Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s finance, budget and national planning minister has charged a newly inaugurated board of the family homes fund limited to ensure the success of government’s ambition to create 1.5 million new jobs in the construction of 500,000 low-cost houses.
She also warned members to be prudent with the management of funds that will be deployed to the Fund through budgetary, donor funding and private sector financing.
Ahmed who gave the charge Monday during the inauguration said one of this administration’s 11 priority areas is to “Improve access to mass housing and consumer credit to enhance financial inclusion.
Thus, the responsibility that will now lie on your shoulders is huge and will require unusual commitment, uncommon focus, experience and determination to succeed.”
She stated that the government was committed to the implementation of its housing policy through the provision of enough funds for its sustainability in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for the next five years.
“Firstly, you are expected to establish a top corporate governance culture and carefully designed internal control mechanisms.
The Family Homes Fund will receive significant amounts of public money, in addition to other capital from development finance institutions and the capital market.
It must, therefore, be a reliable steward of resource on your part, she said.
Still speaking with the board, Ahmed stated that “we expect you to be creative, bold and ambitious.”
According to her, the housing programme envisaged under the Family Homes Scheme is the largest in the history of our nation and if successfully delivered, it has the potential, not to change lives but also to boost Nigeria’s economy.
“It will, therefore, serve as a catalyst to attract investors, provide land ownership to citizens at a lower rate and mobilise funds through mortgage finance.
While lamenting that poor delivery of affordable housing over the last 30 years was in part, attributable to lack of co-operation among various agencies tasked with the provision of housing, she encourages the board members to seek and build partnerships, and even collaboration.
The minister then declared that a permanent secretary in the ministry will closely monitor the activities of the entire management and board for the purpose of ensuring that the set mandate of the company was met in accordance with the established rules and regulations guiding the operations of such company.