The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), on Wednesday launched a mobile app to enable contributors’ access information on their NHF Contribution from the comfort of their homes and offices without necessarily paying a visit to any FMBN Office, at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.
The mobile app, otherwise known as The NHF Mobile and Internet platform, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, was created to improve transparency and accountability and also avail NHF contributors the opportunity to check their contribution balances, receive sms alerts and account statements, update contact details and retrieve NHF numbers.
Delivering his address at the event, the Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa, noted that the innovation was necessary in order to tackle some of the challenges facing the National Housing Fund (NHF).
He said ‘’some of the challenges arose from employers who failed to remit totally or only partially remit the workers NHF deductions to FMBN, employers failing to provide schedule for deductions, the cumbersome manner of the manual update of physical passbooks, and most importantly, most contributors did not know the status of their NHF Contributions, which largely questioned the accountability and transparency in the management of the NHF’’.
He added that it became evidently clear that it was high time FMBN joined the league of Information Technology savvy institutions that have adopted IT as the standard mode of service delivery to customers.
‘’Having critically evaluated the issues, we decided to automate the process and give NHF contributors’ unfettered access to information pertaining to their contributions and the policies associated with the scheme, for greater efficiency, transparency, accountability and service delivery’’.
While commenting on the NHF mobile app, the App developer and Managing Director of NETAPPS Technologies, Edwin Okoro, said
‘’ The FMBN Digital Platform is an ecosystem of innovative mobile messaging solutions, integrated into a single suite and it seeks to address the challenges associated with effective monitoring, management and notification of monthly National Housing Fund contributions, nationwide’’.
He added that ‘’the systems are secured, available, reliable, easily accessible and easy to use, thereby giving each NHF contributor, a superior customer experience, increased access to their contribution ,greater transparency, clearer disclosure and convenience, from comforts of their homes or offices while on the go’ ’he said.
Features of the new service include *219# USSD, Mobile App, Self Service Kiosk, SMS alert and Email notification, With these, a contributor can check contributions, retrieve NHF number, request for account statement, use the mortgage calculator to see mortgage affordability and repayments options and search for NHF-related information from a bulletin board service.
The event was well attended by top government functionaries, which included; representative of the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, representative of the Hon Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello and representative of the Hon Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Other dignitaries at the event included; stakeholders in Housing Finance, building and construction, members of the Nigerian Armed forces and Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC).
Affa Dickson Acho