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Why we’re incapacitated to give workers housing loans – FG

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By Tunde Opalana

Workers on the payroll of the Federal Government may have had their hope of accessing housing loans dashed due to paucity of funds for agency of government saddled with the responsibility of giving such loans.

The Federal Government Staff Loan Board said it cannot attend to the high number of housing loan applications pending because the Board does not have sufficient capital allocated to it in the 2023 budget.

Executive Secretary of the Board, Ibrahim Mairiga made the disclosure on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Establishment to defend the budget of the Board for 2023.

Mairiga lamented that the Board has to depend on a paltry N2.5billion in the Service Wide Votes which can only cater for 200 workers out of a total of 35,000 applications valued at roughly N67 billion.

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

He said the housing loans are 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.

Appreciating need for urgent intervention, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Ibrahim Shakarau said the Committee will seek ways of appropriating more fund for the Board even though he admitted that it might be extremely difficult to achieve.

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Also 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.

Defending the agency’s budget for 2023, the Commissioner for Compensation, Moji Yahaya Kolade said there was no way the Salaries and Wages commission with less than N1 billion appropriation can 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.

But despite the paucity of funds, the Commission said it will need to recruit more hands and centralize its official building to enhance its overall performance.

A total of N986m is allocated to the Commission for 2023.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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