Experts seek new reform for real estate sector
The experts want a reform that will continue to make real estate the greatest source of wealth for individuals, families and a key driver of infrastructural as well as urban development, with propensity for direct and indirect employment generation.
Faced with severe bottlenecks on land administration, housing practitioners have called for an urgent reform that will usher in a better business friendly environment, streamline approval and permitting process and the restructuring of the mortgage process in the country to make it functional and inclusive.
Mr. Hakeem Oguniran, Managing Director of UACN Properties Plc, who was the guest speaker, spoke at an advocacy forum organized by the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) in Lagos to examine the issues in the real estate sector in Nigeria and how to bridge the housing deficit, called for the review and liberalisation of land ownership in the country.
He said limited sources of funding, lack of skilled labour, lack of adequate regulatory framework that guarantees title to land are some of the impediments to accelerated growth and development in the housing sector.
According to Ogunniran, real estate is the greatest source of wealth for individuals and families and a key driver of infrastructural and urban development, with propensity for direct and indirect employment generation.
Mr. Femi Akintunde, Managing Director, AM Facilities said the huge investment in real estate will be a waste if adequate maintenance is not taken into consideration.
He also highlighted the importance of facility management with its impact to include operational efficiency and cost effectiveness, social and economic quality of asset, quality of life of users and owners.
He recommended the institutionalization of Facility management practice in government establishments for real estate asset, including stricter regulations and enforcement of real estate management systems to improve public safety and enhance quality of lives of the people.
President of NBCC, Mr. Dapo Adelegan also identified the “bureaucratic process allocation and registration of charges on land as impediment to real estate development.” He sees other challenges such as bribery and corruption, low compliance to regulatory and environment laws as the causes for high incident cases of collapsed buildings in Nigeria.
Mr. Adelegan who said he fully supports the case for social housing for the poor, urged the government and private developers to look at the issue of materials and cost in the housing sector, use of less expensive but durable materials in housing construction. He cited the example of the United States of America where 70 per cent of the housing units are built with wood.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola who was a Special Guest at the NBCC forum said the Federal Government is desirous to provide affordable housing to Nigerians and has written to the state Governors to provide lands with title in their states for government to commence the housing project.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Housing, Mr. Biodun Oki, Fashola who is the immediate past Governor of Lagos state, said he wants to replicate the Lagos state housing model during his tenure in Lagos state at the federal level.
He said houses could be cheaper for the ordinary Nigerian if the cost of infrastructure such as land, roads, water and electricity are provided by the government and removed from the cost of the houses.
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