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Govt to sanction violators of Lagos Games Village master plan

The Federal Government is to serve notices on residents of Games Village Estate in Surulere, Lagos found to have contravened the acquisition agreement of their apartments, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Games Village
Federal Controller of Housing in Lagos State, Mrs Sarah Alawode, leading ministry officials during inspection of Games Village Estate, Surulere on Thursday in Lagos

The action followed a quick intervention of the government after NAN published a detailed report that the estate had been turned into a junkyard, due to illegal activities carried out by some residents of the estate.

The Federal Controller of Housing in Lagos State, Mrs Sarah Alawode, led a government team to inspect the estate on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

She expressed shock over what she described as unbridled activities in the estate, vowing that government would deal with residents that had violated the integrity of the model estate.

The controller said that government would soon serve notices on residents that had contravened the terms of sale of apartments to them, with a view to making them to face the consequences of their actions.

Alawode said, however, that government would engage facility managers, to tackle maintenance issues at the estate to make the place habitable again.

She said that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had to intervene quickly, following an outcry on the illegalities carried out in the estate.

“We came here today because of various complaints from residents.

“With what we have seen, we cannot allow things to continue this way. We will call a meeting and see how to bring in facility managers.’’

The controller explained that some contradictions like extending apartments and setting up businesses would be tackled after notices were served to the culprits.

She decried the installation of too many boreholes in the estate, saying however, that government was working on a public private partnership arrangement to give the estate a central water plant.

Conducting the team round the estate, a Zonal Chairman in the estate, Mr Patrick Oboko, regretted that the estate lacked necessary facilities that would make life worth living for residents.

Responding to questions from the team, Oboko said that government had earlier put a restriction to sinking of boreholes in the estate, expressing excitement that government had stepped in to correct some illegalities.

The 46-year-old estate is home to about 2,600 residents, most of whom are civil servants working for the Federal Government.

The estate was inaugurated in 1973 to house participants in the Second All Africa Games, hosted by Nigeria that year.

However, houses in the estate were sold to civil servants by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, in a gesture to make workers to own their own houses.

But, 14 years down the line, some occupants have altered the original structures of the buildings, creating more spaces for selfish reasons.

Contrary to the terms of the agreement on the sale of the apartments, most apartments on the ground floor have been restructured with more rooms added.

Shops, drinking and gambling joints have also been erected indiscriminately, posing security threats to residents round the clock. 

By Grace Alegba

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