‘Abolishing housing loans board will inflict more pain on public servants’

Bobboi Kagaima

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has condemned the plan by the National Assembly to scrap the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB).

The union, in a statement by the National President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, said the argument by the lawmakers that the FGSHLB was performing the same function as the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, was not tenable.

According to the union, it would inflict maximum pain on public servants who had devoted their entire working lives serving their fatherland.
They argued that the plan would be tantamount to a declaration of economic war against public servants, whose salaries are so meagre to take care of their families, let alone build houses from their earnings.

The FMBN, as a premier mortgage institution is to provide long-term credit facilities to mortgage institutions in Nigeria.

It also encourages the emergence and promotes the growth of viable primary and secondary mortgage institutions to service the housing delivery in all parts of the country.

According to the ASCSN, it was only the FGSHLB that had given hope to public servants, especially core civil servants that they would be given loan to build or purchase their own houses.

The statement reads: “It is instructive to note that since 1992 when the National Housing Fund (NHF) was established and the FMBN was charged with the responsibility of administrating the funds of contributors, only few people had benefited.

“Besides, it is precisely because of the failure of the FMBN to grant public officers loan facilities to acquire their own houses.

They canvassed transferring the fund to the board to manage on their behalf or make the contribution voluntary.

The union further stated that eminent public officers who had benefitted from the scheme would not have been opportune to collect loans to build their houses, if the board was not in existence.

The statement added that since inception of the board, it had granted loan facilities to about 22,989 public officers to buy land build or purchase houses and renovate it.

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