The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, has commissioned 151 housing units in the first phase of the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) estates in Kuje as part of measures to address the housing needs of workers.
Oyo-Ita, who also launched the FISH Handbooks, website and commissioning of the FISH estates Kuje I & II, said the programme would assist in solving housing challenges among civil servants.
According to her, the programme was expected to address the housing needs of civil servants who are unable to own houses due to the prohibitive costs of land acquisition, building or purchase.
“The overall objective of the FISH programme is to improve the quality of life of civil servants and their families which we believe will help foster a multiplier effect on the economy and reduce corruption in the public service, in line with the federal government’s anti-corruption drive.
“The FISH department has been restructured, staff deployed and trained and processes and procedures introduced and streamlined to accelerate the implementation of the programme and achieve this landmark. The new and improved processes and procedures are properly documented and explained in the three handbooks and the website,” Oyo-Ita said.
She said the FISH Estate Kuje 1 comprises of blocks of flats of 65 units of one, two and three bedrooms, constructed by C2Q Nigeria Ltd while Kuje 11 comprises of 86 units of two bedroom bungalows constructed and financed by Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
She said the off-takers of these estates have been profiled, their loans paid and some of them have already moved in and are living in their houses.
She said that in the next phase of implementation, FISH Estate Kuje III comprising of 97 bungalows would be commissioned alongside the FISH Estate Karu comprising of 20 units of bungalows.
“We need many more developers to enable us cater for over 55,000 civil servants who have subscribed to the programme. I appeal to civil servants to key into the FISH programme through our website, as more houses are being uploaded by our developers,” she said.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office (SWO), OHCSF, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, said the FISH programme was initiated in 2013, but the appointment of the present head of service ensured its continuity by adopting and launching the programme as her flagship.
According to her, aside the FISH programme, the head of service has approved other initiatives to improve the well-being of federal civil servants.
Also, the Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loan Board (FGSHLB), Dr. Hannatu Fika, said the board provided loans to members of the FISH programmes among others to own their houses.
Mrs. Fika said the ceremony was a fulfilment of the mandate of the board, adding that the two estates being commissioned were fully funded through the board’s loan scheme.
She said that not less than 150 core civil servants are beneficiaries of the board’s loan scheme and more are in the process of receiving their keys.