Nigerian government intensifies effort for adequate housing

Rahila Lassa, Abuja


The Nigerian government has said it is intensifying efforts to ensure that its citizens own houses.

The Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board said this will be done in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda on bridging the housing deficit in the country.

The Executive Secretary of the Board, Dr. Hannatu Fika, said this while briefing journalists during an inspection of housing projects across the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria.

Dr. Fika said the move became necessary giving the crucial roles of public servants in the economic development of the nation.

According to her, all public servants are entitled to the housing loan and should take advantage of the scheme.

“At least the houses speak for themselves. It is not imaginary. This estate belongs literary to Federal civil servants who identified a developer and introduce the developer to us and instructed us to pay their own loan to the developer so that he can build houses for them and this houses you are seeing are houses that came through partnership between the developers and civil servants.”

“This estate is christened Amal Pepple Housing Estate, after one of our former Head of Service and for now, there are over 220 houses and more are going to be constructed because the land is very big,” she disclosed.

When giving an overview of the inspection, she said the Engr Ebele Okeke Housing Estate, also named after a former Head of Service which was earlier inspected will be commissioned in September.

She therefore urged the developers to ensure everything is completed before the day of commissioning.

“Liberty 1, which is now Engr Ebele Okeke Housing Estate is fully developed and occupied. You have seen it yourself, and Liberty 2, which is close to Liberty 1, we planned to commission it in July, but unfortunately the developers weren’t ready. So, we urge them to hasten and finish up. Because quite a number of the owners of the houses in that Estate want it as carcass so that they can redesign it the way they want.

“And i think we are contributing our quota as a Board maximally to the reduction of the housing deficit in the country especially now that we have a Government that is willing to provide houses for most citizens. You know Civil Servants are a critical sector in the citizenry of this country,” She said.

Talking on support from the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, which the Board is under, she said the support is maximal.

“Everybody is giving us support otherwise you wouldn’t have seen what is on ground. Because housing is one of the programmes of government which is one of the major ones. She is giving us 100% support both morally and spiritually,” she said.

When asked if there could be an option of allocating lands to civil Servants to develop by themselves instead of houses, she noted that it’s a good idea, but it all boils down to the same thing, same expenses, giving the funds that will be used to build the house.
“but connected to that we have approached the FCT and it has given us land in Wasa district, which will make the houses more subsidised,” she explained.

Dr Fika further advised Civil servants to key into the Scheme even if it’s the carcass.

One of the developers, Arc Rotimi Fason, said his company is ready for the September commissioning.

“As you can see we have all equipment on ground including the transformer. We are currently working on the drainage and we will soon complete it,” he said.

About five housing estate were inspected by the Executive Secretary Federal Government Staff Housing Loan Board within the FCT.