By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday unveiled and handed over 48 units of Greater Lagos LBIC Apartments in Ogba-Ijaiye, Pen-Cinema of Agege, saying the project is a testament to his administration’s commitment to providing affordable housing for Lagosians.
The Greater Lagos LBIC Apartments comprise two, three-bedroom flats and four units of the four-bedroom maisonette. It is a joint venture arrangement involving Lagos Building Investment Company PLC (LBIC) and RPDC Limited.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in fulfillment of his administration’s promise during the official commissioning and hand-over ceremony of the apartments, held at Agege, handed over keys to 14 families that were displaced as a result of the construction of the Agege Pen Cinema with no payment or charges.
Speaking at the event which was attended by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and other government officials and people from the private sector, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the commissioning and handing over of the project is a testament of his administration’s commitment to providing affordable housing to the good people of Lagos State.
Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that since the inception of his administration, it had commissioned not less than 15 affordable and decent housing projects and delivered more than 3,526 housing units across the State, noting that the ongoing land reform was its commitment to addressing the challenge of housing deficits in Lagos state.
He said the housing estates provided by the Lagos State Government are in addition to the thousands of units being delivered exclusively by the private sector, which is on an even bigger scale, adding that the ongoing land reforms are aimed at making it easier for private players to deliver more affordable housing that meets the needs of the population.
He said: “The commissioning and handing over of this project are testament to our commitment towards providing affordable housing to the good people of Lagos State. Given the significance of shelter as a basic human need, this administration has been determined, from Day One, to decisively tackle the housing challenges faced by the residents of Lagos.“For us, this is not only about the availability of housing, but also about the affordability. We are concerned about ensuring that, not only are the houses reasonably priced but that there are also creative financing mechanisms that give people the capacity and convenience to pay based on their incomes.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also noted that the most efficient way to addressing the housing challenges facing Lagos as a megacity is for the government to enable and empower the private sector to deploy its abundant capital, noting that public-private partnership, with each player bringing its strengths to bear, will deliver sustainable projects that benefit the people and the State.
He said the Greater Lagos LBIC Apartments are an example of what is possible in this regard.“It is my pleasure to announce that the 14 families that were displaced because of the construction of the Agege-Pen Cinema Bridge, will now be accommodated under this scheme and that their flats will be allocated to them at no cost. Under our watch, Lagos will continue to work for all its people, regardless of tribe, colour, age or religious affiliation.“I would like to use this medium to appeal to all our agencies in the housing sector to continue to engage robustly with the private sector, as well as other stakeholders, to address the housing deficit in Lagos State. “I enjoin us all to continue to support this administration as we strive to make Lagos State a truly 21st Century economy, a place where every resident can aspire to have adequate, safe and affordable housing options, in line with the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goal 11 which aims to promote sustainable cities and communities.”In his address, the Managing Director, Lagos Building Investment Company, Oluwatobiloba Lawal, said Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commitment in ensuring that the housing deficit in Lagos State is reduced and affordable to Lagosians is praiseworthy.He said the commissioning of the Greater Lagos LBIC Apartments is “a testament of Mr. Governor’s commitment to the provision of affordable shelter that could stimulate the economic growth of the state hence, the THEMES agenda is working. Speaking on behalf of the 14 families who were allocated apartments in the Greater Lagos LBIC Apartments, Mrs. Esther Ogunbanjo, recalled that about five years ago, their flats were demolished for the Pen Cinema Bridge.She, therefore, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for fulfilling his promise to compensate them and promised that the residents will vote massively to re-elect Governor Sanwo-Olu during next year’s governorship election.“Everyone will agree with me that housing is one of the basic requirements of every human being. When his Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu emerged as the executive Governor of Lagos State, he promised to build another place for us. Although we did not believe him; we are here today to collect the keys to our place. “Today our joy has no measure. By the special grace of God, we promise you the vote of everyone in this community in 2023. This is clear evidence that his Excellency will deliver his clear manifesto to the people. We wish you success in the upcoming election in 2023,” she said.