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REPORTS compiled by experts in the housing sector have revealed that there are many abandoned properties in Lagos State; a development experts believed not helpful to the development of the economy of not only Lagos, but Nigeria as a whole.
A recent report has it that the value of some of the abandoned properties, especially those in Victoria Island, currently stands at above five billion naira, while private individuals, the Federal Government as well as various state governments have been found to be guilty of this development.
For example, according to a recent survey carried out by Property and Environment, apart from many abandoned residential properties, there are many abandoned buildings which once served as liaison offices for many states over two decades ago.
Some of such buildings can be found at the Ahmadu Bello section of Victoria Island adjoining the Bar Beach. This
includes the Oduduwa House jointly owned by the Yoruba states including Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti.
However, recently, during the tour of Eko Atlantic City, the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development in Lagos, Mr Olusegun Oniru, described the abandoned government liaison houses as a threat to the environment, while also revealing that the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had been urged to bring the matter into the attention of his colleagues at the Governor’s Forum with a view to finding a lasting solution to the abandoned properties.
On what qualifies a property to be categorised as ‘abandoned’, a property consultant, Mr Desmond Elechi, hinted to Property and Environment that “a property cannot be considered abandoned if at least one tenant still exits.
“A property cannot also be considered to be abandoned if the property owner lives overseas but occupies the property for a short period once every two years or so, when he comes visiting.
According to Property and Environment’s survey, many of the abandoned buildings, which doubtless must have caused the owners millions to construct, are in a state of total disrepair as visibly evident in their damaged roofs, windows and doors, while in many instances, they also have their paints faded.
In a recent chat with Property and Environment, the immediate past president of Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Mr Tunji Bolu, had described the neglect of the buildings by the various state governments as well as individuals as sheer wasteful of public funds.
Another Lagos based estate surveying and valuer, Mr Asoquo Essien, also lamented the high number of abandoned properties in the state. He described the development as unfortunate, while also insisting that they were assets wasting away.
It will be recalled that recently, the state government had given a clear warning that it could take over all abandoned properties within the landmass of Lagos, because they had the possibility of becoming hiding place for criminals and miscreants, among other problems.
The aim, according to officials in the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, is to forestall security threats in and around the Lagos metropolis.
Similarly, recent reports have it that the Lagos State Government had decried the abandonment of 87 housing units in some of its estates, saying they constituted environmental and security challenges.
According to information gathered, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Bosun Jeje, last week, expressed the displeasure of the government at the development, while urging owners of the houses to immediately take physical possession of them.
Failure to do so, according to the commissioner, would leave the government with no other option but to implement the terms of the agreement entered into by the concerned parties to the letter.Share