The Federal Government on Monday commenced allocation of 1,025 housing units to some beneficiary civil servants under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing programme.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, supported by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, handed over the keys of 70 housing units out of the 1,025 completed housing units to the lucky subscribers at De-Ita Emeks Nigeria Ltd Estate, Kurudu, Abuja.
The allocation of some of the completed housing units to some of the off-takers of the mass housing programme, was part of the programmes making the 2017 Federal Civil Service Week.
Ngige, said the symbolic allocation of the 70 housing units to the beneficiaries at the De-Ita Emeks Nigeria Ltd Estate, was to show the commitment of the current administration to deliver on its promise of mass housing for Nigerians.
He said one of the cardinal campaign promise of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), was provision of mass housing for Nigerians, adding that apart from the housing programme for the civil servants, other housing programmes were being executed by different Ministries, Departments and Agencies, especially the Ministry of Power Works & Housing.
The Head of Service, explained that the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme, was targeted at construction of 22,000 housing units of various categories to be made available to workers within the recently approved Federal Executive Council approved long-term 2017-2019 Strategic plan of the OHCSF.
Oyo-Ita, added that over 48,000 off-takers have registered into the programme with unprecedented passion being expressed by even those outside the Federal Public Service.
She disclosed that of the 48,000 registered participants, 4,025 provisional offer letters have been issued to the beneficiaries while more than 2,846 have been processed to Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board and some Primary Mortgage Banks for onward transmission to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
According to her, the Federal Government was concerned about the difficulties faced by many workers, especially workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in getting roof over their heads because of high cost of rent.
She noted that her Office as part of efforts to make the programme sustainable secured a partnership deal with Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), with commitment to refinance the mortgage of Federal Public Servants to the tune of N13 billion.
She identified some of the challenges being faced in the execution of the programme to include access to mortgage financing for off-takers at a reasonable interest rate, access to construction finance by real estate development partners and the provision of infrastructural facilities among others.