COOPLAG to complete project in 2 years
Shell Staff Cooperative Investment and Thrift Society, COOPLAG has flagged off the construction of a signature housing estate in Banana Island, Ikoyi Lagos.
Named The Autograph, the ambitious world class housing project will cost the investment society about 6 billion naira.
The General Manager of COOPLAG, Yinka Odumiso told Nigeria Today at the ground-breaking ceremony on Saturday that the project is sited on a 12,000SQM of land and will consist of 32 units of 5-bedroom semi-detached triplexes, 24 units of 4-bedroom flats, and a highrise of 7 floors consisting 6-floors of 4-bedrooms, about 24 units, and four penthouses of 3-bedrooms.
“It’s a project we are hoping to complete within 24 months. Everything external about the project will be done. Infrastructure in the estate will be done including a playground, swimming pool, power supply and other facilities that world-class estate deserves,” he said.
The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by several dignitaries including the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNPECO, Mr Bayo Ojulari, Federal Director of Cooperative, Abuja, Alhaji Idris Ali Sani, Managing Director of Cooperative Mortgage Bank, Kabir Tukur, Executive Director of Access Bank, Mr Victor Etuokwu and President of COOPLAG Mr Rotimi Akintomide.
The Managing Director of SNEPCO, Mr Bayo Ojulari, while congratulating all COOPLAG members on the project noted it was an important step in the quest to reduce Nigeria’s housing deficit, adding that Nigerians can draw inspiration from the project on how best to leverage of collective investment.
He said: “The more Nigerians who can own their own houses and get out of the whole renting thing, the less the pressure on the overall society. So, that’s the first thing for me about this project. The second thing is that projects like this also helps to build confidence in the minds of other people that it is possible.
“What is happening is that a lot of people in Nigeria try to do things on an individual basis. When you see two, three or four people come together, things are a lot easier. What the cooperative society demonstrates is that even something you cannot achieve individually, collectively, you can achieve it.
“I can tell you, that hardly will any of the members, on their own, afford a land here now, just based on their salary and everything even if they save. It is not easy. But when you see quite several people come together, it is much easier to buy the land and then over time you then build.
“So, the example I hope this will also show to Nigerians is that we should not always be thinking of doing things on our own. You can form a cooperative society even within the rest of society, you don’t have to be working for a big company. People of like minds (can come together).
“We have seen it in some churches, so I think this is a reminder to Nigerians that it is time to form more cooperatives. And collectively, a lot of projects like this which people think are unattainable suddenly becomes achievable.
“The vision for us is that housing, like in most other developed countries, should not be something that puts people under immense stress. Housing is a basic need in life. Apart from food, it is the next basic thing, and for me, all Nigerians should be at a point having a good shelter of choice should not be far-fetched.”
Also, speaking, D, Director, Federal Department of Cooperative, Mr. Idris Sani commended COOPLAG for the feat, especially for its continued efforts to bridge Nigeria’s housing deficit. He noted that other cooperative societies in the country should emulate them.
He said: “We are here today witnessing the ground-breaking ceremony of construction of housing estate by COOPLAG cooperative. This project will go a long way in alleviating the difficulties Nigerians are in in not having enough homes for them to live. This project will not doubt when completed relieve so many Nigerians who are not house owners to become house owners.
“We are all aware of the existing housing deficit in Nigeria which has been a serious challenge to our governments for decades. To address this, the government has been adopting different schemes aimed at encouraging Nigerians to acquire affordable homes, some which include the establishment of FMBN, federal government housing scheme, federal staff housing loans board and other similar schemes by state governments. Despite all these efforts, the gap of housing needs by Nigerians is still very wide and is growing day by day.
“This development also necessitated the involvement of private housing developers who build and sell houses to Nigerians particularly civil servants and other business owners at an agreed instalment payment rate. Shell Staff Investment and Thrift Cooperative Society is playing a greater role in this regard as we had witnessed in the past the commissioning of their estates and witnessing today, the ground-breaking ceremony of laying the foundation for another new housing estate, this is quite commendable.”