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Sanwo-Olu Marks First Year in Office with the Delivery of 1,348 New Homes to Lagosians

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… Promises To Work On Affordable Mortgage Rates For The People

In pursuit of the vision of a Greater Lagos where decent and affordable homes are available to all, the State Government has delivered a total of 1,348 homes to residents of the State within the first year in office of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration in Lagos State.

The Honourable Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, who revealed this today at the 2020 Ministerial Press briefing organised by the government in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the current administration at the JJT Park, Alausa, Lagos, disclosed that the State Government has completed five Housing Schemes located at Igando in Alimosho Local Government Area; Igbogbo in Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Council Development Authority; Igbokushu, Lekki Phase 1 and Idale in Badagry.

He explained that the provision of decent accommodation for Lagosians is an integral part of the transformation agenda of the present administration on housing, adding that the strategies deployed in meeting this agenda involve building affordable houses through Direct Budgetary allocation for the completion of existing schemes, as well as through Public-Private Partnerships.

In his words “492 of the homes located at Lateef Kayode Jakande Gardens in Igando and 320 at LagosHoms, Igbogbo 2b, were actualised through Direct Budgetary allocations while the rest were made possible through Joint Ventures with private investors”.

“The construction of 120 homes at Courtland Luxury Villa in Igbokushu, 124 homes at Lekki Apartments and 252 at Lagos State Affordable Public Housing Scheme in Idale Badagry was achieved through Partnerships with Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Le Grand Property Development Company, Step Development and Echostone Housing respectively”, he added.

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While appreciating the efforts of the Partners, the Commissioner called for more serious-minded investors to join hands with the State Government for the speedy resolution of the housing deficit challenge in Lagos.

He also disclosed that more schemes will be completed before the end of the year to yield an additional 1,662 home units by the end of 2020, noting that the projects include the LagosHoms, Sangotedo cluster, with 774 homes in Eti-Osa LGA; 660 homes at LagosHoms Odo-Onosa /Ayandelu in Agbowa LCDA; Iponri Estate Housing Scheme in Surulere LGA with 132 units and Lekki Phase 2 Scheme in Eti-Osa Local Government Area having 96 units.

Akinderu-Fatai averred that the government-owned housing schemes being developed across the State include the Epe Housing Scheme in Itamarun Epe LGA with 112 homes and LASU Housing Scheme with 36 units within the Lagos State University main Campus in Ojo.

The Commissioner maintained that the State Government is working assiduously to increase manpower development, through skills upgrade of 1000 artisans in the building sector, for an improved capacity as well as enhanced income generation.

In the area of accessibility of the homes, Akinderu-Fatai pointed out that, according to the State Government Housing policy, the homes are targeted at first time homeowners, who are residents of the State, with a convenient mortgage system or outright purchase.

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In his words “The State Government has strengthened its convenient mortgage system under the Rent-To-Own Scheme of the Lagos State Mortgage Board to bring as many people as possible on the Home Ownership ladder. With an initial payment of 5% of the price and monthly payments spread over 10 years, Lagosians can become homeowners without experiencing serious financial hardship”.

Projecting the future years of the present administration, Akinderu-Fatai posited that the State Government will aggressively pursue the delivery of more homes by working with Private Sector investors, organise Housing Challenge Competitions to drive innovation in the building sector and ensure that the poor, the distressed and vulnerable have more access to social housing.

Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka lauded the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for activating the law that established Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), saying that “with the promulgation, the Agency is now empowered by Law to register Real Estate Practitioners/Property Developers across the State and issue licenses annually to genuine practitioners”.

Benson-Awoyinka continued that the new Agency is also saddled with the responsibility of investigating complaints and petitions against licensed and unlicensed Real Estate Practitioners /Property Developers as well as imposing sanctions in accordance with the Law where necessary.

She revealed that various stakeholders’ fora were organised by the government to enhance transparency in Real Estate investment transactions, stressing that the initiative, among others, is to help eliminate unethical Real Estate Business transactions in the sector and protect innocent citizens in the State from unscrupulous individuals.

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The Special Adviser disclosed that the Agency has launched a Portal for the registration of practitioners in Property Market and Real Estate Business, noting that the online platform was unveiled by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on 30th, October, 2019 at a grand event held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.

“The seamless and robust platform has been put in place to gather data of genuine stakeholders in the industry for the purposes of planning and promoting Ease of Doing business. More importantly, it was also a way of addressing the issue of sharp practices in the sub-sector in which many innocent citizens in search of accommodation, purchase and sale of property have been criminally defrauded by fake/dubious practitioners”, Benson-Awoyinka revealed.

She said, in order to further enlighten members of the public about the activities of LASRERA, series of interactive sessions with the Body of Permanent Secretaries of the MDAs and 57 Chairmen of the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, Officials of interrelated Ministries, Departments and Agencies, were held in the pursuit of achieving the goals of the Agency.

