By RUKAYAT ADEYEMI
LAGOS- Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Thursday said his administration had inaugurated more than 15 housing projects and 3,526 housing units across the state since its inception in 2019.
Sanwo-Olu said this at the second stakeholders’ summit of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Lagos State Chapter, held in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Engr. Omotayo Bamgbose, Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, said other on-going affordable and decent housing projects would be delivered before the end of the first tenure of his administration.
“Most of these projects are being developed in conjunction with private developers and we will continue to explore the public-private partnership model.
“This is in order to continue to enjoy the robust benefit it offers to the sector and its effectiveness in delivering more housing units to meet the demands of an increasing population,” he said.
According to him, the ongoing land reform in the state is a firm commitment to addressing the challenge of housing deficit in Lagos.
Sanwo-olu mentioned said the state government had also strengthened its policy of delivering homes to Lagosians through a convenient mortgage system tagged, ‘Rent-To-Own.’
The governor said: “In addition, we introduced the monthly rent payment policy to ease the hardship usually experienced by the people, especially low income earners.
“It is expected to be a win-win situation for both the tenants and landlords as it would create a steady stream of income for property owners.
“I solicit the support of property owners and stakeholders to embrace the policy and ensure that it succeeds.”
Sanwo-Olu said the dearth of affordable housing affected low income citizens who paid an inconsistent share of their income for housing or lived in inadequate housing.
He expressed regret that low income earners had to live in houses that were hard to reach from their employment and had difficulty accessing health and other social services.
The governor admitted that finding the right solutions to the challenges confronting the state would require embracing diverse opinions and views; hence, the consistent engagement with critical stakeholders to achieve the greater Lagos desired.
Sanwo-Olu urged all serious-minded investors to join hands with the government for a speedy resolution of the housing deficit in the state, as the investment opportunities in the sector were huge and quite rewarding.
“To manage the activities of stakeholders in the real estate sector, we activated the law that established the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA).
“This agency is saddled with investigating complaints and petitions against licensed and unlicensed real estate practitioners, property developers and impose sanctions in accordance with the law.
“Let me also reiterate our administration’s zero tolerance policy to willful flouting of rules and regulations guiding the operations in the built industry,” he said.
The governor lauded REDAN for organising the summit at a time the state government was looking at innovative ways to meet its housing deficit.
He expressed optimism that the meeting would proffer workable solutions that would further enhance housing development in the state.
“I congratulate and commend the leadership of REDAN for partnering with the Lagos State government through her relevant agencies to organise this summit.
“I urge you as an association to join hands with us in the renewed and determined efforts to ensure that established standards in the industry are complied with and strictly enforced,” Sanwo-Olu said.
In his welcome address, Chairman, REDAN Lagos Chapter, Mr Bamidele Onalaja, said real estate, being a secured investment for an assured future, was faced with a global challenge which needed to be tackled.
Onalaja said to this end, developers must strengthen their synergy with the government and all relevant stakeholders in the industry.
He added that the summit was another opportunity to brainstorm and plan towards 2023 and beyond.
He noted that real estate investment over the years in Nigeria attracted both local and foreign investors.
According to him, the industry is, however, faced with unprecedented challenges such as inflation, which has led to a spike in the cost of building materials.
Onalaja said the adverse effect of global warming had also engendered a reduction of available land, especially in Lagos State due to flooding and erosion.
“For this reason and more there is every need to secure the future of the real estate industry.
“To all real estate developers who are yet to register, I urge you to be part of this formidable umbrella; there are so many investors in waiting,” he said.
Onalaja appreciated the Lagos State government under the stewardship of Gov. Sanwolu for his relentless support to REDAN, while lauding his colleagues for their doggedness to scale through the challenging year together. (NAN)