FG, Lagos synergise on boosting housing sector’s contributions to economy

The Federal Government and the Lagos State Government have commenced talks on how to harness potentials in the housing sector towards cushioning the strains in the economy.

The duo made this known at the opening of the 10th Conference of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, themed: “Housing Development as a Catalyst For Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Economic Development,” assuring the 10th conference would be optimised to gather submissions to form the bases for policies towards optimising opportunities in the sector for economic revitalisation.

National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development is the highest policy advisory organ on the housing sector in the country.

The Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, O. B. Ode-Martins, in his introductory remarks, said the Council would be coming up with inferences drawn from the deliberations, which according to him, would be instrumental for policymaking towards vitalising and repositioning the sector for economic development.

Also speaking, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the 10th Meeting of the National Council On Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mr Wasiu Akewusola, asserted that the housing sector holds huge potentials for job creation, saying the job was being created directly or indirectly through the construction of houses anywhere in the world.

This was just as he disclosed that the meeting was conceived against the backdrop of several economic challenges of joblessness and social explosion, coupled with the pandemic COVID-19, demanding intervention to mitigate the challenges.

“Directly or indirectly, the job is being created through the construction of houses anywhere in the world. That is how the economy is stimulated. When we put more money in the housing sector, you will create more jobs certainly,” he submitted.

Akewusola said the conference would brainstorm on how the economy can be “revitalised through accelerated and inclusive housing development,” stressing that the potentials of the sector hold deep opportunities to contribute to the task of revamping the economy.

He appreciated the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for support to host the conference which he said was a clear commitment to spurring growth in the sector.

The Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mrs Adeola Salako, in her own remark, said the state had committed much investment into reducing the challenge of housing deficits in the state borne by the teeming population and limited land space.

According to her, with the concerted efforts of the ministry and relevant agencies, including the Lagos State Mortgage Board and the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), the state government has been working assiduously to ensure the provision of affordable homes to reduce the gap of the deficits.

She disclosed that soon, a number of housing schemes, including the awaited Igbese 480 units bedroom apartment of various suits, over 770 units of homes in Sangotedo; and another 3,500 units of two-bedroom flats, were undergoing completion to add to the existing schemes across the state.

Salako said the state government was committed to regulatory measures to ensure unsuspecting citizens were not cheated by mischievous practitioners in the real estate sector – a development she said necessitated the establishment of the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority to guide against quackery in the state.

National President, Town Planners’ Association of Nigeria, and former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Olutoyin Ayinde, on his part, said it was important for government at all levels to plan towards developing the housing sector, arguing that “If we do not plan, we would perish.”

According to him, the increasing economic demands on the limited land space in the country amidst population explosion, call for strategic planning, noting that while the population keeps increasing, the land resources are not increasing.

“Our land resources are not increasing; they are fixed, but our population is increasing, and as they are increasing, there is demand for the lands; there is demand for agriculture, for housing, for commercial areas; there is demand for animal husbandry, and all of these things can only work out when you plan,” he said.

Speaking on the use of alternative energy technologies in the housing sector, the Representative, Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), Edina Okodi-Iyah, spoke on the need for adopting alternative energy sources for efficiency systems in new building designs which, according to her, is veritable to facilitate energy consumption efficiency.

Lafarge representative, Engr Femi Yusuf, said the challenges of using traditional patterns for building houses had been contributory to the problems of housing in the country, stressing that the speed and finishing quality of structures could be vitalised by newer technologies.

According to him, newer building technologies permit flexibility, speed, sustainability and efficiency which could facilitate building structures for as fast as the space of 18hours.

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FG, Lagos synergise on boosting housing sector’s contributions to economy

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