By Owoleye Oluwakayode
In its aim to reduce hosing deficit in the state, the Lagos state government has set up a committee on real estate regulation.
Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka and State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo said this at the inaugural meeting of the Technical Committee on Real Estate Regulation piloted by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) in Lagos to boost investors’ confidence.
Speaking during the inaugural meeting of members of the committee, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, explained that the committee’s mandate was to design a policy and fiscal framework, institute and promote global best practices in the sector.
She said one of the lessons learnt from the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic was the need to create and develop a robust housing policy with stakeholder involvement and engagement, as well as curtail malpractices in the real estate sector, while also improving financial transparency and fiscal responsibility.
The Special Adviser said the committee has the mandate of addressing challenges in the sector with particular attention to reforming the Home Ownership Model to increase housing stock and reduce the deficit.
She said “To achieve this, the committee will be required to set up a comprehensive system and framework, which will prioritise the development of a fiscal responsibility and transparency model, to promote the inflow of local and international funding required to confront the housing deficit, among others.
“The committee will set up a governance structure that will oversee the entire real estate framework and stakeholder engagement in the state to minimise trust deficiency. The structure will cater to the entire system of the real estate process and will incorporate participation from private developers, financial institutions and, of course, the government in a Public-Private Partnership model.”
Mrs. Benson-Awoyinka said the committee would be responsible for the centralisation of insurance management for all real estate assets, which will dovetail into the existing Lagos State Risk Management framework.
On his part, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, who is also a member of the committee, said beyond building roads and bridges, the promotion of policy formulation for ease of doing business is also important to address the challenges confronting the state.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, urged the committee members to see the task ahead of them as efforts towards revamping the entire real estate practice in the country, through Lagos State. He pledged that with the partnership of key stakeholders and industry players in the real estate sector, members of the committee would be able to provide the right regulatory framework for real estate transactions to thrive and give confidence to investors in Lagos State.
Onigbanjo also gave an assurance that the state government will ensure that necessary sections of the establishing law for LASRERA are amended to accommodate more provisions that enhance the vision of the agency as intended by the government and also assist the committee members.
Committee members include Mr. Babatunde Obaniyi of United Capital Trustees; Mr. Kayode Omotoso of Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN); Mr. Afolabi Balogun of Libra Law Offices and Mrs. Funmi Ekundayo of STL Trustees.