By Sunday Onoja/Perpetua Onuegbu
Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and organised labour unions are poised to deliver 600 affordable houses in six states of the Federation.
The unions are: Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).
About 100 houses would be provided in each of the participating states.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, President of NLC, made this known at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja, on the progress made in the implementation of collaboration among the four organisations on National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme for Nigerian workers.
According to Wabba, the first phase of the programme is at various stages of completion in 14 pilot centres where construction work has commenced.
“We have so far attained about 80 per cent completion in these centres with some of the centres presently awaiting commissioning.
“The following sites are now fully completed and ready for commissioning by April 2020: Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Akwa Ibom and Adamawa
“In addition, apart from these states ready for commissioning, we also have the following states which are at various stages of completion: Ondo; Ogun, Delta, Abia, Sokoto, Katsina, Borno, Lagos and FCT ,’’ Wabba said.
He said the phase 2 of the programme was about to take off and appealed to state governors where the programme had not commenced to provide FMBN with 10 hectares of land for the take off.
“This will enable us implement the programme with 200 units in their respective states for the benefit of their workers.
“We also like to appeal to the governors to provide infrastructure to the estates in order to make the houses more affordable as a way of subsidy.
“The bank is presently reviewing the building designs as well as the bill of quantities to further enhance affordability and conformity with building codes,” he said.
Speaking on the criteria for participation in ownership, Wabba said workers that were contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) were eligible to be off-takers since they contributed about two per cent of their salaries to the scheme.
He added that one of the derivables from the collaboration was that all the labour centres would be part of the process for building the houses, thereby ensuring that the houses were affordable.
On what labour was doing to ensure the speedy passage of the NHF Act on the floor of the National Assembly, he said they were looking at the issues surrounding it to ensure that all stakeholders worked in synergy and pursued the enactment of the law.
On his part, the Director General, NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, said the partnership had been able to reinforce the confidence of stakeholders that as many that were interested in owning homes could get one.
“There is no suspicion that probably when the bank builds, it is going to be highjacked by powers stronger than the workers because distribution and access to the houses will be through the stakeholders.
“Now workers are contributing joyfully without compulsion because there is hope that houses are there and houses are going to be delivered.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was a collaborative effort between FMBN and the labour centres to address the daunting challenges of home ownership amongst Nigerian workers.
It planned to provide 100 houses in each state of the Federation starting with 14 pilot project centres in phase 1 with two projects in each geopolitical zone with Lagos and Abuja as special centres.