Enugu — The Federal Government yesterday assured of improving the welfare of workers at all times, insisting that the new minimum wage impasse will soon be resolved.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this in Enugu at the kick-off of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) national affordable housing project at Edeoballa-Nsukka, Enugu State.
The project is being executed in collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigerian Employers' Consultative Association (NECA).
He noted that minimum wage was the basic pay, which government should pay its work force, explaining however, that it had nothing to do with housing, transport and medical allowances, among others.
Ngige noted that statistics indicated that a greater percentage of Nigerians are under housed with workers as the biggest casualties, stressing that the housing programme was designed to make their lives worth living.
While urging workers to key into the project to alleviate the housing needs, he said other housing programmes including Mass Housing Scheme of the ministries of power, housing and finance were ongoing at various locations in the country.
Ngige said the FMBN was being recapitalised to the tune of N500 billion to enable it to efficiently deliver on its mandate, explaining that the move underscores government's commitment to resolving the nation's housing needs.
Earlier, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FMBN, Ahmed Dangiwa, said the event was part of the collaboration on housing projects for Nigerian workers who contribute to the National Housing Fund (NHF) under the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme (NAHDEP).
He stated that under the programme, the bank would deliver 100 housing units in each state of the federation in three, two and one bedroom semi-detached bungalows and block of flats with a strong focus on affordability and adjustments to suit workers' needs.
He said the programme would deliver 1,400 housing units across the six geo-political zones of the country, adding that the central focus of the engagement was to establish a model and template for affordable housing delivery in Nigeria.
"This programme with other mortgage products like the FMBN Home renovation loan and the rent-to-own product, shows FMBN's commitment to continue to empower Nigerian workers, particularly NHF contributors in affordable home ownership," he said.
Dangiwa noted that the bank had committed over N2.8 billion through estate development loan to build 985 housing units in Enugu State, adding that it has released N123.62 million to 183 NHF contributors under the FMBN home renovation loan.