Nigerian Minister accuses housing authority, FHA staff of hiding files

The minister said FHA should computerize its operations.

The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ama Pepple, on Tuesday accused the staff of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) of hiding housing files for their personal benefits.

Ms. Pepple said, while inaugurating the FHA interim team in Abuja, that the situation would soon be salvaged as she charged the FHA to computerise its operations.

“Computerise the FHA operations: I don’t want to hear the story that files are missing again,” she said.

“They say the files are missing, but if we have computerised the operations of the FHA, we will not have that kind of problem; we will just go to our files’ record and the true details.

“I know there are houses that have been hidden by staff; anybody that wants to challenge me on that, at least I have one good example that I can give you.’’

The minister decried the misuse of government houses by FHA staff. She recounted the issue of a retired staff, who had his own house and maybe rented it out, and then he moved to another FHA house and claimed it as his own.

“A retired FHA staff moved into a two bedroom house because it was empty, though he has his house, which he probably rented out. We got to know when the managing director approached me to say that a house was empty and he wanted to allocate it,” she said.

“We allocated the house to someone, the person went there and met the FHA staff and the staff was insisting that it was his house and that he has the papers of the house.

“At the end of the day he had no papers because he should not be living in that house in the first place; these are some of the things that are happening and there are many more examples.’’

She urged the staff to carry out their duties with honesty and bring out all files of houses which may be in their possession.

“Who are the people hiding the files to these houses? Not long ago somebody came to me to say that a house in Gwarimpa was empty.

“I said it’s impossible, so I told the MD and he went and checked round the whole house and it was indeed empty.

“FHA is looking for money and staff members are hiding house files.

“If you don’t hide the files, the houses will be available for us to sell to Nigerians and FHA will make money to carry out its operations, so the first thing now is computerisation of FHA operations,” she said.

She said an agreement had been reached between the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, to identify the already sold houses and their real owners to avoid mix up.


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