A cross-section of Nigerian Workers have scored the Government low in the area of affordable housing for their welfare.
A number of them spoke to our Correspondent at the 2018 Workers Day Celebration held at Eagle Square Abuja.
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According to Mrs Virginia Nwoha, a Staff of the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, “the way the government has treated the workers in the area of housing is too bad. As a Federal Staff, when we retire, when we write concerning the deducted mortgage fund, we will not see anything.”
A Staff of the National Industrial Court, Comr. Adebayo Babatunde pleaded with the Government to consider the plight of workers in the area of housing.
He said” That’s what we are pleading for them to consider the workers. Even in the salary we are receiving is not enough for us, talk less of the housing allowance. They keep on talking about increment for some years now, till now there is nothing like that. We are appealing to the government to consider the workers.”
A labour leader who works with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Comr. Titus Okoro lamented the loss the system has suffered due to housing challenges of the workers.
Comr. Okoro said “we have Civil Servants who live very far from where they work and it does not do well for productivity. You can imagine someone who comes from Keffi or Niger State, it dampens morale and reduces productivity. The Government need to up their game in the area of housing.”
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In a reaction, a representative at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) who preferred to remain anonymous said the FMBN is better ready than before to help in assisting Nigerian workers in home ownership through their various products like re-innovation loan, co-operative loan and National Housing fund loan.
He further said that the FMBN felicitates with all Nigerian workers and assures them of a better relationship.
Also in a statement released in Abuja on Workers Day, the President of Housing Development Advocacy Network, Barr. Festus Adebayo called on the Executive and the National Assembly to do more other than ordinary promises in the area of housing for Nigerian workers.
Barr. Adebayo noted that it is regrettable that a good number of Nigerian workers after working for 20-25 years could not boast of owning a home.
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He called on other stakeholders in the housing/construction industry to bury personal interest and work sincerely together for the interest of providing affordable housing for Nigerian workers.
The 2018 Workers Day has as its theme “The role of Labour and Workers in National Development: Dare to struggle and we dare to win”, drew workers from both the public and private sectors.