Mrs Hannatu Fika, Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB)

Mrs Hannatu Fika, the Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), said that a total of 30,258 public servants have benefited from the board’s housing loan programme since its inception in 1924.

Fika said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a media briefing to highlight the board’s scorecard in the last four years of the present administration.

She explained that the board before she assumed office in 2009 as the executive secretary, has given loan to 12,538 public servants, adding that the board gave its first loan in 1954.

“Before I was appointed the Executive Secretary in 2009, a total of 12,538 public servants have obtained loan from the board.

“The first beneficiary of the board got his loan in 1954. From 2009 that I was appointed, I have given loan to 17,720 public servants.

“The board from 1954 till date has given loan to 30,258 public servants”.

She said that the board has a sustainable partnership with private developers for quality affordable social housing for public servants which has led to the commissioning of seven estates in Abuja.

She said that the board in order to ease loan accessibility for public servant had removed the provision of collateral before a loan was given.

“Initially a public servant must provide a collateral before loan is given but with time we discovered that this was not good enough.

“We have translated to the issue of partnering with developers, a civil servant will identify their own developer who the board would work with and monitor to ensure the loan is properly utilised for its purpose”.

She said that the board has improved loan repayment drive, adding that when you are given a loan you are captured in the board’s data as someone who have benefited.

The executive secretary said that no beneficiary would escape loan payback, saying that even if you escape the board you would not escape in pension commission as you would need a certificate of clearance from the board.

She said that the board has been given zero allocation in the past, adding that the board proposed budget for 2019 was 2 billion Naira.

She said that the board has partnership with other stakeholders in the housing sector such as the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Housing Authority and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, among others, in providing affordable houses for public servants.

Fika said that the board introduced a ‘buy back’ initiative to ease the burden of high-interest rate placed on public servants as a result of monetisation policy.

“ASO savings, gave civil servants loan to purchase the houses that were sold to them by Federal Government and we noticed the difficulty they were going through at the end of the month to pay back.

“Sometimes they even need to look for fund else were to be able to service their loans.

“I put up a memo to my board saying, let us buy back the housing loans that was given to civil servants at 1.5 per cent with hidden and other hidden charges.

“We can pay for it on their behalf, acquire their certificate and then this loans will be given to then at 3 per cent interest rate without any hidden charges and we have been able to do a lot.”

She said that the board has strengthened its operations department for effective monitoring activities.

Fika said that the board through the FMBN has given one million Naira loan to public servants for the renovation of their houses.