The Nigerian Government has reiterated its commitment to provide affordable housing especially among public servants in the country.The Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Dr Hannatu Fika stated this when she led a delegation of the board members on a courtesy visit to the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, Mr Ahmed Kangiwa, in Abuja.
Dr Fika said that the visit was to allow the Loans Board and FMBN to talk and find ways of ensuring that more public servants owned decent houses.
“Each time you listen to Mr President talk about social welfare issues, housing is always mentioned. So, how do the two of us, FMBN and FGSHLB come together to support the programmes of the present government especially at this next level?,” she asked.
She noted that the partnership between the two bodies had been a success story especially the 2.6 billion naira approved and released to 3,034 public servants in loan, for renovation of houses.
“In 2015, you know, we started off and since then happily for the civil servants, you know they are the recipients, around 3,034 public servants as of today, have had 1million naira and slightly below, approved for them which the aggregate comes up to about 2.6 billion naira. It’s a very heart warming thing and we thought having been successful in this partnership, we thought it was ideal for us to come back to the Federal Mortgage Bank where we started. Thank you very much for making this available to the public servants,” Dr Fika added.
The Executive Secretary however said despite the achievements recorded, there is more to be done in the provision of housing for public Servants.
“I am aware that you have this project of Rent-to-own product which you have started practicalising, however, you know more civil servants will own homes if we are able to partner, because we have been brainstorming in it and we found out that when you give a house to a civil servant and then you are expecting them to pay in something, in form of rent so that they can be reducing the balance that is outstanding against them, there will be some challenges, so we thought why don’t we continue with our partnership because we are already successful partners we can also come up with this” she said.
The Managing Director, FMBN, Mr Kangiwa said that the visit was timely owing to the increasing demand by public servants to own houses adding that it was part of the strategic focus of the bank to strengthen the partnership with stakeholders in order to promote the mutual understanding for the achievements and purpose for which the bank was established.
“The FGSHLB is a critical stakeholder in the National Housing Fund because it partners with the bank through intermediation between the bank and Federal civil servants, especially for the home renovation loans that was well conceived,” he explained.
He encouraged more civil servants to key into the National Housing Fund to own a house through mortgage.
“The FGSHLB being the housing outfit for the civil servants is of interest to the FMBN and we will continue to support you to get loans for the civil servants”.
“Any federal civil servant that belongs to a cooperative can approach the bank through a selected developer to get their construction loan,” the Managing Director assured.
Mr Kangiwa also said the bank has introduced the Rent-to-own product with houses in over 20 States of the Federation and is available and accessible to all State and Federal civil servants.
“Its one of the housing projects we have off loaded under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme, FISH.” he added.