The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is set to partner Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL) to provide affordable post-Service housing for its personnel as part of efforts to improve their post-retirement life. The post-Service housing scheme is targeted at the Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) cadre of the NAF. The collaboration was flagged off today, 2 November 2020, by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubarkar, while playing host to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of FHFL, Mr Femi Adewole, and members of his management team at Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF) Abuja. The collaboration is the second post-housing scheme embarked upon by the current NAF Administration to enhance welfare of NCOs and promote service delivery.
Speaking during the visit, the CAS, while expressing delight that airmen and airwomen would benefit from the new Federal Government initiative, thanked the MD FHFL for his very comprehensive brief on the scheme. Air Marshal Abubabkar said he was also extremely excited because the initiative would boost the morale of the NCOs, which include technicians, Regiment and Special Forces personnel, who work round the clock in very challenging environments to ensure serviceability of NAF aircraft as well as security of NAF Bases and host communities, when they realize that they can acquire affordable houses to retire to.
Speaking further, the CAS disclosed that, the Air Officers Commanding, who are the field Commanders of the NCOs, were purposely invited to attend the presentation and would be expected to disseminate the news to potential beneficiaries in their Commands. He stated that he was equally excited that the Group Managing Director, NAF Holding Company, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Bagare, had instantly keyed into the entire programme to ensure that the NAF is able to effectively key into the FHFL Programme for the benefit of personnel in all states where the scheme has commenced. “It is equally gratifying to know that you are already in several states of the Federation, working to address the social needs of low income earners. This also has a security dimension as such people are less likely to be mobilized to engage in criminal acts. This will go a long way towards reducing our security challenges”, he added. The CAS promised to immediately put together a team that would engage with the management of FHFL to oversee the realization of the scheme.
The MD FHFL, Mr Femi Adewole, while making his presentation, stated that the primary objective of FHLFL, is to promote financing structures for housing that is affordable to Nigerians in the low income bracket. He said that the current fnancing programme comprises 3,613 homes under construction in 5 locations and financing commitment to a further 12,520 homes representing over N60 Billion financing support for affordable homes. He further stated that FHFL works to make affordable housing possible by developing and offering financing solutions for affordable housing developers as well as for people who would buy or rent the homes they build. According to him, the typical target are people earning between N600,000.00 US$1800) – N1.2 Million US$3600) per annum.
While giving highlights of the Company’s profile, the MD stated that FHFL, which was registered in 2017, commenced operations in 2018 and is Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest housing fund focused on affordable homes for Nigerians in the low income bracket. He added that FHF is a social housing initiative promoted by the Federal Government of Nigeria as part of its Social Intervention Programme (SIP) with initial shareholding by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. He remarked that the Company aims to invest up to N1.3 Trillion (US$3bn) in the development of 500,000 homes to low income earners and create up to 1.5 Million jobs by 2023.
It would be recalled that in 2016, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, initiated a post-service housing project, known as the NAF Eagle Estate Project, for NCOs to address the gap in previous similar schemes, which excluded personnel in the SNCOs’ cadre. Located at Bwari Area Council of Abuja, the Estate is planned to accommodate 905 units of 3-bedroom terrace duplexes, 3-bedroom semi-detached bungalows and 3-bedroom detached bungalows. The plan is to extend the project to other cities like Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos.
Present during the visit were the Branch Chiefs at NAF HQ, Air Officers Commanding of the 6 NAF Commands, the Group Managing Director NAF Holding Company, Managing Directors of NAF subsidiary companies, Air Warrant Officers of NAF Commands as well as senior NAF officers.