Bennett Oghifo

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has said the only way to make mass housing affordable is to address the cost of the components that increase the cost of the project.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who stated this in his speech as special guest of honour at the Nigerian Institution of Building (NIOB) 31st builders’ conference in Lagos, recently, said the cost of land and infrastructure must be addressed for mass housing to be affordable.

He said, “All hands must be on deck to proffer solutions to the various challenges militating against provision of Mass Housing in the Country. Even when as a government or as private Investors, we are desirous of providing of mass housing, we are limited by challenges, such as affordability in terms of pricing of the homes and that of purchasing the property by the citizens as well as the sustenance/maintenance of the provided housing units or sometimes the cost and difficulty in the process of Title Documentation are issues I think this conference can begin to address.

“Land which ultimately increases the cost of the project and which in turn is reflected in the sale price should be addressed. “More so, when the cost of infrastructure is considered as a major component in the overall project cost, then we need to find a way to ensure that mass housing becomes affordable, said Sanwo-Olu, who was a Chief Executive Officer of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), a real estate firm of the Lagos State Government.

The governor said, “Also, as professionals, we all know that the type of technology adopted for construction significantly impacts on the project cost just as statutory fees and charges in the area of Stamp Duty, Registration of Title, Physical Planning Fees, Tax and other Statutory Fees also aggregate into increased Cost of Purchase. Ladies and Gentlemen all these ultimately affects affordability in terms of purchasing the property by the citizens

“You may also want to deliberate upon how Citizens can have access to Mortgage Facilities through a thriving Primary Mortgage Market that is sustained by a Secondary Mortgage Market.

“As a Government, it gives me joy to stand amongst you, to inform you that in the past two years, the government of Lagos State has acquired an enviable reputation in implementing efficient, effective and sustainable Mass Housing policy through the Lagos State Home Ownership Scheme (LAGOSHOMS)

“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 the productivity of our 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 of the State. This does not only serve as a development driver of the vision to be Africa’s model smart city, it has also sharpened our focus to address the long-standing issue of housing deficit that can only be surmounted by an aggressive housing delivery programme.”

He said, “Over the years, the Nigerian Institute of Building has shown a 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 needs across the country, and particularly in Lagos State. Your contribution to various developmental dialogue, employment of the youth, building maintenance reforms and sustainable development has continued to positively impact on citizens.

“Public/Private Partnership remains critical, in order to accelerate development, and please be informed that the government of Lagos State is open to collaboration with interested investors to support the ongoing efforts of this administration to effect key reforms in transportation, environment, public infrastructure and tourism sectors to further put the State on a sound footing for economic growth and development.

“On this note, I charge the Association to leverage on the endless opportunities of the strategic position of Lagos as one of the fastest growing economies in the world to be solution providers, on our part as a State Government, we will continue to maintain the available infrastructure and provide a conducive environment to accommodate the growing and shifting population in Lagos State

“I must also commend The Nigeria Institute of Building for the deliberate efforts to promote professionalism in facility management. I enjoin you to continue to put in more for the overall benefit of Nigerians.”

In a keynote address, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson- Awoyinka urged members of NIOB to comply with the state government’s regulations in business transactions and building structures.

She said, “For emphasis, it is now an offence for individuals /organizations to engage in Real Estate Business in Lagos State without being registered with the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority- LASRERA, with effect from February 2022.

“Last year, Mr. Governor inaugurated a Technical Committee on Real Estate Regulation to address issues of fiscal responsibility and financial transparency. The committee members were drawn from private and public sectors with specific issues relating to the trusteeship of funds for off-plan development, sustainable governance structure, insurance guidelines and rules, strata law and devolution of ownership and residents association law, with the State mortgage law under view at the Lagos State House of Assembly.”

Welcoming guests and participants, the Chairman, NIOB, Lagos State Chapter, Bldr. Lucky Isename said Lagos “is the present hub of construction activities in Nigeria. This city also plays host to the fastest growing economy in Africa. Suffice to say, you all are well-positioned to spearhead relevant changes in the African built environment.

“This conference aims at strategically and decisively propelling the Nigerian construction industry forward, in a mental and practical shift towards professionalism and quality delivery to match the global shift in the construction landscape.”

Username said, “We all are not unaware of the accelerating global shift in the construction industry worldwide. On the Nigerian scene, it is of paramount importance that we track our progress, failures, and close our gaps. Our bottom-line objective here is strategic brainstorming. We must pinpoint our present gaps as peculiar to our geographic territory, and map out the necessary strategies to close those gaps from a multi-level perspective. How do we effect changes both from top down, and bottom up? How do we proactively contribute to Nigeria’s GDP in more innovative ways? How do we begin to strategically reduce our extreme consumerism of foreign products in the construction industry?

“Mortgages, insurance. Critical issues within the housing industry.”