Filed in Real Estate by on March 21, 2011

Lagos launches N2b Isale Gangan urban redevelopment scheme
Monday, 21 March 2011 00:00 By Tunde Alao and Emmanuel Badejo Property – Property

IN the wake of on-going urban renewal schemes in sprawling Lagos metropolis, the state authorities have further deepened its urban regeneration initiatives in Central Lagos, with the launch of a multi- billion naira rescue plan for the residents, which will act as a pilot phase in kick starting projects to rid the state of slums and uneven development.

The project located at Isale Gangan is by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD) through its agency, Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority (LASURA) as part of the visions of Governor Babatunde Fashola to redevelop some urban settlements, which are already becoming slums.  It was fashioned along what is happening in Sau Polo, Brazil and other Latin America cities that share similar experiences with Lagos.

Specifically, the state government has already picked a foreign development firm – Anatolia International Limited as contractor for the development of 54 units of 11-storey building in Isale-gangan area of the Lagos Island Local Government. The 2,500-square metre property traversed Binuyo, Princess, Onala and Isale Agbede streets, all in the area that usually referred to as “Lagos proper”.

Estimated at about N2billion, the project would be completed in 24-months period.  It is coming as a residential development of two and three bedroom apartments occupying a land size of 2,500 sq. metres.

To actualise the residential scheme, the state government, through the appropriate agency had presented cheques of various amounts to the affected families to seek for alternative accommodation pending the completion of the project.

The Commissioner in charge of the ministry, Mr. Francisco Bolaji Abosede, a town planner, whose ministry will co-ordinate the project, said that the terms of reference signed by the contractor included the redevelopment exercise that was to last for two years from the day they were mobilised to site.

Speaking on the project last week, LASURA General Manager, Mr. Sulaimon Yusuf, also a town planner, said that the project was on course and would be delivered in due time.

Explaining the peculiarity of the project, Yusuf narrated the extent at which the affected 15 families held several meetings before they were convinced of government’s sincerity on its proposal.

According to LASURA general manager, it was not easy for the families to relinquish their property, but when they realised that it was to their advantage and that of government to allow even development, different from hitherto haphazard individual development that were fraught with several inadequacies, they willingly yielded to government’s plan.

The plan involved the relocation of the affected families to Amuwo-Odofin, where each of them was provided with 3-bedroom flats. However, because of large size of some family members, some of them opted out of the offer, instead, they collected two years rent from government to seek accommodation of their choice elsewhere.

Beyond their relocation and compensation, government still factored into the scheme, the opportunity for all the families to benefit from the new building after completion, with all of them to have a flat each.

However, what Yusuf considered the most unique aspect of the programme was the consideration given to the tenants that occupied those buildings before the demolition exercise.

According to him, it had never happened before that after the landlord(s) of a government acquired property was compensated that the tenants would be considered.

“But in this case Governor Babatunde Fashola ensured that the interest of the tenants were put into consideration, hence, the approval of financial assistance to all the tenants to get alternative accommodation. To be sure that none of them was left out, proper identification was carried out with their pictures taking and their identities fully authenticated,” said the LASURA general manager.

To ensure that the project stand the test of time, facility managers would be appointed at the completion to manage the building, while the would-be tenants responsible for payment.

Yusuf also hinted that the building would be leased to individuals or corporate bodies that would find the place suitable. “Essentially, the initiative is to discourage collapse of building that characterised the Lagos Island in the recent years as a result of deficient physical development either by incompetent and unqualified developers or inability to meet the required finance that put up a durable structure. But with this initiative, property owners that include government and other stakeholders would benefit immensely,” said Yusuf who hinted that his office had received several applications from different families, especially, in Epetedo area of Lagos Island to embark on similar exercise.


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