Lagos State Government says it’s targeting the delivery of ten housing estates within the next 24 months.
Making the disclosure during the forum organised by the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Lagos Chapter in Ikeja, Commissioner for Housing in the state, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said the schemes were already in the pipeline, adding that a total of nineteen housing estates, majorly funded by direct budgetary allocations, had been completed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, till date.
“These were achieved through direct budgetary allocation and joint ventures with the private sector,” he said.
Other efforts made to increase housing stock, he explained included creating a conducive atmosphere for private sector participation in housing delivery through various EOB initiatives such as digitization of land titling thereby reducing bottlenecks in land documentation.
The commissioner added that real estate activities were also being closely monitored through the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority with various efforts targeted at those protecting those within the rental bracket from fraudulent estate agents.
“This agency, among other things, registers estate practitioners, gives useful data on real estate activities, enforce and monitors compliance with estate agency laws, engages in advocacy, and ensure protection of citizens from illegal and criminal trade practices.
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“This has been done wonderfully in the past three years and the foundation is set for more remarkable efforts in the coming years” he said.
According to Akinderu-Fatai, the great deal about government’s activities in building and construction was the window for employment and income generating opportunities.
He stated that the state government had engaged an average of 170,657 persons per year in the last three years.
Besides, he hinted that the government has also taken a step to retrain and certify building artisans such as masons, carpenters, steel fabricators, plumbers, electricians and painters under its Master Craftsman programme.
He emphasised that the effort to proffer solutions in line with the recent global technologies, innovation, and best practices could only be realizable with the sincere commitment and co-operation of all stakeholders in the housing sector especially builders.
“Given the enormity of the housing needs of the people, largely caused by migratory activities and the importance of availability of decent homes to cater for this basic welfare of the people, the state government is already thinking out of the box.
“In a littoral state like Lagos where land is limited, strategic thinking is compulsory for optimal utilization of this scarce asset.
Based on experience in the past three and half years he said the focus now must be on building homes in thousands.
According to him, efforts of builders must be geared towards mass production of homes involving multilevel or vertical homes that are well built and safe.
“Please note the emphasis on safety. In this aspect, we require the expertise of your professional members in ensuring that standards are kept irrespective of the interferences. We owe it to humanity as key players to instill the right ethics in our members so that confidence of the people is not eroded,” he said
He enjoined builders not to rest on the oars until issue of affordability of homes is achieved.
Houses, according to him, must be affordable for the low wage earners to access.
He advised private investors to look into the diverse long term gains in rental schemes as opposed to outright sales, pointing out that the former accounted for the home needs of 80.7 per cent of Lagosians.
“So 8 out of 10 Lagosians is a tenant. Not everyone can buy homes. Not everyone wants to buy homes. But everyone needs a decent accommodation,” he said.
He drew the attention of builders and investors to the old and declining estates located at all divisions of the state, saying they needed to be regenerated to yield more homes.
“It is important to note that those schemes built over three and half decades ago are in various states of disrepair. They were built when land was not so scarce. So significantly, if rebuilt or regenerated, they can yield more homes than the existing number. With this we can achieve a dual goal of upgrading the facilities and also bringing more people on the home ownership ladder. This is an aspect that can create more opportunities for all actors in the built sector,” the commissioner said.
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