By Emma Acha
Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), says the bank has so far expended N2.8 billion on construction of 985 housing units in Enugu State.
Dangiwa said this on Monday in Nsukka, Enugu State during the ground-breaking ceremony of the National Affordable Housing Project at Nsukka.
He said that the housing units were located in five housing estates spread across the state.
According to him, the bank has advanced the sum of N123.62 million to 183 National Housing Fund (NHF) contributors under the FMBN Home Renovation Loan.
Dangiwa said that the bank was innovating to extend the frontiers of home ownership because it believed everyone deserved a home.
He said that what the bank had been able to achieve in spite of challenges was to call for retrospection from states and organisations that had yet to enroll into the NHF scheme.
“The only way to enjoy these benefits is to participate in the NHF scheme. We appeal to every Nigerian to embrace and participate in the scheme.
“The scheme remains the only sure and affordable route to home ownership,’’ he said.
Dangiwa said that the current effort to provide houses to Nigerians was the first of its kind involving all labour stakeholders and the FMBN.
“This is the commencement of collaborative housing project for Nigerian workers who are enrollees of the NHF under the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme (NAHDEP).
“The bank will through this project deliver 100 units of houses in each state of the federation in a mix of 3, 2, 1 bedroom semi-detached bungalows and blocks of flats,” he said.
The managing director said that the programme was designed to be implemented in phases.
“What we are witnessing today is part of the first phase to be run as a pilot to deliver 1,400 housing units across the six geopolitical zones in the country.
“Each zone will have 200 houses with 100 units in two selected states,” Dangiwa said.
In his remarks, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Chris Ngige, said that the ground-breaking event was one of the schemes rolled out to address the housing needs of Nigerians.
Ngige said that the country with its huge population had only addressed 10 per cent of its housing needs with workers badly affected.
“I see this programme as a very big leap in the right direction. It involves a tripartite arrangement adopted by the Federal Government to address the housing issue,” he said.
The minister appealed to the Enugu State Government to provide the basic infrastructure needed at the site to achieve the dreams of those that conceptualised the projects.
Responding, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state said that the project was a laudable one that would transform the socioeconomic life of residents of the area.
Ugwuanyi said that the state government was appreciative of the Federal Government for citing the project in the state.
The governor said that his administration desired to transform Nsukka into a complete modern city, adding that the ground breaking event signaled the beginning of development in the area.
Meanwhile, the Director General, Nigeria Employer’s Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Olusegun Oshinowo, said that the event was one of the most remarkable events in the mass housing delivery for workers.
Oshinowo said that they were happy that the housing challenges of workers were gradually being addressed.
He appealed to employers to ensure that their workers got enrolled into the NHF to for allocations.