The Special Adviser hinted that the State is working on the Mortgage and Property Law Cap M5 Laws of Lagos State, 2015, which was established to generate a conducive environment for accessible and affordable mortgage/charge for the benefit of the citizens of the State.

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LAND TRANSACTIONS IN LAGOS FULLY GO DIGITAL NEXT YEAR – SANWO-OLU

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• Application And Payment For C Of O, Building Plans To Be Done Online

• Governor Addresses Property Investors At LASRERA’s Maiden Real Estate Conference

Beginning from first quarter of next year, all land related transactions in Lagos State will be undertaken online, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed on Wednesday.

The plan, the Governor said, is to further accelerate the process of getting approvals on land matters and create an enduring business-driven property development market in the State.

Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure at the maiden Real Estate Marketplace Conference and Exhibitions organised by Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), with the theme: “Unearthing real opportunities in Real Estate.”

The Governor said the State’s Department of Lands had built the required capacity for smooth transition to the online platform, stressing that the plan was already in its final stage.

When the web-based platform is finally launched, there will be no need for applicants seeking for Certificates of Occupancy (C of O), survey and building plan approvals to physically submit paper documents for authorisation. All documentation and payments will be done by applicants from the comfort of their homes.

Sanwo-Olu said the new development would bring about quick turnaround time in land transactions and boost private investors’ confidence in provision of home ownership model that will address deficits in housing.

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He said: “We have improved on our GIS solution to accelerating land matters in Lagos. From the first quarter of next year, we will be launching an online platform on which all land transactions will be done. When the project kick-starts next year, there will be one-stop shop for all transactions relating to land, including Governor’s approval on CofO, and building approval by Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.

“We have given our commitment on this, because of the need to improve the turnaround time from when people submit their requests for approval and the time the authorisation is completed. We cannot afford to disappoint private investors and applicants seeking real time approval. We are raising our capacity, so that we can respond to the requests and discharge them.”

The Governor charged residents and property developers applying for approvals to stop cutting corners and circumventing the process, stressing that sharp practices would only make it difficult for impatient applicants to get their documents approved.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration was committed to providing mass housing scheme that would address inadequacy in housing, pointing out that the establishment of LASRERA was part of the move to re-build integrity in housing market and gain confidence of private developers working with the Government to realise the State’s housing need.

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The Governor also harped on the need for massive regeneration of properties in mainland part of Lagos, charging real estate investors and private developers to divert their investment to rebuilding mainland and redistributing wealth from the business.

He said: “I need to charge the real estate investors that, everybody needs not build in Sangotedo or Ibeju Lekki. Let us go to mainland and start regeneration of the assets in that part of Lagos. This way, we would be redistributing wealth and creating opportunities for our citizens.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said the conference was held with an objective to bring stakeholders in property business in contact with relevant Government agencies and address bottlenecks slowing down property transactions.

She said LASRERA was created with a mandate to bridge the gap of credibility in property business, pointing out that the Government responded to the yearnings of industry players, having realised there were genuine real estate practitioners and property developers, as well as genuine home and property seekers who were desirous of credibility in real estate transactions in Lagos.

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Benson-Awoyinka said the regulatory agency, since inception, had set processes in motion to change the negative image of property development business and check malpractices which the sector had faced in the last decades.

She said: “As a Government that is determined to bridge the housing deficit in the State, we are aware of our role in not just the provision of houses, but also create an enabling environment for the private sector working hand in hand to a desired end.

“We are making a renewed appeal to investors in the sector to team up with the State Government to create a home ownership model that will help address the deficits observed in housing market in the State our through Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative in providing mass housing for our people.”

There conference featured exhibitions for home marketing firms, Government and private property developers.

There was also a panel of discussion in which private practitioners, heads of relevant Ministries and agencies provided explanations on housing market can be improved.

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Housing

LASG, MRA AGREE ON REVIEW OF MAGODO RESIDENTIAL SCHEME II PLAN

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  • Engages Stakeholders for cooperation

The Lagos State Government and the Magodo Residents Association have reached common grounds on contents of the review of Magodo Residential Scheme II Plan.

After several meetings, the two sides finally agreed to leave the estate as residential with no mixed developments, while those who had converted their uses would be made to revert to stausqou ante.

It was also agreed among others that no development would be tolerated on Magodo wetlands, CMD road would remain mixed use, while the other side of CMD road would be recovered as buffer zone for the Expressway.

Speaking at the Stakeholders’ meeting at the Magodo Community Hall on Friday, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako said that the review of the plan of the medium residential estate was important as it bordered on sustainability of the well-planned residential area for the benefit of all and sundry.

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He recalled that the Lagos State Government, as part of its intervention of bridging the housing gap in the State, had created the Magodo Residential Schemes, strictly as medium residential estates, through the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA) which had the mandate to develop residential schemes for different strata of the society.

