With the alarming rate of rural-urban migration in the country, a comprehensive and revolutionary mixed development scheme to curtail the trend is in the offing in Lagos, following plans by a developer and a team of investors to launch a multi-billion naira estate in the outskirts of the state.
The scheme tagged Dongo Scheme, is coming as a brain child of the Giwa and Baruwa Properties Limited and working under Triple Tree Creek View Limited, a special purpose vehicle for the purpose of superintending the implementation of the project. Historically, the Giwa and Baruwa land holding families of Dongo had approached the State Government with a view to securing a Public/Private Partnership agreement in the development of their land affected by the global acquisition of 1981.
Essentially, Dongo scheme is located in 354.534 hectares within 56 communities in Ibeju Lekki, Epe and Eti-Osa Local Government Area. It is bordered in the North by Ladeba, East by Abegede, and West by Oguntedo Villages and, South by the Omu Creek. It is accessible either by motorised Canoe across the creek from Langbasa (maximum of five minutes or by a four wheel drive through an earth road from, Eleran-Igbe Junction (left of the Lekki-Epe Bridge) passing Arapagi, Idi-ori and Abegede among other settlements. The outcome of our preplanning studies of 1997 revealed that the subject site forms an integral part of the 52 per cent of the gross land area, identified by the operative metropolitan Master Plan at the time, as of non-urban status.
The Dongo scheme is being driven as a private sector initiative, and the promoters are exploiting new innovations, especially the development of the residential land use and the golf course which will be the focal point of the project. The proposed 11,000 housing units will be delivered in 10 years time while an industrial scheme is also planned. Among facilities in the scheme is a shopping mall, recreational facilities and sewage treatment plants as well as mini water works and power plant. On maturity, the scheme would employ not less than 50,000 workers.
Specifically, the developer plans to kick-start the scheme in June, ahead of final talks with investors. Infrastructure provision is projected to cost about N90 billion while the major concern of the developer is the charge of N7.8 billion for the certificate of occupancy by the state authorities, which is impacting on the scheme and scaring away investors. Originally, about five investors drawn from United States, Europe and Asia have indicated interest on the project, “we have lost two prospective foreign investors to time taken for red-tapisim, we are still in contact with at least three foreign investors,” according to Mr. Lai Raheem, a member of the technical team and spokesman for the group.
“We are constantly talking to prospective investors and are quite hopeful in view of the enthusiasm each of them has expressed upon their understanding of the project. They are of the opinion that instead of paying the sum into the coffers of the state government, why not invest it in the opening up the roads so that the project will have a semblance of profitability. As it is, even if we have to sell all of the land at the going rate of N200, 000 per plot, we cannot meet up the land value. The State’s Land Bureau may have assumed that being in Lekki council, it has the same terrain with Lekki scheme and go with the same rate. Government should not allow such projects that would attract good taxes to be bogged down by charges ” he said.
Other funding options explored include joint venture with pension scheme operators and development of resort houses largely on shared/joint home ownership concept. He said the objective of the project is to provide employment opportunities for the rural population and, thereby, discourage rural –urban migration, make the estate as environmentally-friendly as possible and showcase the practicability of the effective use and management of replenishable and non-replenishable natural resources such as, forest/woodland, sand and water bodies.
He explained that the project was mooted in 1997, but government approval came in 2001 in principle and by 2005, the State’s ministry of Physical Planning and Urban development requested for formal presentation. Original intention was to collaborate with the government as joint venture, which could work out. However, letter of allocation was given in January 2011.
The team of consultants are Dafshar Consultants (Concept), Oluwadare & Associates (planning and design), Toyin Ayinde and Associates (digitization), Jocyrita International Limited ( civil engineering), Electrosyte Company Limited ( electrical engineering), Mek-Link Services (mechanical engineering) and Kayode Bankole & Associates (coordinator).
Raheem noted that the rural areas of Lagos State, to which the project site belong, have largely become quantitatively and qualitatively depopulated. With its concentration of labour, commerce, industry, capital and governments (Federal, State and Local) attention, metropolitan Lagos is unarguably a powerful generator of national economic progression.
“Given the outcome of our preliminary studies, this project will go a long way to improve facilities, promote growth and ensure a systemic urban-rural shift in the Sub-region particularly. We shall adopt a dynamic management strategy that will ensure the constant maintenance of infrastructural facilities. These shall include the appropriate grouping of stake holders; conduct a wide ranging consultation/research with both public and private sector infrastructure providers, construction managers, janitorial service providers and development as well as regulatory agencies. We shall also put in place, a dynamic demand management process with a view to ensure the optimal use of infrastructural facilities,” he said.
His words: “Landmark achievement in developed and developing economies are direct results of coordinated, realistic and participatory physical planning policies. Failure in achieving such results in major policy thrust of most Nigerian Governments is due to the fact that there is over-concentration of policy formulation, implementation and monitoring in the public sector, particularly in the area of physical development. The complexities of an ever changing world and a highly heterogeneous state like Lagos, however, demand that a more participatory approach be adopted in evolving Government Policies.
According to Raheem, the lack of such participatory approach has given room for the seeming planlessness that permeates Lagos and belies government continuous efforts in the area of sustainable physical planning and development. In view of its limited resources, government has been unable to meet its own target, and consequently, most government acquisitions have been largely encroached upon and ultimately bastardized.
Part of the facilities to be provided include, sewage network system consists of two major lines:
“The main sewer line is made up of 300mm pipe line that runs along the major roads and ends up in the central sewage treatment plant, while The minor sewer line is a 200mm pipe line network that collects sewage from the individual buildings. The sewage flows under gravity into the pumping station where it is pumped to the major sewer line. There are seventeen pumping stations evenly distributed within the network. Each of the pumping station will have two motorized sewage pumps, one duty and one standby. Besides, two mini water works to produce two million gallons of water/ day each is also being proposed. Each Mini water works will have surface tank of 1,000,000 litres capacity. There will be 4 nos. Over head tanks at 1,000,000 litres per tank within the network. There will be provision of fire hydrants within the network. Meduim Volage Distribution Network includes an 11kV Distribution network designed using underground cables and comprising the following components,” Raheem added.