4th October, 2011
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday undertook an unscheduled inspection of the Gbagada Housing Estate in Gbagada, advocating sustained infrastructure development as the panacea for keeping the economy going and providing employment for the people.
Governor Fashola who spoke in an interview with newsmen after the inspection of the Estate which is one of several being developed by the State Government to add to the housing stock for the Lagos Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS), said any government that really takes itself seriously must become creative and embark on sustained infrastructure development policy.
The Governor asserted that all over the world it is undebatable that every economy that wants to reflate and redevelop must commit to infrastructure and one key element of which is housing infrastructure.
â€œClearly, you have seen the experience yourself. All of the people here are not on an excursion. There are even hairdressers, communities have settled down here and as long as the project is going on they will take money home to their children, to their husbands and to their wives and this is why we have committed to doing this housing policy.
â€œIt is not just about doing shelter alone but also the consequential value chain of opportunities for Valuers, Engineers, Draughtsmen, Architects, Builders, Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors, importers of building materials and iron rod sellers. It is a whole distribution chain,â€ the Governor stated.
He gave a commitment that the administration has its creative cap on and is thinking and working to create solutions that can enable the government create more of such estates.
He explained that though funding remains the biggest challenge, â€œour intention is not to make profit from the scheme. It is just to minimally break even and to recoup the investment so that we can do more for others.
â€œWe have evolved a plan called Lagos State Home Ownership Scheme. The whole idea is to provide a mortgage starting first with the money that we have in our control and therefore asking people to pay 30 percent of the value of the house.â€
The Governor added that once the scheme is formally launched, the details of its implementation will be made known to all Lagosians, stressing that he has been giving details of how the programme will run from through the campaigns up till now.
â€œAt this time, I am in implementation mode/stage. We have a plan to implement this programme. So, donâ€™t preempt me. We will do it one after the other until it is all done.
â€œThis is what people should expect to see over the next four years in Lagos during the currency of our term, to build more of this type of houses, get more of this type of estate going subject to the permits and dictates of funding so that we can see a 24-Hour construction site with people working in shifts of 8hours, some going on relief and some coming back. It will be a full chain.
â€œThere would be more demand for food, there would be more demand for water and more demand for soft drinks. It is a complete value chain from top to bottom and this is what Lagosians expect from us subject to funding,â€ he added.
Architect Wale Bashorun who works with Bashcaul Civil Engineering Construction Company Nigeria Limited confirmed that over 1000 people are meaningfully engaged to perform various tasks and professional services at the site on a daily basis while commending the state government for the massive housing project.
In an interview, one of the workers on site, identified as Samuel Adegboro of the piling section, who said he feels great working at the site, described the project as a commendable one which has provided employment for the youth with some of the people working on the site.
Mr Sunday Eniola, one of the people involved in casting concrete on the site said the state government is trying a lot in providing the type of estate not only in Gbagada but all over the state.
The governor was accompanied on the inspection by the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Bosun Jeje and Special Adviser in the Ministry, Hon Jimoh Ajao among other senior government officials.