In response to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Muhammadu Buhari established the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) led by the Vice President; Yemi Osinbajo. The committee delivered the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan outlining objectives and key projects for various sectors, where a Mass Housing Programme expected to deliver up to 300,000 homes annually, plays a significant role. In February 2017, the government launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which had similar objectives including stimulating the economy through affordable housing construction. In this scheme, the government had planned to construct 2,700 housing units in the short-term to create 105,000 direct jobs a year and gradually increase to 10,000 housing units per annum by 2020. However, these targets were not met.
Similar to the ERGP, the government is employing labour-intensive methods to stimulate the economy across fields such as agriculture, housing construction, food security, renewable energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and the digital economy to create jobs. The mass housing strategy expects to create 1.8 million jobs. The strategy will be rolled out in two phases; the first phase is aimed at easing bottlenecks in the delivery of social housing while the second phase will deliver affordable homes through direct government interventions in house construction.
The first phase plans to:
- Develop standardized home designs to streamline production costs.
- Target 100% local input for the construction of 400 homes in each Local Government Area.
- Engage with state governments to provide suitable land banks.
- Create a ‘Homes Warehouse’ to buy any completed homes from delivery partners, in the absence of ready off-takers.
- Mortgage or sell homes to the public through the Homes Warehouse.
- Encourage private sector involvement and facilitate the maturity of the mortgage market that will cater to the needs of middle-class Nigerians while the government addresses the needs of low-income earners and the poor.
- Give construction contracts with guaranteed off-take to a mix of established developers, small and medium scale contractors and consortiums of young professionals in the building sector.
The second phase plans to:
- Build 10,840 units of low, medium and high-income units across the six geopolitical zones.
- Build additional 12,008 houses under the Public Building and Housing Development Programme.
- Provide construction financing through the Federal Mortgage Bank for up to 2,667 housing units per year.
The mass housing programme has a timeline of 12 months and an estimated cost of ₦317,292,377,973.48. The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Housing Authority are the government bodies to co-ordinate the delivery of this strategy.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s urban population is growing annually at 4.23% (2018) and its urban population accounts for 50% of its total population (2018). This surging urbanising rate largely caused by migration has increased demand for housing, and the inadequate supply of affordable housing explains its housing deficit.
Nigeria’s construction sector contributes about 4% to Nigeria’s GDP. It is a key employer of unskilled and semi-skilled workers and for every job created directly in construction, another job is most likely generated due to its strong linkages with other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, transportation, banking among others. The Nigerian government understands the importance of this economic activity in fundamentally stimulating economic growth. Hence, the key involvement in its growth plans.
Family Homes Fund (FHF) was designed to be major players in supporting this objective with a target of building 2,000,000 housing units by 2020. However, according to their most recent portfolio data, only 3,484 units have been constructed since 2016. The fund has now revised its objective to put 500,000 families in homes by 2024 following the inauguration of a new board in September 2019.
The construction sector, which grew by 1.69% in Q1:2020 has the potential to spur economic growth during this period. Judging by their previous performance, it will be difficult to trust the government’s ability to follow through with their plans for the Mass Housing Programme.
Lagos warns land grabbers to stay clear of state’s lands
Lagos warned land grabbers against fraudulent sales of government land.
The Lagos State Government has warned land grabbers against the fraudulent sales of government land, as it steps up efforts to address the menace in the State.
This was disclosed by the Lands Bureau in a statement shared via Twitter on Wednesday.
The Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro stated that the State was addressing incidents of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by land grabbers, known as ‘Omonile’.
He urged members of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, community leaders, land surveyors and other key players in the sector to see the land-grabber menace as a common enemy to the growth of the Real Estate sector and efficient land resources management in Lagos.
He said, “These Land Grabbers have now taken their game to a new level as they have the audacity to erect signposts bearing Lagos State Government logo and excision application file numbers in their desperate attempt to deceive the prospective buyers.
“This engagement is, therefore, crucial at this material time as we cannot afford to fold our arms while some dubious persons continue to take advantage of hardworking and responsible Lagosians by selling illegal lands to them.”
According to him, if the Omonile syndrome was not nipped in the bud, it would fester and continue to prevent many well-meaning corporate organisations from making investment decisions due to the confusion, anarchy and avoidable conflicts caused by land grabbers’ activities.
The Lagos State Lands Bureau has warned against fraudulent sales of government land, just as it stepped up efforts to address incidents of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by Land Grabbers, known as ‘Omonile’.@jidesanwoolu @lasglandsbureau @gbenga_omo#LASG pic.twitter.com/cEzJf1KDpL
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) February 17, 2021
What they are saying
Chairman, Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Mr. Bamidele Onalaja, explained that members of the Association were fully committed to working with the government to confront the challenge posed by land grabbers’ activities in the State.
The Co-Ordinator of the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Lands Grabbers, Mr. Owolabi Arole, noted that the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016, established a task force to enforce the provisions of the law and vested in it, power to arrest offenders.
What you should know
- Some of the communities where activities of land grabbers are most notorious in Lagos State are Okenla Village, Idake Village, Ajao Oki Village, Ladegbole Village, Imedu Village, Iratirin Village, Obadimisi Village, Shekina Alo Village, Fowoseje Village, Iraboko Village. Adamatiye Community, Ogunro Community and Sorogun Community – all in Ibeju-Lekki, as well as Ogombo Village in Eti-Osa and Oshiun Village in Kosofe, Lagos State.
Lagos re-channels, re-aligns Banana Island shoreline, says demolition continues
Lagos says there is an urgent need to nip the land extension work in the bud.
The Lagos State Government has commenced the re-channelisation and re-alignment of the Banana Island shoreline, with the dredging and re-opening of the illegally reclaimed portion of the Creek at 101 Close, First Avenue on the Island.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Arc. Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi, on Wednesday.
While inspecting the reopening of the creek, Abdullah explained that there was an urgent need to nip the land extension work in the bud.
According to him, the extension has narrowed the creek and brought about distortion in the aesthetics of the shoreline as well as a high possibility of environmental degradation.
The Commissioner stated that perpetrators of the illegal reclamation into the Lagoon violate the Physical Planning laws of the State, adding that they had been served with ‘Stop Work’ orders but persisted in the reclamation and construction.
He said, “State Government will not fold its arms and watch the degradation of its environment and attendant risk to life and property of the citizenry.
“The demolition, as well as dredging and channelisation works on the illegally reclaimed lands, will continue at Banana Island and other shoreline areas of Lagos in order to restore sanity.”
The Lagos State Government today began the re-channelisation and re-alignment of Banana Island shoreline with the dredging and reopening of the illegally reclaimed portion of the Creek at 101 Close, First Avenue, Banana Island.@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat @gbenga_omo#LASG pic.twitter.com/cG92uUH7pN
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) February 10, 2021
What you should know
- The State Government commenced the demolition of buildings that contravened the building laws and regulations in Banana Island on Monday.
- At 102 Close, K Zone, a section of the lagoon has been reclaimed with just the provision of narrow drainage for water to flow. As a result, the concrete and perimeter fence erected facing the lagoon were pulled down, while the building was sealed and the gate locked.
- At 306 Close, a two-storey building under construction was pulled down for not getting an approval to build, as the development encroached on the state shoreline.
- It would also be recalled that the Lagos State Government had sealed off 22 buildings in the Banana Island and Ikoyi axis of the state over lack of building permits and conformity issues.
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