…success of first draw is a strong message to present generation that all is not lost-Gov. Fashola
The first set of successful allottees of the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) were on Monday presented with keys to their various homes by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who asserted that the success of the first draw is a strong message to the present generation that all is not lost as a better Nigeria can be built.
The Governor, who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja expressed the hope that the number of applicants would continue to increase month after month and described the first exercise as the beginning of a journey of promise.
“I am happy to see very young people who have become homeowners in their country and in our state and in a place where young people are struggling. Go and apply, pay your taxes, register as a Lagos resident and the rest is easy”, he added.
He described the first draw as a modest start with 31 successful applicants from 200 homes at the first draw while the remaining 169 would be added to the 200 homes at the second draw which is billed for Friday.
Fashola who also reacted to the vote of assurance given by one of the successful allotees, Mr Amos Kimeh Omodunni stated that even if Mr Omodunni is the only successful allotee, the efforts of the State Government and the Mortgage Board would have been worth it.
He also recalled happenings during the several meetings of the Lagos Homes Committee where there were several arguments, cancellations, many starts and corrections but a firm commitment of the members that the mortgage scheme must be an easy to use system.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Lagos Mortgage Board and Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayo Gbeleyi described the event as another promise made and kept by the administration of Mr Bababtunde Fashola (SAN).
He added that out of the 31 winners that emerged at the first draw, 11 who have fully completed the requirements and have also achieved closure on their mortgage facilities are being handed their keys.
Mr Gbeleyi said it is no coincidence that at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Countries, over 60 percent of home owners actually own their homes under a mortgage scheme.
He added that while in the United States, it is over 80 percent, in South Africa, it is about 30percent of homes that are owned by owners and even in Rwanda that is just coming out of war, amazingly it is 15 percent but in Nigeria, that figure is well under five percent and reiterated that the present effort is aimed at taking more people out of poverty line and bringing them up into economic prosperity.
In a vote of assurance, one of the successful allottees, Mr Amos Kimeh Omodunni said after he came across the scheme on one of the social media sites where the photographs of one of the schemes was uploaded when the Governor visited there, saying he did not expect it to be as seamless and as easy as it turned out to be.
“Everything worked just like clock. I did not have to visit any office or talk to anyone. I did not have to visit any office or talk to anyone. Everything that I needed to do to complete that application was done just in my office and I did not have to move anywhere”, he said.
Mr Omodunni explained that he was in his office when the televised draw was being held and he had to run to one of the adjoining offices to watch the event and that when his name was picked for a three bedroom flat, he was very happy and excited.
He said though he has always had his reservations about having trust the system, the present Mortgage Scheme has reinvigorated him and his fellow winners on the efficacy and efficiency of the Lagos State Government.
“We are very strong advocates of the transparency and fairness that we now know are the bedrocks of this particular scheme. We sing it high and loud everywhere that we go, to our friends, to our neighbours and colleagues, people around us. I will again say, go and apply, it is real, you don’t need to know anybody, just send in your application and you can become a home owner”, he added.
Also, another excited allottee, Mrs Yetunde Awopeju who works with Atlas Technical Services Limited, commended Governor Fashola whose foresight she said has come to the fore with the HOMS scheme.
She added that from what used to be a condemned location and a night club in Surulere, a beautiful estate has risen, adding that she is happy to be a beneficiary of the Shitta Housing estate.
Another allottee, Mr Daniel Ikpe who works with Zenith Bank Plc recounted how he became aware of the process through the social media network, stressing that all he could volunteer is that the programme is about transparency.
He said one does not require to know anybody influential before he can become a home owner in Lagos, reiterating that once one can fulfil all the requirements, he is sure to get his home allocation.
He described Governor Fashola as a visionary leader and said if Nigeria could have such leaders, the country would not have issues as things would work out well in the way it is supposed to work.
The successful allottes who got keys, are Mrs Abdulmalik Rukiat, Mr Ademola Odujoko, Mr Ejiroghene Torishedu Madedor, Mr Amos kimeh Omodunni, Mrs Yetunde Oluwaseun Awopeju, Mr Ajayi Omotayo Jubril, Mrs Ganiyat Dolapo Akanni, Mr Gbenga Owolabi, Mr Chukwuneta John Paul Ogbatwi, Mrs Bibian Aloba Kanayo and Mr Ikpeh Daniel Darligton.
Prominent among those who witnessed the event were the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope –Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council, including the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Bosun Jeje and members of the Mortgage Board, the successful allotees and some members of their family.
HAKEEM BELLO, Special Adviser to H.E on Media