Nigeria – Promises to restore public confidence in the sector
The Lagos State Government, on Thursday, inaugurated a 16-man Technical Committee on Real Estate Regulation to facilitate the restoration of investors’ and public confidence in the Lagos State Real estate sector.
Speaking during the inaugural meeting of members of the Committee, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, explained that the Committee’s mandate is to design a policy and fiscal framework to institute and promote global best practices in the sector.
She said that one of the lessons from the outbreak of COVID-19 was the need to create and develop a robust housing policy with stakeholder involvement and engagement, as well as curtail malpractices in the real estate sector, while also improving financial transparency and fiscal responsibility.
The Special Adviser said that the Committee has the mandate of addressing the challenges in the sector with particular attention to reforming the Home Ownership Model to increase housing stock and reduce the deficit.
Her words: “To achieve this, the Committee will be required to set up a comprehensive system and framework, which will prioritise the development of a fiscal responsibility and transparency model, to promote the inflow of local and international funding required to confront the housing deficit, among others.”
“The Committee will set up a governance structure that will oversee the entire real estate framework and stakeholder engagement in the State to minimise trust deficiency. The structure will cater to the entire system of the real estate process and will incorporate participation from Private Developers, Financial Institutions and, of course, the State Government in a Public-Private Partnership model.”
Mrs. Benson-Awoyinka informed that in order to further boost confidence and safeguard investment in the State, the Committee will be responsible for the centralisation of insurance management for all real estate assets, which will dovetail into the existing Lagos State Risk Management framework.
In his remarks at the event, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, who is also a member of the Committee from the government side, said that beyond building roads and bridges the promotion of policy formulation for ease of doing business is also important to address the challenges confronting the State.
He maintained that the Real Estate sector has not done optimally well, considering the huge potentials in the sector and its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
His words: “The Real Estate Sector in Nigeria is yet to grow to the level of making an impact on the growth of national GDP. The reason is not farfetched, it is because the secrets of the sector are yet to be explored by both the investors and the government to help harness the potentials to the benefit of the Nation.
“In modern cities like Dubai, real estate accounts for about 20% of its GDP, compared to an average of 7% in most other countries. This statistic calls for a revisit of our real estate model and possible re-appraisal of our assumptions in order to improve our contribution to the Nigerian economy”.
Dr. Olowo also implored all stakeholders to work closely as a team in transforming the Real Estate Sector, particularly in Lagos State, to become one of the best real estate sectors across the globe.
Also speaking, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, urged the Committee members to see the task ahead of them as efforts towards revamping the entire real estate practice in the country, through Lagos State.
He pledged that with the partnership of key stakeholders and industry players in the real estate sector, members of the Committee will be able to provide the right regulatory framework for real estate transactions to thrive and give confidence to investors in Lagos State.
Onigbanjo also gave an assurance that the State Government will ensure that necessary sections of the establishing law for LASRERA are amended to accommodate more provisions that enhance the vision of LASRERA as intended by the State Government and also assist the Committee members.
Some of the Committee members inaugurated by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice from the private sector are: Mr. Babatunde Obaniyi of United Capital Trustees; Mr. Kayode Omotoso of Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN); Mr. Afolabi Balogun of Libra Law Offices; Mrs. Funmi Ekundayo of STL Trustees; Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu of the NMRC, Dr. Roland Igbinoba of Pison Housing; and Mr. Bisi Onasanya of The Address Homes.
Also in the Committee are; Mr. Femi Adewole of the FHF; Mr. Owolabi Salami of All Oaks Insurance Limited; Mr. Demola Sogunle of Stanbic IBTC; and Mr. Deji Charles Adeogun of Philips, Charles, Anthony LLP.