Not less than one hundred and twenty (120) civil servants in Plateau State have received a cheque of one million each as beneficiaries of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
Ten out of the120 beneficiaries were presented with a cheque of one million naira each, while others are to collect their cheques later. This was done to enable civil servants in the state own their personal houses, due to the high cost of building materials coupled with the economic recession in the country.
Managing director of FMBN in Jos, Mr Ayo Bola Abiola, disclosed this in Jos on Thursday, at the presentation of the cheques to beneficiaries at Government House Little Rayfield, Jos. He said the bank approved a total sum of one hundred and thirteen million naira (N113,000.000) only, for the first set of workers in the state for the housing loan.
He said, this was a clear demonstration of his concern for the welfare of workers through partnership and collaboration that will address the housing needs of workers in the state by the present government, and highly commendable.
Mr Abiola said it is common knowledge that housing (shelter) remains one of the three basic necessities of human beings, adding that, decent accommodation is defined in several ways, and this could lead to the increase in productivity, good health and general well-being.
Mr Abiola noted that, the Bank has so far funded 4 estate development projects in the state,which he said, loan is for the purpose of building, purchasing or renovation of exciting homes.
According to him, FMBN has developed “concessionary loan windows” to enable Nigerians access mortgage for home ownership, adding that, the realization of this objective has been hampered by several challenges to housing finance in Nigeria.
He said this include, lack of access to land, inadequate funding for the housing sector, inaccessibility of Mortgage loans due to lack of proper title to landed properties and low income prospective borrowers, which affects affordability, cumbersome procedures for obtaining governor’s consent to land transactions, which is also costly.
The managing director further explained that, it was necessary for FMBN to develop some quick wins that will allow a greater number of Nigerians access to the National Housing Fund, adding that, the FMBN renovation loan was introduced by the bank to afford Nigerians, who are contributors to the National Housing Fund.
The Plateau State governor, Barr Simon Lalong, said, FMBN partner willing to state governments is to provide cheap access to Housing Finance, in order to facilitate affordable Home Ownership for the low and medium-income group of the country.
He said, government would, therefore, deliberately mobilize resources and explore credible alternatives that will accelerate housing delivery to the medium and low-income group.
According to Lalong, the renovation scheme was a welcome initiative, which guarantees qualitative housing delivery within the targeted income group, and it must be a necessity to be pursued through the invigoration of the National Housing Fund contributory scheme, provision of affordable housing by government under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He assured that his administration has, through the State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, together with the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development, engaged in the massive acquisition of lands and the execution of Public Private Partnership with nine (9) companies, for the provision of twenty-two thousand five hundred Housing Units (22, 500).
“As part of our initiative to stimulate housing and encourage the delivery of low-cost housing, we shall be providing the critical infrastructure of light, water and roads, which usually constitute a large chunk of the cost of housing delivery, to the sites earmarked for these housing estates,” the governor said.