The Federal Government on Thursday in Abuja, performed a ground-breaking ceremony to construct 116 two bedrooms semi-detached bungalows at Gwagwalada axis for public servants.
The initiative, under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme, was designed in 2015 to provide affordable housing for civil servants.
Speaking at the event, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF) recalled that the FISH programme was conceptualised as a vehicle to address housing scarcity faced by civil servants in the country.
“A good number of us will recall that the FISH programme was conceptualised to address housing deficits civil servants are faced with, the consequence of the implementation of the monetisation policy which led to the sale of government residential quarters across the country.
“When these sales were being done, some civil servants had the opportunity to get houses but the majority of civil servants were left out,” she said.
According to her, the government made efforts to effectively drive the FISH initiative from its inception, in spite of the number of constraints which impeded its rapid implementation.
“Today’s event has been much awaited in accelerating the attainment of the government’s agenda of ensuring the welfare of civil servants, including the provision of affordable house,” she said.
Yemi-Esan, used the medium to request more land from the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion.
Speaking, Fashola commended the efforts of Yemi-Esan to continuously ensure the accessibility of affordable housing for civil servants working in the nation`s capital in particular.
According to the minister, the housing scheme is important because it is one of the critical components of the development of every nation in the world.
He assured the HOS of more allocation of lands when the current housing schemes undergoing construction are completed.
Contributing, Malam Muhammad Bello, Minister of FCT, said FISH programme was a component of the welfare pillars of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP-25).
Represented by Mr Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary in the FCT, Bello said that the FCSSIP-25 had sought to enhance the value proposition of the civil servants, especially as it would no doubt, promote job satisfaction and enhance staff productivity.
In his remarks, Mr Ibrahim Mairiga, the Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), said the scheme, strictly for civil servants at an affordable price would be delivered within four months.
“According to our programme with the developer, the scheme is expected for completion within four months from today,” Mairiga said.
On accessibility, Mairiga gave the assurance that the scheme would be accessed by civil servants on a first come first serve basis.
“The idea is that we cannot meet the demand, we are the one financing the scheme and we don’t have enough funds.
“We will require nothing less than over N67 billion to solve all the 41, 000 plus applications received,” he said.