THE Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, has disclosed that over 50,000 civil servants have signed up for the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) scheme, urging the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to expedite action on the provision of land for the programme.
Yemi-Esan, who made this known during her visit to the FCT Minister, Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello in his office in Abuja, further solicited the assistance of the FCTA to improve the welfare of civil servants across Nigeria, especially in the areas of affordable housing and transportation.
She lamented that it was worrisome that many civil servants could not afford to own their own homes, hence, the introduction of FISH by the Federal Government, designed to enable them to own houses at affordable rates.
In his response, the FCT minister pledged to partner with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to improve the welfare of civil servants in the FCT.
He stressed the need for the provision of affordable houses for civil servants, saying more partnerships were needed among government agencies to provide high rise buildings in the face of inadequate land to cater for the teeming number of civil servants in the FCT in need of personal accommodation.
“What we have also observed is that the concept of building that hitherto was done here in Abuja maybe 20 or 25 years ago, even for affordable housing, is no longer sustainable in the sense that land is simply not available in the areas that are accessible by all, the means of transportation and more importantly, where there is infrastructure.
“What I’m saying is that in applying the concept of affordable housing, we should now start thinking of high rise buildings. I recall in Lagos that civil servants had high rise buildings in Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Surulere.
“This is the concept we now have to start looking at because massive land is simply no longer available. You will be surprised with what you can do with half a hectare,” he stated.