The Lagos State Government has expressed its determination to remove all contravening structures from the proposed site for its Workers Village in order to commence construction work in earnest.
The Honourable Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, disclosed this during a stakeholders’ engagement forum with community leaders of Ejigbo, Ishefun and Ayobo in Alimosho Local Government Area of the State.
Akinderu-Fatai said, “The State Government is eager to deliver on its promises to the people in the area of housing as the issue of accommodation deficit is becoming very challenging due to rapid urbanisation in the State”.
“We are intent on moving forward by using all available resources at our disposal to create an impact by adding to the existing stock of homes in the State to ensure that a large percentage of the citizenry have access to decent homes”, he added.
He noted that the State Government has a target of constructing 608 two-bedroom flats at Ishefun in Alimosho area, especially for workers, in order to reduce the financial barrier faced by this category of citizens in their aspiration for homeownership.
The Commissioner averred that the expanse of land totalling 8.3 hectares was acquired by the State Government in 1999 for the sole purpose of constructing a housing estate with the collaboration of a foreign investor noting, however, that the project could not fly because of the activities of land speculators who sold off part of the land and scared off the investors.
While revealing that further encroachment occurred despite the State Governments constant warning to the land speculators, Akinderu-Fatai expressed the determination of the present administration to remove the obstructing structures and buildings so as to commence the project immediately.
Earlier the Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Housing, who also represents Alimosho Constituency, Mr. Bisi Yusuf, informed the community leaders that the proposed housing scheme is for the development of the area and will yield greater dividends than the selfish ends served by the encroachers.
He emphasised that the government will take back the land from encroachers by demolishing the obstructing structures as the land in question rightfully belongs to the State Government, appealing that those affected should vacate the vicinity as the removal of the illegal encumbrance will begin as soon as all due processes have been observed.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola, overruled the possibility of compensation to the owners of the contravening structures, saying “The land was illegally acquired by the people”.
He advised Lagosians to be wary of purchasing land without proper verification from the appropriate agencies of Government.
Speaking on behalf of the community leaders, Chief Lateef Sekoni expressed the readiness of the leaders and elders of the communities to support the developmental efforts of the State Government, while imploring the encroachers to salvage whatever they can before the State Government takes possession of the land.