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Stakeholders Task Lagos State On New Development Plan

Lagos State residents have appealed to the State Government to upgrade its development plans to internationally accepted standard

Stories: Edward Nnachi

Stakeholders including property owners, business chiefs and tenants in Lagos have urged the Lagos State Government to ensure that all development plans, conform to the international acceptable standards, which promote bottom-up approach.

They made their position known recently during the take off of a stakeholders’ forum, held at Eko Club, Bode Thomas, Surulere, titled: “Stakeholders’ Sensitisation on the Lagos State Development Plan (2012-2025)”, organised by the Ministry for Economic Planning and Budget, in conjunction with Messrs. Peryl Consult Limited.

But, it was said that the government of Lagos decided to hold the parley, because it believes in the bottom-up approach. However, the government assured the residents that more of such would be held in the state.

Speaking on the purpose and structure of plans, Bunmi Oyeleye of Peryl Consult Limited, who hinted that similar forum would be replicated in Epe and Badagry divisions of the state, noted that while the purpose of Lagos state development Plan (LSDP), was to provide overall direction for the long term growth and development of the state, it provides a framework through which players in all sectors of the economy could direct their energies and contribute to the improvement of quality of life of the people in the state.

Besides, management of the state resources is predicated on well thought-out programmes, plans and policies and the need to harmonise and institutionalize all these programmes necessitated the LSDP and that people must be carry along.

“For example, land is one of the most important element on which development hinged upon and this is a commodity that is severely scarce.

But with the population explosion that comes with megacity status of Lagos, how would government be able to provide for the housing needs of the people”, asked one of the participants, Mrs. Foluke Animashaun.

However, restating the underpinning vision of LSDP, Oyeleye, while admitting that by 2025, Lagos “will be a model megacity and financial hub that is safe, secure, functional and productive”, it would also achieve poverty eradication and economic growth through infrastructural renewal and development.

But the question arose at the event is how would government sustain these lofty objectives? This brought out the need for contributions and comments from the populace.

“Besides, LSDP has a strong spatial dimension in two areas, namely: careful management of development at the boundary with Ogun state, saying that a number of Lagos tax payers live in Ogun state.

Essentially, the stakeholders are calling for all-inclusive development plans that will factor in their concerns and at the same time ensuring a well-developed city

There is also the need for enhancement of nodal growth to keep with Lagos traditions of Ibile (Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe)”, he said, adding that residence and original owners of lands need to understand what is on ground, megacity imperatives vis-à-vis, the various plans.”

Speaking with The Guardian, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Adebayo Sodade, told said government’s plans to address the housing needs.

According to him, the essence of the long term planning was to put adequate measures in place. “For instance, our housing policy is no longer bungalow-based of duplex-based, but rather, high-rise housing policy and this could be attested to by our LagosHoms initiative.

“Besides, government is no longer promising full involvement in housing delivery, but rather to provide enabling condition for private sector participation.

But what we are doing through LagosHoms is to show that adequate housing delivery is possible. That is the template we put on ground”, said the Permanent Secretary.

Besides, Sodade also hinted that another area of paramount importance was infrastructural development. According to him, road and power have a lot to do in the delivery of high-rise building for residential.

“We need to realize that without power and water supply life would be unbearable for women and children, especially, pregnant women”, saying this is why infrastructure and social amenities play important role in the 2012-2025 development plan.

More than that, why people should be carry along, particularly, in the areas that are not yet fully developed like Epe and Badagry, government needs to carry people along because most of the planned amenities and infrastructure would have to affect land use”, he added. “We are not oblivious of the fact that people cherish land.

While we would not want to disrupt their means of livelihood and their economic activities, we would let them know what government is doing where and when”.

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, in his address, stated that Lagos, being a fast growing megacity, though, geographically well placed to serve all the major markets of the world, requires a more pragmatic planning.

According to Akabueze, long term planning was imperative in view of strategic facilities located in Lagos. According to him, Lagos port handles four out of five Nigeria imports and 70 percent of exports, while Apapa Port, located in Lagos are estimated to be the busiest port in West Africa.

“Apart from the fact that business activities would attract people from far and near- a situation that would culminated into more people coming and go out of the state, the potential economic opportunities inherent in Lagos is a pull for more population to seek residence in the city”.

The outline of the programme include; the purpose and scope of implementation, the process of implementation, implementation framework and landscape, implementation strategies and partners, governance reforms and enabling environment for business and external support.

Others are realization of civil society groups as partners in development and in decision-making, role of local government and institutional capacity, among others.

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