Property developers to partner southwest states on land titles, building approvals

To stem the myriads of problems hindering private sector-driven housing supply, property developers plan to begin talks with states in the Southwest region to arrest the situation.

The move comes on the heels of current national housing policy that emphasizes use of the private sector in growing the housing stock and providing jobs through construction activities as well as ensuring affordable homes.

Essentially, the developers under aegis of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) revealed that the new leadership intends to dialogue with senior government officials to firm up workable procedures for land administration and to establish a one-stop desk in all the states, namely, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Ondo to procure their documents.

REDAN Vice President, Southwest zone, Mr. Debo Adejana, who spoke in Lagos, said the association would be harmonizing its activities and using economics of scale to get good bargaining for members. He added that their focus would be to collaborate with the governments to ease procurement of title documents and building approvals.

According to him, the association would be entering into partnership with government agencies, private entities and mortgage firms to provide opportunity for members to access housing finance at a reduced interest rate.

Adejana stressed that property developers alone should not be held responsible for building collapse, that it should be tackled holistically. He said government agencies such as Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) should improve their services, especially surveillance of imported building materials to address structural failures in the country.

The association’s General Secretary, Southwest zone, Mr. Kunle Adeyemi said that the association plans to engage government on policies that affect their activities, provide value for the developers and grow membership as well as create a platform for all the key players in the built environment.

Adeyemi disclosed that the states are ready to partner with REDAN to reduce the housing deficit, improve their internal generated revenue, and provide homes to over 87 per cent of Nigerians who are renters.

He said that REDAN will be working with the governments to agree on realistic time frame for building approvals, which is devoid of ambiguity, as “time is essential for us.”

The Chairman, Lagos chapter of the association, Mr. Bamidele Onalaja said that the plan is to ensure that all title documents are processed fast, with a commitment from government for a three- month approval time. “Government cannot do it alone, every successful economy is driven by the private sector,” he added.

The Chairman, REDAN Ogun chapter, Oyebola Okusanya noted that all over the world, governments are using investments in real estate sector to revive their economies.

Okusanya called on Federal government to emulate other countries and make Nigeria a bigger construction site through public private partnership projects with REDAN.

He further urged the government to provide a better regulatory framework for the construction industry, saying that the association is willing to partner on the regulatory system.

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