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Mixed feelings as Lagos housing corporation delivers 27,000 homes in 50 years

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LLast week, the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) rolled out drums to celebrate its 50th anniversary in which it delivered 27,000 homes.

The company also provided an update on its interventions in the housing and real estate market over the past 50 years.

The company was established by Edict 1 in 1972 as a government agency responsible for developing conducive and modern housing projects to meet the needs of lower and middle class families, while transforming urban residential communities into planned neighborhoods and habitable.

The Managing Director and CEO of LSDPC, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, said the company has achieved remarkable results in fulfilling its mandate, pointing out that the agency has developed its housing program according to the needs. lower and middle class families.

He said: “Over the past five decades, we have realized the vision of our founders. The next few decades would be better and rewarding for society as we open new frontiers of innovation and partnership to deliver safer, decent and sustainable housing programs to the residents of Lagos.

However, as the company celebrated its achievements, feelings were mixed about whether it had truly fulfilled its mandate against the state’s soaring housing deficit, which is estimated at more than 3.2 million, making up 11 % of national housing deficit.

Our correspondent reports that Lateef Jakande, the state’s first civilian governor, was renowned for his mass housing policy, especially for the poor and low-income people. Until today, the Jakande estate remains scattered in every nook and cranny of the state, although it is now mostly taken over by new owners at exorbitant prices.

Our correspondent’s findings revealed that more than 60% of the 27,000 units (17,917 units) were actually delivered under Jakande.

The breakdown contained in a souvenir book chronicling Jakande’s housing achievements includes 3,312 in Amuwo Odofin; 954 in Iponrin; 90 in Abule Nla; 3,939 in Isolo; 4,168 in Abesan/Agege; 2,328 dolphins/Anikantamo; 2,352 in Iba; Maryland, 144; Surulere, 90 years old; Ikorodu, Badagry and Epe, 180 units each.

Akin Akintola, an engineer, said there was nothing to celebrate with successive governments’ achievements in housing.

He said, “It’s not them who self-assess, it’s the people. Go check the stats of the houses in Jakande, they are owned by individuals and the oppressed. How many people can afford their house? This should give you a clue about their accomplishments.

“If they give us the statistics and the number of poor people who have access to houses like we had during Jakande, then we can congratulate them.

“Today Jakande houses are spread in every nook and cranny and those who never thought of having houses in Lagos ended up having and it was like a struggle but they can boast of have their own homes.”

“The day when you and I can just go like we want to buy a sim card like what they did with Jakande, I think that’s the day we can celebrate,” Akintola, former chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Ikeja Branch, added.

Some observers believe that the company’s full commercialization under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2003, when it stopped receiving subsidies, hampered the company’s ability to provide affordable housing to the poor.

At present, an average two-bedroom apartment by society costs between 25 and 38 million naira.

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, former Managing Director (MD) of the company, who graced the event with the theme: “Spreading Out Arms to Join Hands: Driving the Property Market of Lagos,” said the milestone being celebrated by the company was the effort of generations of Lagos residents who had worked at the agency since its inception.

Sanwo-Olu said, “The milestone the LSDPC celebrates today is not the work of one individual but the hard work of an entire generation. This glory belongs to all of the Governors who have given LSDPC carte blanche to flourish, as well as to all of the staff who have worked in the company since its inception. This progress demonstrates alignment with the vision of its creation and determined leadership.

“I particularly acknowledge the efforts of current and past leaders of the company who have worked hard to build this great institution. They have built this great family name that we are all proud of. We appreciate the private sector partners who have taken the risk and worked with the government to breathe new life into housing development.

The Governor further said that the provision of comfortable housing remained a cardinal priority in his administration’s development agenda, pointing out that the LSDPC was a key agency used to deliver on his government’s housing promises to transform Lagos into a city of the 21st century.