Hope of early allocation of buildings to subscribers of Ilubirin estate, a public housing project being built on reclaimed land in Lagos is fading, going by recent development at the scheme.
This followed the present government’s decision to carry out comprehensive review of the entire project, the Guardian learnt. Ilubirin Housing Scheme, which was conceived by the Lagos State Ministry of Housing through Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) in 2014, was expected to usher in a new era of affordable modern luxury in the heart of the state.
It was seen as key to mitigating the rising housing deficits in the state as it was poised to deliver 1,254, two, three bedroom blocks of flats.The project, which had Cyrou Builders as the main contractors, was abandoned for close to two years, before the Akinwunmi Ambode led administration jump-started the scheme, through a joint venture agreement with private investors, who planned to inject private capitals into the project.
Former Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal had attributed delays on the project on the need to get approval on the new proposal sent to the government.However, after a review of the proposals received from various companies to execute the project, the state awarded First Investment Property Company (FIDC) the contract to fulfill the vision of Ilubirin.
In June 2017, Profica Nigeria was appointed by FIDC to manage the construction of the state housing scheme alongside three other majors projects in Nigeria.
Consequently, the project was designed to accommodate live, work and play activities and expected to be built in seven phases starting with the completion of the existing structure which encompasses Phase 1 of the project, while completion of other phases of the project would span over a three-year period terminating in 2022.
Under the agreement, the first phase of the housing scheme was billed to be completed by the end of 2018 while sales to members of the public was to commence during the first quarter of 2019. Lawal also indicated that the project was transformed into a mixed used hub, which will create a ‘live, work, play’ environment from the initial design which would have delivered 1,254, two and three bedroom blocks of flats.
The new design was meant to comprise 472 units of living space designed as studio apartments, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom flats, terraces and penthouses, while commercial units and recreational facilities, as well as child day care facilities, are also included in the plan.However, the project ran into fresh challenges after Governor Akinwunmi Ambode failed bid for a second term.
Feelers from the State Government suggest that the new administration is comprehensibly reviewing the entire project, which may delay its earlier completion.
Confirming this development, Permanent secretary Ministry of Housing, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola told the Guardian that proper position of the government on the project will be clear at the middle of November. He stressed that the last administration actually ceded it to joint venture partnership agreement but the present administration is reviewing that arrangement.
According to him, it is a holistic review that covers designs, contractors and funding of the project.He said: “The review is going to be holistic , in terms of designs, funding and the contractor, that is why it is taking so long and by the middle of Next month a proper position will be made known.”