Mrs Barakat Odunuga-Bakare, Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Housing, says real estate is contributing a sizable share to the state’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
She said this on Wednesday while delivering an address at the fourth Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibition, organised by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) in Lagos.
The theme of the conference is: Real Estate Regulation – A Panacea For Disaster Mitigation and Recovery in the Built Environment.
She stated that real estate contributed 5.31 per cent to the state’s GDP in first quarter of this year, noting that Lagos is the economic heartbeat of the nation.
“Real estate in Lagos has also displayed great potential to create jobs, bridge housing deficit as well as boost economic growth. This year alone the budget for affordable housing in Lagos was in excess of N67 billion,” she said.
According to her, given the strong demand for affordable and decent homes, there is a growing market for luxury homes and an increased demand for commercial real estate.
The special adviser noted that in spite of the state of the economy, the outlook for the Nigerian real estate market is still positive, as such, the government as a regulator must continues to play its supervisory and regulatory role.
Odunuga-Bakare stated that this was to streamline the sector’s activities, both to foster greater prosperity and protect the interest of all stakeholders.
She commended Gov. Sanwo-Olu for strengthening the executive in the implementation of the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory law as documented in a Lagos State of Nigeria Official Gazette of Feb. 11, 2022.
According to her, sections 6 and 7 of the law give LASRERA the power, among other functions, to formulate policies for proper dealings in real estate transactions in line with best global practices.
The lawyer said: “Considering the huge opportunities in real estate, the stakes are higher, as there are several risk and dangers that could make or mar us as players.
“However, embracing best practices is the sure way to mitigate disasters in the sector.
“There are established quality control measures, time tested ethics and operational principles applicable in all professions.
“In spite of laid down rules and tenet, we cannot curb innate human tendencies of some who will always attempt to circumvent and sabotage extant rules. This is where regulation and compliance works for all.
Odunuga-Bakare emphasised that de-risking housing investment for private developers and investors is a key goal for the Lagos state government.
She said that providing a favourable environment for private investment in the built sector is a fundamental and entry point for partnership that works.
The special adviser expressed readiness for collaboration with stakeholders and development of regulations that will boost their businesses and grow Lagos economy further.
In her remark, Managing Director, Gracias Global, Dr Ololade Abuta, urged the government to create a more convenient platform for realtors in the state and ensure that documentation processes for construction were seamless.
Abuta noted that enforcement of LASRERA’s regulations is key to sanitising the real estate sector, adding that realtors must ensure to do the needful at all times to promote the sector.