Repositioning FHA Post COVID Era, – ABUBAKAR YUSUF.

The Managing Director, Chief Executive officer, Federal Housing Authority, FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa
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The Federal Housing Authority FHA was established under an act charged with providing mass and affordable housing for Nigerians, to resolve accommodation problems of both the low, middle, intermediate and other categories of would-be house owners. Even though, before now was one of the moribund government agencies, yearning for repositioning through adequate government attention.

The appointment of Senator Gbenga Ashafa in 2020 as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FHA after COVID and its subsequent lockdowns including the first to the fifth wave, opened another vista of a systematic review and redressing of the sole government body charged with the provision of shelter in the country.

With a demoralized, decapitated and dilapidated agency, Ashafa’s appointment had many variables to contend with particularly the internal workings of the system that was the bane of quality performance.

Coming at a time when the global pandemic had done incalculable damage to the world economies with Nigeria, not an exception, he embarked on a holistic program that will return the agency to the good old days.

Confronted with a workforce that had existed for two decades without promotion, advancement and reward, Senator Gbenga Ashafa with his wealth of experience in housing activities embarked on massive promotion of the workforce from top to bottom.

With the debilitating damages done by the health emergency of COVID, dual economic recession along with natural and artificial occurrences, coinciding with his determination to change the narratives, he uniquely embarked on employment to fill the existing vacancies, away from the global downturn that had attracted job losses to the tune of 33M both in the private and public sector in Nigeria, with quantum damages to the international economies.

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The new Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer confronted with the provision of working tools with his focus on value addition, cannot achieve the desired success with obsolete equipment he met on assumption of duty, having acquired state-of-the-art vehicles that had facilitated the movement of its workers both in the engineering, and other critical departments that ensured strict supervision, monitoring and project execution.

With a rejigged and high morale workforce, Ashafa embarked on its statutory mandate with a land reclamation policy of the agency that was eroded over the years, throwing the public assets at the mercy of both private and shylock land encroachers and grabbers, as well recovered the huge debts of the public from subscribers of its properties.

The new policy recovered properties and lands trapped with individuals and organisations through well-thought awareness and advocacy programs, stressing the need to protect public assets for the benefit of all Nigerians rather than being hijacked by a few privileged people.

The new management not only recovered the public assets but converted them to use, through the mass construction of houses in line with the policy thrust of the Buhari administration that was geared towards the provision of affordable housing for all Nigerians.

He embarked on massive enumeration and construction of new housing estates across the country, in line with his determination not to only provide housing, but ‘Uniting Nigeria through housing’ by opening up new estates, utilizing its existing lands to the benefit of all Nigerians directly or through public-private partnership PPP arrangements.

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The completion of ongoing housing projects across the country was also part of the policy arrangements of the present administration, under Senator Gbenga Ashafa not to abandon both existing and ongoing projects across the country.

In that vein, more housing units are been completed in states with three outstanding ones to be commissioned soon, including the 764 units of houses constructed in Zuba, the Federal Capital Territory FCT, ready for commissioning.

The new FHA has also embarked on the construction of new housing projects and collaboration with the private sector through the PPP, the massive housing located in Guzape, Apo district, and the 51hectares of mass housing in Kuchiko, Bwari area council is attaining progressive completion, with determination to complete the site in 2024 for occupation.

He opened up the Lugbe express road housing estate known as “Express View Estate” which was annexed by privileged individuals erecting multiple structures, this will generate more revenues and income for the agency.

The reclamation policy of Ashafa’s administration has paid off, particularly in high-brow Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Kano and other parts of the country where land encroachers are rampant and undaunting.

With his administrative acumen and zeal to achieve results, Senator Gbenga Ashafa believed strongly in tackling official matters promptly without a backlog, as he does not believe in keeping a backlog of official matters on his table longer than necessary, as official files are treated promptly and regularly as at when due.

His revelation to build a smart city on virgin land in Maitama district in Shishipe Kabuso area of the FCT is in the offing.

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Ashafa revealed during the Minister of State, Works and Housing Alhaji Umar El-Yakubu’s tour of over 700 hectares of land strategically located can be assessed through Lungi and Mogadishu barracks in Asokoro after an extensive discussion with the FCT administration just 11 kilometres away, aside the other route from Mpape.

He announced that compensation for the road project to the site had been paid, and discussion was already at an advanced stage with the communities to enable FHA to commence work.

Similarly, the FHA new extension in Lugbe consisting of about 190 hectares with 40 hectares encroached by illegal occupants will commence construction next year, to provide affordable houses to all categories in the FCT, that now attract more influx to the country’s capital.

It is also part of the workaholic new leadership to construct a 15-story building office structure to resolve the growing accommodation problems of the FHA, at the same time befitting the headquarters of the agency.

Ashafa’s determination to adopt multiple approaches to all the programs of the agency had opened up job opportunities to all categories of Nigerians from professionals to artisans of all spheres not minding the negative effects of post-COVID both in Nigeria and the global world.

No doubt with a rejigged workforce, and robust management consisting of the executive directors, his determination to take Nigeria to the highest pedestal in the provision of affordable housing, had conformed with the administration’s cardinal objectives of providing houses for all Nigerians.

Written By ABUBAKAR YUSUF and can be reached at

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