Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa(left); Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba during the flag-off ceremony for the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme for Nigerian Workers in Kwandare, Keffi Road, Lafia, Nasarawa State.

The groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the new housing scheme for workers has kicked off in some states, including Nassarawa and Kogi.

The most comprehensive effort yet, towards decreasing the housing gap in six States is now underway, with the apex mortgage agency and labour unions backing the scheme.Named ‘National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme for Nigerian Workers’, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is collaborating with the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (NUC), and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) to achieve the goals of the project.

The historic partnership between FMBN and the labour unions, aims to build and deliver decent, safe and quality housing for Nigerian workers at an affordable price.In line with this goal, the house types planned for construction under the programme are based on proven social housing models and comprises one bedroom, two-bedrooms and three-bedroom units with prices ranging from N3.1million to N8.3million.

About 14 locations have been picked in the pilot phase of the programme that is projected to deliver a total of 1,400 housing units nationwide. This includes 200 housing units in each of the six geopolitical zones in addition to Abuja. States selected for the pilot phase are Nassarawa, Abia, Kogi, Enugu, Lagos and Akwa Ibom.

The groundbreaking ceremony for construction activities took place in Nassarawa State on a five hectare of land along the new Kwandare, Keffi road Lafia last week. The land was provided by the State government as part of its contribution to the success of the project and will house 100 housing units to be delivered within a six-month timeframe.

Under the terms of the programme, the FMBN will provide low-interest housing loans to registered contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) to enable them to purchase the houses. Eligible workers whose loan requirements fall below N5million will not be expected to pay any equity contribution to access the facility while those requiring N5million – N15million will have to provide only 10per cent equity contribution instead of the old requirement regime of 20per cent and 30per cent.

The housing loans have a convenient payment plan with tenors of up 30 years depending on the age of the beneficiaries and years in service.At the ceremony to kick start the scheme in Nasarawa, FMBN Managing Director, Ahmed Dangiwa said: “The launch of the national housing delivery programme is a momentous development because it marks the first time that FMBN and the labour unions have worked closely with experts and industry stakeholders to develop a realistic and acceptable framework for delivering affordable housing to Nigerian workers.

“The collaborative spirit which this programme has fostered gave room for Labour leaders, who understand the realities and financial challenges that Nigerian workers face, to make constructive inputs to the housing designs, pricing range and other relevant conditions for delivering this project” Dangiwa stated that the stakeholder involvement and contributions to the project design makes the programme a fit-for-purpose tool that will deliver houses that workers can afford as part of the overall national efforts towards redressing the huge housing deficit.

He added that the project is a significant departure from earlier social housing projects, which failed, in part, because they were executed without taking into cognizance the concerns and economic realities of the Nigerian worker.

In his speech, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura expressed delight at the takeoff of the project and thanked FMBN and the Labor unions for choosing the state as the first location for the pilot. The Governor commended FMBN for the initiative and expressed the commitment of the state government to its success.

In addition, the Nasarawa State Governor granted FMBN’s request for an additional five hectares of land for the provision of relevant facilities as well as speedy facilitation of electricity supply to the estate.

Also speaking at the event, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba commended the FMBN for initiating and driving the partnership. He stated that the project is laudable and will touch the lives of many Nigerians. Wabba commended the Governor Al-Makura for acting speedily to provide the land at zero cost for Nassarawa State workers who will be beneficiaries of the project.

Also, in Kogi, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State said the state government has made available 37,000 hectares of land for the construction of the affordable housing scheme for workers.Governor Bello added that the scheme is expected to gulp the sum of N10billion and to produce 1,200 units of housing for workers in the state.

While commending FMBN for choosing Kogi state as a pilot scheme, he promised to complement their efforts in working towards reducing the cost , so as to alleviate the suffering of workers.Bello also promised to make the issue of none or irregular payment of salaries to be a thing of the past, in to avoid default of payment on the part of workers.He said that the state government would provide facilities such as access roads into the estate while the civil servants that would be living their will be safe as government would ensure adequate security.

Source: Naija Hope Team

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