Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has tasked members of the Nigerian lnstitute of Building (NIOB) to develop innovative solutions that would help the country tackle various challenges militating against mass housing provision.

He stated this, yesterday, at the 31st builders’ conference and yearly general meeting of the Lagos State Chapter of NIOB, entitled, “The Shifting Landscape: Redefining the Real Estate Industry”, held in Lekki, Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu noted that the theme is germane to the state and that it is coming at a time the government is seeking possible solutions to affordable mass housing delivery and sustainability for the citizenry of Lagos.

The governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Works, Lagos, Adebayo Odusanya, said the government and private investors, were desirous of providing mass housing, but are limited by challenges, such as affordability in terms of pricing of the homes and purchasing the property by the citizens, among others.

He said that the state government, in the past two years, had acquired an enviable reputation in implementing efficient, effective and sustainable mass housing policy through the Lagos State Home Ownership Scheme (LAGOSHOMS).

Sanwo-Olu said: “We are aware of the attendant impact of housing on the health and economic well-being of the citizenry such that it can generate a strong economic base for productivity of the people, increase employment and even serve as collateral for financial transactions. Our target therefore is to facilitate a housing finance system that will produce a foundation for long-term growth. It is instructive to note that we are making progress in mass housing provision in Lagos State and one of the strategic decisions of the administration is the unwavering quest to design and develop a mortgage system that supports affordable acquisition of the growing housing stock the state.”

He disclosed that government effort serves as a development driver of the vision to be Africa’s model smart city, and also sharpened focus to address long-standing issues of housing deficit that can only be surmounted by an aggressive housing delivery programme.

He, however, lauded the NIOB Lagos chapter for showing the spirit of excellence to find solutions to sustainability and maintenance issues necessitated by population explosion and its attendant pressure on transportation, infrastructure and technology to meet growing need across the country, and particularly in Lagos State.

Chairman, Lagos Chapter of NIOB, Mr. Lucky Isename, said the conference is more than relevant in view of the incessant collapse of buildings and its attendant loss of life and investments in the country.

He stressed the need to involve professionals in the built environment in building production process while legislative bills promoted in the sector must prioritise safety, environment and quality delivery of projects rather than focusing more on the financial point of view.