From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Mr Gbenga Ashafa, has complained over the removal of the authority from budgetary appropriation.
Speaking when the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Muazu Jaji Sambo visited his office in Abuja, he lamented that the removal has limited the authority from providing affordable housing to Nigerians. He, therefore, sought a return to appropriation.
“In the past, the authority enjoyed the Federal Government’s funding through a budget appropriation to finance social/affordable housing projects. But subsequently, the authority was removed from the budget since 2004. This scenario has created unimaginable stress on the authority’s finances through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which is presently the only source of funding” he said
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Ashafa said that before he took over the mantle of leadership in FHA, the capacity to deliver on its mandate was at its lowest ebb but the management was able to change the narrative for the better.
In his response, the minister advised the FHA management to put up a position paper to return to appropriation, saying that FHA was established to cater for a particular segment of the society—-the poor.
“I have advised the management of FHA to try and put together a position paper that we can use to canvass to the appropriate authorities for a return to appropriation, why because the FHA was established to cater for a particular segment of the society. And don’t forget, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nine-point agenda includes social inclusion. And social inclusion means to empower the poor. The first thing you look at is shelter – provision of houses. If you have something to eat but you have no shelter, your life is incomplete. And Mr President who I love to call the father of infrastructure has made it clear that infrastructure is a priority to him. And infrastructure includes housing infrastructure. And there is no better vehicle to drive infrastructure than the Federal Housing Authority that has a history dating back to 1973,” he said.