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Fashola bemoans Buhari’s veto of housing fund bill

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has supported the National Housing Fund bill passed by the federal parliament against a recent veto by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

The bill was rejected on the 19th of March, 2018.

In a letter addressed to the Senate President, Buhari highlighted the reasons for declining assent to the bill which include: “The various levies and obligations imposed by Section 4, 5 and 6 of the bill including

“2.5% of the ex-factory price before transportation cost of each manufactured or imported 50kg bag of cement or equivalent in bulk, 2.5% monthly deductions from workers’ salaries.

“The compulsory investment requirement imposed on commercial banks, merchant banks, insurance banks and pension fund, administrations of the minimum of 10% profit before tax into the national Housing Fund will be destructive punitive to a number of industries and sectors of the Nigerian economy including cement, manufacturing, banking, insurance, pensions and may also impact adversely affect the average Nigerian worker.”

Buhari also stated that the provisions of Section 6(5) of the bill in relation to pension reform Act and real estate investment “may undermine the administration of the pension industry by the national pension commission and adversely affect the safeguards that protect the pension industry against unreasonable investment risk.”

But reacting to this development, Fashola believed that the housing fund bill would have been beneficial for the housing sector.

He made this known while briefing journalists during the inspection of some construction sites under the National Housing program, Federal Housing Authority and Federal Mortgage located in Zuba and Gwagwalada, Abuja.

He said: “I think it is well-intentioned. Every bill gets the presumption of an intent to make it better. In reality, how it works, how we react to it will determine whether it achieved its purpose and whether it needs more refinements.”

Credit: ORDER PAPER

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