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Ogun Housing Scheme Scandal: Applicants Condemn Price Hike As Daylight Robbery

Daud Olatunji

 Over 200 applicants of the Ogun State Housing Scheme have vehemently rejected the state government’s decision to increase the price of properties in the Prince Court Estate, Kobape, two years after payments were made, describing the proposed price hike as “daylight robbery.”

In a press statement issued on Monday, the applicants expressed their strong opposition to both the options of a proposed refund and the increase in the price of the houses. 

They argued that they had fulfilled their part of the agreement and should not bear the consequences of the government’s delays.

PLATFORM TIMES had earlier reported the alleged scandal in the housing scheme, highlighting the government’s failure to hand over the properties to the applicants despite receiving payments two years ago.

 In response, the government indicated that it would either offer refunds or increase the prices due to inflation that affected the process.

The applicants, represented by Adeyemi Aremu, refuted the government’s justification for the price hike, insisting that the delay in allocation was not their fault.

 Aremu emphasised that the applicants should not be penalised for the government’s failure to allocate the houses on time.

“We vehemently reject the refund or increment,” Aremu stated.

 “We urge the Ogun State government to acknowledge that the delay in prompt allocation after payment caused the so-called price variation and to take responsibility for defaulting.”

The press statement further outlined the history of the transaction. Applicants purchased forms for ₦5,000 and paid ₦5.5 million for each house, with retired civil servants receiving a discounted rate of ₦4.95 million. 

These payments were made in 2020 and 2021. Despite this, no allocations have been made to over 200 qualified applicants whose names were approved and published.

“What excuse can there be three years after we have fulfilled our part of the bargain by duly paying? Are we responsible for the delay?” Aremu questioned. 

“It is clear that the government’s abandonment, delay, and non-allocation on time caused the price variation. Therefore, the Dapo Abiodun administration should take responsibility for its failure to meet their side of the bargain.”

Aremu also highlighted the unfair treatment of the third phase of applicants, who are yet to receive any allocation despite paying within the same timeframe as those in the first and second phases.

 He warned that any price increase from ₦5.5 million to ₦20 million or a refund at this stage would amount to fraud and erode public trust in the Ogun State government.

“We appeal to Governor Dapo Abiodun to instruct the Ministry of Housing to fulfill its part of the bargain and promptly allocate the houses paid for without further delay,” Aremu urged. 

“What we paid for are two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, which should be roofed, plastered externally, fitted with external casement windows, and painted outside with grey colour, exactly as allocated to the first and second phases.”

The applicants called on well-meaning Nigerians, activists, the media, and other stakeholders to support their cause and prevent what they termed as “daylight robbery.” They also urged the Gateway Mortgage Bank to protect the interests of its clients and ensure that the houses are allocated as promised.

The press release was issued in reaction to a statement by the Ogun State Commissioner for Housing, Jagunmolu Jamiu Omoniyi, who denied the allegations of a scandal in the Prince Court Estate housing scheme. 

Omoniyi had attributed the delay in allocation to the current inflation, which he said necessitated minor variations in the property prices.

 He noted that the market value of the properties had risen to ₦20 million from the initial ₦5.5 million.

“Consequently, the government plans to engage all applicants through various stakeholders’ meetings, as there will be an adjustment in the price of the property,” Omoniyi stated.

The applicants, however, remain firm in their demand for the government to honour the original terms of the agreement and allocate the houses without further delay.

 

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