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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Housing Situation in Lugbe Area of Abuja

Housing Situation in Lugbe Area of Abuja

Lugbe, an evolving residential expanse is set at the South West of the central area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The low-cost community, Lugbe takes a central stage between the Abuja Central Area and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport connecting with both at terminal ends in 15-minutes drive.

Quality and Affordable Housing is a key element to a strong and secure Iowa: this was stated by the 40th Governor of the State of Iowa in the United State of America, Tom Vilsack during his inaugural speech in 1999.

In 2011, the Federal Capital Territory Administration in his quest to have a strong and secure city, developed a Federal Housing Authority Estate for low income earners in Lugbe. Fifty-two housing units of three-bedroom flats were built in the first batch and sold for N13.5million as against more expensive units in the central area like Gwarimpa, Asokoro, Maitama amongst others. Private Developers also trouped-in to the area as bees to honey with tens of Estates and hundreds of Houses making Lugbe an Estate Developer’s Honey-land.

Eleven Years after the rebirth of Lugbe and its residential breath, Bad roads have become one huge mishap to residents. The inner roads connecting different parts of Lugbe are dusty and filled with potholes destroying components of cars and motorcycles plying the roads. Muchingoro, Karamajigi, Chika, Aleita,Trademore amongst many other areas are barely accessible for commercial vehicles without expecting their cars to develop faults on the excruciating road.

In Chika, the 1km road between the junction and market takes a car close to ten minutes to navigate the less horrible path on the road while waiting for other cars ahead.

Commuters and Residents have incessantly lodged their complaints with the Abuja Municipal Area Council office. Mr Chimezie, a resident added that his community association had resolved into self-help by filling the potholes with stones to reduce the agony.

The absence of drainage pathways on these roads have been identified as one of major causes of flooding the road creating small rivers on land roads.

The word “ affordability “ also seemed to be deliberately fading away in the housing estate units in Lugbe as the developers now value and rent houses out at rather exorbitant rates. A three-bedroom flat now cost betweenN20million – N30million while the annual rent hovers between N1million- N1.5million . This will cost about N84,000 per month for rent in a country where the minimum wage is currently N30,000 and over 130million people live in poverty.

Owning a house in Lugbe has also become tougher and the dream has become a myth which is somewhat opposite of a reality to residents. The Mortgage plans have not fully taken the increasing cost of living and stagnant salary scale into consideration making it a herculean task to keep up. Some Residents have complained of being left with barely enough to feed and commute after fulfilling monthly mortgage responsibilities with private developers.

American Sociologist and Writer, Mathew Desmond in his submission stated “ I don’t think that you can address poverty unless you address the lack of affordable housing in cities “. The exorbitant housing rates have led to unpalatable state of accommodation in houses where a family of five live in a single bedroom apartment. Mr Ajibola, a civil servant and husband in a family of seven mentioned that he could not afford a three-bedroom apartment and had to settle for a two-bedroom apartment where his family squeeze themselves in.

The intentional motive of creating Lugbe as a residential escape out of the city for mid and low income earners have started fizzling off like a mist. Some Families had to merge funds in securing apartments where a room is now being cohabited by up to seven individuals.

It is the hope of the residents and commuters along the roads that the Government will live up to its electoral and constitutional responsibilities by fixing the roads and drainages making life better for her citizenry. The Government is also expected to engage developers in a way to work out convenient mortgage plans to ease the exorbitant rate of housing in the residential hub of Lugbe.

A United State Senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock in his conclusion stated “ Housing is stability, Housing is dignity, Housing is absolutely necessary and critical infrastructure”.

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