About 1,165 police officers have benefited from the National Housing Fund through the Nigeria Police Mortgage Bank, the Managing Director, NPMB, Abubakar Suleiman, has said.

He also stated that N2.934n had been disbursed as mortgage to qualified officers.

Abubakar, who gave the figures while reviewing the progress made by the bank during an interview with journalists, however, disclosed that the bank had been faced with challenges due to paucity of funds.

He said the bank was established to solely cater for the housing needs of Nigerian police officers following the challenges they had in accessing funds to acquire their own homes.

He dismissed allegations that a former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, pocketed monies deducted from policemen to acquire Fokas Savings and Loans, which metamorphosed into NPF Mortgage Bank.

According to him, 164,304 share certificates had been issued to policemen, out of which 124,893 had been collected, leaving about 31,000 yet to be collected.

Abubakar said, ‘’We need to understand our own peculiarities and these problems led us to have our own mortgage bank and we acquired Fokas Savings and Loans.

“Initially, the money budgeted for it by the police was about N25m and there was about a 100 per cent increase. So, the decision was taken that for everyone to have a sense of ownership, serving police officers should have at least 10,000 shares of the bank at N10 each.

‘’It was a difficult period and people were saying all sorts, but some paid while few others took more than the amount stipulated and that was how we started. The bank officially opened for business in 2015 and we have done a satisfactory job.

“To the credit of the bank, we moved the headquarters of the bank from Abeokuta to Abuja.’’

Abubakar noted that the police with over 400,000 personnel, were the largest single contributors to the National Housing Fund.

He, however, stated that accessing the funds by police officers had been a problem because of the peculiar nature of their job and the risk they face while doing their job.

He stated, “In the national housing fund, 1,165 policemen with a quantum of N2.9bn benefited. This is through mortgage loans. We have provided support for officers who don’t have mortgage equity financing and we have so far given 378 officers to the tune of N874m.”