In a bid to enhance access to housing schemes and reduce the housing deficit in Lagos, the State Government has unveiled plans to digitise two core departments in the Ministry of Housing to fast-track data processing for increased efficiency and reduce inconveniences occasioned by prospective allottees and investors.
Speaking on the plan, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said that the departments affected by the initiative are the Estate Department, which has the responsibility of processing applications for home ownership, and the Physical Planning and Survey Department, which is vested with the duty of interfacing with prospective joint venture partners.
Akinderu-Fatai said that the automation will start with the two departments because of their pivotal roles in the process of housing delivery, adding that they interact with the public either in handling applications for homes or managing enquiries from private developers and investors who may be interested in partnering with the State.
He said: “It is our belief that the digitisation process will bring convenience to all as information can easily be accessed and exchanged between the Ministry and the public at all times”.
Explaining that digitisation will also bring about improved productivity and real-time data-processing since the documents of all prospective allottees and investors can be verified on-line, the Commissioner added that processing will be fast tracked while data collection, resource management and storage of archival documents will be enhanced for future references.
While describing digitalisation as a necessary development, he said it is in response to global trends of increasing system proficiency and ease in work processes, reiterating that to achieve the SMART City project, there is need to embrace global best practices for automation of the database.
He recalled that Governor Sanwo-Olu, during the commissioning of Abiodun Ogunleye Estate in Igbogbo, promised that affordable housing to low-income earners is one of the priorities of his administration and that more homes would be ready for delivery before the third anniversary of the present administration.
Akinderu-Fatai, therefore, advised intending applicants to obtain their forms through the legitimate avenue as the Ministry does not assign any third party to transact on its behalf.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Wasiu Akewusola, urged the development partners and other investors to step forward to collaborate with Lagos State government in the development of the housing sector, adding that all encumbrances impeding the delivery of affordable housing have been eradicated with the automation of the system.