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Reps urge FG to reposition FMBN, FHA for efficiency

Although the Federal Government has been mouthing interests in its efforts to increase housing delivery in the country, actions linked to the central government has not shown any seriousness in the side of government.

An estate developer, Mr. Chidi Ifeneme, who has practised real estate in the US for 15 years said that no budgetary allocation to the sector would make any impact if the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) are not repositioned to play their roles in the sector.

Ifeneme lamented that there is a lot of differences between Nigeria and the US in terms of provision of amenities. He said that Nigerian government reference the US when they have favourable aspect they want to quote. “We in Africa do not take welfare of citizens as anything. We are more self centered and it will soon dawn on us because when the youths are no longer getting what they should, they would revert to attacking the senior citizens.

“We can understand that kidnapping is directed to the rich because that is where they feel they can strike and make huge money instantly. I tell you more of that is coming if nothing urgently is done to redress the anomaly. When you don’t make provision for the future generations, they will turn back and start to attack you. It is a dangerous phenomenon, “ he lamented.

Earlier this week, President Muhammad Buhari read out the budget for the 2020 fiscal year where Works and Housing was allocated N262 billion. Immediately after presentation, the House of Representatives recently took a swipe at the Federal Government and expressed displeasure over poor budgetary allocation to the housing sector in the 2019 Appropriation Bill brought before the Parliament last week by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Chairman, House Committee on Housing and Habitat, Hon. Mustapha Dawaki, who stated this at the inaugural meeting of the Committee in Abuja, observed that over N40 billion out of N262 billion proposed for the works and housing sector approved for the sector was inadequate, hence called for repositioning of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) in the bid to boost housing delivery across the country. “The housing Ministry was independent before the merger after President Buhari was elected. Power was a different Ministry, works was a different Ministry, housing was also a different Ministry. But now power has been detached from the three that were combined; now we have Committee on Works and Housing.

“And if I’m not mistaken, the large chunk of the budget allocation in the President’s proposal for Ministry of Works and housing is about N262 billion and chunk of the money will go for Works by the nature of job they are doing because of the federal roads to be done in Nigeria, those that are ongoing and those that have not been completed and those that are about to be awarded under works sector.

“But I believe that the housing sector we also have a chunk of money especially for the initiative by President Buhari which is the national housing programme and under the first year we had about N47 billion and the second year it was about N37 billion,” he noted.

Other House members spoke in the same vein. The House Committee on Ecological Fund has reiterated its resolve to ensure efficient and effective utilization of Ecological Funds by the 774 Local Government Areas, the 36 States of the Federation.

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