New golf course development for rural Lagos

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The Lagos State Government’s plan to open up rural areas to stem drift to urban centres has received a boost. A firm, Giwa & Baruwa Properties, is building a golf course and an estate in Dongo Village, Epe, reports OKWY IROEGBU.

EPE, Lagos, is fast developing. Every developer is eyeing the corridor to make mega bucks in real estate and related business. Soon, the rustic town, which became popular, with the coming of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, will also boast of a golf course. A golf course? Yes, it will be cited in Dongo Village in Epe. It will also have an estate to boost. The Triple Tree Creek View Estate is expected to be home to no fewer than 250,000 people. 

The promoters of the project, Giwa & Baruwa Properties, said they chose the rural area to boost the state government’s policy of opening up the hinterland to stem rural-urban drift.

The project will create about 50,000 jobs. The estate will also have open spaces and a shopping mall.

So far, about N2 billion has been spent to provide basic infrastructure in the area. However, the promoters are not happy with the cost of development approvals which, they claimed, is too high.

Speaking at a forum last Thursday, in Lagos, a member of the project’s technical team, Mr. Layi Raheem, lamented the delay and high cost of obtaining approvals for project.

He said: “If members of our team were mostly foreign partners, the possibility of losing them would be there. Even at that, we lost three prospective foreign investors due to red-tapism, leaving us with only two.

“It is instructive to note that the process for this project started in 1997 and we only got the title this year, underscoring the damage that high land charges, such as the acquisition of C of O, can cause to the prospect of a project.”

He added: “Very close to our project is a 300-hectare housing estate which was stalled due to excessive demand, and, for us too, we lost three investors who couldn’t come to terms with the bureaucracy when they are putting down huge sums of money for developmental projects.”

On the objective of the project, he said the idea is to assist in establishing orderly development pattern for the state in the future and to encourage and strengthen the economic dynamism of affected communities, in particular and the state in general.

Raheem reiterated that the project, with the capacity to generate over 50,000 jobs, was driven by the need to support the state government in its effort to stem rural–urban drift.

He noted that it will showcase the practical management of natural resources, such as forest and water bodies.

As part of plans for infrastructure provision, he revealed that they would explore water bodies to advantage in terms of electricity generation. He, however, regretted that the Federal Government has failed in its duty to dredge the water bodies for commercial purposes, as well as its inability to have a development plan over the years.

He chided the government for its lack of involvement in the provision of infrastructure, as, according to him, nowhere in the world is Federal Government immune from infrastructure provision.

He said: “The golf course which is the main stay of the expanded project will incorporate 12,000 housing units of different house types and will be delivered 100 per cent in 15 years. Residents are expected to take full advantage of the planned Lekki airport and Lekki Free Trade Zone with distances of 10 and 20 kilometres.”

On infrastructure provision, Raheem said there will be two mini-water works that will produce two million gallons of water daily with surface tank of one million-litre capacity.

He said: “The sewage system will flow under gravity into the pumping station where it will be pumped to major sewer lines. The estate will also boast of 17 pumping stations evenly distributed within the network.”

However, Raheem called for the proper utilisation of the state’s water resources and more emphasis on planning with the people instead of planning for the people. He commended the Lagos State Government for the effective planning of the state by coming up with a regional plan but chided the Federal Government for her failure in coming up with an effective developmental plan after 51 years of independence.

Raheem, a former General Manager of the Lagos State Urban & Regional Planning Board, urged other states to take a cue from Lagos to facilitate development in the rural areas by positioning planning ahead of development.

By Okwy Iroegbu

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