There is no doubt about it that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has done well in the Housing sector.
City People‘s investigations revealed that since he came into office 2 years ago, he has done a lot in that sector, and he has fulfilled most of his campaign promises in the area of Housing. That was why Gov. Sanwo-Olu was honoured on Sunday 25th July 2021 at the 6th edition of City People Real Estate Awards 2021, held at 10 Degrees Event Centre.
He won 2 Awards at the ceremony where he was represented by Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, his Special Adviser on Housing. She delivered a speech on what the LASG is doing in the Housing sector. The Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministery of Housing, Mr Wasiu Ademola Akeusola, also attended the Awards. He and his team in the Ministry were commended for a job well done. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu won the Real Estate Governor of the Year Award and Lagos State emerged the No 1 State in terms of Housing development.
This didn’t come to many real estate watchers as a big surprise. This is because since he came to office in 2019, he has never hidden the fact that he was going to do a lot in the Housing sector. Don’t also forget that he was the Managing Director of LSDPC, the foremost real estate company, before he became Governor.
We also recall that on Thursday, 23rd May, 2019 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, members of the Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State branch had their 13th Honours Nite, where professionalism and character were honoured.
Lagos State Governor elect, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was the Special Guest of Honour and he revealed how he planned to support real estate and most importantly the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State branch.
“I stand in front of you this evening first to thank you for that confidence which you have all given to me, but I know clearly that it is a job not many of you like to take but we also feel priviledged that you have given us this honour. More importantly, it is the first time you will be having someone from the Built environment coming to join you.”
“As a former Managing Director of LSDPC, the foremost real estate company, not only in Lagos but in Nigeria at large. LSDPC is close to 100 years old, and it has designed the very first planning, organisation and development of Lagos. With all sense of humily, I had a rare opportunity to have managed it for about 2 years.
And in those 2 years, we didn’t only practise Professionalism, we set standards. We set stakes that will define and redefine that organisation for the next 15 to 20 years. And what my colleagues and I did at that time were to take bold stepss, to say to ourselves that, if we do not reinvent ourselves, somebodys, very, very soon, we might go to extinction. We said, let’s go back and remember the forefathers that builds this institution, and all of the ideas they had and let’s put this organisation on the foot that they can compete well for the next 2 to 3 decades. I must say that, that organisation, in my view would stand the test of time and ready to compete very well.
But today is not about LSDPC and it is certain not about Lagos, it is about the awardees, it is about the professionalism in which you have given your profession, your institute. So, let me thank the awardees who to have deemed fit to have recognise you here today. Like someone said (the 1st Vice President of the Institution), that the only reward for good work, is more work. What it means is that, the honours the institute has given to you today is to roll up your sleeves to get to work and let it be reflected on the level of professionalism, on the level of commitment that you bring to the insitute and to Lagos Chapter especially.”
“Before I became a candidate and eventual Governors elect, I have had one or two interactions with Ecostone and others to ensure we bring quality and affordable houses. And also I will commend the Alaro City project in Lekki. It’s a project that I am aware of. It is a project I know that they have done well in other parts of Africa. Getting an award here today simply means you still have a lot to do.”
“Lagos is the heartbeat of the nation, by extension, Lagos is the heartbeat of the institute. Lagos is a place a real estate market, the property market, the development is situated. Lagos is a place where all of you should be truly proud of. My government will be government that will work with you.
It will be a government that will place you in the right place; that will place you in the right channel, so that we can continue to engage ourselves. Rogba has challenged me, long before now to talk about the issue around Land Use Charge and how we can bring about positive engagement; how we can ensure all of the stakeholders are brought up and ensure we all come together, to bring about a solution that is lasting for all of us. So, we would be knocking on your doors. We would be giving you headstart to all of our initiatives, programmes. I will be expecting you to give us positive feed back, positive responses that can bring about a development that both yourselves and ourselves will be proud of. What governance is all about is to ensure private sectors do very well and give you an opportunity to do well, to reflect professionalism in your profession.”
“We at the stage where we need to think Global but act Local; add our local competency into it. So I want to admonish you, I want to encourage you that it would be a government that you can engage with. It will be government that will truly listen to you. It will be a government that will participate with you.”
“It will be a government that will see ourselves as partners in progress. You can always corrrect us. You can always bring about your new idea(s) and innovations to us. And I can assure you that, not only we would be reflective of whatever it is that can bring about the positive development, but I can assure you both of us will be partners in the development of Lagos State.
Also, at the maiden Policy Roundtable Dialogue with the theme: “International Best Practice on Real Estate Regulations”, organised by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) the Governor disclosed that his administration was already identifying Big players in the real estate sector that would partner with the Government to raise Housing stock of in the State. He said the State Government was ready to provide enabling environment for the investors to put their finances in creation of viable housing market for residents.
He said: “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 the lack of accurate data on real estate investment in the State, pledging that the State would be working with the practitioners to create a workable database that would help investors and the Government. He disclosed that there would be the introduction of legislation that would help curb bad behaviours among tenants and property owners.