Lagos State Government has solicited increased collaboration with the World Bank for the development of mass housing schemes in the State.
The Commissioner for Housing, Mr Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said this during a working visit by a World Bank team led by Dr Fuad Malkawi, Senior Urban Development Specialist and the Spatial Planning Community of Practice Leader at the organisation to the Ministry, calling for partnership with the Bank to ensure that the vision of housing for all, is achieved in Lagos State.
“Uninhibited migration to Lagos from other States of the Federation and some countries in the West Africa region has made the challenge of housing very critical. Given the littoral nature of the State, enormous support is required in the area of housing development”, Akinderu-Fatai stated.
He stressed that Lagos State needs to build thousands of more houses to accommodate the increased influx, soliciting assistance in innovative technology that could make housing development faster and safer across the State.
He said: “The required intervention in housing development now is a new technology that can make for a speedy delivery without any compromise on quality and safety”.
Emphasising the need for vertical development of homes so that the scarce land available in the State can be optimised for maximum housing yield, Akinderu-Fatai averred that collaborative efforts should also address the challenges posed by climate change and technology and the likely impact on designing new homes for the future.
The commissioner also urged the World Bank to support sourcing cheap funds, not necessarily foreign exchange, that could help increase the number of homes built and make them easily accessible through convenient mortgages for end users, particularly low-income earners.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing, Mr Kamar Olowoshago sought the help of the visiting team for the capacity development of middle-level professionals and artisans, noting that the utilisation of the indigenous workforce will reduce building costs as well as enhance the economic development of the State.
Olowoshago also appealed for assistance in the area of digitalised monitoring of ongoing schemes to ensure speedy completion and timely delivery of ongoing projects.
In response, Dr Fuad Malkawi, Senior Urban Development Specialist and the Spatial Planning Community of Practice Leader at the World Bank, expressed the willingness of the Bank to partner with the State in developing and implementing strategies for urban renewal in Nigeria.
He pointed out that issues related to housing cannot be treated in isolation without reference to an efficient transportation system, waste disposal and energy supply, stressing that the main focus of the World Bank is to help in setting priorities and ensuring that developmental projects achieve the desired impact on people’s lives.
Present at the meeting were management staff of the Ministry and the Urban Development Consultant to the World Bank, Dr Banke Abejirin.