Nigeria: FG commissions 151 housing units for civil servants in Abuja
London, Dec. 21, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The Federal Government on Thursday in Abuja commissioned 151 housing units built for civil servants under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) intended to make housing accessible and affordable to civil servants across the country.
Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, who commissioned the two housing estates located in Kuje, Abuja, explained the initiative of the Federal Government was designed to address the housing needs of civil servants who are unable to own houses due to the prohibitive costs of land acquisition, building or purchasing.
She announced that the next phase of the project, which would be commissioned early next year comprised 97 units of bungalows in Kuje and another 20 units of bungalows in Karu, adding that the beneficiaries of the Karu Estate were already in possession of their keys and would move in at their pleasure.
Oyo-Ita noted that the overall objective of the FISH programme was to improve the quality of life of civil servants and their families, adding that it would foster a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy and reduce corruption in the public service, in line with the present administration’s anti-corruption drive.
She stated that FISH Programme was designed to be implemented as an inter-governmental, inter-ministerial and public-private partnership project.
According to her, “There is active collaboration with some State government and federal agencies such as the Federal ministries of Power, Works and Housing, Water Resources and Federal Capital Territory Administration, for the provision of land, infrastructure and amenities.
“On the inter-ministerial level, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has strategic funding partnerships with the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and Family Homes Funds for the provision of Off-taker Supportive finance in form of Loans and Mortgage finance to civil servants for the purchase of the houses uploaded on the programme at single digit interest rate.
“The public-private partnership component involves the provision of land, building technologies, construction finance, expertise, among others, by private real estate developers.
As part of the measures to ensure that the FISH Project is spread across the length and breadth of the country, Oyo-Ita said her Office had signed a memorandum of understanding with 33 Real Estate Developers, adding that construction of new houses has begun in different stages in various parts of the country.
Therefore, she urged civil servants to key into the FISH Programme, noting that 55,000 civil servants had already subscribed to the programme.
It would be recalled that FISH programme was conceptualised in 2013 by the then Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Goni Aji.
However, on assumption of office, Oyo-Ita adopted it and launched strategic initiative to provide quality and affordable housing for civil servants.
Also speaking, Dr. Hannatu Adamu, Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, said her office in collaboration with OHCSF had worked assiduously to develop a workable strategy to mobilise resources from all stakeholders in the build industry, to ensure the delivery of affordable houses to workers in a sustainable manner.
Adamu who commended the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for prioritising the welfare of the civil servants, added that not less than 150 core civil servants have benefitted from the housing scheme.