Again, Fashola Commissions 72 Units Elegant Court
…Reiterates Government's commitment to funding social housing
Oct 13, 2011 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday commissioned 72 units of three bedroom flats at Elegant Court located in Ikota in Lekki area, stating that the State will continue to partner with the private sector to develop similar accommodation for middle cum upper income strata and use the proceeds to fund its social housing provision.
Governor Fashola who spoke during the commissioning at the premises of Elegant Court, Ikota said during the campaigns for the last election, many opponents criticized the State Government for partnering to invest in luxury apartments, stressing that they were only exhibiting their ignorance.
"What they fail to realize is that if we don't invest in these types of houses and take the money to go and fund social housing, we will not find enough money to do it. We are the only creative government that can create such novel programme".
"Over the next few weeks, months and years, in fulfillment of our electoral promises, Lagosians should expect to see the commencement and completion of many more of these types of housing projects funded directly by Government and also in partnership with the private sector.
"For our government in Lagos, and our party , the Action Congress of Nigeria, housing delivery remains one of the time tested policies for creating growth, economic development, galvanizing employment and reducing crime", the Governor stated.
Governor Fashola recalled that a little over 16 days ago when he commissioned the 80 units of three bedroom flats in Ojokoro, he stated that the solution to the Lagos housing deficit did not lie with the State Government alone but will require a broad based coming together of all stakeholders, from the State to the Federal and to the private sector.
He stated that the State Government has been working diligently to create a platform for such collaboration.
"We have come this far because of our clear understanding that there are entrepreneurs in our society who have what we want and that we also have what they want. They want to do legitimate business by building houses to be sold to the middle and upper income strata of our society where there is a clear market demand. We have the land that we hold in trust for the people".
"We have thus engaged them to create a partnership where they offered to take credit from banks to finance construction and we offered to provide land and share the profits from the sale of the houses to be built", the Governor explained.
The Governor reiterated that the 72 units of bedroom flats which is built on 1.9 hectares of land represent one of the visible results of that partnership while among the invisible benefits are the profits made by the financing bank, Skye Bank who saw the opportunity for business and lent a hand to it.
He added that with the business partnership, Skye Bank is earning income for its shareholders and also keeping its employers at work when other banks are laying off staff.
Governor Fashola explained that part of the benefit of the project could also be deduced from operations of the State Government partners on the project, Messrs Cortex Limited who have successfully kept its 25 employees at work and paying their salaries.
He reiterated that for the 30 months that the construction lasted on the project, about 1500 men and women were engaged on the site and several vendors who sold food, water and many other things as well as the sub contractors who supplied building materials all earned a living to put food on the family table and take care of their dependants.
He added that the Ikota housing scheme is another Private Public Partnership (PPP) success of the government that is helping it to achieve its policy thrust of eradicating poverty and sustainable economic growth through infrastructure renewal and development.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Bosun Jeje said the Ministry of Housing has developed a template for appraising interested private developers as well as facilitating necessary sign-off from the relevant Ministries and government agencies on behalf of the developers.
Mr Jeje added that it is worthy of note that the Public Private Partnership is already yielding fruits as some of the partners have completed their projects while some have reached advance stages of work.
He also commended the developer for not just delivering houses for the upper- medium end of the market but for deeming it fit to also provide communal amenities on the estate which will no doubt go beyond shelter but a service that is world class in delivery.
In an address, the Managing director of Cortex Limited, Mr Olufemi Odunaiya commended the Governor for graciously granting the approval for the implementation of the housing scheme.
He added that the concept within the scheme is for residents to live life to the fullest as emphasis has been placed on having a healthy and safe environment, comfortable apartment, good sports and fitness facilities as well as independence.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Skye Bank Plc, Mr Kehinde Durosinmi–Etti who was represented by Mr Tajudeen Abdulsalam saluted the State Government for providing the appropriate policy thrust toward addressing the housing needs of the people of the State.
He gave a commitment that the bank will continue to support the State Government in the field of housing towards improving the quality of life of every Lagosian.
Prominent among those who attended the event were members of the State Executive Council, the Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi, the lawmaker representing the area, Mr Yishau Gbolahan, senior managers from Skye Bank Plc and other notable guests.
The Governor later cut the tape to formally declare the estate open before undertaking an inspection of one of the block of flats.