Senior officials of government have urged civil servants to embrace the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Project (FISH).
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this call at the official ground breaking ceremony of the ministry’s Staff Multi-purpose Cooperative Society Housing Estate in Karshi, Nasarawa State.
Akpabio commended the ministry for developing 500-unit housing project to promote staff welfare in the ministry.
Akpabio, who was represented by the Minister of State, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, said: “President Muhammadu Buhari administration has shown greater concern for the welfare of its citizen as every good government will endeavour to promote welfare policies, which includes housing.”
He expressed delight that the Head of Service of the Federation has keyed into the initiative of the President, which he said would become a motivating factor to all federal civil servants.
According to him, the housing units jointly developed by the ministry’s cooperative society and Haleem Integrated Limited will avail the staff of opportunity to live in their own houses before retirement.
He further stated that an independent monitoring committee would be set up to ensure that the houses built are of good quality, adding that the ministry will encourage, advice and support the society.
He, therefore, advised members in the ministry, who are not part of the initiative to join accordingly as it would bring succour to staff, who aspire to be homeowners.
In her speech, Yemi-Esan represented by the Permanent Secretary (HOS) Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe, stated that, “the project strikes the right cord with the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 1&11 (FCSSIP) as staff welfare is one of the priority areas of FCSSIP and provision of befitting houses is key under this plan.”
She noted that the objective is to enable all civil servants to exit the conundrum and hassles associated with tenancy.
She also enjoined the developers to establish a high sense of professionalism and ensure that the houses are of good quality that will stand the test of time.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, who reiterated the importance of shelter in the life of humans, explained that the ministry is making a contribution to alleviate hardship and unpleasant situations associated with housing for civil servants in Abuja.
He said the scheme is a worthy one, as off-takers (mainly civil servants) will only contribute a little while the bulk of the payment to the developers will come from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). The off-takers will enjoy the leisure to easy payment, as this will spread over the number of years they have in service.
The Chairman of the Cooperative Society, Mr. Okechukwu Nwagbara, expressed gratitude to the management of the ministry for their relentless support and assistance to make the project a reality.