Former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, have advocated an effective mortgage system to meet the housing needs in the country.
They made the call in their separate remarks at the groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony of the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Doctors’ Estate located at Otuokpoti community in the Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
At completion, the estate would have 300 housing units, nursery, primary and secondary schools, shopping mall, security post, and other amenities.
The Doctors’ Estate project is an initiative of the Doctors Welfare Cooperative under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Yenagoa Federal Medical Centre (FMC) chapter, and will be funded through a partnership with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
Speaking at the ceremony, Jonathan said housing was one of the basic needs of man that could be addressed through an effective mortgage system for people to own affordable houses.
He thanked the resident doctors for finding him worthy and deserving of the honour to have the estate named after him, noting that the project when completed would not only contribute to the socio-economic wellbeing of its residents but also the entire state.
Describing the medical profession as a noble one, he said he had so much respect for medical doctors, who are trained to take care of the health needs of the people.
The former president assured the NARD that he would give the necessary support to ensure the smooth execution of the project to bring their vision to fruition.
In his remarks, Diri said the state government was quite elated over the project initiated by the Doctors’ Welfare Cooperative of FMC, Yenagoa.
The governor represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, urged the FMBN to review its mortgage policies and procedures to make it more inclusive and feasible for more professional groups and individuals to key into it.
He noted that efforts at providing shelter are a step in the right direction, assuring that his administration would do its best to ensure the actualization of the project within the targeted completion period.
While commending the immediate past leadership of NARD in the state for conceptualizing the project, Diri also appreciated the incumbent chairman of the association for taking told steps to translate the idea to reality.
He said, “We have decided to talk about a mortgage, but we have not imitated mortgage properly. So I want to use this opportunity to call on the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and other mortgage institutions to make their systems easier and conditions lighter for people to access mortgage. That is the only way this country can grow.
“So anything we do to provide shelter is a step in the right direction to provide a basic need of man. It is only someone who has a roof over his head that can have a quiet sleep. We are, therefore, quite associated with this project in all ramifications and we are committed to doing our part, to ensure that this project is completed as planned.”
The estate committee chairperson, Dr . Divine Irole, and state chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Ongowari Torunana, said the estate was named after Goodluck Jonathan to immortalize him as an illustrious son of state and in recognition of his contribution to the development of the medical profession.