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How we plan to execute new housing scheme for civil servants, by official

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze and  Anthony Otaru, Abuja
08 August 2016   |   1:39 am
The Federal government has thrown more lights on how it planned to execute a new housing scheme for civil servants in the country.
Yemi Adelakun

Yemi Adelakun

The Federal government has thrown more lights on how it planned to execute a new housing scheme for civil servants in the country.

Under the scheme, known as the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme, government will use the instrumentality of the office of bureaucrats to provide necessary infrastructure and also get the required expertise from the civil service, as there are civil servants who are Surveyors and Architects.

Apart from addressing welfare concerns of civil servants, the FISH programme initiated by office of the Head of Service of the federation would contribute in no small measure to the development of national economy through employment generation in the building and allied industries.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme, expected to mitigate the housing problem being faced by the federal civil servants in the country, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifered Ekanem Oyo-Ita observed  that a large proportion of civil servants lived in slums and unplanned settlements because of their inability to own a house or rent decent accommodation in a planned layout or in the city.

According to her, it is pertinent to implement the FISH programme so as to enable civil servants own homes as a means to uplift their morale, commitment, stewardship, and quality during and after service

Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office (OHCSF) , Yemi Adelakun stated that Federal civil servants in the past were motivated by the provision of staff quarters and this accounted for diligence, professionalism and high level of productivity among the early civil servants. Since the staff quarter’s policy was abolished, the fortunes of civil servants in terms of decent accommodation had dwindled.

The Permanent Secretary pointed out that the FISH programme was designed to provide affordable housing for civil servants through an integrated strategy involving group land acquisition, site services, infrastructure development adding that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing will provide road infrastructure and electricity, while the Federal Ministry of Water Resources will provide water.

Adelakun further disclosed that government has structured the funding aspect to ensure that mortgage is provided at a single digit interest rate adding that government has put in place measures to ensure that no civil servant spends more than one –third of his salary on mortgage repayment.

He explained that the groundbreaking in Apo is a stop gap measure and a win-win partnership with ABSI Building Systems Inter national.
“We  are building on a land acquired by a developer. The upper limit price  is N5 million for one bedroom, N9million for two bedroom and N12 million for three bedroom.

He said, “We hope to get land at a cheaper rate from the federal ad state governments for subsequent programmes and we hope that the prices will be knocked down by half so that the one bed-room would come down to N3.5 million, two bedroom, N6 million while the three bedroom will come down to N8 million.

“By the time we use the FMBN rate of 5 per cent, the beneficiaries would be required to pay 10 per cent equity and this would be negotiable,” he said.

He noted that discussions are on with Pencom to see if workers can use part of their contributions for  equity.

“We may bring federal character to ensure that the beneficiaries cut across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), we will also ensure that beneficiaries spread across all the ministries and agencies of government. We are considering the possibility of doing rent to own scheme,” he added.