Abraham Maslow may have had Nigeria in mind when he propounded his Hierarchy of Needs Theory, highlighting food and shelter as the most basic needs of humans. It was to continuously awaken and reawaken the consciousness of Nigerian leaders to the dire need of housing provision, considering the long-term failed efforts at this endeavour by successive administrations.

On assumption of office, President Tinubu made it clear through his Renewed Hope Agenda to give Nigerians hope with regards to housing provision, kicking the ball rolling with strategic actions. From demerging the Ministry of Works and Housing and creating a new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, to strategic appointments of experts to the new ministry, to larger housing budgetary allocations as well as continuously re-echoing the rights of Nigerians to decent and affordable housing and his administration’s commitment to this vision, he has left no one in doubt about achieving astounding success in this regard.

Housing Reform Task Teams and the Move to Reposition Government Housing Agencies

Determined to ensure the holistic actualisation of the President’s vision for the housing sector, on January 16, 2024, the Honourable Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, inaugurated four Reform Task Teams. The task teams are: Housing Institutions Reform Task Team, the Multi-Agency Project Delivery Task Team, the Land Reform Task Team and Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs Reform Task Team. The Task Teams were tasked to develop blueprints that will unleash the potential inherent in the housing sector.

As a cornerstone agency of the Nigerian housing sector, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria was among other agencies and industry players inaugurated into the Housing Institutions Reform Task Team and the Multi-Agency Project Delivery Task Team. On the heels of its inauguration, the Minister, during the Bank’s 2024 Management Retreat, strongly called for a repositioning of the Bank to enable it meet up with the demands of its mandate.

In the Minister’s words, the “Federal Mortgage must transform. The Federal Mortgage must innovate. And the Federal Mortgage must lead a new era of massive housing development and delivery even in these difficult times of high construction costs and lower incomes. This requires a radically new mindset, thinking out of the box and identifying the opportunities that these challenges present.”

Appointment of New Management Team for Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria

Following Dangiwa’s call for a repositioning of the Federal Mortgage, less than a month later, President Tinubu, in recognition of the pivotal position of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in the actualisation of his administration’s deliverables for housing, approved the appointment of Shehu Usman Osidi, alongside three other experts, to manage the affairs of the apex mortgage institution of the country.

Osidi, a former employee of the Bank, with a track record of innovative initiatives and outstanding performance, has contributed over 30 years of service to the banking, mortgage finance and housing sectors. A cursory look at his profile testifies to his steady rise to the pinnacle of his career, leading to his eventual appointment to head the Bank.

To support Shehu Osidi on this onerous task, President Tinubu appointed Ibidapo Odijukan as Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services, Dr. Muhammad Sani Abdu as Executive Director, Loans and Mortgage Services and Chinenye Chinedu Anosike as Executive Director, Business Development and Portfolio Management.

Mr. Odojukan comes to the Bank with over 25 years transformational leadership in the private and public sectors, having held both Executive and Non-Executive positions and managed an array of projects and programs for organizations. He is acclaimed for creating sustainable value in organisations and impacting on the effective and efficient delivery of projects and programs in relation to time and budget.

Dr. Abdu, a seasoned academic, town planner, politician and housing expert boasts of about 53 years experience and had served in the Nigerian House of Representatives on two terms as Member, representing Alkaleri/Kirfi Federal Constituency. He has contributed and continues to contribute immensely to housing policy development and delivery.

Chinenye is a banking professional with over 22 years’ experience in marketing leadership, people development and management, relationship management, turnaround management and credit analysis. With her wealth of experience, she comes in to drive the business development activities of the Bank.

These appointments represent another significant statement from President Tinubu that indeed, he means business in his resolve to boost housing delivery and it is not mere rhetorics.

7-Point Agenda of New Management Team

Barely a month after receiving the baton of leadership, the new Executive Management Team of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, led by Shehu Usman Osidi, obviously aware and knowledgeable about the job cut out for them, crafted seven encompassing points, to guide the operations of the Bank. This was aimed at achieving the broader vision of the Renewed Hope Agenda for housing. With a focus on efficiency, accessibility, and affordability, the 7-Point Agenda aims to streamline processes and enhance the delivery of housing solutions to Nigerians within the medium and low income brackets.

The items on the agenda are; Deepening Process Automation, Promoting Cost Efficiency, Enhancing Credit Quality/ Reducing Non-Performing Loans, Effective Project Management, Expanding Strategic Partnerships, Enthroning a Robust Organizational/Employee Performance Management System and Standardized Capacity Building/Talent Management.

