Federal Government social housing scheme, Family Homes Funds have signed a landmark agreement with the government of Borno state to build at least 1700 homes for civil servants on low income and another 3200 for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The agreement which was signed on Sunday at the Borno state government liaison office in Abuja will mark a new beginning for the state which has been largely devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency, leading to the destruction of at least 1 million homes.
Speaking at the event, the Governor of Borno state, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum stated that the state is excited about the project and the commitment of Family Homes Funds to fund such a massive project that will benefit both IDPs and civil servants, and with a loan repayment plan of up to 25 years for civil servants.
He said: ‘’The responsibility of the government of Borno state is to act as an intermediary to ensure that the houses are built in conformity with the standards, and we shall guarantee the payment of the loan back to family homes funds. The urban buildings are meant for the civil servants while the ones in the rural areas are for IPDs.
‘’It is a continuous process, and as time goes, we shall continue to engage Family Homes Funds to ensure that more homes are built, especially for IDPs. We have identified the locations and ready to go.
‘’We also have the responsibility to ensure protection and ensure safety because of the security situation in the state. We will cooperate with them to ensure no delay at all. And the beneficiaries, especially the 1700 civil servants earning below 100, 000 will be meticulously selected.’’
Speaking on the agreement, the MD/CEO of Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole also expressed his satisfaction with working with the Borno state governor and his government whom he said has a pedigree that gives them assurance that this is not just a paper signing ceremony.
‘’We are delighted about this partnership with the Borno State Government which will provide much needed homes for 3200 internally displaced persons and 1700 civil servants on low income. With a total investment of about N15 billion this partnership will be making a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society and giving them hope and opportunity to participate in viable economic activities.
‘’We are also delighted to be working with a trusted partner. Probably unknown to many, His Excellency has personally overseen the completion of over 20000 homes. His active commitment to this project leaves us in no doubt that the homes will be completed to good quality within the agreed 18 months period.
‘’The 18 months starts now. Both parties are going to work hard to deliver on this commitment and bring hope to about 4900 families. With unit costs starting from N1.8m this is part of the Government Social Investment Programme committed to improving the quality of life of Nigerians. This will also improve the local economy through creation of jobs.
‘’We are doing two things. First, we are providing construction finance to ensure that the beneficiaries get their houses, on the back of that we will be providing the individual civil servants with homes loans assistance to ensure that they can afford the purchase of those homes for a figure that is no more than a third of the salary that they earn, and depending on individual circumstances, the tenure of that financing will stretch up to 20 years.
‘’The mission is to work together to ensure that fellow Nigerians that are living in very unacceptable conditions are allowed to have a home as quickly as possible.
‘’We are happy because up to 3200 people whom have been living in tents will now have a home that they can call their own which is safe and secure.
‘’We have worked with the government to provide the initial financing, the government will transfer these homes for free to the IDPs. So this is a significant initiative by the state government and they will pay back over an extended period of time which is up to an average of about 15 years,’’ he said.
Family Homes Funds is also currently developing low cost housing projects in at least 12 states of the federation in fulfilment of the mandate of the newly established organisation.