BusinessDay

FG committed to supporting Family Homes Funds through funding, Ahmed assures

Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to supporting Family Homes Funds (FHF) through the provision of funding and supervision, Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, has assured.

Ahmed, who spoke at the inauguration of the FHF board in Abuja recently, noted that Family Homes Funds was a critical part of the federal government’s goal of bridging the housing gap in Nigeria, adding that affordable housing was one of the core areas of concern for the present government.

FHF is a social housing organisation dedicated to improving lives in Nigeria, especially those in the low-income group, through housing and job creation. It is expected that the fund will, in the next five years, deliver 500,000 affordable houses and also create 1.5 jobs in the process.

The fund operates in partnership with several financial and corporate institutions to deliver affordable homes under the supervision of the ministry of finance. “The appointment of the members of the board is a testimony of President Muhammadu Buhari’s trust in their ability to champion affordable housing provision in Nigeria through Family Homes Funds,” the minister stated at the innauguration.

Continuing, she said, “with the inauguration of this board, the federal government expects results that are measurable and top rate corporate governance. There should be reliable stewardship of resources, and you must be creative, bold and ambitious”.

FHF, according to the minister, is the largest housing fund in the history of Nigeria and if successful, it has the potential not only to change lives but boost the economy, attract investments and mobilise resources through other financial institutions.

She encouraged the board and the Fund to build and seek partnerships and collaborate with as many institutions concerned with affordable housing as possible, stressing that the board would have the responsibility to raise significant third-party finances to achieve their goal.

“Ministry of finance will do its own part in terms of support and direct coordination with you. We will closely monitor activities of the board and ensure that due processes are followed,” she assured, adding, “I have no doubt that with the calibre of the board and the people at the Family Homes Funds, they will deliver.’’

The newly inaugurated board is chaired by Suleiman Barau, a former Deputy Governor of The Central Bank of Nigeria. Other members of the board include Femi Adewole, the managing director of Family Homes Funds; Mohammed Rashid Umar; Uche Orji of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority; Aliyu Ahmed; Muhammad Gimba; and C.A Okwuoma.

After their inauguration, Barau said that the board would hold its first meeting immediately and take into consideration everything that the minister had mentioned.

He said that the board would pledge to provide leadership in different areas of expertise and ensure that Corporate Governance at the Family Homes Funds is strengthened. ‘’We have been tasked by the President through the minister, and we have heard all the important tasks that have been listed.

“What we are going to do now is to look at them carefully and deliver on them. And one of those tasks is to deliver 500,000 homes for Nigerians and create up to 1.5 million jobs. We have a very strong board composed of people from different disciplines with years of experience from real estate and finance sectors,” he noted.

 

CHUKA UROKO

 

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