The Oyo State government has concluded plans to set up a task force that will be saddled with the responsibility of tackling the activities of land grabbers in the state.

Land grabbers have been a menace to vendors, buyers and developers with their crude extortionist methods.

The Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Olusegun Olayiwola, disclosed this at the launch of the first Land and Homes Raffle Draw in Oyo State being promoted by the convened of the Ibadan International Housing Fair, Mr. Ola Rotimi-Sodimu.

The Commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Mofoluke Adebiyi, said the state government had set a machinery in motion to bring the activities of land grabbers under control with a view to bringing about equitable distribution of land and development in the state.

The Commissioner announced that the body would be a task force that would be headed by a retired justice in the state judiciary.

“They are fully on ground to control the issue of land grabbing in Oyo State. We have no tolerance for that anymore. And all these is to ensure equitable distribution and making housing available for all. It’s a task force, a separate body headed by a retired justice in Oyo State,” Adebiyi said.

He added that the state government was also strengthening legislative instruments so that the government can do better with the national housing policy which the State government had bought into.
He called for the continued collaboration of the private sector players in the housing sector of the Oyo State economy, noting that with proper synergy and determination, housing for all would be achievable and would cease to be a mirage.

He also called on private developers to ensure the use of the best materials for their construction, noting that this was the surest way of preventing the menace of building collapse.

Speaking earlier, the promoter of the Land and Homes Raffle Draw, Mr. Rotimi-Sodimu, said 55 Oyo State residents would have “the chance to become land and homeowners through a free and fair raffle draw and we have secured the approval of the Oyo State Gaming Board.”

According to him, five units of three-bedroom, two-bedroom and semi-detached bungalows, “and at least 50 plots of land will be handed over to lucky winners that will emerge from the draws.”

Rotimi-Sodimu explained that the idea was borne out of the need to reduce the housing deficit in the state and Nigeria through the lottery project, saying the venture “has the support of the Federal Mortgage Bank management to provide mortgage support for all the land price winners.”

Rotimi-Sodimu said he came up with the idea as a means of reducing the housing deficit in Oyo State and Nigeria.

Rotimi-Sodimu said five units of three-bedroom, two-bedroom and semi-detached bungalows, and at least 50 plots of land will be handed over to lucky winners that will emerge from the draws billed to take place on July 26 and 27, 2023.

He said: “Our mission is to create the next generation of landlords by reducing the housing deficit in Oyo State and Nigeria through this lottery project. You will agree with me that various policies and interventions on affordable housing in Nigeria have been relatively unproductive to date.

“With rising population, urbanization and standard of living, there is an urgent need to think outside the box to find a solution to the age-long national housing deficit.”

Rotimi-Sodimu regretted that “the low and middle-income Nigerians had been deprived of affordable homes,” and expressed the belief that the “housing raffle is a game-changing strategy.

“Our short-term goal is to create hundreds of landlords quarterly, the long term goal is to create 10 million landlords by the year 2030”, he added.

He disclosed that many property companies were in partnership with the idea and also announced that the management of Federal Mortgage Bank had agreed to provide mortgage support to all the land prize winners.