Civil servants in the South-South have expressed disappointment over the difficulty in accessing housing loans from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
The workers, in a survey conducted by The Tide’s source, said the conditions for getting the loans were too stringent and had hindered them from accessing them.
They called on government to devise other means of improving the scheme, including relaxing the conditions to enable workers to access loans from the bank to build houses.
A staff of the Federal Ministry of Information in Cross River, Mrs. Enawan Effiom, told the source in Calabar that she had approached the FMBN to access funds to build a house.
Effiom said she was disappointed to be told that she could not access the loan, except she came with a third party who should be a property developer.
The Grade Level 14 officer said on making further enquiries she was given the phone number of a developer who was based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
According her, she was told that it was her responsibility to bear the cost of the developer’s movements to inspect the building site if she eventually secured the loan.
“This is outrageous because it simply means that if I need say N2 million or N3 million to build a two-bedroom flat, the cost will eventually rise by the time I finish bearing such additional costs. Like many other civil servants, I became discouraged.
“I have also tried the ones built by the Federal Government that workers are expected to apply for. I abandoned the effort because the requirements only favoured the rich and very senior civil servants,” she said.
According to her, the houses are usually built at the outskirts of the State Capital.
“The ones for this state are located between Calabar and Odukpani.
“The inhabitants have faced so many security challenges because of the location. cannot leave there in this era of insecurity,” she said.
Effiom said that it was easier to obtain a loan from a commercial bank to build a house than getting it from FMBN.
She, however, called on government to attach less stringent conditions that would encourage workers access the loan to be able to build houses of their own.
The Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Delta, Mr Sylvanus Onyeogo, said in Asaba that the stringent conditions for accessing loan from FMBN has remained discouraging to civil servants.
Oneogo told the source that he applied for a N5 million loan sometime ago while serving in Bayelsa, to enable him complete a housing project, but it was not realisable.
“I owned a piece of land that I wanted to develop then and I needed N5 million to augment what I had to build the type of house I wanted.
“I applied and all what they demanded from me, though stringent, l presented to them, but rather than approve the N5 million I requested, they approved N2.5 million for me.
“It was tough for me and I rejected the money. I rather sourced funds from our cooperative society to complete my project,” he said.
He said though the fund was accessible, the approvals may not meet the subscriber’s need.
On his part, the Federal Controller of Housing in Delta, Mr Victor Uduokhia, said the first phase of the housing estate built by the Federal Government at Issele-Azagba, had been fully subscribed for.
He said, however, that he was not certain whether or not the subscribers sourced their funds directly from FMBN or from other sources.
“As we speak, the first phase of the low cost Federal Government Housing Units at Issele-Azagba have been fully subscribed for.
“We are in the second phase on same site and work have reached advanced stage,” Uduokhia said.
In Rivers, a respondent complained of poor housing programme for the civil servants in the state.
A staff of the State Ministry of Information, Mr Kelvin Nengia, said: “since I came into the Civil Service in 2008, not much has been done in the area of providing housing for civil servants.
“The last time the government had a raffle draw for housing at Iriebe, Oyibo Local Government Area, was around 2009.
“Since then, nothing has been heard of the programme until recently when they gave loans to some workers in 2021,” he said.
A staff of the state-owned Radio Rivers FM Station, Mr Stanley Job, however, said that the State Gvernment had granted loans to its workers, though not enough to build houses.
Job said about 30 workers in the station received housing loans in 2021.
According to him, some civil servants in Rivers State Television also obtained the loans.
“They were given about N1 million each, which is not enough to build a house. The most the money can be used for is to acquire land,” he added.
Job urged the government to partner with private investors to drive the housing programme in the State.
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of 2Baba
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of a wanted cult leader, Gift Okpara aka 2 Baba, who was declared the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of the Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, in September last year.
Angbashim was ambushed and captured in Odiemudie community in Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State, by the cult gang members who dismembered his body and filmed it.
Since the death of the gallant corp, the command has been on Okpara’s trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were reportedly gunned down.
But the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, in a statement on Monday, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cultist was killed in a recent joint security raid in Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada West Local Government Area.
Irinke-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, also said a human skull, assorted rifles, explosives, and various charms amongst others were recovered during the last raids, in his new hideout which culminated in his death.
The statement read, “On February 17, 2024, at around 12:00hrs, 2Baba and his gang attacked Okogbe town and Odiokwu community in Ahoda West LGA, destroying pipelines.
“At 04:00hrs, operatives raided 2Baba’s new camp. Despite a fierce gun battle, 2Baba and his gang members escaped.
“However, at around 14:00hrs, intelligence confirmed 2Baba’s death after he lost consciousness and resuscitation attempts failed.
The police said efforts were in progress to retrieve the body of the suspected killer, while investigations into the Iceland cult’s activities in the region would continue.
“The Rivers State Police Command remains resolute in its duty to protect the lives and property of the citizens, and it will continue to employ all necessary resources and strategies to ensure a safe and secure environment for all,” it concluded.
The statement listed items recovered from the camp to include one AK47 rifle, one G3 rifle, one scorpion rifle, one double-barrelled locally made gun, and two locally made pistols.
