The federal government, on Wednesday, announced the commencement of 20,000 affordable mass housing Renewed Hope Cities and estates projects in Lagos State.

The project is under the recently launched Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Scheme of President Bola Tinubu to provide 100,000 affordable mass decent housing to Nigerians across the nation.

The permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Markus Ogunbiyi, made the announcement while inspecting ongoing housing projects and government land available for additional construction under the scheme.

The permanent secretary began the inspection with various parcels of land belonging to the ministry at Census Close in the highbrow area of Surulere.

Mr Ogunbiyi, accompanied by the Federal Controller of Housing, Lagos State, Margaret Adejobi, and other top directors, later inspected the ongoing 60 flats of two and three-bedroom units project in Eric Moore.

The team, which included the head of the PPP unit of the ministry, Abimbola Asein, later inspected land within the Games Village in Eric Moore and land at the Iponri area.

The permanent secretary told journalists that Mr Tinubu launched the pilot scheme of the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates in Abuja last week with the construction of 3,112 housing projects.

Mr Ogunbiyi said the visit to Lagos was to build on that achievement, with his visit marking the beginning of the project in the state.

He said the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development was undertaking the project under a public-private partnership, saying that the target was 100,000 housing units nationwide, with Lagos State having over 20,000.

He said Lagos State had the problem of scarcity of land, hence a new strategy of identifying and using all land belonging to the ministry in the city to construct the houses.

Mr Ogunbiyi said negotiations were ongoing with the Lagos state government on how they could provide land, but while that was on, the ministry was utilising all its existing land.

He said Mr Tinubu had vowed to turn the entire nation into construction sites for decent affordable mass housing, a feat that had already begun.

He said the private sector in Lagos was all ready and had swung into action.

“Last week we had a groundbreaking in Abuja by Mr President on our Renewed Hope Cities and Estates. So this is a consolidating visit to Lagos to consolidate on that particular achievement.

“The challenge we have in Lagos is land and that is why I am here. We will use all available land to make sure that we have enough housing units under the first phase in Lagos,” he said.

When asked when the Renewed Hope City and Estates project will take off in earnest in Lagos, he said, “We have started in Lagos, we already have the PPP, and everything is going well”.

The permanent secretary said that he would use the two-day inspection in Lagos State to ensure additional projects take off in less than a month.

The team inspected the sewage treatment plant at the ongoing estate in Eric Moore, where the permanent secretary made suggestions on environment-friendly options the developer must observe on the project.

Also, Mr Adejobi explained to the permanent secretary how portions of land being illegally occupied by squatters would be recovered for the projects.

“We are getting the gazette from the ministry of justice,” the controller said.

Director Lands, Abuja, Collins Alabi, lamented issues of land grabbers across the nation, saying that Mr Tinubu had empowered all states to deal with the issues.

He said on Jan. 5, 2024, a landmark judgement by the Supreme Court further empowered the ministry to deal with all forms of encroachments.

Source: NAN