Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has declared his commitment towards making befitting accommodation available to Lagosians through pragmatic models that will incorporate private sector partnership, encourage local contents and cut costs while also creating employment.
He made this known on Monday at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Secretariat, Alausa during the celebration of World Habitat Day with the Theme: Housing for all; a better urban future.
He says: “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.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who spoke through his deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, noted that “our pact with Lagosians as contained in our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda under the fourth pillar is to ensure a significant reduction in the housing deficit through the provision of affordable and decent housing and to deepen our commitment to a greater Lagos by advancing our strides towards an enduring urban future, founded on good spatial and sectoral planning.”
To accelerate the realisation of this objective, he stated that his Administration had returned the State 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.
“We have also taken concrete steps 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,” he said.
The Governor declared that the total housing stock in the State would, by the end of this year, have increased by 3004 units with the completion and delivery of additional seven housing schemes, comprising 2,268 units as the government had completed and commissioned within the last 16 months, a number of housing schemes including Lateef Kayode Housing Estate, Igando, Courtland Villas, Lekki and Lekki Apartments, Ikate Elegushi.
He added that the State 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, under which 1303 Lagosians had become homeowners in Oba Adeboruwa, Lateef Jakande and Epe Housing Schemes.
His words: “the government is equally aware of the debilitating impact of urban squalor on the socio-economic development of the State; has thus strengthened the Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority (LASURA) as the relevant government agency to initiate and implement fresh ideas for eradicating slums in the Lagos megacity.”
Earlier, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako said in his welcome address that the Lagos State Government had a clear understanding and remarkable acceptance of the multidimensional and complex nature of housing and was matching up to its successful delivery in cost-efficient, pragmatic and innovative manner.
He added that the State had evolved, institutionalised 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, in line with the dictates of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) 11.
He stated that the State had accorded urban planning and development the deserved attention as avenues for improving the physical environment of Lagos State and the living conditions of its people, while recalling the achievements of the Administration of Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu in this regard to include improved Planning Permit Process and Turn-Around-Time, preparation/Updating of Model City Plans, effective State-wide monitoring /compliance checks and prompt removal of non-conforming structures, distressed structures and buildings likely to collapse, among others.
He added that the State Government had extended Planning Permit to Non-Schemed Areas by Providing Development Guide Plans for Excised Villages to ensure orderly and sustainable development, adding that Government had also ensured wider coverage of Physical Planning and Urban Development Control to areas that were hitherto placed under embargo such as Ajido Badagry (Recently Released Military Acquisition), FAAN Acquisition, Isolo, LASU Acquisition, Ojo and Isashi Waterworks Acquisition, among others.
The Chairman House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Nureni Ayinde Akinsanya said that the House of Assembly would continue to give the necessary support for the State to continue to move forward, while Chairman, House Committee on Housing, Hon. Bisi Yusuf urged for inter-agency collaboration for the delivery of housing for all.
The Guest Speaker Dr Tunde Reis, a retired Brigadier-General, urged the Government to segment end users, incorporate the informal sector of the economy in planning, enact the enabling regulations and policies as well as encourage the affordability gap funding, in order to provide affordable housing.
He also called for partnership with various institutions for the required data.