By KINGSLEY ADEGBOYE
As the commercial hub of the country, the demand for housing in Lagos is ever increasing. This is mainly due to continuous influx of people into the nation’s commercial capital on a daily basis. These immigrants whose main reason for coming to Lagos is to seek greener pastures, however end up residing in the city that is already over congested.
Despite the ever increasing housing needs across the state, the government insists that it is responding well to the challenge. Governor Babatunde Fashola who made the declaration at a recent event in Lagos, explained that his government is providing various forms of housing opportunities for Lagosians, especially those in the low-income bracket.
The Governor said his administration has also encouraged private sector involvement in the provision of housing and other related services. He added that a significant number of first class housing developments have emerged across the state.
According to him, the demand for housing continues to remain strong as supply falls short of expectations, thus providing several opportunities to investors.
Governor Fashola noted that the Ministry of Housing has delivered the 256-unit Igbogbo Housing Estate at Ikorodu. The estate is sited on 3.352 hectares of land and was built under the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme.
A further break-down shows that the estate comprises 96 units of two-bedroom flats in three twin blocks of 32 units each and 160 units of one-bedroom flats in five twin blocks of 32 units each. Each one-bedroom flat has a floor area of 55.80 square meters, while the two-bedroom flats occupy 97.30 square meters.
Facilities in the estate include a health centre with three consulting rooms, a police post, a mini-waterworks with 35,000 cubic liters daily capacity, shopping complex and security post.
The Governor disclosed that there are other completed and ongoing housing projects across the state to meet the increasing housing needs of Lagosians.
His administration, he said is ready to partner with the private sector in the provision of housing.
According to him, the current Lagos Mortgage Policy was designed to protect the public as the Lagos State Mortgage Bill 2009 was promulgated to provide mortgages for development and acquisition of homes.
The governor maintained that such collaboration would not just ensure the provision of sustainable human settlements, but will also increase productivity, reduce operating costs and attract private capital.
“The result is that while the public will have access to quality and affordable houses, the private sector will benefit from new business opportunities,”he said.
Fashola hinted that the development of housing estates in parts of the state is predicated on the move to meet the challenges of the Lagos mega city, arguing that it would amount to to nothing if housing programmes are not vigorously pursued.
“In order to address this trend, we envisioned for ourselves the task of a sustained transformation of Lagos into Africa’s model mega-city.
Hence we put in place sustainable human settlement development programmes that will create a better habitat for ourselves and our children”, he said. He added that the state government is not concentrating on urban areas alone, but would also spread development to the sub-urban and rural areas.
He stressed that the future for housing delivery should be private sector driven with government strengthening the operational environment and legal framework for the private sector participation.