The federal government on Tuesday moved a step closer towards delivering decent and affordable public housing for Nigerian workers by signing a N13 billion Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on mortgage refinancing. The signed MoUs is focused at loan schemes that would make it possible for civil servants to purchase houses through the Federal Government backed Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme. The agreement was signed at the FISH Summit between Federal Government Staff Housing Loan Board (FGSHLB) and Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company, while the second MoU was entered between Family Homes Funds which is another government institution to provide affordable housing and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. Also, The Federal Ministry of Finance and the Managing Director Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, Dr Charles Iyangete, signed the multi-billion loan agreement, while the Executive Secretary Federal Housing Loans Board, Hanatu Fika, signed the second agreement with the Federal Housing Authority on behalf of workers. Already, there are over 30,000 registered and profiled off-takers who have authorised deductions of mortgage or loan repayment directly from their monthly salaries. Meanwhile, The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoS) also entered into partnership with the manufacturers of building materials led by Dangote Cement for discounted volume prices of building materials. The HoS, Mrs. Wilfred Oyo-Ita, described yesterday’s summit as a golden opportunity to deliberate on strategies that would guarantee affordable housing as well as sustainable sources of funds for FISH Programme. “The FISH Programme being a sub-set of the federal government mass-housing scheme provides an opportunity for the uplifment of civil servant’s welfare. It was designed to alleviate housing challenges of workers in the FCT,” Oyo -Ita said. One of the high points of yesterday’s summit was the donation of three bedroom flat to the man whose wife delivered quintuplets last Saturday, by one of the housing developers, EFAB Properties. All charges relating to title documents plus the house were presented to Mr. Imudia Uduehi. Oyo-Ita said the gift was a fulfillment of a decent home she promised after Mrs Oluwakemi Uduehi gave birth to five baby girls. Meanwhile, the President Nigeria Stock Exchange, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, advocated that deposits from the Treasury Savings Account (TSA) should be loaned to workers to enable them afford their own houses. Aig-Imokhuede also said for FISH programme to be successful and sustainable, it must recognise opportunity cost, market forces and create a win-win synergy for all participants. He also called for the setting up of a trust fund from private sector to be managed by Nigerians with track record in trust funding, adding that both federal and state governments should also provide land and subsidized housing for Nigerians.