By Tunde Adejumo
The Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka says investments in real estate sector can guarantee mass employment for Nigerians and enhance economic growth.
Benson-Awoyinka in a statement on Monday said that the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) had not relented on its efforts to unearth the various opportunities that abound in real estate industry.
According to her, the state government has come up with several interventions to help bridge the identified gap among the practitioners, stakeholders and consumers in the industry.
Benson-Awoyinka said that the government had realised that there were genuine real estate practitioners/property developers as well as genuine home and property seekers who were very desirous of credibility in real estate transactions.
The special adviser, who noted that there were also fraudulent practitioners, said that the government was doing everything possible to ward off all fraudulent practitioners in the sector.
“Since inception, LASRERA has made frantic efforts to change the negative image of unscrupulous and fraudulent practices which bedeviled the sector for years by the activities of a few at the expense of the majority.
“Having observed that investing in the real estate sector in Nigeria has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years and has become a common investment thread, the State Government realised the need to give this sector of the economy the attention it deserves.
“Worthy of mention is the mass employment capacity in the sector along the entire value chain, from artisans to professionals.
“We call on all to partner with the state government in providing succor to the teeming youths of this nation yearning to get the requisite training by providing such training and vocations to mop up in large quantities at various sites and projects,” she said.
Benson-Awoyinka said that in October at the Maiden Policy Roundtable Dialogue, Sanwo-Olu made some commitment to the practitioners in the industry on the way forward and the contribution of the sector to the overall GDP of the state.
“As parts of our efforts towards transforming the industry, LASRERA has leveraged on technology to make it easy for anyone anywhere in the world to access the data of accredited Real Estate Practitioners/ Property Developers and their products upon the touch of a button on the World Wide Web on the larera.lagosstate.gov.ng site.
“This is one of the strategies we are using to curb proliferation of uncertified practitioners, quackery and unprofessionalism which we have observed to be the major challenge confronting the growth of the industry.”
The special adviser, who appealed to investors to team up with the state government, urged stakeholders not to hesitate in communicating to government areas where intervention was needed to reform the sector.
She said that the state government would stop at nothing in initiating interventions that would change the negative narrative in the real estate practice over the years.
Benson-Awoyinka called for investors’ collaborations to create a home ownership model that would help her address the deficits observed in housing market in the state through Private Public Partnership (PPP) initiative in providing mass housing for the people.
“As the government determines to bridge the housing deficit in the state, we are aware the role of State Government in not just the provision of houses alone but also to create an enabling environment for the private sector working hand in hand to a desired end.
“I make bold to stress the commitment of Mr Governor to give the necessary support as a stakeholder in the industry.
“We will make businesses thrive, and we will relentlessly pursue the sole aim of government which is the protection of lives and property beginning with the provision of decent and affordable housing for the people of our dear State Lagos,” she said.
According to her, to sanitise the sector, a minimum irreducible standards are expected for it to thrive in the 21st century economy.