The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has expressed its readiness to enter into partnership with the manufacturers of building materials for discounted volume prices to down the cost of building the houses for its Federal Civil Servants under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita disclosed this when she declared open the 2017 FISH Housing Summit with the theme: ”Innovative Strategies for Affordable Housing”, held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.
She said that the summit was a golden opportunity to deliberate on strategies that would guarantee affordable housing as well as sustainable sources of funds for FISH Programme. ”Today’s summit is another milestone and signpost an expanded frontier in the engagement of stakeholders such as developers, financial institutions, organized private sector, relevant government ministries and agencies, international organizations and donors as well as off-takers to discuss the various options available towards a successful FISH-Programme.”
The Head of Service re-echoed the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari attached to meeting the housing needs of Nigerians and in particular bridge the deficit in the housing sector and of the government focusing on re-engineering and repositioning the Federal Civil Service for effective service delivery to Nigerians. This she said, would only be achieved through motivating the workforce primarily by the provision of accessible, decent and affordable housing as a compact welfare system built on stakeholder collaboration, pooling of resources and access to financing under the FISH Programme .
“The FISH Programme being a sub-set of the federal government mass-housing scheme provides an impetus for the uplifment of the welfare of the federal civil servants. It was designed to alleviate housing challenges of workers in the FCT,” Oyo -Ita said.
She lamented the cheap and poor quality housing workers in satellite towns within the FCT which she said has adversely impacted on productivity and service delivery.
Earlier in his remarks at the summit, The Chairman and Chief Executive, Dangote Group of Companies Alhaji, Aliko Dangote said that the government and the organized private sector must continue to collaborate not only to build structures that will stimulate national development but also in the area of provision of welfare services such as housing for workers across the country so as to enhance efficient service delivery to Nigerians.
Represented at the occasion by the Executive Director, Dangote Group of Companies, Engineer Mansur Ahmed, assured that the Dangote Group of Companies would partner FISH housing programme of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for discounted volume prices of cement to drive the cost of houses much lower for the Federal Civil Servants across the country.
Meanwhile, the President Nigeria Stock Exchange, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, opined at the summit that deposits from the Treasury Savings Account (TSA) be loaned to workers to enable them afford their own houses.
He said further that, for FISH programme to be successful and sustainable, it must recognize opportunity cost, market forces and create a win-win synergy for all participants.
He called for the setting up of a trust fund from private sector to be managed by Nigerians with track record in trust funding, adding that both federal and state governments should also provide land and subside housing for workers to enhance service delivery.
The President, Nigerian Institute of Architects Tonye Oliver Braide, assured further that Nigerian Institute of Architects was ready to partner with FISH in the area of providing value added services to assist in the provision of affordable housing for the Federal Civil Servants across the country