Lagos seeks financial respite from  private sector funding of housing

Lagos State Government hopes private sector funding of the development of the 618-unit Jubilee Estate in the Iganmu area of the state through its public private partnership (PPP) initiative will relieve it from the challenges of scarce financial resources, provide job opportunities and bringing a major democracy dividend to the host community.

The project  is expected to create 3,590 direct jobs and about 7000 indirect jobs in the area which is populated by the informal sector practitioners such as artisans, labourers, traders and food vendors.

Gbolahan Lawal, the state Commissioner for Housing, who expressed this hope at a the signing of memorandum of understanding with Messrs Brains and Hammers Limited recently, explained that the project is designed to drive urban redevelopment in the area.

He  hopes that this effort would also result in increased property values in the surrounding environment and  re-position the current site from one which currently offers little value to a highly sought after and well-built residential development.

The name Jubilee Estate was coined by the administration of Governor Akinwunmi  Ambode to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of  the state and as such the estate will stand as a symbol of this celebration for many decades to come.

The commissioner disclosed that the housing deficit in the state stands at over three million, pointing out that,  in order to bridge the gap, about 200,000 housing units must be delivered annually for the next five years. He emphasized that government alone cannot deliver those units, hence the need to inject private capital into the housing delivery.

To achieve this purpose, the state government has made land available to interested private developers who have exhibited technical and financial capabilities for the delivery of affordable housing units.

“The project is a PPP between the Lagos State government represented by the Ministry of Housing and IBILE Holdings Limited on one hand and Brains and Hammers, one of the foremost housing developers in the country on the other hand. The state  stands to derive significant internally generated revenue through the taxes that will accrue from the sale of housing units and will also benefit from Land Use Charge and other statutory payments for property”, the commissioner said.

The estate will comprise 96 units of 2 bedroom flats, 414 units of 3 bedroom flats and 108 units of 4 bedroom terrace houses subject to actual usable land area on site. In addition to adequate parking facilities and excellent infrastructure, the development will encompass a well-equipped clubhouse with a swimming pool, recreational areas and landscaping. The project will officially commence  next month and the projected duration is 60 months from the receipt of all required approvals and permits.

While Lawal signed for the state government, Adebola Sheidu, chairman of Brains and Hammers and Abubakar Sheidu, company secretary signed for their company.

Speaking on the anticipated challenges in the course of executing the project, Ibrahim Wushishi, chief operating officer of the company said, “the potential challenges with the site are two-fold. First is that terrain is challenging for construction but over the years Brains and Hammers has developed the skill and competence required to provide quality construction regardless of terrain. We are leveraging on the best available technology in the form of vibro-flotation which will be used to stabilise the soil and prepare it to take large structures safely and securely.

We will also be working with Lafarge who are recognised as the largest producers of building materials globally and we will be working with some of the proprietary technology in the form of specialised and customised concrete. The second challenge we envisage is being able to keep up with demand for the housing units. Due to the strategic location, we have been inundated with demand. As we are only able to build a total of 618 housing units currently, we are saddled with the limited supply and very heavy demand.”

The finished development will be serviced by a stand-alone sewage treatment system that will have the required capacity and functionality to meet the needs of the estate in an environmentally-friendly manner without recourse to other facilities in the area. Similarly, there is a plan to provide an integrated power solution for the estate that encompasses dedicated electricity supply from the local power provider and on-site power generation which will be augmented by a solar-powered solution. This will ensure value for money for residents and ensure carbon emissions are kept to a minimum and the development is environmentally friendly.

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