30 January 2013

Nigeria: Board to Restructure FHA Inaugurated

The federal government has concluded plans to restructure the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) with the inauguration of a 12-member technical board on Monday.

Minister of Lands, Ms Amal Pepple, who also supervises the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, said the board was expected to restructure the FHA to achieve the set goals of the company.

She said the decision to appoint a technical board to supervise the FHA was taken by President Goodluck Jonathan following a submission she made to him requesting re-organisation in the FHA.

Pepple said the major task of the board was to closely supervise the process of restructuring and commercialisation of the FHA, based on recommendations and the performance agreement to be signed with the government.

"Today's inauguration is a major milestone in our collective and determined effort to make housing delivery more robust and efficient, in accordance with the new National Housing Policy and the Federal Government's transformation agenda," she said.

The minister said as part of the efforts to re-position and strengthen the company for more effective service delivery, a committee was constituted in 2012, to examine the current structure, operations and challenges of the organisation.

She said the committee submitted its report making far-reaching recommendations for structural overhaul and commercialisation of the company.

According to her, government has accepted the committee's recommendation for an 18-month transition period for the restructuring and commercialisation exercise to be supervised by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).

She emphasised that the main purpose of the restructuring was to enhance the capacity of the company to serve Nigerians better.

"We are bearing in mind the country's current efforts to reducing the alarming housing deficit of about 16 million in the country.

"In carrying out this exercise we must endeavor to make it more efficient, effective and cost conscious.

"The authority was conceived as a model agency that would satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians in the delivery of adequate and affordable housing.

"Today as we reflect on its 40 years of operations, the agency's achievements have remained low and its dreams not attained," she said.

The minister said that the FHA had succeeded in delivering about 37,000 housing units in 80 estates in the country.

She said further that the company could not generate enough income to meet its wages, pay retirement benefits to its 816 pensioners and fulfill all aspects of its operational needs.

Pepple said the FHA was carrying out its activities with a N7.2 billion Federal Government loan granted between 1996 and 2001.

She said that the company also received a N1.09 billion loan from the Federal Mortgage Bank.

Members of the board are the Managing Director of the FHA, Mr Terver Gemade, Mr Benjamin Dikki, Acting Director-General of the BPE and Malam Kabir Yari a member of the UN Habitat.

Others are Mr Ochepa Ogenyi, Director Human Resources of the Ministry who is to serve as secretary of the board, while Pepple is the Chairwoman of the board.

Responding on behalf other members of the board, Dikki said the role of the BPE was to provide the regulatory environment and create ways of raising finances for the FHA.

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