Lagos state govt. moves to restore activities to real estate sector

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By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos, Feb. 22, 2022 Lagos State Government has said that deliberate policies and actions are ongoing to restore activities to the real estate sector of the state economy.

Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, stated this at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Real Estate Outlook 2022 webinar, on Tuesday.

Naija247news reports that the webinar has, as its theme: “Real Estate Outlook 2022: Regulation, Affordability and Capacity”.

Benson-Awoyinka said that restoring activities to the real estate sector would drive economic growth and development.

According to her, the unprecedented shift in the past year, owing largely to the COVID-19 pandemic, has necessitated the state government’s move to revamp the sector.

She said that one of the strategies that government came up with to cope with the dynamic nature of the sector was the Real Estate Bill signed into law by the governor on Feb. 7.

She said that the law, among other things, sought to regulate business transactions, curb fraudulent practices as well as enhance value for money for residents of the state.

The special adviser noted that the state government had, in the last three years, received 130 petitions and was currently dealing with them in order to restore sanity to real estate practices.

“Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) is an agency of government in charge of enforcement, sanitisation and effectively monitoring activities in the sector.

“It is noteworthy to emphasise that it is now an offence for any individual or organisation to engage in real estate business transactions in the state without being registered with LASRERA.

Also, the Lagos State Foreclosure Law is to begin before the end of the first quarter of the year.

“I urge professional bodies to register with LASRERA so that the agency can capture relevant information in its database collation for real estate practitioners and for investors and investees’ confidence in the industry,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr Ayo Teriba, stressed the need for holistic understanding of the real estate macro fundamentals to maximise the benefits of the sector.

“You cannot look at residential and industrial, and leave out commercial, as they are all interdependent.

“We must however, shore up the infrastructure that drive the sector to full potential, as a minimum of 60 per cent of national assets are usually in the built sector,” he said.

In his remarks, President of LCCI, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, said that Nigeria’s huge and growing population remained a major driver of growth for the real estate industry, with the yearly average growing rate of three per cent.

Olawale-Cole said that other major growth drivers included: rising urbanisation, growing middle class, increasing investment from local participants that include pension funds and mutual funds as well as the growing number of high-net-worth individuals investing in real estate.

He said that targeted intervention by the Federal Government in the housing finance sector was also a growth driver.

The LCCI boss, however, noted that government alone could not bridge the housing deficit in Nigeria.

He said that with the right business environment in terms of regulations, policies and interventions, the private sector would be better positioned to invest in the real estate sector.

“Looking at sustainable business models, I call on operators in the real estate sector to embrace modern technology for service delivery.

“We urge the government to deploy more technology in land documentations and create a platform that hosts the identification of property, ownership and transactions made on them.

“This will make the sector better regulated and attract more investments to tackle dearth of data in Nigeria’s housing sector,” he said.