By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has expressed concern over the activities of some government officials who were accused of sabotaging efforts of government in regulating the real estate sector in the state, vowing to dismiss errant officers according to extant laws.
The governor, who gave the warning on Tuesday, at the second Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibition, themed: Lagos: 21 st Century Real Estate Investment hub” organized by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), affirmed that some government officers and developers had cultivated the habit of cutting corners.
He said: ‘’The lesson we are learning is not lost on us. But I dare say that a month before the Ikoyi building collapse incident we launched a certificate of completion and certificate of fit of habitation of buildings in the state. We had done that with Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) meaning that anybody that had done proper development to a certain level, you need to get a certificate of completion and a certificate of fit of habitation from them.
‘’So these are some of the things that from a regulatory point of view that indeed all the boxes had been ticked. We know for the size of this city there will be people that will like to cut corners, there will be officers that will also bring us down and have reduced our name, we know. We are not going to stand here and say everybody that works for us is holy but we are dealing with them. These are major issues that all of us need to work together and deal with.
‘’I am using this opportunity to express my disappointment about some government officials that want to sabotage that effort. I will not be only ruthless, I will look for you and ensure you have no place in my government. This is an agency that must work for everyone. It is a project whose time has come.’’
The Special Adviser on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson –Awoyinka, said real estate remains a very strong and powerful investment all over the world, adding that apart from the role it plays in employment generation and creation of sustainable jobs, it has the highest potential of growing the economy of any state and nation.
She said: ‘’As viable as this sector is economical, having the right information and understanding the operational environment by investors or investees is very key and this can be achieved through coaching and professional conferences like this.
‘’There is a need for us all to know the government’s policies put in place and how the knowledge of all these policies can assist us in making informed decisions in respect of our investments.
‘’As a Government, we have realized this fact and as such, have been making business-friendly policies that can assist would-be investors, investees operate in a conducive business environment.
‘’We all know the havoc and the damages caused by the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic which brought drastic changes to the financial sector of the world, despite this, the Real Estate Sector remained the preferred investment globally in spite of this threat.’’