The Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), Dr Hanatu Adamu Fika yesterday stated the board’s commitment to deliver 1000 housing units as part of its mandate to address the housing needs of Nigerians, particularly, the public servants.
The mandate was also part of the target given it by the Federal Government as a stakeholder in the ‘Transformation Agenda’ of President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a visit to the Managing director, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Mr Sonnie Ayere, Fika reasoned that “providing accommodations for workers is a platform to address the twin problem of perceived corrupt practices and inefficiencies in handling government business.”
She also added that, if public servants are not motivated to support execution of government policies, private sector organizations will also be affected negatively. “Without public servants that are motivated to drive the policies and programs of government, the private sector organisations will also be incapacitated,” she said.
She said, loan repayment by mortgagers will be easy due to the risk free nature of the board template and repayment options created by the board. According to her, this was possible by the mortgage refinance program which was launched In January by the Federal Government “ in order to boost mortgage financing in the country”, while trying to sustain a dynamic housing market.
However, managing director (NMRC), Mr sonnie Ayere expressed dissatisfaction over the current 3% interest rate, charged by the board. According to him, the rate seems on the high side and not market driven. He opined that “with high demand for housing loans by public servants, from the board, it will be better to look at an option that is market driven, achievable and sustainable.”
Ayere wished that the board will partner with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) while considering the savings of public servants through the National Housing Funds and arrive at a single digit interest rate “ which will make sufficient funds available to the public servants”, while benefiting from NMR imperative, he finally said that if that is done,” the interest of the public servant will be fully guaranteed in line with welfare policies of the present administration.”