Many residential buildings in Ikotun-Egbe on the outskirts of Lagos have been converted to hotels and inns because of the presence of the Synagogue of all Nations Church, writes ’NONYE BEN-NWANKWO
Mr. Joseph Sunday, who resides at Egbe in Ikotun Egbe, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos, last Saturday looked every inch a worried man. The expression on his face showed a man whose inner recesses are preoccupied with worries.
Indeed, the 40-year-old father of five, who our correspondent saw at a property agent’s shop, is having an accommodation problem. His landlord at Bolungberu Street on the Isolo-Ikotun Road, has given him a notice to vacate his house in the next six months. So, Sunday’s anxiety was not only on how to secure another accommodation for his family, but also how to raise the needed money to do so. He also has to meet his landlord’s deadline if his belongings would not be thrown out of the compound.
Securing and paying for accommodation in Lagos is no child’s play. Besides, the huge two or three years’ rent one has to pay to get a fairly good place, other sundry financial bills like the agreement and agent’s fees, among others, are part of the burden one has to bear.
The legwork, as it were, is another task any potential accommodation seeker has to face. Indeed, anybody looking for an accommodation has to register with agents, which, of course, requires monetary involvement (perhaps between N2,000 and N5,000) in as many shops as possible, although that does not suggest an automatic access to the apartment of one’s choice.
These and many other psychological issues were occupying Sundays mind last Saturday.
Like Sunday, many other residents of Egbe and its environs are facing a similar experience. Small-scale business owners too are not left out of what a resident of the area described as the “mad rush for the occupation” of the territory.
Property owners in the area are no longer interested in giving out their apartments to families for a long period of years. In the new thinking, there is now a fresher approach to recouping the money they have spent on the buildings.
Not only that, many house owners prefer to relocate to other parts of the city and let out their houses as chalets.
One of them, Mr. Gabriel Omatade, who relocated to Gemade Estate in Egbeda, said he had two houses now turned to hotels in the area.
According to him, it makes more economic sense for him to live in a rented apartment elsewhere because he makes more money from the houses converted to hotels.
Another house owner who craved anonymity, gave the same reason for moving out of the area.
He said he makes more than double the money he could have made if his house had been solely occupied by tenants.
“The easiest way to make more money from your apartment is to turn them to chalets. There are enough visitors here everday to stay in them,” he added.
Little wonder, the Egbe-Ikotun area of Lagos, the once residential area, is of late beginning to attract a lot of attention and increasingly becoming a business hub, courtesy of the presence of Synagogue Church of All Nations.
Following the large number of people coming to worship or seek one religious favour or another in the church, the tempo and standard of life in the area have moved upward.