By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigeria’s Head of the Civil Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, has called on the Federal Civil Servants in the country to take advantage of the N13 billion Federal Civil Servants Mortgage Loan Refinancing Scheme recently launched by the Federal Government to provide housing for workers.
Mrs Oyo-Ita gave the advice recently when she led the body of Federal Permanent Secretaries to the housing fare held in her office shortly after the service wide meeting.
She said that the launching of the N13bn housing scheme for Federal Civil Servants was one of the initiatives of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to put smiles in the lives of the Federal Civil Servants in order to boost their morale for effective service delivery.
The Head of Service said that the scheme was a collaboration of her office, the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMIC).
She noted that in the first phase, a total of 5,635 civil servants would benefit from the scheme which she said would address the housing challenges facing the country, improve the living conditions and welfare of workers and people as well as generate gainful employment for the youth.
Mrs Oyo-Ita said that “the government had in recognition of the importance of housing earmarked N40 billion in the 2016 budget for the implementation of a comprehensive housing scheme in line with the government’s overall objective of providing the necessary stimulus to kick-start growth in the current challenging economic environment.”
She stressed that the N13 billion mortgage refinance investment commitment by the NMRC, would signal to investors at home and abroad that there are significant opportunities in the Nigerian housing sector.
She said that, “The Federal Civil Service workforce play an important role in nurturing and developing our nation so it is only fair that those who serve the country can be afforded the opportunity of owning their own homes by retirement.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Ayotunde Adesugba said the initiative of government in providing housing for workers is an assurance of the present administration that change has come to stay, adding that workers should reciprocate the good intention of the present administration in the provision of welfare by ensuring that they render efficient services to the citizenry.
The President Joint Union Negotiation Council, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Comrade Bolaji Olaiya expressed satisfaction with the initiative of government in the provision of affordable housing for workers, saying that the initiative will help curtail corruption in the service and improve service delivery.
He however appealed to the FCT Minister to provide land for the building of houses for workers so as to reduce cost of obtaining such houses.
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