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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

No Fund To Meet N67bn Housing Loans Request By Civil Servants, Says Board

The Federal Government Staff Housing Loan Board has said that the agency does not have sufficient funds in the 2023 budget to meet the huge pile of housing loan requests before it.

The Executive Secretary of the Board, Ibrahim Mairiga stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Establishment to defend the budget of the Board for 2023 yesterday.

Mairiga told the federal lawmakers that the Board is currently depending on N2.5 billion in the Service Wide Votes (SWV).

He said the board’s share of the SWV could only cater for 200 civil servants against a total of 35,000 applications valued at roughly N67 billion.

He said, “The Board is currently depending on its own share of the N2.5 billion in the SWVs.

“The fund we got from the SWV could only cater for 200 civil servants and we have 35,000 applications valued at roughly N67 billion.”

The Executive Secretary also expressed similar concerns over the N65 million allocated as overheads to the Board which he said was not going to be sufficient to fund the monitoring activities of the Loan board.

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He said the housing loans was on first come, first served bases even though applicants are not expected to be more than 50 years old and must have been confirmed in the Civil Service to qualify for the facility.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Ibrahim Shekarau noted that the matter needed an urgent attention.

He said his Committee would look for ways to increase the purse for the Board even though he admitted that it might be extremely difficult to achieve.

The National Salaries and Wages Commission raised similar concern over paucity of funds which it said has rendered it “incapacitated” to effectively carry out its mandate.

The Commissioner for Compensation, Moji Yahaya Kolade said there was no way the Salaries and Wages commission with less than N1 billion appropriation could effectively monitor the disbursement of a N4.99 trillion wage bill.

She lamented further on how the lack of funds has made it impossible for the Commission to carry out routine salary inspections.

Despite the paucity of funds however, the Commission said it would need to recruit more hands and centralise its official building to enhance its overall performance.

A total of N986 million was allocated to the Commission for 2023.

Source: ThisDay

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