23,000 civil servants jostle for government’s staff housing scheme
No fewer than 23,000 applications have been received from civil servants and being processed through the Federal housing Loans Board under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Scheme (FISH).
Similarly, more than 20 developers have been selected and their 1,500 housing units of two, three and four bedrooms have been uploaded into the scheme for immediate purchase by civil servants.
This was made known by the Head of Service (HOS), Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, who also confirmed that the Federal Capital Territory has provided the land for the project in Abuja, said a home Renovation Scheme to provide funds for public servants to renovate their homes has been initiated.
Oyo-Ita disclosed that the programme has not been abandoned because it is part of government’s improved and benefit carefully put in place for workers. ‘’Yes it suffered a set back for some time, there was economic stress, government agencies fails to provide the needed infrastructure we expected, developers were now bringing their equipment at a high cost rates, we remember that the initial cost was at commercial rates, there was also friction between developers, officers and the Office of the Head of Service, but in all, we have been able to address all these challenges’’.
The FISH programme was launched in 2016 under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative so allow relevant bodies namely, Ministry of Finance, Federal Capital Territory and Ministry of Power, Works and Housing assist and provide required inputs to reduce the cost of housing, thereby making then affordable .
However, a few months into the scheme, disappointments and challenges crept in, which somehow stalled continuity.
Oyo-Ita gave the assurances in Abuja while listing her achievements in the last one year, said: “The government is totally buying-into the Public Civil Service for full implementation of the executive orders recently outlined by Mr. president stressing that the executive orders are all geared towards enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.”
The Permanent Secretary, CSO in the Office of the The Head of Service, Mr Afolayan Ayodele said that the year 2017 was an eventful one as the HOS programmes were hinged on efficient, productive, innovative and citizen-centred civil servants.