Lagos State has at least three million housing units deficits for its over 22 million citizens, stakeholders in the property sector have said.
Stakeholders also called for tax rebates and waivers for property investors in a bid to adequately fill the housing deficits across the state and in Nigeria as a whole.
Players in the sector further called for periodic review of the Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) 2052, saying that so far, the government had failed to adequately implement its roadmap.
Speaking at the Co-creation Workshop on Selected Housing Initiatives proposed by the State Government, organised by the Rethinking Cities, Mr. Ayo Ibaru, the Chief Executive Officer (COO), of Northcourt, a real estate firm, said that with an estimated 22 million residents in Lagos, the real estate market was one of the most active on the continent.
Ibaru explained that demand for land and real estate in the state had outstripped supply, stressing that land prices grow at each election cycle.
According to him, five-year-old statistics released by the State Government indicated that at least 88 people arrive in Lagos every hour without a plan to leave the state.
He explained that unless the State Government intervened to control the tenancy issue, the rate of poverty would continue to grow higher.
Besides, he called for the review of the LSDP 2052 Focus, at least every three years, saying the current model has failed.
For instance, Ibaru explained that the LSDP 2052 Focus planned to build about 100,000-unit houses yearly, but regretted that the government built only 2,000-unit houses in the past year.
“We can review our housing policy plans every three years. It should not be after every decade or multi-decades. The initiative planned to construct 100,000 houses annually, while in 2022, the government built only 2,000 houses in 2022.
“How can we get to 100,000- unit houses annually? To do this, the government needs to take property as a priority. The state’s efforts at addressing inadequate housing are well-spelled out but are not adequate. Except housing is prioritised, poverty level will continue to be on the rise.”
Besides, Dr. Moses Ogunleye in his presentation; ‘Mixed-Income Housing and Social Housing,’ canvassed for tax rebates and waivers for property developers.
To address the deficits in the housing sector, Ogunleye said the government needed to increase the number of low-income or affordable housing units.
Like Ibaru, Ogunleye reiterated that the plan by the government to attain 100,000 housing units annually had failed as it could only attain 10 per cent in the last four years.
He argued that the ambitious plan of LSDP could only be achieved with the buy-in of various stakeholders in the sector, noting that limiting action to just one department or ministry would not achieve the needed result.