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Oyo-Ita Head of Service says FG committed to public servants' welfare

She therefore, said that the time was ripe for Nigeria to benefit from its contributions to the African Development Bank as a member of the African Union.

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President Muhammadu Buhari play Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at a joint news conference with his French counterpart Francois Hollande at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria, May 14, 2016 (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, has said that the welfare of public servants is one of the corner stones of the present administration.

Oyo-Ita said this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board and a Chinese Housing Developing Company, China Nantong Sanjian Construction Group.

She described the occasion as a landmark event in the life of Nigeria's public service and to her, because it provided her another opportunity to promote the welfare of public servants.

She said that though owning a house was fundamental to every individual, it had remained ``a dream unfulfilled to most public servants’’.

The Head of Service added that the housing demand in the country had continued to rise significantly with the deficit also widening.

She, therefore, said that the time was ripe for Nigeria to benefit from its contributions to the African Development Bank as a member of the African Union.

This, Oyo-Ita said, was to assist Nigerians who had yet to own a dwelling place, to do so.

She further added that it was in recognition of this, that government made the housing sector a key focus in the change agenda, with a target of providing 500, 000 housing units.

According to her, the significant allocation to the housing sector in the 2016 budget under the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing is a testimony to this commitment.

She, however, maintained that addressing the mortgage needs of Federal Government employees would not only motivate them, but would go a long way in reducing perceived corrupt practices.

She expressed optimism that developing the housing sector would help stimulate economic growth as well as create jobs in the economy.

``Indeed housing construction is one of the indices for gauging the pulse of most development and developing economies.''

In his remarks, Mr Tee Ching Song, the Vice General Manager of the company, said the company was ready to share its experiences with Nigerians.

He gave an assurance that his company would deliver the most quality and affordable houses to Nigerian public servants.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the company was nominated by Shelter Afrique, a UN agency.

Dr Hanatu Fika, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Board, said that the houses, when completed, would be allocated to only genuine public servants.

Fika, who is the Executive Secretary of the board, also said that indigenous workforce would be used to implement the housing project expected to be completed within 18 months.

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