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PUNCH Newspapers files FOI request for FMBN’s N48.3bn trapped loans

A leading newspaper in Nigeria, PUNCH Nigeria Limited has requested information on the N48.3bn National Housing Facility given to 60 mortgage banks and real estate developers by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

The request, filed under the Freedom of Information Act 2011, was a sequel to the Sunday PUNCH report on the failure of the Primary Mortgage Institutions and other beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Our correspondent had reported the findings of the joint FMBN/ Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property which revealed how some banks and estate developers diverted or misappropriated the facility and failed to utilize it for its intended purposes.

The FOI letter, dated April 21, 2022, was addressed to the FMBN Managing Director, Hamman Madu, and received on the same date by the bank.

It was titled, ‘Freedom of Information Act request for information on the N48.3bn loans to PMIs, real estate developers,’ and signed by the head, Abuja Bureau, The PUNCH Newspapers, Mr Eniola Akinkuotu.

The letter reads, ‘’A report by the joint FMBN/SPIP recovery team submitted to the ‘House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the Assessment and Status of all Recovered Loots, Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002-2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective/Efficient Management and Utilization,’ says 60 mortgage banks and real estate developers are indebted to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to the tune of N48.3 billion.

‘’The National Housing Fund facility was reportedly diverted or misappropriated by the mortgage banks and private real estate developers which benefited from the initiative.

‘’In accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, we hereby request information on the amounts so far recovered from the delinquent debtors; the outstanding amount, and what is being done to recover the outstanding debts.

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‘’The response could come in hard or soft copy. In case of soft copy, kindly forward the response to:”

‘’Based on the provision of the FOI Act, we hope our request will be granted within seven days of your receipt of this letter.’’

Before the FOI request was filed, our correspondent had contacted the corporate communications department of the bank about the status of the loans and the recovery efforts, but the FMBN failed to respond.

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