By Chris Ochayi
The management of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, has reiterated it’s commitment to facilitate the provision of decent and affordable housing to workers across the nation.
Managing Director and Chief Executive of the apex mortgage bank, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, an architect, said the government would give priority to issues affecting Nigerian workers, especially in the area of housing provision.
Dangiwa, spoke during a meeting with the FMBN officials, NLC, TUC and NECA on National Affordable Housing delivery programme for Nigerian workers held recently in Abuja where he, however, emphasized on the recapitalization of the bank to enable it deliver on its mandate.
In his remarks, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, disclosed that the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, Trade Union Congress TUC, and other stakeholders will support FMBN on recapitalization so that the bank can deliver on its mandate.
Ayuba disclosed that in Nigeria, there is a huge housing deficit, adding that stakeholders will be working with FMBN to commit the government to give support, allocation and special grant to the apex mortgage bank.
The NLC President noted that it is high time stakeholders got subvention or something substantial from the government to support the housing initiative, as he assured that Labour will be supporting this noble idea on recapitalization of the bank.
“This programme is a culmination of the collaborative efforts between FMBN and the NLC to address the daunting challenges of home ownership among workers in Nigeria. The programme is planned to provide 100 houses in each state of the federation starting with 14 pilot project centres in phase 1with 2 projects in each geopolitical zones with Lagos and Abuja as special centres.
“The purpose is to assist Nigerian workers own houses of their own that are decent and affordable.
The first phase of this programme is at various completion stages in 14 pilot centres where construction work has since commenced. We have so far attained about 80% completion in these centres with some of the centres presently awaiting commissioning.
“The following sites are now fully completed and ready for commissioning by April 2020’ they are “Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa. The second phase of the programme is about to take off.
We are therefore using this medium to appeal to state governors where this programme has not commenced to provide the bank with ten hectares of land to enable them implement the programme with 200 units in their respective states for the benefits of their workers”, Wabba said.
The NLC and other stakeholders are appealing to the governors to provide infrastructure to the estates in order to make the houses more affordable as a way of subsidy.
Meanwhile, FMBN is presently reviewing the building design as well as the bill of quantities to further enhance affordability and conformity with building codes. In addition, the bank has taken measures to avoid pitfalls encountered during implementation of the first phase with a view to ensuring speedy completion of the second phase.