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Mass Housing: FHA appeals for more funding in 2019



Mass Housing: FHA appeals for more funding in 2019
By Ella Anokam
Abuja, Dec. 13, 2018 (NNN) Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin, Managing Director, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) on Thursday appealed to the Federal Government to increase the 2019 budget allocation of the agency to enable it execute its various mass housing projects in the country.
Al-Amin who made the call in Abuja when the Senate Committee on Housing visited the agency as part of its oversight functions; called for a budget allocation of N50 billion to boost its mass housing nationwide.
“I am appealing to the National Assembly to increase the budgetary intervention of the FHA from N5 billion to N50 billion in 2019 budget.
Apart from challenges of finance facing the agency which he noted, he also called on the federal government to amend the FHA Act which was last amended in 2004.
Presenting a report on FHA activities and budget performance, he noted that preparation for Abuja Mass Housing project started in the second half of 2017 following the release of N5 million by the federal government.
According to him, the total cost of housing development at Zuba site in Abuja which has reached advanced stage stands at N6.2 billion consisting of 508 units with 2.6 kilometres of road.
The FHA boss, said that a decision was taken by the FHA board to utilise the remaining space in the site to build another 256 units of houses making 764 housing units.
“Construction of houses absorbs more labourers than any other sector because you will employ professionals, skilled, semi-skilled workers and artisans among others.
He added that the agency did not give room on cutting corners and it always ensures that it abide by the war against corruption of the present administration while ensuring ease of business.
He said that the phase 1 and 2 of its housing project in Oshogbo, Osun had been completed and sold out while a substantial part of the Gombe project was completed and sold out through the Federal Integrated Housing Scheme (FISH).
Al-Amin further noted that its housing project in Kubwa was also completed while 35 per cent of the houses had been given out.
He said the agency had two sources of funding in the year 2017, which he listed as internally generated revenue and capital intervention from government budget.
“Revenue generation takes care of recurrent expenditure, while government intervention takes care of capital projects and maintenance.
Sen. Barnabas Gemade, Chairman of the Committee commended the management of FHA on efforts at its rebirth.
He added that since 2003 FHA was left like an orphan due to government decision not to fund the agency from the budget.
“Our efforts stemmed from the fact that I consider FHA as my baby having been a minster, chairman of house committee; this is the reason why we force the government to bring back FHA in 2017.
“I am happy that the effort of the committee was not thrown away, before now FHA was one of the agencies acquiring lands and assisting in development of housing estates,” he said.
Gemade said that judging from its effort and laudable housing projects the government was still committed to put more money in FHA from the budget.
He also assured that the FHA Act would be looked into for possible amendment. (NNN)
Edited by Gregory Mmaduakolam/Ali Baba-Inuwa