First set of home owners emerge as Fashola flags off first draw of the Lagos HOMS

...Says second phase of initiative, to involve private sector builders, would increase monthly allocations

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), Tuesday flagged off the first draw of the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos H.O.M.S.) with an appeal to emerging the home owners under the Scheme to endeavour to meet all obligations that come with the ownership.

The colourful ceremony, which drew a large audience of prominent Lagosians including the former Governors of the State, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (rtd) and Alhaji Lateef Jakande, was performed at the LTV Blue Roof Hall where elated winners of the homes were presented with certificates of ownership prior to the handing over of the home keys to them.

In his remarks just before the draws began, Governor Fashola emphasized the need for prospective home owners under the scheme to pay their monthly mortgage regularly pointing out that it would ensure that money would always be available to build more houses and give other taxpaying Lagosians the opportunity to also benefit from the scheme.

 He told the prospective home owners, “I want to make, perhaps, the most important appeal that the right to own a home also brings with it responsibilities. One of the important responsibilities that successful home owners will have is the responsibility to pay the monthly mortgages; that is their commitment and their responsibility”.

“By so doing, you will bring back a pool of money into the system that allows us and enables us to build for other people who have also paid taxes and who are waiting on the queue”, the Governor said adding that if all mortgage owners who benefit from the scheme pay up their mortgages promptly, in seven years time the scheme would become self-sustaining.

According to the Governor, “In that case the Lagos State Government will no longer need to put any more money into this scheme because of the money that will be coming out. So that is the biggest responsibility that home owners have”.

Other ancillary responsibilities which the owners have, the Governor said, include “the responsibility to pay rates and charges that come with the privilege and the right to own a home, such as maintenance charges”, pointing out that the scheme would not allow a situation where after houses have been sold to the people, Government would still bear maintenance responsibilities.

“If you see many of the homes built by Alhaji Lateef Jakande over the last few years’ government still has the responsibility to go and clean, to go and paint, to go and maintain homes that it has sold. This will not be allowed under this scheme. Home owners must take responsibility for their homes and pay maintenance charges”, he said.

The Governor said such self-maintenance would provide jobs for estate management firms and other small companies providing services such as installation and repair of electrical and other household appliances, clearing of drains and other responsibilities that would provide jobs for unemployed people.

 “So we have no reason why engineers, estate surveyors, civil and electrical engineers will not have jobs in small companies; because electrical appliances will need to be changed and repaired, drains will need to be cleared and so on; and this is the way by which we can all support ourselves.

“This is the critical value chain benefit of this housing scheme”, he said adding, “Of course, there are other obligations which I believe our mortgage counselors must have gotten you through. As long as you keep those obligations I am positive that all will be well”.

On the second phase of the Lagos HOMS initiative, Fashola said the Committee was already working out the modalities that would allow Private Sector builders to participate in the scheme explaining that Government would be the guarantee purchaser of the homes built by them for sale to the public under the scheme.

“By so doing, we will be in the position to either double or triple the number of homes from 200 to 600 or 800 per month if we allow private sector to build. We will buy from them and put into the mortgage pool and distribute out”, the Governor said.

Recalling that while inaugurating the Scheme last month he said the aim was to move Lagosians “from desperation for Housing to an orderly and predictable lifestyle”, the Governor declared, “That is our dream and I believe that when people can dream things, their hands can do it. Our journey really begins today and there is not much to say anymore than to see Lagosians begin to put their steps on that ladder, the ladder of prosperity that we have designed for them”.

On whether or not the Lagos HOMS initiative will continue after he has left governance of the State, Fashola explained, “The institution is emerging, people have taken control. I have walked here this morning to come and see what is happening and I am pleased with what I see and I am proud of what our team is doing”.

“Of course, most importantly, transparency has been demonstrated so far and would be demonstrated throughout these proceedings; because, as I said when I inaugurated this scheme, a lot of people said we have sold the houses to ourselves, but the real home owners will emerge in a transparent process before you today”, he said.

 The draw, which was supervised by the officials of the Lagos Mortgage Board, including the Executive Secretary, Mr. Akinola Kodjo Sagoe, produced a total of 31 winners in the three categories of One, Two and Three bedroom homes spread across the five estates that were up for sale including Sir, Michael Otedola Estate, Odogunyan in Ikorodu, CHOIS Estate, Abijo, Lekki, Shitta Scheme 1 and 2, Surulere, Alhaja Adetoun Mustapha and Hon. Olaitan Mustapha Estates, Ojokoro and Oba Lateef Adams Estate Iloro, Agege.

In his remarks earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos Mortgage Board, Mr. Akinola Kodjo Sagoe, explained that a total of 200 houses were available for the draw pointing out, however, that out of the 322 applicants in the different categories, only 98 met the requirements and cutoff date for submission of forms for the first draw.

According to him the remaining 169 houses from the first draw would be rolled over to the next draw for next month where both those who could not win this month and those who did not meet the requirement for the first draw will have another opportunity without having to apply again.

From Tuesday’s draw, six persons won one 3-bedroom flat each while another six won one 2-bedroom flats each and two persons won one 1-bedroom flats each in Shitta Scheme in Surulere, four persons won one 3-bedroom flats  each in Hon Olaitan Mustapha Estate, Ijaiye, Ojokoro, ten persons won one 3-bedroom flats each in Oba Lateef Adams Estate, Iloro, Agege, two people won 3-bedroom flats  each in CHOIS Gardens, Abijo, while one person won a 3 bedroom flat in Alhaja Adetoun Mustapha Estate Ijaiye, Ojokoro.

Highlight of the well-attended event was the picking of winners from the transparent drums which was done by some prominent personalities including First Lady, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, former Deputy Governor, Abiodun Ogunleye who represented Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and House of Representative member representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Present also to witness the epoch-making occasion were First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Emmanuella Fashola, members of the State Executive Council including Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba and his Commerce and Industry, Economic Planning and Budget, Housing and Finance counterparts, Mrs. Olusola Oworu, Mr. Ben Akabueze, Mr. Bosun Jeje and Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi respectively, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Supo Shasore (SAN), Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye who represented  former Governor of the State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, participants in the Scheme, traditional rulers, captains of industry, Party and community leaders and other stakeholders in Housing industry.

Culled from Lagos State Website

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