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Ebonyi NLC, TUC protest over alleged selling of housing Estate

By KENNETH ONYEKWERE, ABAKALIKI

The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ebonyi state chapter on Thursday called on the federal government to intervene over the alleged illegal selling of housing estate meant for workers to politicians by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN)

The NLC leadership and other affiliate unions staged a walkout from the commissioning of the housing estate project, located at Ugwuahara in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital.

The state chairman of NLC, Comrade Okechukwu Nwafor who spoke on the fraud rocking the housing estate project, tasked Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State to shun the commissioning, adding that, the sale of the housing estate to non-workers should be reversed.

According to Nwafor “Ebonyi state government has done well for the first time by donating land for the housing estate to workers. But for the housing estate to be built and sold to non-workers and indigenes who are not from Ebonyi state is unfortunate.

“Workers of Ebonyi State have been contributing through the national housing fund, which is being handled by mortgage bank PLC. Some of us have contributed for 16 years to this housing estate project.

“Workers in Ebonyi state are not happy and what the mortgage bank PLC did should be queried, and the process should be reversed to make sure that Ebonyi workers were able to access the facility.

The NLC leadership, however, called for the immediate intervention of the federal government, especially the Federal Ministry of Housing and the developer and COPEN Services Limited.

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He added: “the Federal Ministry of Housing should call Mortgage bank PLC and the developer, COPEN services limited led by Ugochukwu Chime to order.

“We were told by the mortgage bank PLC that it was the developer, COPEN services limited that sold it and that they are not aware of whom they sold it to” the association lamented.

Speaking also, the state Chairman of TUC, Comrade Chidi Igboji, explained that the affordable housing estate delivery project was powered by the Federal Government Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and Employees Consultative Association.

He alleged that the buildings have been allotted to unknown people who are not working in any government establishment in Ebonyi State by the federal mortgage bank of Nigeria and the developer.

Reacting to the development, the branch manager, Mortgage bank PLC, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, Mr Kingsley Chukwuma, denied knowledge of the allegation, stressing that the housing estate at Ugwuachara was allocated to people that are qualified and have completed payment.

According to him: “The allegation is not actually true, because our intention was to carry everybody along. This is because workers from all the states of the Federation are direct beneficiaries of this project” he stated.

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