As part of efforts to enhance learning, performance and living standard in Nigerian universities, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, (FMBN) has disclosed that it would soon conclude all necessary arrangements to launch a housing scheme for university lecturers in the country by January 2016.
The Managing Director of the Bank, Mr. Gimba Ya’u Kumo, in an interview with Daily Times in Abuja, said they realised that lecturers in universities and polytechnics didn’t have houses and that had affected their movement and input in service delivery and had contributed to a fall in the standard of education in Nigeria.
According to Kumo, the programme was going to be a pilot programme in the six geo-political zones of the country starting with the federal universities.
Before the year runs out, the product would have been properly developed and tested for launch in January 2016, the FMBN skipper stated.“We realised that students also don’t have adequate houses, so there is a programme we are coming up with known as ‘Housing for Lecturers’. We are discussing with ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities), and we are coming up with a pilot programme that is going to be in the six geo-political zones of the country.
We will start with the federal universities, because we will have access to their funds directly. When that works very well, then we will now replicate it in other universities and other higher institutions of learning and to also see how we can address the issue of hostel accommodations for students. These are some of the programes that are in the pipeline”, he said.
Kumo also revealed that the bank had suspended construction financing due to issues of corruption which was not limited to developers or the housing sector alone.READ ALSO – How Cooperative Societies Started In Nigeria
He said: “We discovered instances particularly where developers would take money from us and divert it to a different thing. That has made us to suspend the construction finance and concentrate on mortgage finance pending a time when we come up with new underwriting standard whereby you will not have openings to divert the funding from this place.”
According to him, “The developer will first of all make 15 per cent equity commitment on the project before we disburse our 15 per cent.”
Kumo noted that after disbursing the 15 per cent that they would evaluate the progress of work before disbursing another 10 per cent, stressing that the essence was to checkmate project delays caused by developers.
“We have agreed that after flagging off a construction that we will be visiting the project sites in groups accompanied by media organisations, so that each developer will tell Nigerians how much he has collected and we will evaluate if the fund had been used judiciously.”