On Thursday, 23rd May 2019 at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, had the 13th edition of its Honours Nite, where professionalism and characterism were honoured and rewarded.
The Special guests of honour at the event was the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his wife, Dr Ibironke Sanwo-Olu. At the event, Mr. Sanwo-Olu reeled out how he intends to support the real estate sector and most importantly, the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
Below are the excerpts of his speech.
Let me, first of all, thank you so much on behalf of my wife and I, for inviting us. It is not all of the time that you get an invite that will include your wife. So, I want to thank ESV Orimalade (Chairman of the branch) for giving us this honour. I also want to commend and thank you very much. This is the 13th series you are honouring members that are deserving. And I want to commend you for such initiative. I also want to commend you for choosing a theme that is thought-provoking and their words are not just ordinary words; they are some of the things we have all deliberated upon, and you know that they are Guiding principles for you: to promote professionalism in the city where all of you do a significant part of your businesses, a city that all of us truly believe and hold dear to our hearts, a city that has a whole lot of challenges, a city that has a whole lot of opportunities and a city, I humbly stand in front of you as your Governor elect whom you have overwhelmingly elected to run your affairs. I stand in front of you this evening, 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 would like to take, but we also feel privileged 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 the foremost real estate company, not only in Lagos State but in Nigeria at large, the LSDPC that is close to 100 years old, that has designed the very first planning, organisation and development of Lagos, with all sense of humility, I had a rare opportunity to have managed for about 2 years. And in those 2 years, we didn’t only practice 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 steps, to say to ourselves that, if we do not reinvent ourselves, someday, very, very soon, we might go into extinction. We said, let’s go back and remember the forefathers that built this institution, and all of the ideas they had and let’s put this organisation on its feet so 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 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 and those who have deemed it fit to have recognised you here today. Like someone said 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 for you 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 Institute and to Lagos Chapter, especially.
Before I became a candidate and eventual Governor, 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 hearth heat of the nation, by extension, Lagos is the heartbeat of the institute, Lagos is the hub of real estate market and the hub of the property market. Lagos is a place where all of you should be truly proud of. My government will be a government that will work with you (Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers).
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 a headstart to all of our initiatives, programmes. I will be expecting you to give us positive feedback, positive responses that can bring about a development that both yourselves and ourselves will be proud of. What governance is all about is ensuring private sectors do very well and give you an opportunity to do well, to reflect professionalism in your profession.
We are 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 the government that will truly listen to you. It will be the government that will participate with you. It will be a government that will see ourselves as partners in progress. You can always correct us. You can always bring about your new idea(s) and innovation(s) to us. And I can assure you that, not only would WE be reflective of whatever it is that can bring about positive development, but I can assure you both of us will be partners in the development of Lagos State.