Over the years, concerned citizens have been complaining and reporting the abandonment of federal government buildings in some communities in Lagos state Which has become an eyesore and hideout to miscreants.
With many of these buildings in Lagos Island, there are others scattered within the state. All have valued to bring in a potential revenue of N3.5 billion from its use.
Some of the buildings are the old Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi, the Nigerian External Telecommunications (NET) building in Marina, the Defence House (formerly Independence Building) and the former Navy Headquarters building in Marina.
Real estate experts have called out the shame of the government for not being able to manage the nation’s assets. In a recent report by the Guardian, it has been observed that the political will and legal tussle to revive the buildings have been halted.
As stated in the report, efforts have been made by the federal government to sell some of these buildings, the said building in the report, is the Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi, a landmark edifice developed by the then military government of Gen. Yakubu Gowon to private individuals.
The 12-storey Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi, Lagos was abandoned in 1991. The complex developed in 1976, served as the engine room of the Federal Civil Service, but is presently in a state where the major components such as doors, windows and other fittings are in disarray.
The bid was won by a hospitality and leisure company, Resort International Limited (RIL). The company planned on converting the building to a housing unit but it was against the Lagos master plan for the area.
The plan, which would have accommodated 480 families, didn’t go well with the Lagos State Government, which opposed the idea of converting it into a residential area. Lagos obtained a court injunction barring anyone from doing anything with the complex and up till today, nothing has been done there.
Owner of the firm, Babalakin, had explained the controversy surrounding the project. “After we came up with our own ideas of converting the place to apartments, interests began and these interests were negative interests. We paid N7 billion for the property in 2005. We moved to the site around December 2015. We had completed the design, totally prepared the buildings, and removed all partitions for construction.’’
He said two years later, “some people claiming to be agents of Lagos State Government overran the place and stopped us from building.
Meanwhile, message sent to the Group Corporate Affairs Manager, Resort International Limited, Mikail Mumini, requesting the latest on the matter was not replied as at the time of filing this report.
Also, efforts to get reactions from Lagos State Government through the commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Dr. Idris Salako, were unsuccessful, as he didn’t reply messages sent to him.