Twenty-four years after the commercialization of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), the Senate Committee on Housing has waded into the process and pledged to work with relevant agencies to fast-track the restructuring exercise.
Senator Barnabas Gemade, the Chairman of the committee made the promise in Abuja when he led his colleagues on an oversight visit to the authority’s headquarters, he said an urgent legislative action was required to ensure the reform and that the planned amendment would strengthen the Authority and return it to its pride of place as an effective national instrument for housing delivery.
Accompanied on the visit by four members of the committee, Gemade noted that the fortunes of the Federal Housing Authority had been adversely affected by somersaults in government policy. He said the removal of the FHA from government funding had stacked the odds against the agency and diminished its ability to deliver on its mandate.
To further strengthen the Authority, Gemade promised that his committee would explore the possibility of its benefiting from the Central Bank’s N30 billion Real Estate Development Intervention Fund.
He directed the Authority’s Managing Director to provide the committee with a list of all its completed and on-going housing projects, a list of all partnership projects, loan portfolio, and nominal roll.
During an inspection visit to the FHA/ENL Paradise Hills Estate, Apo, Abuja, Gemade expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on the houses.
He asserted that the FHA has demonstrated a high level of professional competence in delivering quality houses for medium and high-income earners and urged it to brace up to build houses for millions of the nation’s low -income earners.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Professor Mohammed Al-Amin said there was a need to strengthen the Authority’s ability to deliver on its social housing mandate through special subsidies and regular budgetary allocation.
He also pleaded with the committee to facilitate the completion of the ongoing reform process in the Authority by hastening work on the amendment of the law establishing it. Al-Amin said the FHA had depended solely on public-private partnerships to deliver houses since government funding for it stopped.
Source: The Guardian