Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, during the recent public presentation of Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Handbooks and Website at the International Conference Center Abuja, and commissioning of FISH Estates, Kuje 1 &11 recently. The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, presented three handbooks – Handbook for Civil Servant, Handbook for Developers and Investors and Handbook for Staff. The guide line for the FISH Website is www.fish-p.gov.ng. The website gives details about the above handbooks; which are guide texts for mentioned categories of people who are interested in getting access to FISH scheme wherever they are in the country.
Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita disclosed that the programme (FISH) was initiated by Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) in December, 2015 in line with the Federal Government’s housing policy. It is one of the cardinal objectives 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and implementation plan, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council to reposition the Civil Service for greater productivity in Nigeria.
She pointed out objectives of the FISH programme as listed below:
1. To facilitate the provision of quality and affordable housing for Civil Servants through minimization of hidden housing cost elements such as land, infrastructure, labour, designs, government levies, etc.
2. To evolve the best strategy, including use of modern technology.to facilitate delivery of affordable housing.
3. To improve access to acquisition of real estate property by Civil Servants.
According to Winifred Oyo-Ita, FISH programme is designed to provide affordable housing for Federal Civil Servant through an integrated strategy involving bulk land allocation, site services, infrastructure development and inter-ministerial collaboration. It is driven through strategy partnerships with Federal and State Governments, Federal Agencies and Parastatals, Private Real Estate Developers, International Development and Funding Agencies as well as the goodwill of socially responsible corporations and philanthropists.
At the FISH event, Former Heads of Civil Service of the Federation (FHCSF) were present. Among them were Engineer Ebele Okeke and Buka Guni. In Buka Guni’s speech, while commending the HOCSF, he reiterated that the FISH was initiated during their era as Heads of the Federal Civil Service, while Mrs. Winifred completed it. He said, “I am proud of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita for making FISH a reality.”
Hanatu Adamu Fika, the Director, Federal Integrated Staff Housing Department, said one of the reasons for organizing the event was to show people that FISH is real is and not fake.
That, when they started the programme, they were frustrated, they learnt from their mistakes but finally overcame them.
Mrs. Hanatu Fika added that apart from commissioning of FISH Estates Kuje I & II, Abuja. There are also two other estates in Calabar; she said the one in Karu, Nassarawa State, people already have the keys to their allotted houses and waiting to move in at their convenience. She concluded that they need more developers.
Dangiwa, the Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, said the beneficiaries were being showcased at the event and added that it is a thing of joy that the FISH programme will go a long way to see that out of the promised 600 housing units, 300 housing units which are contracted to developers will be ready to be completed in two weeks.
Earlier, The Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office in the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack in her welcome address, made mention that the three Handbooks are comprehensive resource to acquaint Public Servants (off-takers) of the various requirements, processes and procedures that will facilitate their owning a home in the FISH programme. It presents a guide to the fundamental steps required for the allocation of houses, as well as the estimated time-frame to realize it. The Handbooks also includes relevant resource material to guide Civil Servants (off-taker) and expected deliverables from FISH.
By Kania Maliki
Chief Information Officer,
Press Unit, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.