The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), has endorsed the measures introduced by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to simplify its procedures meant to block leakages and eliminate corruption in its operations.
Such measures include the establishment of a Central Land and Property Registry (CLPR), which is being upgraded to the FHA Geographic Information System (FHAGIS); creation of a project monitoring and evaluation unit, and the establishment of a one- stop shop for most of the procedures for approvals.
The introduction of the FHAGIS appears to be well timed given that the anti-corruption commission is planning to conduct a housing audit soon. The FHAGIS, it is believed, would provide good platform to leverage on the numerous opportunities it provides.
According to a document made available to The Nation, the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, who gave the nod while receiving the FHA’s team led by its Managing Director, Prof Mohammed Al-Amin in his office, expressed delight that the FHA had become a model agency in the anti-corruption war rather than just remain like many agencies which talk about corruption but would not take steps against it. He, therefore, praised the authority for having the courage to take the necessary steps forward.
While assuring the authority that the commission would, as soon as it receives the details of the measures, publish them on its website to demonstrate to the world that the organisation had become a leading light in the fight against corruption, Nta said he could see the total change concept playing out in the authority and praised Al-Amin for establishing the CLPR which he said would address the problems of loss or missing files and double allocations.
The Chairman said when his commission was faced with similar problems and anomalies in the management of case files, it introduced a central registry and digitalised all files from 2001 to date.
This process, Nta noted, may be the solution to complaints of some members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Germany Chapter, who had complained to the ICPC of being defrauded by Nigerians at home, particularly on housing matters.
“Those Nigerians abroad made a passionate appeal for the assistance of the ICPC to help them curb the endemic corruption in housing matters in the country,” he explained, while assuring that with the steps already taken by FHA to clean up its system, he would link the Authority with NIDO so that its members could begin to transact all their housing business through the FHA Mortgage Bank.
Earlier in his address, Al-Amin noted that the monetisation policy adopted by the government created challenges for new staff and those whose status improved as a result of promotion now lack befitting accommodation.
He said the FHA had designed a housing delivery model which would encourage staff, especially those in the security and law enforcement agencies to acquire land in their preferred location while the authority would assist them in developing it.
In doing that, the FHA boss said the authority would use its special relationship with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigerian to help those concerned secure their contributions to the National Housing Fund (s) to finance such development.