Lagos State commissioner for housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has disclosed that the state plans to build 50 housing units in each local government in a bid to create new settlements across the state.
“If you want to reduce rural-urban migration, you must be able to stimulate socio-economic activities in rural areas and their environs. For instance, look at Epe, it is close to Lekki where we have the Free Trade Zone. So, people can conveniently live in Epe and Lekki which is just about 10 minutes’ drive to the FTZ,” Gbolahan told newsmen in an interview.
“… we cannot say we want to have 200 housing units in a place like the Lagos Island for instance. The area is already congested. This is why we must find a way around it.
“So, with 50 housing units in each LGA, and with our one-in-sixteen model that is on the way, it means we just need like three blocks to develop 50 housing units in each LGA. This means that we won’t need so much land for the houses. Again, because of the problem of productivity of workforce, we want people to live near where they work; while we are working on other social infrastructure. With that, we will be able to have growth”, Gbolahan said.
Speaking further, Gbolahan noted that Lagos land mass is just 3, 750 square kilometres; “Now we have to go vertical way of construction in order to accommodate more houses and people. So, in our estates, we encourage four floors and as physical infrastructure facilities improve, we can move up to six floors. Our physical planning regime will change.
“When that time comes, the Physical Planning Ministry will adjust the policy of government where it says you cannot go above four floors in certain areas. Rapid population is a major concern. The growth rate is 2.8 percent; but is housing growth rate commensurate with population growth rate? The answer is no. So, we have to find a way of making the hinterland liveable, making economic activities expand to those places so that it will help in reducing rural urban migration”, Gbolahan noted