A delegation of the Abia State Ministry of Housing, has visited the Lagos State Ministry of Housing to understudy its housing policy.
The delegation was led by the Abia State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. James Okpara.
Addressing his Lagos counterpart, Okpara, who put the housing deficit figure of the state at about 1.5 million units, said upon his assumption of office last year, he found that the state had no policy on housing. This, he said, necessitated the visit to Lagos to enable them understudy the system of the “Centre of Excellence” with a view to replicating the various housing projects of the Lagos State government and policy in Abia State.
“I promised that even if it is the only thing I do before leaving office, it must be done. Housing policy is not being taken very seriously in many states but Lagos is the most advanced state in the country and we know that we can get the best from here, so, we want to learn how the state is doing it and succeeding.”
The delegation was treated to a video presentation on the housing strides in the state and its policy now at draft stage and awaiting approval, followed by a tour of some of the project sites in Igando, Lagos.
Commending the state after the tour, Okpara said: “The policy is good, we couldn’t expect any less from Lagos State being the centre of excellence, what we learnt will go a long way in helping us with our vision. We will take part of it, Lagos and Abia are not the same but there are some parameters that will be the same, so, we will take those that suit the state,” Okpara said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, told his guests that the state’s housing policy would be fully ready in May. Besides, he informed that delegation that the government planned to increase its Gross Domestic Product through housing and the policy would facilitate the process.
“The housing policy for Lagos is almost ready, the last administration started it and we continued from where it stopped and fine-tuned it. The draft is now ready and waiting for the approval of the Lagos State House of Assembly. It will be ready before the end of May,” he said.
He also noted that the state had created programmes on housing to bridge the three million housing deficit.