Contractors handling housing schemes in Lagos state have been instructed to make to complete their tasks or face severe sanctions.
The order was given recently by the Commissioner for Housing in Lagos state, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, during a site inspection of some of the housing schemes at Sangotedo, Ajah and Lekki alongside the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Permanent Secretary, Housing, Mr Wasiu Akewusola and other state officials.
Akinderu-Fatai, who expressed displeasure with some of the contractors, wondered why they are yet to meet up with the accepted milestones in the contract agreement signed with the state government.
“It is sad that many of the contractors are not meeting up with our expectations in term of timelines particularly at Sangotedo.” He said.
Akinderu-Fatai also highlighted the consequences of delayed completion as including “deterioration of structures, need for variations in cost of schemes as well as security risks to neighbouring settlements.”
Apart from the speed of work, the Commissioner also disapproved of the manner in which some of the projects were being executed without recourse to original plans approved by the government.
He said that some contractors have deviated from the original plans and have adjusted bills of quantity without obtaining consent from the appropriate authorities.
“The vision of the state is to raise the bar and set new standards in estate development and this can only be achieved when all parties involved comply with global standards.
“The articulation of our vision for a new order as we promote the regeneration of our cities is very crucial hence non compliance is not acceptable to us.” He said.
Akinderu-Fatai further pointed out that “the quality of homes and safety of end users are paramount considerations that can not be compromised. Changing the standards is not only dishonest but also dangerous. “
The Commissioner revealed that the site visit was to provide first hand information on the actual situation of many of the on going housing schemes.
He disclosed that going forward some contracts will be redetermined or revoked for non -performance or non compliance with terms of agreement. He said this was necessary so that government can deliver on its mandate in the housing sector without unnecessary delay.
He reiterated that the commitment of government is beyond mere talk but actions will be taken to ensure that affordable and quality homes are made readily available to the people.
He also seized the opportunity to seek out opportunities for more housing schemes along the east flank of the state, saying that “the state government will leave no stone unturned in bridging the gap caused by housing deficit in the state.”
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka advised that integrity tests should be conducted on houses that had not been worked upon in the past five years. The Permanent Secretary Mr Wasiu Akewusola also called for a review of some of the contractors who had been on site for over five years without any progress.