The Federal Government is expected to earn an initial amount of N25.7 billion and additional N150 million annually from ground rent following the approval of the development of Festac Phase II in Lagos on Wednesday.
The approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is one of the highlights of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting where government also announced the introduction of e-prison concept to check regular jail breaks which has been proven to be a result of connivance with corrupt prison officials. Today, 38,000 persons are currently awaiting trial in various prisons in Nigeria.
The government also on Wednesday denied the existence of an official website in the Ministry of Interior for the purposes of recruiting workers and warned Nigerians against using the said website.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who briefed State House correspondents alongside the Ministers of Interior, Abba Moro and that of housing and urban development, Ama Pepple, after the FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, disclosed that the meeting was devoted to the performance report of the Ministry of Interior and that of Housing and Urban Development.
Ama Pepple, speaking further on the Festac phase II project, said the ministry would be working with four companies including PW, Funtag, and two others to create 7,000 plots with all infrastructure expected in a new city.
“Today, council approved that we can concession the area we call Festac Phase II to a company called New Festac Property Development Company; they will be working with four other companies: PW Nigeria Ltd, SCC Nigeria Ltd; Enacco Nigeria Ltd and Funtaj. The area involved is 1126 hectares and we estimate
that when it is completely reclaimed and sand filled, because it is a swampy area, we will be able to create at least 7,000 plots and then the new area Festac Phase II will be like a new city with houses, shopping malls, schools, police station, health centres”.
Pepple said the proposal was first presented in 2006 but was turned down because government thought the projected income of N10.6 billion was too small, saying the new project would now yield as much as N25.7 billion, in addition to N150 million on ground rent annually.
She, however, added that the annual rent was subject to upward review when the project finally takes off.
“We worked on it again and we looked at what it will cost the company to reclaim the land and the figure that we came up with was N25.7 billion. It is going to be concessioned over a 30-year-period, but they are going to have a three-year moratorium to enable them to start and stabilise the project”.
The 1,126 hectares of land expected to be developed under the new scheme was part of the total land mass acquired for Festac 77 from the Lagos State government.
“Since the 1980s, every minister made efforts to develop the place. The land will be developed under a public-private partnership arrangement.
“We looked at the advantage and the value it will add before we decided to approve the project. We approved it because it was a creative way of adding value to our housing development programmes”.
Also speaking on encroachment into the Festac lands in Lagos, Pepple said government was aware of the development but did not know the extent of the encroachment.
“We are aware of the encroachment, but do not know the extent yet. But we know that when the developers finally take over, the full details will come out and we can deal with it”.
TONY AILEMEN, Abuja