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Reps to probe National Housing Fund

From Fred Itua and Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday moved to
launch an investigation into the management and
status of monies contributed to the National Housing
Fund (NHF) by civil servants 23 years after its
inception.
The lawmakers also held that individuals with
contributions above 10 years should be allowed to
withdraw their money and seek for alternative
options to their housing needs due to the unrealistic
status of the funds in the hands of government.
These resolutions followed a motion on the “Need to
Investigate the Funds that have Accrued to the
National Housing Fund since Inception”, brought by
Johnson Odionwele (PDP, Edo).
The lawmaker, while leading debates on the matter,
told the House that since subscription to the NHF
commenced 23 years ago, nothing has been heard
from the government as to how the funds are being
managed and the status of monies so far
contributed.
He said those charged with the management of the
Fund have maintained a blind eye to the plight of civil
servants, adding that most of these civil servants who
subscribed to this fund have died leaving behind
their entitlement.
“As we speak, 23 years after the establishment of the
fund, there are no visible signs of the envisaged mass
housing project or any known beneficiary of the
scheme, yet the contributions have continued as
deductions are still being made at source,”
Odionwele said.
Contributing to the debate, Joseph Adelaja (PDP,
Ondo), said: “I support this motion totally and I urge
my colleagues to key into it that something must be
done about this issue. It is time to call the attention
of government as the peoples parliament that the
rights of Nigerians must not be trampled upon.”
Darlington Nwokocha (PDP, Abia), stated that many
people who have invested their money should reap
the benefit of their investment. “So I’m in support
that this Fund be investigated and those whose
money had been taken should be made to benefit
through government investment in the housing
sector to reduce the huge housing deficit in the
country.”
Another lawmaker from Edo State, Johnson
Agbonayiemen, told his colleagues that the
development must be looked into and examples
made of those responsible for the management and
delivery of the housing scheme for future reference.
“Mr. Speaker, for monies to be collected from
Nigerians for 23 years and not been put to use for
the benefit of the people is a total failure and
unacceptable to this House.
I support this motion wholeheartedly because this
motion stands to defend the people of this nation
that those who rob others of their legitimate rights
must be made to pay for their atrocities against the
people,” he said.
Chike Okafor (APC, Imo), said: “From available
records, we have about 6.7 million workers in
Nigeria. These workers have contributed parts of
their earnings to this housing fund. This amount has
not been accessed by these people, and we must
know what happened to this money over the years.
Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public
Affairs, Abdulrazaq Namdas, however, said: “I just
want to add that its like each time people want to do
things to better their future, the state sabotages
them. If I was a civil servant and I contribute to a
fund for 23 years without knowing the fate of my
money, then I wont be a happy man. So I urge this
House to look into this matter and do justice
accordingly.”
The motion was amended and passed via voice votes
following question by Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

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