By Femi Ojo, a friend of GSM Advocates
In the recent time, I have noticed that Real Estate developers are now trooping to Oyo State from Lagos, Abuja and other neighboring States to plant their own Estate in the State capital and other zones in Oyo State.
I took a short trip to Iseyin through Moniya in the past weeks, and to my amazement, the number of Estates I saw springing up in that axis is mind-blowing and what makes it even more interesting is that, there is no big name in the real Estate industry in Nigeria from Adron Homes, Afia Homes, T-Pumpy, MKH Homes, Gracias, and other that you won’t see having a property development on the corridor in Akinyele Local Government. Just like they call Lekki, Ajah & Epe the new Lagos, this axis is fast becoming our own New Oyo.
I ask myself, why do they all in one swoop invaded this axis, and I also gave myself an answer after realizing that we now have a working train Station commuting passengers to and fro from Lagos daily, and that there is about to be commissioned Dry port in Moniya, where people can clear their goods without having to worry about the gridlock, and bottleneck of Apapa port. This is a business arrangements between Oyo State and Federal Government cited on about 95 Hecters of Land according to the available information.
These are not the only reasons for real Estate developers in that corridor. I also drove on a smooth 65km road, which is without a single pothole, started and re- built by Governor Seyi Makinde. You will have to realize that businesses are very sensitive to infrastructural developments. If GSM hasn’t constructed that particular Moniya-Iseyin road, these big real Estate developers may not have picked interest in that axis of the State.
Governor Seyi Makinde said in his manifesto that he wanted to link all zones of Oyo State, and that he has achieved under #Omituntun1.0, and the resultant effect is that a lot of people are now moving their businesses to Ibadan.
Before now, in terms of real Estate, Oyo State is no where to be found, but all that has now changed and kudos to the effort of our ever performing Governor Seyi Abiodun Makinde. Multiple jobs are now created, new funds from investors are now entering Oyo State running into hundreds of million of dollars, and the economy is generally moving up and expanding steadily.
Let me digress a little, over the weekend, Ibadan became a global spotlight due to the Balogun Danjuma’s led #IbadanTechExpo, that took place at the International Conference Center, University of Ibadan, where young and talented tech enterprenuers gathered to cross ventilate and share ideas. Typically, an event of this size having over 7,000 participants usually take place in places like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt but young professionals are now changing the story. Ibadan is no longer the local city some myopic mind still think it is. Let me commend the conveners while I encourage people of such professions to keep coming up with events and ideas that can keep projecting the State to the whole world.
Back to my story, I recently saw an article shared on a WhatsApp group where the previous and current government is being criticized for converting unused, dormant and vacant parcel of lands to build different residential Estates. The writer started off by criticizing past governments of Kolapo Ishola, Lam Adeshina, Akala, Ajimobi but obviously the target of the article is Governor Seyi Makinde.
Since the Establishment of Kolapo Ishola GRA, Aerodrome GRA, Calton Gate and few others, the quality of housing in Oyo State has Increased and Oyo State is fast changing from the brown roof tag which signifies backwardness in terms of housing development in the State to a modern city that can now rival other States in Nigeria in terms of real developments.
With the coming of Governor Seyi Makinde in 2019, alot of new GRAs has been established in quick succession when he saw the huge housing deficit in the State and amongst them are Kole-Osho GRA, Engr Lere Adigun GRA, Rashidi Ladoja GRA, Rayfield Gardens City Estate Alao Akala GRA, and many others.
I have been to Kolapo Ishola GRA, and I myself resides in Calton Gate Estate, but i cannot dispute the quality I saw when I went to assist my friends who reside outside the country to make enquiries about Lere Adigun GRA and Rayfield Gardens City Estate Alaka GRA. These are Estates built with quality roads Network, drainages and other modern infrastructures, and from what I was told, the Government has warned all developer partners to build only quality Infrastructures.
These are Estates that was never in Existence before now, which has now added to the pride of Oyo State in terms quality projects.
The writer mischievously alleged that the government is converting public land into Estates, and the question is, before now, what was the specific and significant economic contributions of these said public lands to the Oyo State people and government?
He went further to say that the Trans Amusement Park, and Agodi Gardens should also not be used to build Estates but failed to mention the usefulness of these idle public land to the overall economy of the State. Unfortunately, these are the same set of people still thinking that Oyo State should remain where it has always been without any meaningful progress.
The Lagos State everyone likes to turn and run to for even Residential Estate didn’t get to where it is today by being rigidly conservative. The State keeps getting hundreds of million of dollars investment everyday because it liberalizes businesses and encourage private investors. This is the same thing Governor Seyi Makinde is doing by creating thriving business environment for Investors, who are bringing their funds into the Oyo State Economy.
We all know the famous Story trending on Social Media about Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 1990, as a jungle and desert, but it took just one man to stand up to change the story of Dubai as the foremost Real Estate and Tourist destination in the world. Dubai rulers are not myopic, Seyi Makinde is not myopic, and that is the reasons you are seeing his government building massive road projects, and correcting all the economic wrongs for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
Let me say this, the essence of any elected government is to develop the State, create a better economic experience and change the lives of the people and these are what Governor Seyi Makinde has been saddled with since he came into power.
Oyo State cannot afford to remain the same without developments, because one of the critical factor of developments is Land, and any government willing to take the bull by the horns will start off with unused, dormant public lands in their reach which is what is being done.
Since the Establishments of these Estates as listed on the website of Ministry of Land Housing and Urban Development, thousands of direct and indirect jobs has been created for local contractors, youths, and the Oyo State people. In fact, most of these deals has brought in more income to the State Government rather than having these lands lying fallow. The residents of the Estates will be paying taxes, tenament rate and etc, which will keep bringing in more income to the State cofers steadily.
Real Estate is a capital intensive business if quality Infrastructures is involved, therefore any new Estate in Oyo State is a win for the people and the government. I therefore encourage the State Government to keep up the good work because the number of Estate in Oyo State currently is too small compared to what we have in Lagos and Abuja.