THE PRESIDENCY
OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE FEDERATION

KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY THE HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE FEDERATION, MRS. WINIFRED EKANEM OYO-ITA, FCA, NPoM, AT THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF FEDERAL INTEGRATED STAFF HOUSING (FISH) HANDBOOKS AND WEBSITE AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE ABUJA, AND COMMISSIONING OF FISH ESTATES, KUJE I & II ON THURSDAY, 20TH DECEMBER 2018

Protocol

Today’s event is another landmark achievement in the history of the Public Service.  It is indeed my utmost delight to be your host today on this occasion of the Public Presentation of Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Handbooks and Website as well as the commissioning of the FISH Estates Kuje I & II. A prelude to today’s event was the ceremonial hand-over of keys to 32 beneficiaries of the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Estates, just a few days ago.

2.         I wish to commend all the Beneficiaries for their confidence in the FISH programme and congratulate them and their families on this welcome milestone in their lives, as home owners.

3.         The FISH Programme was conceptualized in 2013 by the then Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alh. Goni Aji, CFR.  In 2016, on my assumption of office as Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, I adopted his laudable pioneering initiative and launched it as a strategic initiative to provide quality and affordable housing for Civil Servants.  As you can all testify, Housing, is a basic human need central to well-being. The importance of the FISH programme, therefore, cannot be over-emphasized.

4. The programme is expected to address the housing needs of Civil Servants who are unable to own houses due to the prohibitive costs of land acquisition, building or purchase. The overall objective of the FISH Programme is to improve the quality of life of Civil Servants and their families, which we believe will help foster a multiplier effect on the economy and reduce corruption in the Public Service, in line with the Federal Government’s Anti-Corruption drive.

5.         Since its adoption, the FISH programme has undergone several reviews of its guidelines and procedures. The FISH Department has been restructured, staff deployed, trained, and processes and procedures introduced and streamlined to accelerate the implementation of the Programme and achieve this landmark. The new and improved processes and procedures are properly documented and explained in the three (3) handbooks and the website to be presented today. The presentation of the Handbooks and the website is a step to a higher level of sensitization of Civil Servants, Investors, Real Estate Developers, Staff and the general public on FISH processes, guidelines and requirements for subscription and partnerships.

6.         The FISH Programme is designed to be implemented as an Inter-Governmental, Inter-Ministerial, and public-private partnership project. There is active collaboration with some State Government and Federal Agencies such as the Federal Ministries of Power, Works & Housing; Water Resources; and the Federal Capital Territory Administration, for the provision of Land, Infrastructure and amenities. On the inter-ministerial level, the OHCSF has strategic funding partnerships with the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and Family Homes Funds for the provision of Off-taker Supportive finance in form of Loans and Mortgage Finance to Civil Servants for the purchase of the houses uploaded on the Programme, at a single digit interest rate.

7. The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) component involves the provision of land, building technologies, construction finance, expertise, among others, by Private Real Estate Developers.

8. In line with the vision of the Programme to deliver affordable housing units to Civil Servants across the country, the OHCSF is also making efforts to secure bulk land allocation from the FCT and other State Governments, which will drastically reduce the cost of housing for Civil Servants. 

9.         What we are celebrating today is the delivery of not just Houses, Handbooks and Website, but a success story of a Public-Private, Partnership (PPP) initiative aimed at enhancing partnership between Government Agencies and the Private sector.  Today, this partnership has achieved a mutually beneficial goal resulting in the commissioning of two (2) Housing Estates namely:

       Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Estate, Kuje 1, comprising of Blocks of Flats of 65 Units of 1, 2 and 3No. Bedrooms, constructed by C2Q Nigeria Limited, with Housing Loans provided by the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board.

           Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Estate, Kuje 11, comprising of 86 Units of 2 Bedroom bungalows constructed and financed by Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. These houses would be allocated under a new Rent-to-Own model.

