Lagos to Inject $500m into Illubirin Housing Scheme

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Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Lagos State Government in collaboration with a private investor, is set to inject about $500 million into the Illubirin Housing Scheme on Lagos Island.

Consequently, the state government issued a seven-day ultimatum within which several shanties and illegal structures on the state’s waterfront should be demolished and removed without delay.

The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode revealed the state’s plan to bring private investment to Illubirin Housing Scheme when he visited the scheme alongside the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal among other members of the State Executive Council.

At the inspection, Lawal debunked insinuation that the Illubirin Housing Scheme had been abandoned saying that the project has been remodeled to accommodate 500 housing units.

Lawal, thus, disclosed that the state government had already collaborated with a private investor, which he said, would invest about $500 million into the scheme, noting that the state government “has perfected plans to make the scheme a live, play and work environment.”

He explained that about five hectares would be dedicated for leisure, while there would also be commercial activities, as well as flyover which would be constructed.

Ambode expressed concern on the erection of several shanties and structures within the premises and especially on the waterfront, noting that such would not be allowed in the state anymore.

According to him, I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all those living in the shanties around these schemes especially on the waterfront illegally that they should vacate the areas forthwith.

Ambode said the state government “has taken time to review its mortgage scheme vis-à-vis its financial flow. The Illubirin axis would be designed as live, work and play environment under a private sector initiative.”

“Other housing projects that we are doing are on course. I want to assure Lagosians that in the next few months, we will be seeing a whole lot of housing units being rolled out. We believe strongly that people should be able to pay one month rent and live in our housing schemes.

“We do not think in a recession, we should be having a situation where we allow people to come and buy when they don’t have money or to come and pay one year rent.

“We think the way to move forward is to allow these our younger ones to just pay one month deposit and pay one month rent and move into the houses and then more or less play up our rent-to-own scheme”

Ambode inspected the Federal Government Guest House in Marina which has been handed over to the state government and the ongoing ultra-modern Bus Terminal in Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island.

ANAN Urges FG to Increase Spending on Infrastructure

The 21st annual conference of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) has ended in Abuja with a suggestion that government should increase spending on infrastructural development to stimulate the economy.

A communique issued at the end of the conference said infrastructural development should be carried out “rather than tying money down at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the name of savings via Treasury Single Account (TSA).

According to a statement, participants said to get the Nigerian economy out of the present predicament, government should ensure speedy recovery of the ailing economy, foster growth and sustainability.

The conference recommended that there should be a clear policy direction, coordinated communication, more engagement with stakeholders, restoration of investor confidence, legal reforms, ease of doing business, and competitiveness.

Participants also identified the main drivers of corruption and target them for reform (anti-corruption legislation).

“Government should take urgent action that will ensure drastic reduction in the cost of governance, especially with respect to recurrent expenditure. New mechanism for whistle blowing should be incorporated into legislation, and Codes of Conduct for agencies and corporations;

“Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) should be strengthened for more effective performance through improved capacity, increased human resources and funding, assured welfare packages, regulated Professionalism and instituting coordinating centre for all ACAs,’’ the statement added.

Furthermore, participants also urged the Judiciary to be strengthened to effectively function as guardian of laws and integrity. They advised that government should ensure policy consistency, focus on all aspects of diversification including the oil sector and develop a strategy for the integration of the informal sector into fiscal economy for improved growth.

“Government should encourage growth of local industries and consumption of home products, making our naira to be stronger. Government should provide conducive environment for the private sector to thrive and generate employment.