I first moved to the city of Abuja in 2002. My first impressions when I secured a job back then was that it would be easy to get an accommodation. My contact there keep assuring me how difficult it was then to get an accommodation and promised me that on my arrival, I would see things for myself. Not only was there scarcity of accommodation, they were damn expensive. I remembered I rented a make shift self contained room for 50k in 2002 and I was forced to pay for 2 years.
But the Federal Capital put in place an housing scheme back then that will make accommodation available to all those working in the city. The policy was for the Federal Housing Authority to parner with private developers to build houses in a form of estates and sell same to the residents through NHF (National Housing Fund) mortgages institutions. The idea was that all employers are to register their employees in one of the mortgages institutions with a mandatory contributions, and thereafter this will allow employees to acquire one of these houses paying upfront 15% of the total cost of the houses and paid the rest in 30 years through the mortgages institutions. What a laudable policy that would have sweep under the carpet the problem of accommodation in Abuja.
The programme took off well, the developers started building the houses in a form of estates. Such Developers like Prince and Princeses, Efab Properties, Sunnyvale, Suncity, Kabusa, Citec etc were into the project and they made available some of these estates. But as times goes on, they started derailing. First by selling the available houses to those who are ready to make payment immediately or in few installments instead of 15 percent initial payment and the rest in 30 years through the mortgage institutions. Then as time goes by, they started selling at exhorbitant prices, then to those who pay upfront even when the building isnt ready and then selling uncompleted houses, then selling developed lands at exhorbitant prices and finally selling undeveloped lands at staggering prices. All these while, the FCDA nor the FHA see nothing in what these Developers are doing. It is that bad that at the moment, once a land is sold to you, they will give you an allocation letter that you bought a house to the tune of say about 22 Million, whereas the true position of things was that, you bought a land for around 7 Million naira. This is fraud, and it speak bad of good and lofty government ideas.
I had always said this that, what the people contributed to Government failures are far too much than what government are going to take the blame. Most times, when Government come with a laudable effort in a form of policy, we Nigerians always find a way around it to defeat the real purpose it was first put in place.
Ever pause to ponder that though the people are the government, no wonder, those put in charge by the people are doing exactly what the people wants. What a shame!!!