The Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, says Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s housing policies are people-friendly for the benefit of different categories of people including the common man.
According to him, the Gov. Sanwo-Olu-led administration is making efforts to resolve housing challenges facing the state. He said that the state government was aware of the housing problem in the state as a megacity, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
“The government is not unaware of the housing deficit in the city by its population. We know millions of people need shelter. Though, the government cannot solve the housing problem at once. We are doing it bit by bit; different housing units for different categories of people and most especially, the common man,’’ Akinderu-Fatai said.
On how the common man would weather through the government’s bureaucracy to access housing units, the commissioner said that was the reason the government handed the housing units over to the Mortgage Board to manage.
“You see, we have two types of housing units, the Joint Venture Housing, and the Affordable Housing, which you need just five percent of the total cost to access. Then, spread the remaining payment monthly over 10 years. Of course, you have to be qualified to be able to benefit from this.
“Qualification means that you have a monthly income that can carry it because 33.1 percent of your monthly income will go into servicing it and you cannot transfer ownership until after 10 years,’’ the commissioner said.
When asked if the schemes were only for the people on paid employment alone, the commissioner said: “No, if you are into private business, all you need to do is bring proof of your income flow just to demonstrate that you have the financial capacity to pay. For those who have the cash, there is a Joint Venture Housing scheme. One for outright sale; you pay and get the house allotted to you, so you don’t have to go and disturb the scheme that is meant for the common man’’.
The commissioner explained how the program could be accessed by the people.
“My ministry is not directly in charge of sales. We have the Lagos Mortgage Board, we have the FBIC. These are the bodies you will approach. They have their programmes, and all you need is to key into their programmes. Walk into their offices, open an account with them, they would tell you what schemes are available. They do advertise; you don’t need to know anybody to access them” he said.
“People are already turning out in large numbers. We have a lot of applications, about 2,500 of them and we only have 492 flats for now and that is why it is going to be phase by phase,’’ Akinderu-Fatai added.
On his appointment into the cabinet, the commissioner described it as an opportunity to serve and at the same time a challenge to put smiles on faces of the common man. He said that an appointment into such an office in Lagos was not a tea party.
“For me, it is a call to serve, it is no longer come and have fun but work, work and work. We are talking about serving over 22 million Lagos residents, among whom we were privileged to be appointed. So, to me, it is not a tea party,’’ Akinderu-Fatai said.