The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has blamed real estate practitioners not building according to the property laws of the state for the menace of building collapse in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu stated this during a real estate summit jointly organised by the Lagos Business School and the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, recently.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Abimbola Salu-Hundeyin, said Lagos was forging ahead to find lasting solutions to the state’s housing concerns.
The Governor said there would be more than 30 million people living in Lagos by 2035, adding that this would present a challenge of providing affordable housing for the teeming population, given the limited land mass of the state.
Sanwo-Olu said, “It is pertinent to state that the increasing building collapses and demolitions recorded showed that the practitioners are not building in compliance with regulations, especially about building approvals, environmental standards, energy efficiency, and quality of material.
“Therefore, the need for us as a government to continuously advocate, monitor and enforce where necessary, the extant regulations and standards become necessary with the application of innovation and quality control strategies and technologies.”
Speaking on the topic: ‘Building for the future,’ the keynote speaker and Founding Partner of Estate Links Ltd, Gbenga Olaniyan, emphasised the need to understand the dynamic nature of the market before entertaining the subject matter of building for the next generation.
Olaniyan, who also harped on the need for property practitioners to make decisions based on accurate information and statistics, said that the best approach to real estate was to ‘think long-term.’
He said, “Artificial Intelligence will take over the business of people who don’t use Artificial Intelligence, so the onus is on us all to get connected. We need to understand AI before it leaves us behind because clearly, this is part of the future of construction.”
The summit also featured three panel sessions during which experts in the real estate sector discussed innovation and quality control and how these would shape the future of the industry.
Speaking during a panel session, the Head of Real Estate Finance West Africa at Stanbic IBTC, Tola Akinhanmi, noted that interest rates in the last 10 years had been unstable, which has had a significant impact on cross-border transactions.
He advised real estate players in the local industry to eschew borrowing in foreign currency, especially when they are not earning the needed forex to offset such dollar obligations.
The Principal Partner, Ismail & Partners, Gbenga Ismail, said that proper land titling, tax regime, and convenient repatriation of funds are issues that must be addressed to increase investments in the industry.
According to him, regulation should focus more on boosting investors’ confidence as no investor would lay out money without critically examining the challenges that could hamstring such an investment.