By Kingsley Adegboye

Aware of the challenge posed by housing, the Lagos State Government has pledged to increase the State’s housing stock. To this end, the government has considered proposals from about 100 private developers out of which 26 have been approved by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. The Government has also pledged to create an easy mortgage facility to assist prospective home owners achieve their heart desires.

Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Housing, Mr. Jimoh Ajao who disclosed these facts at the Ministerial briefing of the Housing Ministry, said the government is determined to ensure that the housing sub-sector becomes more vibrant by redefining the role of the government in the delivery process and enhancing the role of private sector players.

Mr. Ajao added that the government has re-evaluated the operational environment with the aim of removing bottlenecks thereby strengthening private sector participation. In addition to facilitating an enabling environment conducive for business to thrive, the government said it will make equity contributions in terms of providing land for genuine investors.

The Special Adviser said the ministry has developed a template for appraising interested private developers as well as facilitating necessary sign-off from relevant ministries and government agencies on behalf of the developers. The government, he said, gives land as equity, provides subsidy on government fees as stamp duty and building plan approvals and occasional subsidies on cost of infrastructure. According to im, the provision of infrastructure is treated as a social responsibility .

“This administration has considered proposals from over 100 developers out of which 26 proposals have been approved by the governor. It is also worthy of note that the public private partnership is already yielding fruits as some of our partners have reached advanced stages of work. I must however, re-emphasize here also that the Ministry Housing is determined more than ever to collaborate and work with genuine investors within and beyond the state to ensure that mass-housing is delivered to the people of Lagos State.

“Provision of accommodation is naturally capital intensive and affordability implies that for low and medium income earners to be able to buy houses, there must be in place a mortgage finance system. It has been identified that one of the major challenges that impedes home ownership is the inability of the prospective home owner to access mortgage facilities from financial institutions as a result of high interest rates charged on the loans. In order to make up for the absence of enduring mortgage system and ensure that the people could acquire decent accommodation, Governor Babatunde Fashola will soon launch the Lagos Home Ownership and Mortgage Scheme”, the Special Adviser disclosed.

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