By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stated his administration’s commitment to increase the total housing stock in the State by 3,004 units with the completion and delivery of additional seven housing schemes comprising 2,268 units by the end of this year.
Speaking on Monday at an event to commemorate the 2020 World Habitat Day in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, the Governor who spoke through his deputy, Dr. Kadri Hamzat added that his administration was committed to the full implementation of the rent-to-own policy aimed at achieving the objective of making housing affordable and accessible to low income Lagosians.
He disclosed that within the last 16 months, the present administration had completed and commissioned a number of housing schemes including Lateef Kayode Housing Estate, Igando, Courtland Villas, Lekki and Lekki Apartments, Ikate Elegushi.
The governor added that 303 Lagosians have become homeowners in Oba Adeboruwa, Lateef Jakande and Epe Housing Schemes under the policy.
The governor stated that despite the dwindling resources which has assumed a global dimension as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, his administration remained resolutely committed to making befitting accommodation available to Lagosians through pragmatic models that would incorporate private sector partnership and encourage local contents while also cutting costs and creating employment.
While urging Lagosians to take full advantage of the grand opportunities provided by the housing programme of the state government, he said, steps had been taken to remove bottlenecks associated with housing delivery in the State by embracing the mortgage option to home ownership.
The governor said, “I seek the cooperation of all Lagosians towards the achievement of the Lagos of our dreams, a livable and sustainable city where everyone fulfills their legitimate aspirations irrespective of class, race or creed.”
Commenting on the theme of this Year’s celebration, “Housing For All: A Better Urban Future”, the governor said, “The thrust of this year’s celebration is a major policy objective of the fourth pillar of our administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda i.e Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy. The current and projected future population of our State presents huge opportunities for investors in the housing sector and a compelling need for urban renewal.”
He emphasized that his government’s pact with Lagosians as contained in his T.H.E.M.E.S agenda under the fourth pillar was to ensure a significant reduction in the housing deficit through the provision of affordable and decent housing and to deepen commitment to a greater Lagos by advancing strides towards an enduring urban future, founded on good spatial and sectoral planning.
Sanwo-Olu stressed that to accelerate the realization of this objective, the state had returned to the National Housing Fund and appointed the Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) PLC as the sole mortgage provider to facilitate a reduction in the housing deficit in Lagos State.
In addition, he said, concrete steps had been taken to increase the housing stock in the State through combined efforts of the Ministry of Housing, the Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSDPC) and Lagos Building Investment Company in delivering affordable housing units to the teeming population.
Speaking, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako stated that the state government had a clear understanding and remarkable acceptance of the multidimensional and complex nature of housing in its physical, social, economic, cultural, political, psychological and technical identities and was matching up to its successful delivery in cost-efficient, pragmatic and innovative manner.
He added that the state government had evolved, institutionalized and implemented specific Policy Reforms and Initiatives that would continue to facilitate the achievement of the “Making Cities and Human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” dictates of the SDG 11.
The commissioner noted that the state was working assiduously to ensure housing for all Lagosians within the ambit of globally-accepted standards.
He said, “While persistent population increase and inadequate shelter have been of major concern to our state, the Administration of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has made relentless efforts at not only ensuring housing for all, but also making sure that physical development are in tune with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy by strengthening the enabling legal institutional framework.”
Speaking at the event, the Guest Speaker, Dr. Tunde Reis urged the government to come up with innovative policies that would drive the housing Industry.
While citing the telecommunications industry as an example, he noted that apart from existing policy on building, regulation for managing the community should be imbibed.
He further said that sustainable relationship between the government and private organizations should be developed as there is no country in the world that government alone can solve its housing problems.