Wale Ajumotokan in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his administration will build 5,000 houses in every state for public workers every year over the next three years.
The assurance was made monday during the ground breaking ceremony of Nigeria’s first civil servants housing estate in Apo Extension, Abuja under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Power, Work and Housing,
Mustapha Baba Shehuri, said his administration was planning to recreate more of similar models across the nation to ease the accommodation burden being faced by middle and low earning workers.
Nigeria has budgeted the sum of N40 billion on housing this year.
Alread, it is understood that integrated housing estates will be developed in Lagos, Bauchi and Cross River States under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Yesterday’s launching was chaired by business mogul, Aliko Dangote, who said his company would widen the scope of FISH to enable workers have their own houses by the time they live service.
The FISH Programme was designed to provide affordable housing for public servants through an integrated strategy involving group land acquisition, infrastructure development, inter-ministerial collaboration, site services and support from mortgage finance bank.
The project will be cited on a parcel of land in Chafuyi Village measuring 60 hectares and will be developed through private partnership led by ABSI Building Systems International.
The American firm intends to use half of the land to build low cost houses for federal civil servants, while the remaining half will be used for luxury houses.
The Permanent Secretary, Common Services, who is the Chairman of the project Mr. S.K.Y Adelakun, said the price limit prices for the low cost houses are N5 million, N9 million and N12 million for one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bed rooms respectively.
“All federal civil servants are eligible to apply for allocation to these houses depending on their ability to pay the equity contributions required for mortgage approval and the monthly repayment their salaries can accommodate. It is also a requirement to be a registered member of FISH Corporative Society to be eligible,” Adelakun said.
The scheme was commemorated with the allocation of 10 houses each of one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bedrooms through open balloting system supervised by National Lottery Commission.
Though it was felt that the cost of the building was beyond the reach of public workers, Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, said what was offered for now was a commercial limit, adding that prices would crash through inter ministerial intervention and giving of loans to estate developers to bring down the costs.