Stories by Maduka Nweke, [email protected] com 08034207864
THE Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), said it has initiated a programme which the Federal Government could develop to make decent and affordable housing available to all the citizens.
Speaking on the programme, President of NIESVs, Dr. Patunola Ajayi, urged the Buhari administration to tinker its programme on housing to reflect what it preaches, stating that there are people who cannot afford these houses unless the costs are masses-friendly and accessible to them.
Making the call during NIESVs’ 46th Annual General Meeting in Abuja, Patunola, stated that by the time government reforms its housing programme, there would be enough housing for the masses.
According to him, “government should inject money into housing and power. Any money available now should be injected into these projects because they are projects that would generate quick employment for all cadres.
“The situation in the country presently is really tense. The people need a programme that will give them relief. By the time some of these projects are kicked off, activities will start and by the end of the year when we are accessing we will see that things have really improved.
“If there is power supply, we can boast that 50 per cent of our national problems are solved. Any money available right now at the national and state levels should be injected into housing and power. I want to ensure that during my tenure, the institution would become a household name. Our job is in the area of property management, valuation, facility, project management and estate agencies.
“The beauty of housing projects is job generation for all cadres. Government should take quick action to ensure projects are initiated. By the time these projects kick off, there would be relief in all sectors. The situation now is tense. We need a programme that would give relief so that by the end of the year, when we are assessing, we would see that things have taken a new turn.
“My desire is to see that it attains international standard and stands out as the best in the world wherever it is mentioned.
“On government’s activities in road, power and housing, they are still working on the budget. When I saw the proposed budget, it is obvious that there would be need for a re-think on putting more into capital project, especially on works and housing. Government should move in any way they can to build houses for rent.
“The Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Babatunde Fashola, is really trying. Though rulership is a matter of delegation of authority, he should be able to manage all the ministries.
“Works, power, housing are all connected; all he needs is synergy among those managing the sectors. When they come together on the same drawing board, they can map out strategies on how to put things in place for national interest.”
The NIESV President noted that presently the government has not started work because the budget has not been sorted out. He said, “it is money that drives everything and until money is allocated and contractors are mobilised, then we know that work has started.”
Lagos succumbs to pressures, orders reopening of sealed estate
INTENSE pressures from some quarters may have forced the Lagos State Government to order the reopening of the residences of Lekki Gardens, earlier shut on the orders of Governor Akinwumi Ambode over a month ago
The reopening order followed series of protests by Lekki Gardens Residents’ and Homeowners’ Associations in the aftermath of an advertorial in one of the national dailies inviting investors in the estate to engage the services of a law firm to file a class action to seek judicial reprieve.
After a meeting from which a communique entitled, “Committee of Lekki Gardens Residents’ and Homeowners’ Associations,” emanated, the associations marched on the office of the Lagos State Governor, Alausa. Realising that the governor was out of the office at the time of their arrival, they moved on to neighbouring Lagos State House of Assembly where they submitted a copy of their communique for onward transmission to the governor. In the communique, members contradicted the position canvassed in the publication sponsored by Ms Funke Aboyade, that the investors suspected that the buildings being built by Lekki Gardens were defective and that the class action suggested by Ms Aboyade was not in the interest of the residents and owners of Lekki Gardens buildings. They further informed that, “houses developed by Lekki Gardens already belong to investors as the homes are sold ‘off plan’ and that among owners of the buildings were very experienced lawyers who have all decided to “identify with and actively work together with the various Resident and Homeowners Associations and the Home Owners and Residents Forum of Lekki Gardens Estates in the various steps being taken to protect the investments of all the home owners, residents and investors without exception.”
Ambode had ordered that the entire Lekki Gardens estates be evacuated within 14 days, on March 15 following the collapse of a five-storey building under construction in the estate.
Recall that last Wednesday, the state government ordered the sealing off of the Lekki Gardens estates making it impossible for home owners to have access to their homes. In a press release issued by the homeowners, they expressed their pain, saying “that having bought into the Lekki Gardens estate with our hard earned money, we were surprised that on return from work on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, we have been locked out from our estate without prior notice.”
The homeowners/residents further stated that these homes belonged to them and not the Lekki Gardens Estate Limited, adding that the government was violating their fundamental human rights by its action.