The contractors handling the development of the 1188-unit Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMS) housing project in Sangotedo area of Lagos have been given October deadline to deliver the first phase of the project.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who gave this order during an inspection of the project at the weekend, told the contractors to deliver the project as directed or have the contract terminated.
By this order, Lagos residents, especially those in the Eti-Osa area of the state that are looking for homes to buy, will have 744 housing units, to be delivered in the first phase of the project, ready for them.
Overall, it is expected that in the next 30-40 days, the housing deficit in Lagos will shrink by the 744 housing units coming from this government scheme alone. Lagos, according to reports, has an estimated 3million housing units deficit, hence the high degree of ‘homelessness’ in the state.
Given an average of five persons per family, it means that about 3,720 persons will be taken away from the state’s crowded housing market currently populated by renters who represent over 60 percent of the state’s estimated 20 million population.
The LagosHOMS project which sits on 16.9 hectares of land took off in 2012. It was once abandoned, but revived by the Sanwo-Olu administration. The first phase of the project has 62 blocks of 12 flats each, while the second scheme has 32 blocks of 444 flats.
The governor, who was accompanied on the inspection tour by his cabinet members, had one-on-one engagement with the contractors during which he expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work on the project.
He warned those defaulting on deadlines, saying he would no longer tolerate delay in the work. Erring contractors, the governor threatened, would have their deals terminated should there be no progress in the next seven days.
“We have come on inspection of this massive construction site that is divided into two phases. The level of work on Phase One is over 90 per cent, but this is not the same on the second phase. In the next six weeks, we will be handing over the 744 units in Phase 1 of the project and all contractors working on it must complete their work,” he said.
“I commend all contractors that have worked tirelessly to push through; I understand this has been a very difficult project. We have been working night and day, trying to deliver the project. We want to be fair to every contractor and we appreciate those who have shown real resilience and commitment,” he added.
The governor said he was determined to deal with any erring contractor, telling them that they had just one week to scale up work on the project. “If there is no appreciable improvement, not only are we going to terminate those erring contracts, but also prosecute them,” he warned.
He pointed out that there was no reason for the contractors to delay the project and postpone deadlines, stressing that the state government had fulfilled its financial obligations in the contract.
Sanwo-Olu directed officials of the Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to monitor the contractors and submit progress reports on the project. He said the report would determine whether the contractors would be considered again by the state government for other projects.
He called out the defaulters, saying, “I have not come here to turn you away, but to make peace and restitution. For those contractors still working, we will wait for four more weeks of extensive cleanup before we finally commission the project.”