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Lagos Debunks Omole Phase II Residents’ Position On New Houses

The Lagos Government, Tuesday debunked allegation of illegality and impunity made against it by residents of Omole Phase 11 Residential Scheme over construction of some blocks of flats at the Estate, saying it has done no harm by constructing the flats which, it said, is part of the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme.

The government insisted that it had done nothing wrong by constructing the flats as part of the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, Lagos HOMS.

Some residents of the Estate, who protested at Lagos State House of Assembly had accused the government of breaking its own laws and manifesting impunity by erecting the blocks of flats, claiming that the government had earlier been written on the matter but refused to respond.

But at a briefing, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Town Planner, Toyin Ayinde, explained that there was nothing wrong in the government action which, according to him, “is an initiative to increase housing stock for the benefit of the entire public and citizenry of Lagos State.”

The Commissioner, who was accompanied at the briefing by his counterpart in the Information and Strategy Ministry, Lateef Ibirogba, among other members of the State Executive Council, said government “has operated within the provisions of the Physical Planning, Urban Development, Urban Regeneration and Building Control Law 2010 which allows for the Governor to give assent to Special Building Projects.”

He said in due regard of that provision, Governor Babatunde Fashola issued an Executive Order to empower such projects to be located in pursuant of the authority vested in him as Governor “that any Lagos HOMS project within an existing Government Scheme/Built-up area is Special Building Project under the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning Law 2010.”

According to the Commissioner, the Governor’s Executive Order also empowered all concerned Agencies of the State Government to give priority to all matters relating to Lagos HOMS Project, reiterating that the project was a housing initiative of the Government meant to address and solve the State’s inadequate housing problem.

Noting that the State was constrained of land with just 3,577 square kilometres against a population of over 22 million people, the Commissioner declared, “This population cannot be accommodated in low density development; it is not sustainable.”

He said to adequately address the problem, government “must begin to shift from the policy of low density development to increase density as done in all other places in the world if we must accommodate the people and their activities” noting that the Ikoyi and Lekki axis had been experiencing increased density over the last few years.

The Commissioner, who appealed to citizens to be tolerant in the process of change, expressed the commitment of government to increasing the housing stock in the state and the determination to continue to seize every opportunity to do so pointing out that the plots upon which the HOMS were erected were abandoned parcels of land taken over “for overriding public purposes.”


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