…Stakeholders Chant Line Of Action For New leadership
The news of the retirement of Mr Femi Adewole as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Family Homes Funds Limited came as shock to many stakeholders in the built environment.
The news was particularly more shocking considering it broke barely exactly 24 hours after Family Homes Funds had announced strong performance for the 2021 financial year under Mr Adewole’s leadership in which the organization grew its Profit Before Tax grew by 334% accumulating N2.72bn, whilst revenue grew by 98% to N4.84bn.
Total Assets grew by 40% to N93.40bn, whilst the company continues to maintain a high-quality loan portfolio with non-performing loans at 0% at the end of 2021.
What Stakeholders Are Saying?
Encomiums have rolled in with various stakeholders praising Mr Adewole’s leadership, speaking highly of how he positioned Family Homes Funds firmly, delivering stellar results in his short time at the organization, a few have however criticized his tenure as only being favourable to government agencies and institutions and that the private sector did not benefit as much.
These criticisms actually culminated in one of these developers calling for the scrap of Family Homes Funds claiming to be worried by the failure of FHFL to provide social housing for Nigerians.
Investigations by Africa Housing News however showed that Mr Adewole, being an expert in housing credit considered the financial records of some of these private sector developers with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, and many were found wanting having collected various loans and failed to deliver on the intended purpose of the loans.
A reliable source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “The records of some these developers who have interacted with FMBN and other banks in Nigeria had been the fear of Mr Femi Adewole who did not want to take the risk of releasing the funds of the organization (Family Homes Funds) to those who would collect the money and not deliver the job.
“Some of these developers were found to collect monies for projects and rather use it for media campaigns and lawsuits against the lending organizations rather than deliver on projects that they collected the money for.”
It was discovered that being a young institution, it was the priority of Mr Adewole to steer Family Homes Funds from non-performing loans so that it does not run into financial distress at the early stages of its existence.
This is even more evidence from the audited financial report of Family Homes Fund for the year ended 2021 which showed that the organization had zero non-performing loans.
It is safe to conclude that the complaints about Mr Adewole’s leadership by private sector developers especially was because of this prudency that was geared to placing Family Homes Fund in the best possible financial position.
How Well Did Mr Adewole Perform At Family Homes Funds?
Despite the obvious barriers to affordable housing including high inflation, access to land, cost of construction, and limited purchasing power on the demand side, FHFL under Mr Adewole leadership has done fantastically well.
Its first initiative was the development of 2,304 homes across five states – Ogun, Kano, Delta, Kaduna and Nasarawa, which are today referred to as the FHFL Legacy Estates.
Few years down the line, through partnerships with several state governments, FHFL has financed the development of 15,000 homes, creating about 60,000 direct and indirect jobs in the process, with a pipeline of additional 20,000 homes due in 2024.
The strong financial position attained under Mr Adewole has also been mirrored by the audited report of its 2021 operations during its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Family Homes Funds Under New Leadership
With the performance of Mr Adewole, Family Homes Funds Limited is now a strong brand which signposts the critical ingredients of success and excellence.
In truth, Mr Adewole’s excellence performance as MD has outshined his previous predecessors and him leaving will create a huge vacuum that needs to be filled. It is expected that whosoever will take over from baton of leadership should build on the very solid foundation that has already been laid.
It is also important for the incoming managing director to revisit the concerns that were laid by private sector developers and make the organization make more private sector stakeholders benefit from FHFL.
Family Homes Funds was indeed created to benefits all sectors both government and private so the needed due diligence should be put in place so that credible private sector developers who meet the needed requirements can benefit from the organization with ease.
It is feared in some quarters that the retirement of Mr Adewole might signal a downward spiral for Family Funds Limited, and thus, it is important for the new MD to sustain the pace already set.
It is also important for stakeholders and professional bodies in the housing industry to give the next Chief Executive Officer of FHFL, whosoever emerges, the same level of support that was given to Mr Femi Adewole, all of these should be geared towards provision of social housing for all while selfish and personal interest should be relegated to the background.
It is a known fact that the housing industry is dominated by individuals chasing their personal interests; this syndrome must be guarded against if the next management of FHF will excel.
Stakeholders must support the new leadership and protect Family Homes Funds from what have been termed ‘political developers’ who may be planning to hijack the noble objective of the organization.