A few weeks after the Uduehis received an unexpected divine gift of a set of quintuplets, they have also been showered with yet another gift of a three bedroom flat by the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita. CALEB ONWE reports
Unlike what obtains in a typical Nigerian environment, where public officers are known for double-speaking and are never taking seriously because of their penchant to make ‘political’ promises that are never kept, the number one Civil Servant in the country has proved that actually, there are remnants in the public service that have not ‘bowed to the alters of fake promises’.
To the Udehis, the promise may have been taken with a pinch of salt, because humanly speaking, what apparently would have been their priority at that point in time was not how to acquire a luxury apartment of three bedroom in an elite estate, but how to offset the hospital bill and take their quintuplets to the one bedroom apartment they were living at Lugbe, one of the satellite towns around the FCT.
Their expectations were eventually superseded when the news of the uncommon birth filtered into the air and the humanity in Oyo-Ita was activated to pay an unscheduled visit to the Uduehis at the National Hospital.
The visit of the Head of Service did not just temporarily wipe away the tears of Mr and Mrs Imudia Uduehi, but has permanently fixed the problem that robs people of their dignity in a metropolitan city like Abuja.
Inside Abuja learnt that beside promising to provide the family with a befitting accommodation through the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) initiative, the Head of Service also made a cash donation and other gift items to bring down the blood pressure of Mr. Iduehi who currently does not have a stable job.
Though his wife, Mrs Oluwakemi Uduehi ,the mother of the quintuplets is said to be a staff of National Population Commission, paying up a hospital bill in National Hospital Abuja and catering for the quintuplets were obviously a concern to the family. Inside Abuja gathered that the weekend when the keys of a three -bedroom flat was formally presented to the father of the quintuplets, Mr. Imudia Uduehi at the EFAB Estate in Dakwa area of Abuja, it was like a dreamland experience to them.
Oyo-Ita, who was represented at the ceremony by Chairman FISH Implementation Committee and Permanent Secretary Common Services Office in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Yemi Adelakun, said that the gesture was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s desire to uplift the standard of living of the citizens .
The Head of Service said: ”On behalf of the Federal Government, I hereby, present to you, Mr Imudia Uduehi, the keys and official documents of this house for your family use.
I also want to stand on behalf of the Federal Civil Service of Nigeria to tell you that the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme is a reality. You should help us keep the flag flying as one of the first beneficiaries. This is to further tell you and Nigerians that in the present administration, when the government makes a promise, it fulfils it. It is not the time to say things you cannot do.
This is a reality and an indication of what the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme has to offer.
Thank God for giving us the opportunity to fulfil the promise we have made.” Inside Abuja also gathered that Mr Imudia Uduehi, father of the quintuplets, is a native of Edo State and a graduate of Computer Science from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
All of a sudden, the cloud of doubt that may have beclouded the minds of the Uduehis on whether the promise was a ‘political’ promise or not was cleared when the key to the three bedroom apartment was handed over to them.
On receiving the keys on behalf of his family, Mr. Uduehi said he was very happy for the house. “We are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the Head of Service of the Federation and the Government of Nigeria for fulfilling the promise made to us.
This is like a dream to me and my family and all public servants should ensure they key into the FISH programme”, he said.
He said it was an elevation for his family as they will be moving in soon from a one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom bungalow. Inside Abuja gathered that fulfilling the promise to the Uduehis was one of the ways that the Head of Service wanted to prove to skeptical civil servants that the FISH scheme will not go the same way that several government housing schemes have gone.
It was also gathered that Oyo- Ita, who is apparently so passionate about the FISH initiative, has continued to use every available opportunity to re-assure the Federal Civil Servants in the country of the sustainability of the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme of the Federal Government.
Inside Abuja learnt that recently, some relevant stakeholders of the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme met with the Head of Service in her office in Abuja. She said that one of the priorities of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is to address the housing deficit and improve the welfare of the Federal Public Servants for effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians.
Oyo-Ita, who allayed the fear of Nigerians and the Federal Civil Servants in particular that FISH –Programme as a housing scheme may die–off like other previous housing schemes, said that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari was determined in not only making FISH programme work, but also has already put in place machineries that will sustain it.