As part of efforts to close the 16 million housing demand-supply gap in Nigeria, especially in the Southwest where it operates, WEMABOD Estates Limited is out to build 500 housing units in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, and 5,000 shops tagged ‘Neighbourhood Market’ across the state.
The housing project, according to Ismail Adewusi, chairman, WEMABOD’s board of directors, is planned by the company to ease housing and accommodation problems suffered by the people and residents of Southwest, adding that similar housing projects have already begun in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Adewusi discloses in Abeokuta recently that the company has secured partnership with international investors to develop hotels in the state, thereby giving the tourism and hospitality industry in Ogun the needed facelifts that will, in return, transform the state’s economy and generate employment.
Adewusi, a former commissioner for finance in Lagos State, says his firm has earlier sought the allocation of 20 hectares of land and partnership of Ogun State government in order to effectively execute the housing project.
He says the company has also secured fund to execute the project so as to complement the efforts of South Western states, that form shareholders in the company, in the provision of housing facilities.
According to Adewusi, “we are looking at 20 hectares of land in Abeokuta for the building of 500 housing units; we are also considering to build 5,000 shop units, which we have tagged ‘Neighbourhood Market,’ across Ogun State; we believe that this will go a long way in addressing the housing deficit in the Southwest.”
He, however, urges the state government to stop the activities of illegal miners, laterite diggers and sand dredgers as these illegal and reckless activities could aggravate environmental degradation and may affect the realisation of the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 on adequate and effective housing scheme projection.
Responding, the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, assures the board that the state government will grant the company’s request for 20 hectares of land to build 500 housing units, adding that his government is ready to partner the firm to build 5,000 units of neighbourhood markets across the state.
The governor says the state government will provide the necessary support to re-enact what the Odu’a Conglomerate was known for in the past, saying the governors of the South Western states have agreed to redefine the entire landscape of the old Western Region, just as he assures that WEMABOD investment in Ogun would be quickly recouped since the state is near to Lagos State.
The governor, who expresses the state government’s readiness to partner genuine investors in order to provide affordable housing for its citizens, says housing is one of the basic necessities of humans, pointing out that, “being able to meet this need provides us a sane environment.”
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta