commending the FMBN for its gesture, Malam Musa Dikko, the Council Chairman, said they would ensure monitoring so that the loan received by the staff was used judiciously.
He advised the beneficiaries to invest the loan and not to misuse the opportunity offered by the bank.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with NAN commended the Federal Government for the gesture, adding that it was a surprise to them.
Mrs Amina Gadzama, of Works Department of the Council, said the loan was a booster to their economy, especially in this recession period.
“We have passed the era of depending on salary for everything; loan such as this will assist in solving problems and support income for upgrading houses.
Expressing gratitude to the bank, Mr Audu Barde, another beneficiary urged government to increase the loan to meet needs appropriately because of the harsh economy situation.
The HRL is introduced by the FMBN to ensure that more National Housing Fund (NHF) contributors benefit from the scheme.
The HRL affords Nigerians an opportunity to access mortgage loans of N1 million for renovation or improvement of their existing homes.
It is specifically designed for NHF contributors who desire to improve existing properties owned by them or through family ownership.
NHF scheme was established in 1992 to address the constraints to the mobilisation of long term funds for housing finance and ensure that every Nigerian has access to housing loans at affordable interest rate.