Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has said that his administration planned to deliver 20, 000 housing units by 2018 to bridge existing housing deficit in the state.
Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, made the disclosure at an event to mark the 2017 World Habitat Day.
According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the United Nations in 1985, designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of towns and cities, and basic right of all to adequate shelter.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.’
He said the plan was part of government’s objective to make the state liveable.
Said Ambode: “Shelter is a man’s basic needs. The ongoing effort in the area of urban renewal and slum upgrading is to show our commitment to run an all-inclusive government and address the challenges facing the housing sector.”
The governor said that the state would continue to explore innovative ways through public-private partnership to provide decent and affordable housing for all.
He said: “As we strive to provide the enabling environment for investment in the housing sector, we are open to new ideas, technology and methods.
“The private sector remains our key partner in ensuring the delivery of decent, functional and affordable housing in the quality that will match the increasing demand across the state.”
In his lecture, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, a former commissioner for lands in the state, identified policy inconsistency as a major problem affecting efforts to provide affordable houses in the country.
Arthur-Worrey urged governments to consider trends and disparities in income and wealth in policy formulation to address the challenges of affordable housing.
Ambode said: “Governments should put in place rent control legislation to curb landlords’ excesses and protect the rights of tenants.
“Governments should also improve economic output and income for people to be able to cater for their housing challenges.”he said.
Mr. Rowland Kayalga, Director, United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, commended the state government for its efforts in ensuring an inclusive, safe, resilient, sustainable, affordable and accessible housing for residents.
He said: “Of all the states in Nigeria, only Lagos State commemorates World Habitat Day and I’m calling on other states to emulate it so as to bring the housing challenges in the nation to the front burner.
“Your greener and cleaner Lagos initiative, improved urban planning and slum upgrade are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is commendable.”he said.
In his remarks, Mr. Abiola Anifowoshe, state commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, said that making housing available and within the reach of the common man was a major priority of the government.