Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, has assured civil servants that allocation of the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) houses would soon take-off.
Oyo-Ita gave the assurance while inspecting the completed Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN)-funded estates in the FCT on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 177 houses are completed under the FMBN-funded estates while 850 houses will be completed by the end of the year.
The houses inspected included 86 units of three-bedroom flats, semi-detached bungalows located in Kuje, FCT, developed by American Building System International (ABSI).
Others are 12 units of three-bedroom fully detached bungalows located in Kuje developed by Hydraform Engineering Nigeria Ltd. and 48 units of two-bedroom flats at Apo developed by Netconstruction Nigeria Ltd.
She said that the programme initiated by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), would ensure that houses allocated to civil servants were of high quality.
“The purpose of the visit is to see which of the estates we want to load onto the fish platform; we must say that we are very impressed with what we are seeing on ground.
“The FMBN has been doing very good jobs with the developers, and we are checking to see which of the estates can fall within the affordability range of civil servants.
“We want to assure Nigerians that now that we have estates that are ready, the programme will now take off fully.”
She said that the allocation of the houses to civil servants was being delayed because of the processes involved which include the mutual agreement between the three key stakeholders.
Oyo-Ita said that her office would ensure transparency and accountability in utilizing the N13 billion approved by the Federal Government for the programme
Also speaking, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, the Managing Director, FMBN, commended the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation for its willingness to inspect some of the bank’s estates.
Dangiwa gave an assurance that the estates were ready, noting that FMBN would offer the houses to the Head of Service off-takers for mortgage to their staff housing scheme.
“There are up to 177 houses that are very much ready on ground. We have over 850 houses that are at various stages of completion which can be offered by the end of the year for the office to take up.
“We also have houses round the country. In 20 states of the federation, there are estates that are completed and ready for take-up.
“Federal civil servants who are outside the FCT can also access these houses depending on what they need.’’
He said that major challenges facing the project were getting competent developers who could construct quality houses within the project time frame.
“For our other estates that are at their various stages of completion, we are battling with the contractors to complete the estates, to increase the housing stock of the country,’’ Dangiwa said.
In her remarks, Dr Hannatu Fika, the Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), commended the quality of the houses.