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Lagos Affordable Public Housing Initiative

In light of the memorandum of understanding that was entered into by the government and investors, that sometimes barely see the light of the day, professional bodies have called on the various regulatory bodies to be up to their responsibility. It was observed that where some investors have the intention of putting on certain projects, due diligence that would ensure actualization of quality works are usually absent during the course of the project.

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In view of the recent announcement made by the Lagos State Ministry of Housing over the proposed partnership with a United States-based firm Business Development, Echostone, to build 2,000 houses, within the span of seven months, Dr. Johnson Okwudiri, a project consultant, said not much was put into the public domain to know how feasible such claim can be actualised within the time frame. It is gratifying to hear that 2,000 housing units would be provided in Lagos, by the President, Business Development, Ander Lindquist, of Echostone, the United States,  as widely reported, that the company would deliver 2,000 housing units in seven months.

However, with this kind of declaration, it’s necessary for the regulatory body such as Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to get involve and asked how this project would be achieved without compromising quality standard. According to Dr. Okwudiri , the land is not easy to come by in Lagos, and for any investor to sign a memorandum of understanding on such project must be subjected to scrutiny. He believed that cases of promised projects that failed to see the light of the day abound in Nigeria, was because officials entered into agreements that are not feasible. Although this trend is not limited to the case of Lagos, First Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, was also of the view that it’s so common that investors will just, out of voluntary intention, promised a project without professional backing or in-depth knowledge of problems and challenges associated with such projects. He also asked how many contracts have been awarded by the government that fails to see the light of the day? This is because most of them do not pass through the scrutiny of the relevant regulatory agencies.

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Awobodu is of the belief that the proposed 2000 housing units by the Lagos State and it’s partner are achievable if certain things are in place. According to reports, Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, explained that Echostone would use its money to deploy a new technology that would facilitate the construction of houses in record time, while the state government would provide land. The Commissioner was quoted as saying that the company is expected to develop 2,000 housing units of two-bedroomed-bungalows in three locations, starting with 250 units at Idale in Badagry. It will move to Ayobo in Alimosho and later to Imota in Ikorodu for the development of the rest of the houses. According to him, part of the government’s plan is to ensure that the Lagos Affordable Public Housing Initiative impacts on every part of the state.

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In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer, Echostone, United States, Anthony Recchia, said its new technology would enable the company to build a house within four days, adding that the company would deliver the first 250 units of houses in three months starting from February 2018.

Source: The Nigerian Tribune

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