Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday confirmed that the long awaited allocation of houses under the State’s Home Ownership Scheme (Lagos HOMS) would finally kick off in January 2014.
He made this statement at the 24thseries of the traditional 100 days in office commemoration of his administration which was held in the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
At the Teslim Balogun Stadium venue of the Lagos Central Senatorial District session of the event, a spokesman for the state, Mr Bosun Jeje, said that over 5,000 houses were ready for allocation under the scheme.
“There are also many other housing estates still under construction across the State,” Mr Jeje, who is the State’s Commissioner for Housing, said.
Responding to a question on the Scheme during the question and answer session, Mr Jeje said that the Governor had approved another housing estate in Ilubirin that would contain 1,259 housing units and another one at Ibeshe in Ikorodu Local Government Area of the State.
“With the frequency at which the estates come up, it would not be easy to put a permanent figure on the number of houses that would be ready before the take-off of the scheme. The houses are not limited but we have them coming up every day,” he said.
The Commissioner said: “One of the campaign promises that the Governor made at that time was that he would address the problem of housing in Lagos State. He knows it is a challenge and he promised that he would address it and he has started addressing it.”
Giving reasons for the delay in the kick-off of the allocation, the commissioner explained further: “In actual fact, the allocation was meant to start this December but we are trying to have a sustainable programme that is why it has not started. We want to make sure that everything that needs to be done must be done before we start the allocation”.
Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat while speaking on the Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), explained that the exercise is neither a census nor for the purpose of taxation.
The Commissioner, who is also the leader of the team of State Executive Council members at the Lagos Central Senatorial District said: “The exercise is meant to know the number of people that live in Lagos. It does not matter where you come from; whether you are Igbo or Hausa or Yoruba, once you live in Lagos. This will help us to plan infrastructure, plan hospitals, plan schools and so on and so forth. So we encourage everyone to go and register”.
On Health, Dr. Hamzat said that the State Government had increased the Maternal and Child Care Centres in the State to 10 reiterating that the idea was to bring healthcare to the doorsteps of citizens.
He said that within the period under review, the Government hosted the 56th National Council on Health with the theme; “The Health Sector Now and Beyond 2015.” Mr Jeje said that a total of 92 patients were screened for limb deformation correction surgery while milk sachets were distributed to 58,600 primary one pupils in 983 primary schools in the State under the Schools Milk Programme.
A question and answer session was held at the event, which had other members of the team joining Hamzat in answering questions from those present. They include the Commissioners for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Oworu, who delivered the welcome address, Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje, Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, Physical Planning and Urban Development, TPL Olutoyin Ayinde and Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adesina, among others.
Also present were Secretary to the State Government, Oluranti Adebule, Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, Body of Permanent Secretaries, Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Raji, the first Military Administrator of the State, Brig. Gen. Mobolaji Johnson and Chief Molade Okoya Thomas, among other dignitaries.