As part of efforts to improve the welfare and morale of civil servants especially in the area of housing. The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Ita-Oyo on Thursday commissioned two (2) Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Estates at Kuje, Abuja.
Earlier at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, she presented FISH Programme handbooks and launched the new FISH website.
While delivering her address, Ita-Oyo, acknowledged the support FISH has been receiving from the FMBN and Family Homes Funds. She said,
‘’the Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Architect Ahmed Dangiwa has given us tremendous support, and of course the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds, Mr Femi Adewole, he came on board a few months ago but he came in with a lot of excitement, and he has also given a lot of support for this programme’’.
The high point of the event was the unveiling of the FISH Programme handbook and unveiling of the FISH website, by the Head of Service of the Federation. She noted that with the new website, civil servants can now process and make payments for the FISH Programme at their convenience by simply logging on to, www.fish-p.gov.ng.
Speaking during an interview on the sidelines of the event, the Chairman of the Board of FMBN, Dr Adewale Adeyeye, noted that the launching of the website was a great innovation, he said
‘’The motion of life has been taken over by Information Technology, and FISH programme is due for this innovation and I’m delighted. I hope civil servants will take advantage of it’’.
On the sustainability of the FISH Programme, he said that the programme will stand the test of time and will not be affected by policy somersaults in the years to come.
He called on civil servants to take advantage of the programme because it is their right.
At the Commissioning of the FMBN funded FISH Estate,Kuje I and II, by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, she said the Estates were built in partnership with a private developer, C2Q Property and Investment Limited. She commended the company for the quality of the houses, and urged other developers to partner with the government in the quest to provide affordable housing.
The Property developer and Managing Director of C2Q Property Limited, Jagunmolu Akande Omoniyi, expressed his delight in partnering with the government to provide houses. He said,
‘’The experience has been worthwhile, it gives me joy and it is in tandem with our passion, and at C2Q, our passion is to deliver affordable homes, we believe that whatever is worth it, we should give value for money and above that we should look at our main objective of making people happy.
‘’We know that a civil servant and his family is not fully happy, until they have a home that they can call their own, and this has been the driving force behind our successes over the years’’.
On the affordability of the homes he said ‘’we believe that the houses we deliver are affordable in the sense that 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom houses within the region of N10 to N15 million, is seen to be well affordable, most houses of this nature in the city centre, goes for nothing less than N25-N35 million, but because we believe that we must contribute our little quota to the Nigerian economy and to humanity, we decided to develop houses that can be acquired at affordable prices’’.
He further called on the government to support private developers by making land more accessible to credible developers who are desirous of bridging the housing gap, he added that if government provides land, it crashes the cost of delivery, he further hailed the efforts of the government in the area of funding the relevant housing agencies, and providing mortgages for civil servants.
He advocated for continuity in the laudable programmes of government in the area of housing and called on other credible developers to key into it.
FISH programme was designed to provide affordable housing for federal civil servants through an integrated strategy involving group land acquisition, site services, infrastructure development, inter-ministerial collaboration, utilization of expertise among civil servants, support from federal and state governments, federal agencies and parastatal, structured and syndicated construction and mortgage financing, goodwill of socially responsible corporations and philanthropists, and strategic partnerships with private developers, international development agencies and multilateral institutions.
Affa Dickson Acho