The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) has continued to sensitize the Directorates Cadre and Desk Officers on the implementation of the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme’s Co-operative Society across various Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the rudiments involved in the smooth take-off of the newly introduced FISH Co-operative Society in the Federal Civil Service.

In a 2-Day Sensitization Workshop declared open on Tuesday, 18 July 2023, in Abuja by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, represented, with the theme “Building a Sustainable Co-operative Society,’’ is to create awareness and sensitize Civil Servants on the modus-operandi of the FISH Co-operative Society such as membership registration processes, guiding principles, ethics, opportunities, financial contributions, project selection criteria and the governance structure, as well as the sustainability of the programme.

While addressing the participants, the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, OHCSF, Mahmud Kambari, in his opening remarks stated that the FISH Programme, which was initiated by OHCSF in 2015, is designed to provide affordable housing for Federal Civil Servants through an integrated strategy involving group land allocation, inter-ministerial collaborations and provision of infrastructure and site services.

Mr. Kambari, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Mallam Ibrahim Mariaga, explained further that, it is worthy to note that the FISH Programme is a sub-initiative captured under the sixth pillar of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025, (FCSSIP-25), which is geared towards enhancing the value proposition of Federal Civil Servants, has a target of delivering five hundred (500) housing units, yearly.

The Permanent Secretary expressed optimism that the FISH Co-operative would become a veritable platform for advancing the objectives of the FISH Programme and will serve as a catalyst for the OHCSF in providing affordable housing to Civil Servants. He enjoined the participants, especially, the desk officers to interact, learn and broaden their understanding of cooperative housing initiatives, utilize and domesticate it in their various MDAs, appropriately.

Earlier, the Director, FISH Department, OHCSF, Mrs. Uchenna Obi, acknowledged the efforts made by the Office towards accomplishing its mandate of delivering affordable housing to Civil Servants through the implementation, leadership, as well as funding of the Programme.

According to her, “the result of this is evident in the commissioning of four (4) Estates since its inception in 2015 and the delivery of houses in different locations within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) such as Mararaba, Kuje, Bwari, Karshi, Karu and Apo-Wumba to over 300 officers/off-takers and the acquisition of landed properties at Gwagwalada (5 hectares), Public Service Institute (5 hectares) and Jiwa District (8.12 hectares), respectively.

She reiterated the need to sustain the development attained in the provision of housing infrastructures to officers, which has led to the constitution of the FISH Co-operative Committee by the OHCSF, buttressing further that it is in line with global best practices. She also enjoined Civil Servants to subscribe to the FISH Programme by obtaining the FISH Co-operative membership and House Allocation Forms via OHCSF’s website, complete and submit for further processing.

The 2-day Workshop featured Facilitators/Resources Persons, who, in their various presentations, emphasised on the co-operative model as a game changer in the provision of affordable and accessible housing for workers. They also harped on achieving such via technology, as digitalisation has become the dynamic global trend and seamless way of ensuring sustainability in innovation

M.A. Ahmed,

Director, Communications.

July 19, 2023.