The Fuller Center for Housing of Nigeria has been The Fuller Center’s most productive partner in Africa, especially near the capital Abuja where the organization has built more than 90 homes in a single community — Luvu Village, known locally as GrandLuvu Estate.
Fuller Center Nigeria is featuring the families of Luvu in a series of articles on its website, including the story of Naomi Luka below. For more of these family stories, visit Fuller Center Nigeria’s website here.
(Fuller Center for Housing of Nigeria) A single parent, mother of four boys and grandmother of three, Mrs. Naomi Luka hails from Plateau State, North Central Nigeria. For 16 years she worked as a staff of a foremost Nigerian Bank in Kano, and in 2006 she lost her job with the bank as a result of the banking consolidation that took place that year.
It came as a shock when she and some of her colleagues were asked to leave as a result of the consolidation. So, having spent most of her prime in the banking industry without a home of her own, the last thing on her mind was to own a house. In her words: “The last thing on my mind was to own a house as I thought I was going to spend at least 30 years with the bank, in fact, I thought I was going to retire at the bank.”
With all that she had left, she went into trading. She traveled several times out of the country to buy goods which she sold, but this could not be sustained as she ran out of funds. Thereafter, the business folded up.
A trained and qualified teacher, and now in search of a job, Mrs. Luka relocated to Abuja in 2011 and had stay with her brother who lived in Masaka, close to the Federal Capital Territory.
When asked how she got to know about Fuller Housing, she said, “One evening, my brother who is a civil servant came home with a Fuller flier and said, “This is an opportunity to get your own place.” I looked at him and said, “I don’t even have money to buy a piece of land, let alone a house.”
A few days later, Mrs. Luka along with her brother and his son attended the Public Information Seminar (PINS) organised by Fuller. “I had never been so convinced. From what I heard at the seminar that day, it dawned on me that with my little salary, I could afford to have my own place. The prices for which the houses were to be sold sounded too good to be true,” she said. She quickly fulfilled the requirements and was given the keys to her home.
Mrs. Luka, who couldn’t hide her excitement at having a place of her own, was full of praise for the Fuller Center. “Fuller is the last hope for the low income earner and an excellent help for people like me. It is also a good start for young people. With the help of the Fuller Center, I now have a roof over my head.”
She further added, “The most exciting moment for me at the GrandLuvu Estate was when the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, visited. She sat in my living room and I was just staring at her. This is someone we only get to see on television. I also saw the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, when he visited and I shook hands with him. Fuller has given me an opportunity that I never knew would come my way. The estate is cool, quiet and safe. I call it my little London.”