FG Lifts Mandatory 2.5% Mortgage Deduction from Private Employees’ Salaries
The Federal Government has lifted the compulsory 2.5% mortgage deduction from the monthly salaries of private sector employees for the National Housing Fund (NHF).
This, according to the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), is in line with the amended Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions} Bill 2022 signed into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari into law in February, 2023.
The President had signed the Bill as part of the Federal Government’s initiatives to foster an enabling environment for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
With specific reference to the National Housing Fund (NHF), the newly signed Act revised who can contribute to the Fund.
It provides that any employee earning the national minimum wage and above in the public sector or that is self-employed earning the equivalent of the national minimum wage and above “shall contribute 2.5% of his monthly income to the Fund”.
However, employees in the private sector “may contribute 2.5% of his monthly income to the Fund” according to Section 45 of the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2022.
In view of the above, NECA, the umbrella organization of employers in the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria, explained that contributing to the NHF is now voluntary for employees in the Private Sector.
It said: “This, therefore, implies that your employees may decide to continue with the scheme or choose to opt out completely.
“For those who choose to remain contributors, as is so far the practice, you are required to deduct the prescribed rate at source and make remittances to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), while those that decides to opt out of the NHF Scheme can process their refund as stipulated in the extant NHF Act.”
What you should know
The National Housing Fund (NHF) was established by the NHF Act of 1992 to mobilise funds that will facilitate the provision of affordable houses for Nigerians.
Under the NHF law, every Nigerian earning the National Minimum Wage or above is required to contribute 2.5% of their monthly basic salary to the NHF.
The funds mobilized will be made available to contributors at affordable interest rates to own houses.
Employers of labour are required to deduct, at source, the prescribed rate of contribution from the monthly salaries of qualifying employees and remit same to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.