Osinbajo: Why civil servants deserve to be homeowners

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says there is a need to reform the civil service, as part of efforts to ensure that government workers become homeowners.

In a statement, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s spokesman, said the vice-president stated this after receiving a briefing on the ‘Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan, 2021-2025’.The presentation of the report was done at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Friday.The reform is being led by steering and implementation committees, with membership drawn from the public and private sectors.

According to Osinbajo, there is a need to do something “bold and big” that will make a difference for workers in the civil service.“It is evident that perhaps, for the first time in a long time, some very serious attention is being paid to all of the various issues in our civil service,” Osinbajo was quoted to have said.“I think that we should really do something that is bold, big and that will really make the difference in order to address some of the issues especially that of accommodation for civil servants.

“We can do much more with mass housing; we have a target now of 300,000 houses under our Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) social housing scheme.“CBN has allocated N200 billion, but we have seen that we can provide mass housing, and we can make civil servants beneficiaries of the scheme.”The vice-president added that though the housing scheme is modest, there must be a strategy for ensuring that the project is accessible to all workers.“It is a vital part of what we are trying to do; we must address it,” he said.

“A civil servant ought to be able to own a home, and justify to his family the reason why he went for the job.”On her part, Folashade Yemi-Esan, head of the civil service of the federation, identified staff welfare, particularly remuneration and housing, as areas that require better focus and urgent intervention by the federal government.She appealed for improved support, particularly in funding the implementation of successive strategy and implementation plans to overhaul the service for better productivity.She added that her office would continue to lead the reform process as the implementation plan is forwarded to the federal executive council (FEC) for approval.

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