He says: ” as a Government Scheme, it is a truism that your estate, at inception, had gone through the appropriate planning processes to bequeath a serene, orderly, organised and sustainable environment”

He added that standard partial and sectoral considerations had equally been made, in line with international best practices, while provisions had been made for all necessary services.

Salako decried the unapproved change of the estate plan by residents who had unilaterally and illegally altered their uses to allow offices, religious houses and commercial activities of different types spring up in areas where they are not designated.

” It is discomfiting how the Government vision of accommodating the elites of the society in an ambient environment is gradually supplanted by an unsalutary culture of arbitrariness, which, if care is not taken, may create planning disorder and throw up slumming challenges” he said.

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The Commissioner stated that given this background, government must intervene to restore order in line with the planning regulations which stipulates periodic review of estate schemes to meet contemporary needs.

” Given this realisation, the News Town Development Authority has spearheaded a review of the Magodo Residential Scheme II with the sustainability of the estate in mind as the ongoing review is intended to better the lot of residents of scheme and further the realisation of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the Lagos State Government” he said.

He urged stakeholders to volunteer their contributions to the review process and give their total support towards achieving a desirable outcome.

Also on the Government side were the General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, Tpl. funmi Osifuye, General Manager, New Towns Development Authority, Tpl. Kunle Aboyeji and Tpl. Bola Aliu, Director Technical Services, while the MRA BOT Chairman, Chief Owojori, Tpl. Rotimi Abdul, Rev. Akindele and Former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Fransisco Abosede spoke on behalf of the residents.

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Mukaila Sanusi
Assistant Director
Public Affairs
4th December, 2020

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Housing

No Money Was Stolen” – Fashola Denies Alleged Illegal Payments In Ministry

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 Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has dismissed a report on alleged illegal payments in the erstwhile Ministry of Power, Works and Housing he headed until 2019. The Mnistry of Power is now a standalone ministry led by Saleh Mamman.

In an investigative report published last week, Premium Times had reported that between September and December 2019, a princely ₦4.6 billion was illegally paid into the private accounts of some directors and employees of the erstwhile ministry.

The medium reported that the ministry’s payments of monies into private accounts violates chapter 7, section 701 of the financial regulation of the country.

But responding in a statement he personally signed, Fashola described the report as “stupid” and “irresponsible journalism.”

The minister explained that not all government officials have enrolled on the Integrated Payment Platform and Information System (IPPIS).

He said this had led the Directors of Finance and Accounts (DFAs) to obtain approval of the Accountant General of the Federation (AuGF) to pay these monies through the accounts of an approved few who were on the platform.

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Fashola noted that those approved then collect the money and disburse to the beneficiaries who sign receipts all of which are retired and available for verification as approved by the AuGF.

He further explained that the move was to ensure that government work was not hampered.

The minister emphasised that no money was stolen or is missing.

“The stupidity of the THOUGHT that a public officer will take such money on a consistent and repeated basis with impunity reveals the mindset of Premium Times about what they can do in such circumstances,” Fashola said.

“The pen writes what the mind thinks. That stupidity is magnified by the thought that the public officer who is trying to steal would be paying the money into his bank account where it can be found.

“The stupidity initially informed my decision not to respond to Premium Times in their latest publication headlined under my Name. It is a continuing line of a series of Attack FASHOLA.

“Regrettably, what Premium Times has done is to damage its reputation as a news medium for those who seek the truth.

“Clearly, no investigation was undertaken in respect of this publication as the report was from “Open Portal.”

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“If it was from the Open Portal then there was nothing to hide. If Premium Times had conducted any investigation it will find and report that payments like this occurred in many other ministries and have been a source of concern reported in other media by Compliance Authorities.

“If Premium Times investigated, it would have found and reported that Ministers do not manage accounts and finances of Ministries.

“A little investigation would have shown Premium Times that Directors of Finance and Accounts (DFAs) are those who do this job and they are staff of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and seconded to the Ministries as part of financial controls.

“If Premium Times investigated it would have found and reported that government in 2007 initiated a payment platform called Integrated Payment Platform and Information System (IPPIS).

“Any well meaning and right thinking member of the public will recall that this administration has been engaging all sectors of Government to fully migrate to the IPPIS platform.

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“What has happened is that not all Government Officials who, from time to time, needed to be paid for approved expenses were registered on the platform.

“In order to ensure that government work was not hampered, the DFAs sought and obtained approval of the Accountant General to pay these monies through the Accounts of an Approved few who were on the platform.

“Those so approved then collect the money and disburse to the beneficiaries who sign Receipts all of which are retired and available for verification as approved by the Accountant General.

“The Accountant General has recently issued new guidelines to deal with this process because not all public officials have fully enrolled on IPPIS and the DFAs have the mandate to comply and not FASHOLA.

“In all, no money was stolen or is missing. There is No Smoking Gun to criminalize Fashola.

“If anything has been stolen it is the Trust of the public by Premium Times. I will not believe anything they write again. This is not investigative Journalism. It is Irresponsible Journalism

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