Others were one cut-to-size double-barrelled gun, one bulletproof vest, 13 pieces of dynamites, five rounds of 9mm live ammunition, 10 army camouflages, 11 assorted charms, one human skull and one jack knife.
Meanwhile, there has been reported jubilation in the Ahoada area of the state following the killing of the infamous cult leader whom they said kept terrorising communities in the area and demanding various sums of money from households with severe negative threats for those who didn’t give in to his demands.
MOSIEND Hails Former NNPCL Executive Vice President
The foremost Niger Delta mass mobilisation organisation, the movement for the Survival Of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) has described Sir Adokiye Tombomieye as a detribalised leader and a philanthropist of uncommon degree in Niger Delta region MOSIEND also hailed the Niger Delta former Vice President, Upstream Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited NNPCL as he marks his 60th birthday in Port Harcourt.
President General, MOSIEND, Dr. Kennedy Tonjo West said the celebrant had touched the lives of thousands of youths across Nigeria.
Described as a great character, father, an influential and a peace maker, MOSIEND said Tombomieye had transformed the lives of thousands of youths across the country by empowering them positively and seeing them through their various careers and dreams.
MOSIEND in a statement signed by the National President prayed Almighty God to grant the celebrant more longevity on earth as he sojourns in all affairs of humanity on earth.
“On behalf of the leadership and teeming members of Movement for the Survival of the Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), we join the host of heaven and millions of the global community in celebrating a man of great character and influence, a detribalised Nigerian, an enigma, peacemaker, trailblazer, leader par excellence, compassionate in his work, one with a large heart, philanthropist of unparalleled degree, father to countless many, man of inestimable value, a living legend, Sir Adokiye Tombomieye as he turns 60 today.
The statement also described the celebrant as a philanthropist and father to the less privileged Niger Delta youths and Nigerians at large.
Sir Adokiye Tombomieye who recently retired from the NNPCL getting to the zenith of his career as the Executive Vice President Upstream is one of the few Niger Delta illustrious son with vast connect , friends and associates as the length and breadth of the country. A silent achiever , an unsung hero of some sort. A pillar and a role model to young and upcoming leaders.
MOSIEND leader who described Sir Tombomieye as an Icon and a trailblazer noted that he had given hope to many hopeless youths of the region through his philanthropic ventures.
He noted that Sir Tombomieye’s immense contributions towards the socio economic and institutional advancement of the Niger Delta cannot be over-emphasised. “During his days in NNPCL even as he rose to the Executive President Upstream, NNPCL, he was more accessible than a local government chairman in the Niger Delta region. His office was wide open for everyone with one issue or the other in Abuja, and Adokiye was ready to hear everyone out, solving problems. He is a rare gem, Adokiye lived his life for others. Retired but not tired. Leaders in the region should emulate the sterling qualities of Tombomieye in order to attract development to the region,” he said.
As a leader, the Organization wishes him good health and long life in all his undertakings
The statement urged people of the region to supports and pray for him in all his endeavours as a true leader and a blessing to the region.
We wish him best of luck in his future endeavours.
N’Delta Youth Leaders Warn Against Sabotaging New NDDC
A conglomeration of youth leaders from the Niger Delta has warned those frustrating the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) “Project Hope” to have a rethink or face the wrath of the youths.
The youth leaders in a joint press conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday warned that any group or individuals who want to thwart the “Project Hope” scheme will be considered enemy of the Niger Delta.
Former Special Adviser to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youth Matters, Ambassador Alfred Etule, said the current plight of Niger Deltans requires cogent plan that will lift the people out of poverty.
He explained that the new Managing Director of NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbunku, had conceived the Project Hope as path to empower the region and the people.
Ambassador Etule expressed regrets that since the project was conceived, some big wigs driven by selfish interests are working to frustrate it.
“That project was supposed to kick start by December last year, but uptil, now, this February, we have not seen anything,’’ he lamented.
The youth leaders said those who love to frustrate good plans and development of the Niger Delta have teamed up to see how they can kill the dream of the new NDDC management, but the youths will resist them.
On his part, Comrade Adokiye Muji-Tab revealed that some communities have donated land for the projects, as it is disheartening to hear of the delay to commence the scheme.
He said, “the NDDC has good intention, and for us, this is the first time they want to get it right. The projects cover the nine States of the Niger Delta. It is so sad that we still have people who want things to be done the old way.”
Comrade Muji-Tab urged all stakeholders and youths to stand up and defend their rights. “We stand by this project with this new idea and we are grateful to the Managing Director who initiated the idea,’’ he said.
Explaining the benefits of “Project Hope”, President of Niger Delta Youth Movement, Comrade Prince Boboye Peretu stated that it covers all areas of development including technical skills and physical infrastructure.
“ The vision is to empower the region and reduce the suffering and pains of the people. It is something that will transform the area since over the years we have not gotten development yet,” he revealed.
He added that the idea is to ensure each NDDC member state focus on area of strength like agriculture, youths development, skills and empowerment.
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