Akwa Ibom Returns To National Housing Scheme
12 Apr 2010
Akwa Ibom government is set to return to the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme, which it abandoned about 10 years ago, to enable its civil servants access loans from the programme in owning affordable houses. The state government withdrew from the National Housing Fund due to some irreconcilable reasons after civil servants in its employ had contributed substantial amount to the scheme.
Governor Godswill Akpabio gave the hint recently when the management team of Trans-Atlantic Mortgage Limited led by its Chairman, Chief Ephraim Faloughi-Spiff paid him a courtesy call in his office. The governor vowed to ensure the removal of impediments that affected participation in the programme in the past.
Chief Akpabio described as reasonable and minimal the six per cent loan by the company as approved by the Federal Mortgage Bank to potential beneficiaries of the housing programme, and pledged the readiness of his administration to support the mortgage institution to succeed in this regards. He commended the mortgage company for its plans to revolutionize housing programme in the country aimed at reducing the acute housing shortage particularly facing the Niger Delta people, adding that his administration has already cued into this vision by undertaking the building of 500 housing units in each of the senatorial districts in the state.
“Arrangement has been completed for the provision of 1,500 housing units in the three senatorial districts in the state. We will support you and see how we can partner with you to enable civil servants to benefit from the housing programme”, the governor pointed out. While pledging to invest in the company, governor Akpabio appealed to the Chairman of the company to reserve a slot of Executive Director for an Akwa Ibom indigene to justify the investment. He however directed the state commissioner of Lands and Survey to provide land for the company to commence its housing project.
Earlier, Chief Faloughi-Spiff had commended the state government for the massive infrastructural transformation, particularly the completion of the Akwa Ibom International Airport and the introduction of free and compulsory education including the drive of the administration to provide enabling environment for business to grow, and empowerment of indigenous enterprises.
Chief Faloughi-Spiff recalled that the company started with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between five Nigerian banks, the Oppenheimmer Group of USA, and the Bayelsa State Government for the setting up of $1 billion Infrastructure and Housing for the Niger Delta. He therefore pleaded the state government to support the south-south initiative by way of equity investment of N200 million in the mortgage company and called for the provision of accessible land for its housing project to be sold at affordable rate of N5 million per completed 3-bedroom bungalow to intending beneficiaries.