Newly licensed commercial bank, SunTrust Bank, is partnering with the federal government, through the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), on a housing scheme for 5,635 civil servants across the country.
The project is valued at over US$41 million.
Speaking at the launch of the federal government’s civil servants mortgage loan refinancing scheme, minister for finance, Kemi Adeosun, said the federal government recognises the fact that it is only when workers are happy that they can give their best at their respective work places and, as such, the government will ensure that federal civil servants are happy to become landlords of their own
She said: “It is only fair that those who serve the country can be afforded the opportunity of owning their own homes on retirement. We have to put in place the right incentives as part of our anti-corruption drive to plug leakages.”
Adeosun further revealed that the federal government had earmarked US$126.4 million in the 2016 budget for the implementation of a comprehensive housing scheme to address the housing challenges facing the country, improve the living conditions and welfare of the the workforce and people, and generate gainful employment for teeming youth.
“This is also in line with our overall objective of providing the necessary stimulus to kick-start growth in the current challenging economic environment,” she said.
Managing director of SunTrust Bank, Muhammed Jibrin, congratulated the federal government for the mortgage re-financing initiative and also assured the federal civil servants that they have, in the bank, a solid partner to bank on at any point in time.
He said: “We are very happy this is happening today. This is to show how sensitive and worker-friendly the present administration is. The workers are the ultimate winners in this scheme as most of them, through this scheme, will transit from being tenants to landlords at a rate that will be very conducive for them.
“We started this journey four years ago; we saw this coming. We started out as a mortgage bank – if you can remember, and we also put this particular structure together and we have also been knocking on the doors of the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board and also the NMRC that now has the necessary funding and platform to be able to provide the funding.”
According to him, Nigerians are now very lucky to have a government that is truly ready and willing to provide support, adding that it is the federal government’s resolve to better the lives of its workers that has made the housing scheme possible.
Speaking also, chief executive officer of the NMRC, Dr Charles Inyangete, said it is through Public and Private Partnership in the mortgage sector that Nigeria can fully realise its economic potentialities.
He said the NMRC is also partnering the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors for the success of the housing scheme.
The representative of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Yemi Adelakun, said the scheme will go a long way in ameliorating the suffering of the civil servants, especially when they retire.
He thanked the federal government for the scheme and pledged the loyalty of the workforce to the success of this administration.
Mr. Adelakun said the mortgage re-financing scheme would further boost workers morale as well as tackle the issue of corruption, as the fear of retirement sometimes causes civil servants to act unethically.