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By Samuel Oyadongha, YENAGOA

FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, weekend, called for an effective mortgage system to meet the housing needs of Nigerians.

They made the appeal in their separate remarks at the groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony of the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Doctors’ Estate in the outskirts of Otuokpoti in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

The project, which is an initiative of the Doctors Welfare Cooperative, under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa chapter, is to be funded through a partnership with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN.

Jonathan, at the event described housing as one of the basic needs of man that could be addressed through an effective mortgage system for people to own affordable houses.

He thanked the resident doctors for finding him worthy and deserving the honour to have the estate named after him, saying: “The project when completed, will not only contribute to socio-economic well-being of its residents but also to the entire state.”

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Describing the medical profession as a noble one, he said he had so much respect for medical doctors, who were trained to take care of the health needs of the people.

In his remarks, Governor Diri said the state government was quite elated over the project initiated by the Doctors’ Welfare Cooperative of FMC, Yenagoa.

Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor called on FMBN to review its mortgage policies and procedures to make it more inclusive and feasible for more professional groups and individuals to key into it.

He noted that efforts at providing shelter were a step in the right direction, assuring that his administration would do its best to ensure that the actualisation of the project within the targeted completion period.

His words: “We feel very elated by what the resident doctors in FMC Yenagoa chapter are doing here today. Adams Smith made it very clear from the beginning, and Abraham Maslow built on it, by saying that shelter is one of the basic needs of man.

And even God Himself acknowledged it. That is why after creation, He created the Garden of Eden as shelter for man.

“Elsewhere in the world, nobody builds their houses with their money. It is the mortgage system that funds the building of residential homes.

“If you see people driving big cars, they are on mortgage; the man living in a large house, that house is on mortgage. Virtually everything is run on mortgage.

“We have decided to talk about mortgage, but we have not imitated mortgage properly. So, I want to use this opportunity to call on FMBN and other mortgage institutions to make their systems easier and conditions lighter for people to access mortgage. That is the only way this country can grow.”

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