The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating non remittance to the National Housing Fund (NHF) and utilisation of funds from 2011 to date Monday challenged the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to ensure that government workers and other Nigerians who subscribed to the National Housing Scheme have access to affordable and quality housing.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos gave the charge when he led his team on oversight function to the projects being executed by the FMBN in conjunction with other developers in Abuja.
Speaking at the Mshel Homes at the Aviation Village on Airport road after inspecting the one of estate being handled by the FMBN and Mshel Atlantic City, Bagos said housing was one of the basic needs of man and the committee will ensure that the FMBN utilize the funds by timely delivering houses to the beneficiaries.
He said “The most important thing for us is to ascertain the utilization of the housing funds. Let every civil servant get what is due to them. What we require from you is good and quality houses. So, the funds must be properly utilized and the target beneficiaries get their due.
“We encourage you (FMBN) to continue working in line with the provision of the Act establishing the bank and part of our recommendation is for the committee on housing to follow up with the 24-month completion period you have given us”, he stated.
At another estate in Idu, Hon. Bagos lamented about the lack of infrastructure, especially roads in accessing the facility and urged the FMBN and the developers to pay special attention to the provision of primary infrastructure.
He said “We still want workers and other subscribers to the housing fund to have value for all the buildings. We will not tolerate substandard houses. From what we have seen so far, we will compile our findings and make appropriate recommendations to the House.
“We will also recommend that the standing committee on housing should keep a tab on all these projects and the issue of primary infrastructure. And I must remind you that we are here not just for non-remittance but we are also concerned about the end product; the quality of houses you are providing for Nigerians. This is very key. If people have invested their money, they must be given standard houses to enjoy”, he stated.
Bagos also urged developers to deliver quality jobs and avoid using substandard building materials adding that “We do not want a situation whereby, after taking over the houses, we start hearing of collapsed buildings. Let us have houses that are habitable and sustainable”, he advised.
While briefing the committee, the managing director of FMBN, Mr. Madu Hamman said the contract was awarded in 2021 but work commenced in 2022 adding that the project will be completed in 24 months’ time.
The estate is made up of 135 terrace units of 3 bedroom duplexes and was meant for the staff of the FMBN, which is financed by their cooperative society.
At another estate in Idu, the managing director informed the committee that there are 337 units of terrace with each of the units made up of 6 blocks.
He said eight cooperative societies including that of the Federal Staff Hospital (FSH), Jabi had 33 units each and assured the committee that the project would be completed in December.
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