The Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Senator Gbenga Ashafa, has disclosed that at 50, his agency has been repositioned to serve Nigerians better with the provision of affordable housing.
Ashafa, who spoke in Abuja over the weekend at the closing of the FHA’s 50th-anniversary celebration, also called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Leadership of the National Assembly to assist in the speedy process of the amendment of the Authority’s enabling Act.
While noting that the management of the Authority has started the process, he reiterated that the Authority has qualified professionals and assets to secure its loans.
He added that FHA has qualified professionals who are well grounded in the building industry that can be able to accomplish the mandate of housing delivery for all cadres Nigerians.
“Our staffers are no longer looking at the four walls of FHA, Festac, or Awka but beyond the shores of the nation. Because that was not the way we used to do it. We have made up our mind to tell the world that we have enough assets to secure our loans.
“In our way, we have introduced what we called ‘VRR- Verification, Regularisation, and Recovery. This will enable anyone to be certified with building code in line with FHA approval to start building. This is the way to go. We know that Nigerians have been patient to see FHA conform and perform in line with its mandate”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, called on the management of FHA to run the agency as a proper business outfit to achieve its mandate.
Fashola, who spoke at the day one of the agency’s 50th anniversary in Abuja last Thursday, said: “FHA must become a proper business run on very strict corporate governance principles that conform with global best practice and this will be consistent with previous attempts to commercialise or privatise the authority.
“FHA should recognise that the market demand is probably dominated by those in the age bracket of around 25 to 35 years and it would be helpful for FHA to conduct a highly professional survey of what their needs are before designing and building.
“The other survey that I would advocate is the payment mode that this category of potential buyers will opt for and to urge FHA to factor in digital platforms for advertising, sale, and payment because this is the language of this class of buyers. If FHA expects these class of buyers to come to their offices to come and collect forms to buy houses and go through some of the ancient red tape that time has tied away for FHA, then there is a risk to success.”