By implementing these ambitious 7-point agenda, the Federal Mortgage aims to usher in a new era of housing development characterized by efficiency, accessibility, and affordability. The complete transition to digital platforms as envisioned with the first point on the agenda, will simplify application processes, reduce bureaucracy and improve transparency in the Bank’s operation processes. With a commitment to innovation and collaboration, the new management of Bank, through its 7-Point Agenda, continues to address the housing deficit facing Nigeria and improve the quality of life for millions of Nigerians, especially those within the medium and low income brackets.

The Managing Director of the Bank has continued to reiterate his commitment to delivering holistically on the Bank’s mandate of providing affordable mortgages to drive homeownership among Nigerians of low and medium incomes, with the overall focus of deepening the housing finance and mortgage sector towards improved contribution to the GDP, enhanced homeownership among Nigerians, wealth creation and economic prosperity, as well as drastic reduction of the housing deficit in the country. The 7-Point Agenda will guide and drive this vision and ensure its total achievement.

Achievements So Far

Having unveiled its agenda, the new management of the Federal Mortgage did not go to sleep but committed to working day and night to meet up with set targets.

With regards to automation of all banking processes, the new management has already led the deployment of the Core Banking Application to 95% completion level leading to faster, easier, more efficient and transparent operations of the Bank as well as excellent service delivery.

The Bank, under the leadership of the new management team, has continued to deepen and expand strategic partnerships with relevant local and foreign organizations to further its interests and deliver on its mandate. Already, the Bank has commenced engagements with the Board and Management of Shelter Afrique Development Bank and has set up a bilateral committee to catalyse this.

Similarly, in a bid to make building materials affordable and accessible towards the democratization of homeownership, the Bank is considering a robust partnership with NG Kutahya Seramik, a leading Turkish ceramic production company.

Also, recently, the Kano State Government committed to the resumption of the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme after two decades of abandoning the scheme. This came about following strategic engagements of the Bank’s new management and Kano State Advisory Committee on Participation of Civil Servants in the NHF Scheme.

Additionally, the new management has held meetings with Kaduna State University for the Academia Housing Project for staff of the University and the Federal Housing Authority to identify areas of synergy towards collectively achieving the Federal Government’s vision for the housing sector. The Bank is also working with the Nasarawa State Government towards housing delivery in the State, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) as well as Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).

Of particular notice, the Bank, in support of the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Cities and Estate Programme, is providing N100 Billion in Off-taker guarantee for the project. Additionally, in view of the Bank’s strategic place in the actualization of this project, the Bank was on May 7, 2024, inaugurated alongside three other development partners and key departments in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, as Project Implementation Committee. They were tasked to formulate comprehensive strategies that will drive the housing agenda and in particular, the speedy completion of the 3,112 Renewed Hope Estate and Cities program in Karsana, launched by President Tinubu in February.

Not forgetting the Bank’s engagements with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) which is aimed at providing housing opportunities for Nigerians outside the shores of the country. In a recent meeting between the management team of the Bank and the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, Hon. Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, it was revealed that six continents are set to commence enrolment into the Diaspora Mortgage Scheme. With plans to launch the product soon, the dream of homeownership by Nigerians in the Diaspora will be actualized.

Furthermore, the Bank looks to deepen its engagements with the National Police Force (NPF) in the provision of decent and affordable housing for men and women of the Force. This is in addition to partnering with the Real Estates Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and other such like-minded organisations on housing delivery.

The above mentioned are just a few of such strategic engagements. The new management has embarked on these various stakeholders’ engagements not only to drive the achievement of its corporate goals but to also resolve its challenges, particularly the need for recapitalization and review of obsolete Acts. The engagements also target regulatory agencies like the CBN and NDIC, labour unions, professional associations, trade organizations and local and international financial and housing development institutions.

Aside strategic engagements, the Bank has commenced the implementation of the Performance management system, following the inauguration of Champions by the Managing Director, Shehu Usman Osidi, on May 2, 2024. Prior to the inauguration, the Executive Management and heads of the various Groups of the Bank were sensitized on the intricacies of the new performance management system by officials of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. All these efforts are geared towards improving service delivery by the staff and the Bank as an institution.

From the foregoing, the evidence is clear that from the top, representing the President, followed by the Housing Minister, to the bottom at the level of the Federal Mortgage as the Government’s foremost mortgage institution, the commitment and will is at the same tempo; to provide decent and affordable housing to the Nigerian public. With the current position of the Federal Mortgage, the new management in place and the institution of the 7-Point Agenda, it goes without any doubt, that the jinx of underdevelopment that hitherto, bedeviled the housing sector is broken. It is undeniably a new dawn for Nigerians with regards to