Sanwo-Olu Identifies Real Estate Business as Key Factor of Lagos Economy

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (File Photo)
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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has identified real estate business as a key sector that has the potential of contributing 25 per cent growth to the state’s economy, saying his administration could not afford to miss this opportunity.

Speaking at the maiden Policy Roundtable Dialogue with the theme: “International Best Practice on Real Estate Regulations,” organised by Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), Sanwo-Olu charged property developers, investors, real estate lawyers and practitioners to work with his administration to create a home ownership model that would help the state government address the deficits observed in housing market in Lagos State.

The governor raised concern over the huge gap observed in the provision of mass housing to large number of residents, describing the situation as unacceptable. He said Lagos State Government was ready to bridge the gap by partnering the private sector and working with stakeholders to ensure people have access to viable home services.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration had started to identify big players in the real estate sector that would partner with the government to raise housing stock of in the state. He said the government was ready to provide enabling environment for the investors to put their finances in creation of viable housing market for residents.

According to him, “Public Private Partnership is one of the options we are exploring to realise our objectives of providing viable housing scheme for our citizens. We are at the edge of identifying real big players in the real estate sector to see how well we can leapfrog housing stock in our state. The government is ready to provide enabling environment and remove the bottlenecks that may impede this opportunity.

“The housing stock deficit that we have in Lagos is not acceptable, but we all know the government cannot provide everything. We certainly need to explore opportunities in private investment to ensure we realise our objective.

“Real estate business has the potential of contributing 25 per cent growth to the State’s economy and we cannot let this opportunity pass by.”

Sanwo-Olu said part of the efforts being made by the government to raise the investment level of real estate business is to improve the turnaround time on land transactions. He said the state government had started improvement work on its Geographic Information System (GIS) platform to enable real estate investors have real time information on status of property they are investing in.

The governor harped on lack of accurate data on real estate investment in the state, pledging that the state would be working with the practitioners to create workable database that would help investors and government. He added that his administration would introduce legislations that would help curb bad behaviors among tenants and property owners.

He disclosed that his administration would be launching a N5 billion seed capital through Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to support businesses that want to provide succour to citizens in different areas.

In his remarks, Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, assured the stakeholders that the current administration was ready to regulate business and protect the citizens from abuse and fraudulent transactions.

Also speaking at the event, Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said the incumbent administration would not fail in its social responsibility to the people and investors.

She said: “The reason for the emphasis on registration with the Real Estate Practitioners and Property Developers is to provide protection to citizens from imposters, fraudsters and reduce sharp practices associated with some unauthorised individuals who are not registered members of any professional association in Lagos and the country at large.

“I urge all stakeholders to join hands with the state government to eliminate dubious individuals in the Real Estate industry and deal with them in accordance with relevant laws of the state.

“This way, the integrity of the business will be restored and international investment will increase. LASRERA portal will provide local and foreign investors with the relevant data analytics for market transparency and intelligence that will help the growth and development of the real estate sector.”

Idowu Sowunmi