Towards providing adequate funding at low interest rate for the delivery of affordable housing to public servants, the Federal Government has entered into a N13 billion mortgage deal with Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC).
The deal is coming under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing programme (FISH), the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Federal Government Staff Housing Board (FGSHLB) and the private sector-led mortgage firm. FISH programme and Family Homes Funds also endorsed an MOU to provide affordable housing.
The Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita who witnessed the event at a one-day FISH-P Housing summit 2017 held in Abuja on the theme, ”innovative Strategies For Affordable housing”, said 30,000 civil servants have been profiled as off takers and deductions of mortgage or loan repayment directly from their monthly salaries on delivery of houses of their choice have begun.
The FISH programme, an initiative of the President Mohammadu Buhari led Federal Government, anchored by the office of the federal civil service of the federation, entered into partnerships with ten primary mortgage bankers to facilitate prompt processing of mortgage applications with Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
The scheme was designed by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation in 2016 to alleviate the housing challenges experienced by civil servants in Abuja and other state capitals of the nation and administered through an inter-Ministerial Committee comprising Pertinent Secretaries, Managing directors, Directors-General, Executive Secretaries and other officials of government
The Head of Service further disclosed that the government is entering into partnerships with manufacturers of building materials for discounted volume prices to drive the cost of houses much lower.
The Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, Managing Director, Prof. Charles Iyangete, who said his organisation will partner in delivering an innovative as well as constructive mortgage financing of affordable houses to civil servants, also revealed that the memorandum of understanding entered with his organisation, will enable them and other relevant agencies partnering in the FISH Programme, ensure that the housing deficit experienced by public servants are resolved within the best possible time.
Earlier, the Chairman of FISH Committee and Permanent Secretary, Common Services in the office of the Head of service, Yemi Adelakun said the major problem facing the programme includes difficulties to allocation and acquisition of land from the federal and state governments, provision of infrastructures at minimal and subsidized costs, additional sources of funding for construction and mortgages at single digit interest rates among others.
The President, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Tonye Braide promised that the institute would participate in the FISH programme by expanding on the ideas postulated therein.
He said: ”What may be needed could be the adjustment to meet a Nigerian Operating model in addition, the institute can also provide value added services to assist with bulk purchase/procurement, insurance management, information services and supply chain management.”
Originally published in The Guardian