The Housing Development Advocacy Network HDAN has condemned the Federal Government over the alleged deduction of 40 per cent from contributors to the National Housing Fund NHF.
Executive Director of HDAN, Festus Adebayo disclosed this in an interview with Saturday Vanguard in Abuja.
He said the network has concluded plans with its legal team to sue the federal government if the decision was not reversed.
According to him, the housing fund is not like the pension fund which was reportedly deducted by the federal government for infrastructure purposes, saying workers who have willingly contributed to the fund deserve to own their houses upon retirement.
He said: “HDAN condemns illegal deduction of 40% of National Housing Fund contributions and other payments by the federal government through the Accountant General’s office.
“The Housing Development Advocacy Network wishes to condemn the action of the federal government in deducting 40% of the HMF contribution that is domiciled in the Remita account of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The National Housing Fund was set up by decree that made provision for Nigerian workers to contribute 2.5% of their basic salary.
Some of these workers who have been working for about 20 to 30 years cannot benefit from this fund. And in fact, most efforts have been made to get many states to be involved but we are here today to condemn the deduction of 40% of that fund from the source by the federal government of Nigeria.
“It is our belief that the primary responsibility of the government is to protect lives and property. In fact, with the situation in the country where the cost of building materials and everything have gone up, there is no other establishment again, that can provide affordable housing and social housing than the government. Why, therefore, government that is supposed to provide social housing, and affordable housing not become a government that is deducting 40% of the money contributed by poor Nigerian workers?
“This to us, is the height of maladministration, by this present government. What we expect from the government is to come up with a scheme that will provide housing for those in the lower cadre of the economy, I mean, the low-income earners, those that they are approaching now to come and vote for them instead of coming up with a secret plan or secret action of taking the money from poor people.
This is not right. We hereby give the federal government the end of this month to return all the deductions or face legal action from Housing Development Advocacy Network. We are saying this to uncover what the government is doing that is not right.