Since Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu left LSDPC as MD/CEO in September 2018 to go into party politics, Architect Dhikrullah Adedoyin Har-Yusuph has been the one running the Lagos State Development & Property Corporation (LSDPC). And he has been able to maintain the high standards and level that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu left behind last year.
What has helped Arc. Har-Yusuph is the fact that until his appointment as acting MD/CEO he was an insider. Not only that he is also a damn good professional. He is a professional architect who is very, very good at what he does. He is a Lagosian from Epe Local Government. He is 50.
He had all his early schooling in Lagos. For Primary School he attended Ansar-Ud-deen Primary School, Osholake, Ebute-Meta, Lagos. For Secondary School, he attended Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, 73, Randle Avenue, Surulere, Lagos. After that, he proceeded to the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Osun State, where be bagged a B.Sc degree in Architecture (1985), and M.Sc. Architecture (1987) from the same University.
Before joining LSDPC, he had worked in Maiduguri, at Hamada Design Consults, Maiduguri, Borno State (NYSC-1992-1993) and then Federal Ministry of Works, Kano, Lagos-(1993-1996). He is a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (M1167-1993) Member, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (F1272-1994) and Executive Member, Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria. (AHCN).
The projects completed by LSDPC include the following: *Block of 2-Bedroom flats, Ojokoro Housing Estate, Ojokoro; *3-Bedroom Twin Bungalows Estate, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos; *Raji Rasaki Duplex Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos; *2/3 Bedroom Terrace Bungalow estate, Owutu, Ikorodu, Lagos; *Block of 3-Bedroom flats, Games Village, Surulere, Lagos; *Femi Okunni I, II, III & IV Estate, Lekki, Lagos; *Isheri North Housing Estate, Lagos; *LSDPC Shopping Complex, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos; *Ijaiye 2/3 Bedroom Flats Esate, Agege, Lagos; *Sunshine Housing Esate, Oko-Oba, Agege; *LAGOSHOMS HOUSING Estate, Oluwole, Ogba Lagos; LAGOSHOS HOUSING Estate, Sogunro Ogba, Lagos; *LAGOSHOMS HOUSING Estate, Shitta, Surulere, Lagos; *LAGOSHOMS HOUSING Estate, Akerele/Randle, Lagos; *LAGOSHOMS HOUSING Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos; *LAGOSHOMS HOUSING Esate, Oko-Oba, Lagos; LAGOSHOMS HOUSING Estate, Alausa, CBD, Ikeja, Lagos and Oluwole Shopping Mall, Lagos-Island.
The on-going projects by LSDPC include the following: (1) Courtland Luxury Apartments, Lekki, Lagos (2) Lekki Apartment, Lekki-1, Lagos, (3) Bayview Estate, Ogudu Phase II GRA, Lagos, (4) The Avenue Estate Ogudu Phase II GRA, Lagos (5) Ogudu Heights Estate, Ogudu Phase II GRA, Lagos, (6) LAGOSHOMS HOUSING ESTATE, Obele Oniwala, Surulere, Lagos (7) LAGOSHOMS HOUSING ESTATE, Ibeshe, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Last week, the MD/CEO (LSDPC) spoke to City People Magazine Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE & the head of Real Estate in City People, ISAAC ABIMBADE, about how he runs LSDPC which was recently honoured by City People during the last Real Estate Awards held in Lagos. Below are excerpts of the interview.
What does LSDPC do as an arm of the Lagos State government? How have you been able to deliver on the aims & objectives of the corporation?
LSDPC is an organisation with a lot of commitment and services to the government of Lagos State, to the citizens of Lagos State and Nigerians, at large. As for the specific things we do at LSDPC, we are into real estate development. We build houses. We build commercial complexes. We sell houses and we rent out commercial complexes. So we have our estates and properties located largely on the Mainland and Island, Lagos State. We have properties around the Lekki axis.
When was LSDPC established?
LSDPC as a body was incorporated in 1972 and it was an amalgamation of 3 existing bodies at that time: First was Lagos Executive Development Group (LEDG). We also have Ikeja Town Planning Authority and Epe Town Authority. The amalgamation of these 3 organisations now made up of what we now know as LSDPC, created after the creation of Lagos State. Lagos State was created in 1967 and LSDPC was created in 1972. The development initially, was mainly the settlement scheme in Surulere and later on it moved into another commercial development of housing estates like Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Complex, LSDPC house, Nnamdi Azikiwe. We have other commercial developments later on in the year 2000, that is Ogba Shopping Arcade and we now have a place called Alausa Shopping Mall, for the Lagos State Printing Corporation on Awolowo Road, Ikeja.
What role did Alhaji Lateef Jakande play in promoting LSDPC?
