The 10th meeting of the National Councils on Lands, Housing and Urban Development has ended in Lagos with
the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola urging participants to prevail on their State governments to recommit to housing development.
Mr Fashola also wants stakeholders to take advantage of the Federal Government’s move to connect interstate roads and the national rail network to build large residential and business facilities and to set aside land for sports, recreation and entertainment.
The Minister who pointed out the need for stakeholders in the built sector to reduce inequality stated that the country would become more prosperous when this is achieved, particularly when house rent becomes payable monthly.
“I am sure that our country will be a much better place when three years rent in advance, two years rent in advance or one year rent in advance for middle class and working family residential homes becomes monthly rent, payable at the end of the month. Why we may not get there immediately, this is an area of immense exclusion that we can remedy by legislative action at State level.
This is a matter in which the Federal Government has no legislative competence. It is a matter for the states, and I urge you not to turn your backs.Three years rent in advance of monthly salary paid in arrears lies at the heart of affordability of access to shelter.
All State legislators must see this as an important area of representation of their people to make life easier. So must Governors and Commissioners through Executive bills” he said.
Mr Fashola stressed the need for all States to title every land and employ the use of Geographical Information service, as this would boost property values and the individual State’s economy through taxation.
In his remarks, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu who expressed hope that the meeting would come up with far reaching recommendations said Lagos was already implementing the recommendations of the last meeting.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who highlighted his administration’s efforts in the provision of housing to the teeming populace of Lagos, said a trust fund is in the offing to assist stakeholders.
The Governor used the occasion to inform the Federal Government of the need to give Lagos a special Urban planning Status, the establishment of a National Urban and Regional Planning Commission to serve as a national umbrella for the initiation and formulation of national policies, and other key issues germane to the development of not just Lagos, but also other States of the Federation.
“Allocation issues of approvals and clearances for fiscal development in Lagos, especially as regards lands in places like Banana Island, Osborne Foreshore estate, Festac town, Satellite town. We believe autonomy of the state to determine and control fiscal development within its jurisdiction, in order to achieve a wholesome development is appropriate and is timely” the Governor suggested.
The week-long meeting had as its theme: “Housing Development As A Catalyst For Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Economic Development”.