Reps Summon Accountant-General Over National Housing Fund Non-Remittance
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives probing alleged non-remittance and utilisation of National Housing Fund from 2011 till date has summoned the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Dachung Bagos, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Bagos said the decision to summon the accountant-general was to get full information on deductions of National Housing Fund of Nigerian workers and remittance of same to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is also expected to appear before the committee on Thursday.
One of the aims of the National Housing Fund is the mobilisation of funds for the provision of affordable residential houses for Nigerians.
The NHF is an offshoot of NHF Act of 1992 which mandates all employers in both the private and public sectors to make monthly remittances to the fund.
It is an initiative of the Federal Government aimed at mobilisation of funds for the provision of affordable residential houses for Nigerians.
The scheme entitles all Nigerians above the age of 21 years in paid employment to a low interest and government funded loan. Members of the scheme contribute 2.5 per cent of their monthly salary to the fund through Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. The maximum amount obtainable under the NHF used to be N5 million but has since been increased to N15 million. The borrowed capital is repayable over a maximum of 30 years at the rate of 6 per cent interest.
In a related development, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria recently embroiled over the management of the contributory fund.
The NLC President, Mr Joe Ajaero, told an investigative hearing organised by an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives, that administrative bottlenecks in the process of accessing the mortgage scheme had created room for corruption in the system.
Speaking with the Punch Newspapers, the Group Head of the bank, Mrs Timan Elayo said denied the NLC’s claims and said it had met ‘a large number’ of applications for the NHF, but was unable to meet all the requests due to funding constraints.
She added that a number of requests were denied access to mortgage due to the ineligibility of the applicants.