Finance/Industry Nigeria Politics


PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : December 26th, 2021

The city was built as a benchmark to how urban dwellings should be. Over the years, however, decay set in so much that Festac Town became a shadow of its old self. However, there is a silver lining in the cloud as the Federal and Lagos State Governments have found a common ground to address degeneration of infrastructure in that federal housing estate situated in Amuwo-Odofin area of the State.

The resolve by the two parties to jointly confront the inordinate property development and facility deficit in the housing estate was the outcome of a meeting, held on Wednesday, between Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Senator Gbenga Ashafa, signaling an end to the lingering disagreement between the State and the Federal Government over the matter.

Ashafa led top officials of FHA – a department in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing – on a courtesy visit to the Governor at the State House in Alausa. FHA’s Executive Director for Business Development, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, was in attendance.

Executive Director, Business Development, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Hon. Abdulmumin Jubril; Managing Director/CEO of FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson Awoyinka and others, during FHA management’s courtesy visit to the Governor, at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja

The FHA team presented four partnership requests to the Lagos Government, among which include knowledge sharing and technology transfer, cooperation on infrastructure delivery and quick resolution of development crisis in Festac Town.

Sanwo-Olu said the State Government took land administration and property development as critical, stressing that his administration’s urban renewal project was being implemented with the objective to open up remote communities for healthy living and investment drive.

The Governor described development crisis in Festac Town as “unpleasant”, pointing out that the population growth and influx of people led to the degeneration of the neighbourhood. He also said failure of oversight on activities of property developers in Festac Town distorted the original master plan of the area.

He said: “Festac Town as it is today is not what it looked like from 1970s to 1990s, given the degeneration of infrastructure and the unpleasant development observed in the community. The original master plan did not consider population growth, which reflected in the calibre of allotees that got the property then. As a result of lack of monitoring and enforcement, people took advantage of this weakness to build indiscriminately on every available space.

“I think we can still correct this irregularity and regenerate the entire area for healthy living and business, now that the Federal Housing Authority is headed by a highly knowledgeable indigene of Lagos. Once the Federal Government is ready, Lagos State will cooperate fully and work through our Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development on agreed plan. We are ready to give waiver on statutory issues that may aid the progress of this move. Lagos is not the owner of the estate but we have a sense of duty to prevent the depreciation of the asset on that corridor.”

The Governor also conceded to FHA’s request to collaborate in the area of technology transfer, pledging to work with the federal housing agency to raise its capability by creating electronic solution that would further ease allocation of property, land administration and approval of survey plan.

He added that the State would be willing to work with the federal housing agency on estate property development in the Lagos East and West senatorial districts.

Sanwo-Olu praised President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, for the choice of Sen. Ashafa as the head of the federal housing agency, noting that the FHA boss’ tenure as Executive Secretary on Land Matters in Lagos boosted the value of land and property in the State.

The Governor said: “We want you to succeed in this new assignment you have taken up, because we believe that you have vast knowledge in land administration matters. Development is critical to us in Lagos, and we will be willing to cooperate with you for more development. We are convinced that your tenure will bring about solution to challenges the nation faces in land administration.”

Ashafa, a former Senator representing Lagos East, said FHA was ready to resolve all lingering crises delaying the re-modelling and regeneration of Festac Town, expressing confidence that the mid-way approach adopted by the agency would yield positive outcome for the both Governments and residents of the estate.

He described his meeting with the Governor as “productive and fruitful”, pledging to take the discussion further.

He said: “ All the four issues we presented were taken in by the Governor positively. With some of the relevant cabinet members in attendance at the meeting, we will be engaging in further discussions on how to go about our plan for urban regeneration in Lagos.”

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PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : December 25, 2021

Civil Society Groups have rallies support for the developmental efforts of Senator Gbenga Ashafa over the revamping of FESTAC TOWN in Amuwo Odofin LGA of Lagos State. The group whose concerns have been to return FESTAC back to it’s enviable and environmental friendly state said they have understudied the strategy put in place by the Federal Housing Authority boss and confident if implemented to the later will achieve immense infrastructural transformation of FESTAC TOWN.

Push News 24 International confirms that Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa is currently the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Housing Authority of Nigeria, appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2020. He was previously a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Lagos State.

Below is the press statement as issued to Push News 24 International by the Civil Society Groups .


It would be recalled that there has been recent persistent calls to restore the lost glory of Festac Town. Festac Town from its conceptualization after the end of Africa Cultural Festival in 1977 was to be a pacesetting estate in Africa. The infrastructures were properly planned but over time we have been experiencing serious distortion and corrosive devaluation of these same infrastructures for selfish reasons.

The quest for Festac Town to be a pacesetting estate in Nigeria have eroded over the years giving ways to deliberate distortion to it’s physically planned settings. A lot of spaces designed to make it serene and habitable have been turned into commercial spaces not minding it’s implications on the peoples habitation. Most of the recreational spaces have been into undeserving commercial hubs.

The federal government have in the past instituted different managements since the return of democracy to spearhead the restoration of Festac Town original plan from urbanly destructive tendencies. Though, they have found it very difficult until the present management led by a very distinguished poli-technocrat, Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa has since swung into action on a very unique tone as we can see that the long stretch of the buffer zones from first gate to Alakija gate that had earlier served as slums and unorganized auto-mechanic hubs have now been allocated to their rightful owners. This action is already decimating criminal activities necessitates by those slums on that route and when the houses are completed it will add colours to the aesthetic of Festac Town.

We are also aware that some unoccupied areas that is serving as slums are being demolished in their numbers. Some places that were hijacked for selfish reasons are being taking over by the team instituted by Senator Gbenga Ashafa led management team. We are seeing FHA standing up to its responsibility under the present management.

As Civil Society Organizations operating in Festac Town, we want to throw our weight behind the present management of Federal Housing Authority led by a very experienced technocrat, Senator Gbenga Ashafa in ensuring that the lost glory of Festac Town is completely restored. We would also ensure that the management of Federal Housing Authority also reclaim spaces meant for recreational needs of the people without further delay. The spaces can be modernized through deliberate urban regenerative actions for the purpose of recreation that will positively engage our teeming youths.

There is so much spatial abuses most especially by group of persons that do not have any attachment to Festac Town. This has to stop without further delay.

This is the foundation of our call for a peaceful procession to the Federal Housing Authority Zonal Office in Festac Town on Wednesday, 29th December 2021 at exactly 10 am.

25th December 2021