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NUJ Seeks FG, Private Sector Intervention on Affordable Housing For Members

The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called on the federal government and relevant stakeholders to assist them in providing affordable housing to their members in the country.

The Chairman of NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, FCT Council, Mr Jide Oyekunle made the call on Thursday in Abuja during a one-day Conference titled ” Housing For All : The Role Of Cooperative Societies and Financial Institutions ” organised by NUJ in conjunction with Housing Development Advocacy Network ( HDAN ). 

Oyekunle especially stressed the need for the Nigeria government to act fast on the growing housing shortage and not be left behind in achieving Number 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG), which states that by the Year 2050, over 6.5 billion people will be living in cities.

He averred that Nigerian journalists have served the country with dedication and patriotism, and therefore, deserve a better living, saying the role of the media in affordable housing cannot be overemphasized, particularly as at the moment the country is faced with a challenge of 28 million housing deficit.

He said the encumbrances and rigorous conditions attached to social housing loans has made it difficult for journalists to own a house in the Federal Capital Territory.

He urged professionals in the real estate and mortgage sectors to brainstorm in finding lasting solutions to the challenges in the housing industry in Nigeria.

He said, ” We are using this occasion to call on the Nigerian government to come up with a special program of action exclusive for journalists that will lessen the stringent conditions associated with accessing loans to enable them build houses of their own. 

” In principle, the mortgage loan is easy to obtain and repayment is flexible but in practice the reverse is the case considering the prevailing economic reality in the country. 

” Many of our members today are being owed 4years to 5years salaries even more than that in many media organisations because media owners in the country have refused to pay them in a clear violation of rules of engagement.

” We are using this occasion to call on the Nigerian government to come up with a special program of action exclusive for journalists that will lessen the stringent conditions associated with accessing loans to enable them to build houses of their own ” He said. 

Major partners at the event includes ; Representative of the Managing Director Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria ( FMBN ), Lawal Isa Kofar Sauri, Managing Director TI’Bilon Construction Limited, Mr Toochukwu Nnamoko, Representative Family Homes Funds, Mr. Funsho Gbodi and Group Company Secretary Domak Group International, Barr. Collins Mbeh Ojong.

 The representative of the Guest Speaker and Managing Director FMBN,  Lawal Isa Kofar Sauri tasked the Correspondents’ Chapel to set up a cooperative society.

He stressed that the FMBN was established to ensure the constant supply of loans to Nigerians for the purpose of building, purchasing and improvement of residential houses, especially low-cost housing for low-income workers.

Hamman disclosed that since its inception, the FMBN has been disbursing National Housing Fund (NHF) loans to contributors through the Primary Mortgage Banks (PMB) as well as Estate Development Loan (EDL). 

“However, due to some inherent problems, the Bank decided to expand the scope by involving Cooperative Societies and the Cooperators (members of the Cooperative Society) who can apply for the Cooperative Housing Development Loan (CHDL) and the Cooperative National Housing Loan (CNDL) respectively.

“The Bank took this decision considering the huge potentials in leveraging on Cooperative Societies to deliver on its mandate to contributors of the National Housing Fund and increasing the housing stock,” FMBN MD representative said.

Reeling out the requirements for a cooperative society to access FMBN loans, Hamman disclosed that the Bank has disbursed N29.4 million to facilitate the development of affordable housing across the country. He also disclosed that 7,710 units of houses have been built.

On his own part the Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Abuja Chapter, Mr Adebanjo Adeleke urged his counterparts to have discussions and come up with a long-term solution to the housing crisis in Nigeria.

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