Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, Ph.D has said that the allegations of non remittance to the national housing fund were grievous and must be investigated.
The speaker made the remarks on Wednesday in Abuja while inaugurating the adhoc committee of the House on the “Investigation of Non-Remittance of Contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF) and Utilization of the Fund from 2011 to Date chaired by Hon. Dachung Bagos.
The fund represents a commitment to addressing the need of affordable housing for Nigerians.
Established by the NHF Act of 1992, the scheme designed to ensure that Nigerians have access to affordable housing mandates all employers in both the private and public sectors to contribute 2.5% of their workers’ monthly earnings into the Fund.
The speaker who was represented by the deputy speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu charged the members of the committee to be guided by the principle of fairness, equity and diligence as they discharge their mandate.
He said: “Your task, as members of this Ad-Hoc Committee, is to shed light on
the utilization of these contributions, to ensure that the NHF fulfils its mandate to provide affordable housing solutions.
The allegations of non-remittance are grievous, and must uncover the truth, in order to hold those responsible accountable, and safeguard the interests of those who have diligently contributed to this Fund.
“I implore this Committee to embark on this investigation with a profound sense of responsibility, bearing in mind that the National Housing Fund holds the potential to transform the lives of countless hardworking Nigerians by providing them with the opportunity to
secure affordable housing.
“As the investigative hearing commences, let us be guided by principles of fairness, equity, and diligence. Our mission is not only to uncover any irregularities but also to propose solutions that will strengthen
the NHF and ensure it serves its intended purpose, while also preventing a reoccurrence of these issues.”
Abbas also noted that the NHF Act of 1992 had become obsolete and needed to be reviewed.
“The House will look into this law which is obsolete now. From 1992 till date calls for a review. There are other issues that the House will inject to make it fit for purpose.
“As a noble initiative rooted in the principles of collective responsibility,
the scheme identifies the critical need to ensure access to affordable housing by hard-working Nigerians, in order to bridge the housing deficit gap in the country.
“However, for this to become a reality, we all know it is crucial that the Fund is managed transparently, efficiently,
and in strict adherence to the law.
The House was therefore alarmed to receive allegations of non-remittance by employers and in other cases, mismanagement and misappropriation of the hard-earned salaries of Nigerian workers, by the administering institution.
“It is within this context that we convene to investigate the alleged non remittance to the National Fund and critically review the utilization of the Fund from 2011 to date”, the speaker said.