After 20 Years, Ondo Workers Return to NHF

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James Sowole in Akure

Twenty years after pulling out of the National Housing Fund (NHF), Ondo State workers have returned to the scheme with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the organised labour and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

The organised labour pulled out of the scheme in Year 2000 sequel to the failure of the FMBN to refund contributors who at the time of retirement did not borrow any money from the bank.

Under the new MoU, contributors who never borrow money up the time of retirement would get refund of their contributions with percentage interest.

Equally, it was agreed that each contributors would get alert any time their salary was deducted into the scheme account.

The tripartite MoU was signed by the State Government, the FMBN and the organised labour led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Presenting the MoU to the State Head of Service, Mr Dare Aragbaiye in his office in Akure, the state capital, State Chairman of the NLC Comrade Sunday Adeleye said all the Trade Unions in the state represented by Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are committed to promoting the welfare of Workers and more importantly accessibility to the basic needs of life with a view to achieving better   living conditions for them.

Adeleye, who commended Governor  Oluwatotimi Akeredolu’s administration for prioritizing the welfare of both the serving workers and pensioners, said government alone could not be left with all the needs of the orkers, hence  the need to involve the organised private sector to complement the efforts of the state government.

In his remarks, the Head of Service, Mr Dare Aragbaiye lauded the initiative of the leaders of the Labour Unions for mobilising Public Servants in the state to contribute to the National Housing Fund scheme being managed by FMBN for them to purchase, renovate or construct their own respective residential buildings.

The Head of Service, who would represent and execute all documents of the agreement on behalf of the state government,  noted that the step taken by the leadership of the trade unions would alleviate the problem of accommodation for a greater number of the state government workers.

He added that the government owned residential buildings could no longer meet the increasing demand of the public servants in the state.

Aragbaye added that the administration would continue to embrace genuine efforts aimed at collaborating with the state government to improve the welfare of its workforce to enhance better service delivery to the people of the state.

Earlier in his remarks, the  Executive Director, Business Development and Portfolio Management of the FMBN,  Mr Umar Magana Abdullahi congratulated the organised labour in the state for resuming into one of the various products on offer by the bank.

He said the scheme which would be of a great benefit to public servants in the state and capable of providing  permanent solution to their accommodation problem.

Abdulahi said  that the state government has provided a large expanse of land for the construction of the proposed housing estate, adding that each contributor to the NHF scheme would be eligible to process loan to purchase, renovate or construct his or her own house at the prescribed interest rate.