10. I am pleased to inform you that the Off-takers of these Estates have been profiled, their loans paid and some of them have already moved in and are living in their houses.

11. In the next phase of implementation, we shall be commissioning the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Estate, Kuje III, comprising of 97 Units of bungalows, and Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Estate, Karu, comprising of 20 units of bungalows. The beneficiaries of the Karu estate are already in possession of their keys and would move in at their pleasure.

12. Suffice it to say that we have signed Memorandum of Understanding with 33 Real Estate Developers. Construction of new homes are in different stages in different parts of the FCT, and some States of the Federation. Other Developers have applied to join the Programme and their applications are at different levels of processing.

13. I use this opportunity to invite State Governments, Housing Agencies and experienced Developers to join the Programme. We need many more developers to enable us to cater for the over 55,000 Civil Servants who have subscribed to the Programme. I am also happy that the FISH house owners are present at this occasion. I seize the opportunity to appeal to Civil Servants to key into the FISH Programme through our Website, which would be presented today, as more houses are being uploaded by our Developers.

14.       At this juncture, I wish to thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his support and deep interest in the welfare of Civil Servants. This is evident in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2017-2020, which provides the framework for Service Welfare activities including the FISH programme.

15. We owe the success of this programme to God who carefully chose some persons to drive the Programme. In this vein, I wish to congratulate in a special way, the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, mni, for her untiring effort and commitment to drive this programme to fruition. Let me also appreciate the FISH Department and the FISH Project Management Office for their hard work. My special thanks go to all our partners including the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, particularly to the Executive Secretary, Dr. (Mrs.) Hannatu Fika and her untiring and dedicated staff, for providing loans to Civil Servants at a single digit interest rate; and the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Architect Ahmed Danginwa, for uploading their houses to the programme and introducing the Bank’s latest facility - the Rent-to-Own payment option - for the benefit of Off-takers. Mr. Femi Adewole, Managing Director of the Family Homes Fund, is also appreciated for providing Off-takers supportive finances. You have all worked successfully to make the FISH programme a reality. Thanks to all of you, our Civil Servants who are now Home Owners can enjoy their homes whilst enjoying the benefits of long-term payment options.

The Real Estate Developers, Messrs. C2Q Nigeria Ltd and AB Brainy Technocrats Ltd, are worthy of commendation for their commitment in constructing quality houses within the FISH price ranges.

16. This speech would be incomplete if I do not express my profound gratitude to the Chairman & Founder, African Initiative for Governance (AIG), Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, for his enormous strategic support and WAPIC Plc for funding the Consultancy for the Programme. I implore the Representatives of WAPIC to convey our special appreciation to Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

17.       At this juncture, it is my honour and privilege, to the glory of God, to present the three (3) Handbooks namely:

• FEDERAL INTEGRATED STAFF HOUSING (FISH) HANDBOOK FOR STAFF AND OPERATORS

• FEDERAL INTEGRATED STAFF HOUSING (FISH) HANDBOOK FOR INVESTORS AND REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS

• FEDERAL INTEGRATED STAFF HOUSING (FISH) HANDBOOK FOR CIVIL SERVANTS (OFF-TAKERS)

These Handbooks are expected to broaden your knowledge as regards the operation of the FISH Programme, guide and enhance your participation as Investors, Real Estate Developers, Staff, Operators, and Civil Servant Off-takers.

18. In the same vein, I shall in due course officially launch the Website – www.fish-p.gov.ng - to further enhance access to information and improve connectivity and access to the FISH operations and activities.  These services are expected to provide all necessary answers to the questions of Public Servants and prospective FISH off-takers.

19.       It is my hope that you would find the Handbooks and the Website instructive and beneficial.

20.       I would now proceed to present the Handbooks.

21. Thank you.

MRS. WINIFRED EKANEM OYO-ITA, FCA, NPoM,

HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE FEDERATION.

THURSDAY, 20TH DECEMBER 2018