The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has begun an affordable housing scheme for 4000 members across the federation to tackle accommodation challenge.
Its National President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaibesuyi, made the disclosure yesterday, while performing the groundbreaking of the project in Awka, Anambra State.
He said NARD was working with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and an estate developer, Daniel-Bob Nigeria Limited, for the program, insisting that the effort would check brain drain in the sector.
His words: “This scheme, which has to do with accessing the National Housing Fund through FMBN, aims to address the housing challenge of health sector workers.
“For the first phase, we are targeting those who have indicated interest in the six zones of Nigeria. The dream of this leadership is to improve the welfare of members and check brain drain.
“We have a competent developer, Daniel-Bob Ltd., who will help us to achieve this because he has done similar projects.”Okhuaibesuyi explained that the leadership arrived at the conclusion that improving working conditions of workers was not just about increasing their salaries, but also ensuring that their basic existential needs are met.
In his remarks, Chairman, NARD’s Housing Committee, Dr. Collins Iyelobu, disclosed that the Anambra estate would accommodate 525 members, as the second phase would begin in the second quarter of next year.
He promised that all of the 16,000 doctors that are members of the association would be captured in the scheme. He urged the medics and other health workers to take advantage of the project, stating that the South East with about 1,800 doctors was strategic to the body.
“We are of the view that this decent and affordable housing opportunity will make those planning to leave the country have a rethink,” Iyelobu added.