During the regime of His Excellency, Governor Lateef Jakande, LSPDC was deployed extensively to provide affordable housing or what we call low-cost housing for Lagos; to ameliorate the housing demands. All these estates were used as a catalyst for development. Some of them were allocated in remote areas like Abesan Ipaja. We have another one at Oke-Afa, Isolo, which also led to the creation of the rest that leads to Idimu, Ikotun. We also have Ije-housing estate. We also have Jakande housing estate, along the Lekki axis, at the 5th roundabout. So, our estates are remotely located, apart from the few that are located in Lagos Island, Apapa road.
After the year 2000, the law of Lagos State was amended to make LSDPC a fully commercialise entity and as a fully commercialise entity we are expected to go into real estate development. We are also allowed to bring in private participants into our project (joint-venture), so that we can assist the populace to activate the economy by making use of their funds to create what will be beneficial to all of us and in that way, it reduces the burden on the government resources, and we also make sure others can benefit. Right now, we have a lot of Joint Venture estates. We have one at the 3rd roundabout in Lekki. We call it the Lekki Apartment. We have another one at Ikate Elegushi, Bayview Estate and at the 5th roundabout, around Femi Okunnu housing estate. We have a project ongoing that we call Courtland Luxury Apartment. All these 3 are actively ongoing and nearing completion. But at Ogudu axis, we have a very big development ongoing there by 4 partners: one is working on duplexes, the other one is working on terraces. We have one that is working on both duplexes and block of flats, while the 4th partner is working on tower buildings; that is a block of flats and two-bedroom for off-takers that are ready to key-in into it.
These partners come in with their funds and with their technical ability to develop and we (LSDPC) provide land. And on completion of the exercise, we share the proceeds or products based on the equity participation of both LSDPC and the partner(s).
Outside J.V, we have tried to do some developments on our own. Currently, we at Ogba housing estate, we call the place NOB Oluwa Street in Ogba. We are currently putting up 32 Flats there, for the people that can afford it. Beyond all these, we have property/development at Odunla Estate. Odunla is the outskirt of Ikorodu. We have large expanse of land there, they have been partially developed since 2008, but now we are waiting for partners to join us and develop the estate. You also know that the Ikorodu/Sagamu road construction is on-going and we need to take advantage of that. We know that accessibility has always been the bane of where the individual wants to leave.
And in the last one year I’m here, it has been very challenging, but it’s also good. We give almighty God the glory and praise for supporting us in what we do and making sure the track that was left we are able to maintain it and keep the progress steady. And we will continue to do that so that we can be able to achieve the aim and objective and thereafter be able to deliver to the people. We are also striving to deliver products that can be acceptable to the people because it’s a two-way affair: whatever you are doing must be acceptable to the end-users. But so far, so good, I believe we are on course.
What is the advantage of buying houses or property from LSDPC and what do they start to gain?
The first major advantage you gain buying from LSDPC is that you know that your transaction is secured, you know you are dealing with government. LSDPC is not an individual or a group of two or three people, it’s the government. Once you buy from the LSDPC, you are sure of the source and you are also sure that what you are buying is secure. There is ease of documentation, on all the properties we are developing, We have Global C of O for it, from where we give you Title of our survey. And you are sure that any amount paid to us is not lost. We are not in the habit of saying you paid today and tomorrow we tell you the price has gone up. We try as much as possible to work within the confines of our budget and we also try to shy away from cost over-run, so if you buy from us you will get your documentation easily and you can also verify from those who have dealt with us in the past.
What is the operation of LSDPC like? Do you just sell houses and develop new estate? Do you sell land also?
The operation of LSDPC is majorly real estate development, management and sales. We develop houses and sell and sometimes, we let offices, office blocks and commercial centres. When it comes to sales of land, that is the work of another arm of government called The Land Bureau. They are principally in-charge of land. In actual fact, LSDPC sources their Land from land Bureau and occasionally from family, as well.
How can you rate the achievements of LSDPC over the years?
LSDPC is 47 years old. The operation in terms of achievements has done a lot. LSDPC is the proud owner of Surulere Scheme, from the stadium side to Adeniran Ogunsanya side, to Ogunlana drive. LSDPC is the proud owner of the Ilupeju Scheme you are seeing here. All these houses you are seeing here in Ilupeju were developed by LSDPC. LSDPC has also developed houses; all the tower blocks you see in Ogba. Then we have the resettlement scheme called Oluwole Ogba and Sogunro Ogba. They were all developed by LSDPC. We make sure that the urbanization programme is steady and they are also able to deal with the problem of the slum.
We should also talk about the intervention that was done during the regime of His Excellency Lateef Jakande. That was when the LSDPC recorded the highest number of housing units at the various locations and no other government has been able to do as much as it did then. But we are striving to see how we can surpass that in this regime, knowing that it’s a regime we want to reach out to people and solve housing problems. So, we came up with our blueprint so that we can impact positively on the housing needs of Lagosians and also those in the diaspora.