The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Federal Housing Authority, Senator Gbenga Ashafa has reiterated that the agency is working tirelessly to implement its mandate across the country.
This was revealed on Tuesday, 19th December, 2023,when the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the House committee on Housing and Habitat paid a joint oversight visit to the Authority.
Led by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing, Senator Aminu Tambuwal and his House counterpart, Hon Balele, the joint committees in pursuant to Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution mandating Committees to Oversight the Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs) under its purview, sought to be briefed on the Authority’s 2022/2023 IGR Budget performance, 2024 IGR Budget (proposal), Foreign and Local Interventions, Nominal Roll and the challenges faced.
In his welcome remarks, the Managing Director, Senator Gbenga Ashafa described the visit as both significant and historic.
In his words, ‘’This visit for us is both significant and historic, as this is the first time that the Authority would have the privilege of a joint Oversight supervision from the National Assembly’’
According to Senator Ashafa, FHA has continued to work towards ensuring the effective implementation of its mandates across Nigeria. The MD noted that the Authority was strategizing to increase its internally Generated Revenue, which would enhance its operational capabilities.
He noted that the Zuba Estate was completed and commissioned in the concluding Budget cycle, while work is on –going across various sites within and outside the FCT. He also noted that tremendous work has been done in digitizing the Authority’s records and title registry, as well as the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) to facilitate an efficient administration of records and titles in the Authority.
On the recently held Golden Jubilee, Ashafa noted that the lectures, discussions, and critiques had, served as a guide to the Authority. ‘
The insights gained from our Golden Jubilee, lectures, discussions, and critique, serve as a guide to optimizing our process towards ensuring that the Authority remains relevant and positioned to deliver, he noted.
The FHA Chief Executive noted that the legislature is pivotal to the sustainability of the Authority. He noted that the urgent amendments to the agency’s outdated Act are imperative, as is securing regular governmental interventions for her operations.
The MD noted that the Authority’s Budget estimates are based on its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and deposits by the prospective housing subscribers of the on – going projects.
He decried the fact that the Authority’s enabling law which deals with the Financial Provisions of FHA has no clearly defined enforceable statutory lines of revenue accruable to it.
He noted that the Authority has not received any intervention funds from any source(s) in the last three years. However, it received a total sum of N 8,500,000.00(Eight Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira) only as intervention fund for Zuba Housing Estate, FCT between 2018 and 2019, with which 748 housing units of various house types were delivered, which was the only housing estate personally commissioned by the immediate past president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(Rtd) GCFR, on 2nd May, 2023.
On the challenges of the Authority, Senator Ashafa pointed at the agency’s obsolete Enabling Law, Funding challenges due to exclusion from the National Budget/Appropriation, Excessive cost of land acquisition which add up to the cost of construction and sales, overwhelming effect of operating surplus implementation without due consideration to the Agency’s peculiarities. He cited the direct deductions through TSA Remita from deposits on housing by prospective buyers.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Lands, Housing and Urban Development Senator Tambuwal, expressed the Committee’s readiness to to ensure that FHA lives up to its mandate. He disclosed that the BILL for the amendment of the Authority’s Act has passed the first reading in both chambers of the National Assembly.