Triple factors of consistent leadership change, poor funding and political interference have been identified as responsible for the unfortunate state of the federal government’s housing delivery in 40 years.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had recently revealed that Federal Housing Authority, FHA, was only able to build an appalling 40,000 houses in 40 years, wondering why it had to be so.
In a statement signed by the FHA branch president, Comrade Babagana Ali and the secretary, Comrade M.J. Oguche, reacting to the minister’s position last night, the Senior Staff Association of Communications Transport and Corporations, SSACTAC, said as a key stakeholder in FHA, being the recognised trade union organising its senior staff, it was taken aback by the minister’s assertion.
It said that “as an association bound by its patriotic duty, we are obliged to let Nigerians who are equally stakeholders in the housing industry know the background developments in the FHA in order to appreciate the challenges of the agency better.”
The association continued: “Construction requires good corporate governance and adequate funding to motivate and bring out the best from a skilled, patriotic and dedicated workforce as employed by FHA. However, the extent to which this workforce has been allowed to effectively operate leaves much to be expected.
“The authority has passed through the administration of more than 25 heads leaving it with a statistic ratio of one year six months per administration in its 40 years of existence. It may interest the general public to note that this constant replacement of chief executive officers only breeds ground for less impressive performance of the authority.
“One therefore begins to wonder if a period of one year six months is good enough for any leader to meaningfully contribute to or positively impact in a highly technical organisation like the FHA.
“No organisation or agency can effectively deliver on its mandate without adequate funding. However, other than the initial grants made at its onset for the provision of FESTAC 77 Town and Ipaja Estate, Lagos (11,000 housing units), no further facilities were provided except the loan for Gwarinpa, Abuja (6,000 housing units) to accommodate Federal Civil Servants in 1996/97. More worrisome is the fact that the Agency has been singularly excised from the Federal budget by the Government without any formal document to justify this act. Against the high expectations from the Authority, it operates solely on Internally Generated Revenue, facilities from Commercial Banks and other financial institutions for the construction of Obada-Oko estate, Ogun State at high interest rates and unviable.”
The statement noted that to achieve its mandate of providing affordable social housing in accordance with the provision of the constitution, and the National Housing Policy (2012), the authority needed to be adequately funded from the federation account.
“In its 40 years of existence, FHA has undergone series of reforms and repositioning process most of which have adversely affected its performance.
“For instance, a high retinue of up to 17 board members from the political class drained the authority’s lean purse apart from influencing the siting of estates in non-viable places such as Bayelsa, Cross River, Kaduna, Benue, Osun, Gombe to mention but a few.
“Also, the appointment of inexperienced politicians as general managers for the organisation has resulted in top-heaviness and stagnation in the agency.”
The body concluded therefore, that addressing the foregoing situation would greatly improve FHA’s ability to deliver on its mandate.

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