FCT minister promises civil servants 400 housing units annually

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has assured civil servants in the territory of 400 units of houses every year to close the housing deficit and provide affordable accommodation for its workforce.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello who disclosed this while receiving the Head of Service of the Federation, Ms. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, in Abuja also noted that substantial amount of money has already been provided in the FCT 2016 statutory budget to immediately commence the project to improve the welfare of the workers.

Malam Bello noted that, on his appointment as the minister of the territory, he had observed that large numbers of staff in the territory with lower grade do not own property in the city.

He lamented that, some of the staff have work in the administration for many years processing land application land files, giving approval but had been tenants in the territory without house of their own.

Before I was appointed Minister, I had the impression that everybody in the FCTA was also a landlord. But to my surprise, I realized that a number of the staff, particularly those in the middle level and junior cadre do not own properties in the city”, he said.

Responding to a request by the Head of Service to provide suitable land for mass housing projects for all civil servants in the Territory under Federal Integrated Staff Housing Scheme (FISH), the Minister gave the assurance that the Administration was ready to partner with the service to achieve the mandate.

Malam Bello emphasised that,  “With respect to this particular programme, I assure you we will try to identify and locate land in areas where you will build and deliver the houses at the rate you have mentioned, so that the houses can be occupied immediately.” 

While lamenting that pockets of houses were built in the past without proper linkage to the city centre in terms of access road, power lines, water lines and sewage, the minister said, FCTA has concluded plans to revamp its mass housing programme to make it more inclusive and responsive to the requirements of Nigerians, especially the civil servants.

He added that some of the mass housing has not been occupied despite having gulped so much investment.

Malam Bello noted that the new system of mass housing in the city was designed in such a way that all the developments will go hand in hand to provide the needed facilities.

Earlier in her remarks, the Head of Service of the federation, Ms. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita said the issue of housing and accommodation for civil servants has become a very big challenge.

She recalled that since the year 2001 when the monetization policy was implemented, only the first few crop of civil servants who were occupiers of official quarters at that time had the good fortune of being able to take over their houses with some assistance through the banks.

The Head of Service called on the Minister to allocate good piece of land that would be used to develop housing estates as well as to provide site and services and other infrastructural needs that are very paramount to the successful development of these housing estates for civil servants under the FISH programme.