“We implement policies to make housing affordable” – FG
The Federal Government has stated that several unique programmes and policies are already being implemented to make housing affordable and accessible in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Babangida Hussain, disclosed this at the ongoing 9th National Council on Land, Housing and Urban Development Meeting, holding in Jos, Plateau.
Mrs Boade Akinade, Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, made this known in a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday.
According to the statement, Hussain said that some of the programmes were being executed in collaboration with the private sector through the Site and Services Scheme.
Others are “Improved Land Administration and Management, National Housing Programme which is in its second phase, the development of the Nigeria National Building Code and Energy Efficiency Code”.
The statement also explained that the Federal Government had evolved relevant policies that would lead to socio-economic wellbeing of the people.
Hussain described the theme of the meeting “Housing Delivery In The Covid-19 Era and Beyond: The Strategies for Affordability and Accessibility” as appropriate.
He said that meeting would provide the opportunity for an extensive discourse by the stakeholders on how to achieve accessibility to and affordability of housing in the country.
In his contribution, the Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), Alhaji Ibrahim Mairiga, stated that Government should increase access to affordable housing among public servants.
He said that such could be done by adjustment and harmonisation of salaries of core civil servants to improve their capacity to take higher loans that could deliver houses to them.
Mairiga made this known in a paper entitled “Housing The Workers: Increasing Access To Affordable Housing For Housing For Public Servants”.
The paper was presented on his behalf by Mr Akinwande Adegbola, the board’s Head of Public Relations.
He also suggested other measures to include the provision of special Federal Government grants and an outright subsidy towards homeownership and adequate funding of the FGSHLB to enable it to provide loans to any civil servant who desired to own a house.
Mairiga also called for the activation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme to strengthen the collaboration among stakeholders to take off the cost of provision of needed infrastructure such as roads, drainages and electricity.
He said that the board’s initiatives for increased access to affordable housing included the introduction of a starter loan scheme aimed at providing housing loans of between N6 million and N8 million for officers on grade level 08 -10 to enable them to purchase completed houses.
He said that online application and automated loan process to achieve transparency, accountability and inclusion of federal staff in state and field officers would be deployed.
Mairiga said that the board was proposing a new enhancement loan for all cadres in the service, adding that such a loan would encourage workers to own their own homes early in their service career.
He said the board had partnered with FISH, Family Homes Funds (FHF) and indigenous estate developers to ensure it achieved its much-desired result of providing affordable and accessible housing to federal public servants.