Contrary to information making the rounds in a section of the media, the Managing Director, Nigeria Police Mortgage Bank (NPMB), Abubakar Suleiman, has clarified that money deducted from salary of police officer in 2012 was used for recapitalisation of the bank.

An online media publication had alleged that police officers were coerced by the then IGP, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, to part with N11,000 out of their salaries but the money wasn’t invested.

Suleiman in an interview with journalist in Abuja, explained how the bank was initiated stating: “The Nigerian Police Force has over 300,000 personnel and they are the largest single contributor to the National Housing Fund but accessing the funds had to be done through a Primary Mortgage Institution (PMI) which was also problematic because of the peculiar nature of their job.

“So, the Police management came to conclusion that the Force needed to have its own primary mortgage bank. At that time the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had suspended issuance of licenses, so the Force could only get its own PMI. This was what led to the acquisition of Fokas Savings and Loans Limited.

“However, before the commencement of business, the CBN came with a new policy of recapitalisation of all primary mortgage institutions putting their minimum share capital at N2.5 billion for those operating state licence and minimum of N5 billion for those operating national licence.

“Now, we had to go back to the drawing board on how to we raise this fund. Initially, the police cooperative had purchased the entire share capital which was just N25 million. So, you can see the gap, N25 million to N2.5 billion. That was about 100 times increment.

“So, we said since it is for every policeman and for everybody to have a sense of ownership, each police officer should have at least 10,000 shares in the bank at N2 each which was a premium at N1.10k premium, which people paid N11,000 but some people took more, some took N500,000; some N2 million, some N6 million, depending on their capacity. That was the right thing to do at the time.”

The bank boss dismissed insinuations that police management interfered with its operation when it took off in 2012, stating: “The police management is not involved in the running of the bank. Indeed the police management must be commended for allowing the bank operate as a cooperate entity. There’s a board, the bank management reports to the board, the board reports to the police management.

“I can put it here, this is my fifth year and not once, did any police management send paper and say give this person job or do this thing, or whatever. If somebody comes to do business with us they present their business proposals, we look at it and if it is viable we do. If it is not, we don’t do it.”

Speaking on how the bank has fared over the years he said: “In the area of housing, I can say that the bank has done reasonably well. This is in the sense that the bank has part-financed construction of houses in some locations for police officers including Lagos, Abuja, Yola, Katsina, Benin and Enugu.

“So far, 1,165 police officers have contributed to the National Housing Fund to the tune of N2.934 billion; Mortgage Equity Financing of 378, which is a total of N834,887,797.70k; Housing Renovation Loan is 445 in numbers to the tune of 314,730,000.00; Home Ownership Loan 25 people with the sum of N71,075,459.89k and the Mortgage Perfection Loan with N9.9 million. So find a total of about N4.165 billion. That’s the total loans that have been given the police and we’re still working on more.

“Our goal is that by next year this figure would be doubled. We have passed the stability stage, we now in the growth stage.”