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Lagos govt is closing housing gap, says official

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
22 November 2021   |   3:28 am
The Lagos State Government has committed to providing affordable housing at six per cent interest rate for the teeming populace.

Igbogbo Housing Estate built by the Lagos State Government

The Lagos State Government has committed to providing affordable housing at six per cent interest rate for the teeming populace.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who spoke through the Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu Fatai, at the 2021 Housing Summit held in Abuja recently, said the state government is closing the housing deficit through its mortgage scheme.

Fatai stated that government has embarked on several estates to meet the yearning of its citizens.

He said: “In Lagos, we have commissioned 11 estates. What we’re selling at Iponri for N30 million, we are also selling it in Igbogbo at N8.5 million. You pay five per cent, while the balance is spread over next nine years. But we don’t allow you to sell until you have finished paying at interest rate of six per cent.”

On urban renewal plans, Sanwo-olu said: “In the next 20 years, we have to be thinking vertical, we are looking at the Singapore and Hong Kong models. We are also planning a 50-hectare project in Ijanikin, where the rail line can be used to transport people into the island.”

In the lead paper, the President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Sir Emmanuel Wike, said that the country would require the sum of N24 trillion to bridge the existing housing deficit.

The NIESV boss lamented that past efforts by government to make houses available for the masses failed because the private sectors were ignored.

He noted that though there were many unoccupied houses in the city, especially in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the masses couldn’t afford them and so continue to lack decent accommodation.

Wike stressed that private sector involvement could help bridge the yawning housing gap

On the exact figures of housing deficit in the country, Wike disclosed that the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had commissioned some professionals to research into the matter and come up “with a genuine, reliable, scientific and verifiable data on the nation’s actual housing needs and make suggestions on the way forward.”

To address housing deficit in the country, Wike suggested the creation of Housing Infrastructure Fund and the use of local building materials by the government.

The Managing Director, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, represented by General Manager Procurement, Mr. Anetor Thomas, advocated government collaboration with the private sector and maintained that there should be transition from cash and carry home ownership to mortgage system as practiced in the developed world.

He equally urged the government to look into banks’ interest rates, adding that the prevailing rates are high and unattractive to developers.

The Convener and CEO of Housing Circuit Limited Seun Jegede, identified corruption as a major cause of housing deficit. “Corruption is endemic in the body politics, invariably affecting the housing chain and we all are culpable. The recent report from ICPC about two civil servants said to have allegedly acquired over 300 houses is a reflection of our moral decadence,” he said.

One of the highlights is the award for different contributions in the built industry to a retired Surveyor General of the Federation (SGoF), Taiwo Samuel Adeniran; NIESV President, Sir Emmanuel Wike; Chika Ebenebe, Regional Technical Head, Globacom, Minna Region, Dr. Babagana Adam, Director, FCTA Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage and Chief Town Planning Officer, FCDA, Sunday Audu.