In line with the submissions at the just concluded First Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibitions in Lagos, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, has said that the housing sector can serve as an important contributor to the nation’s GDP, support job creation and provide social benefits to Nigerians as a whole.
The Special Adviser, who stated this in her closing remark at the just-concluded two-day event held in Lagos, submitted that addressing the housing deficit will have a game-changing impact on our society and communities when compared with other less important sectors being given more attention at the detriment of the housing sector.
While saying that most African countries do not see and treat the housing sector as an engine of economic growth, Benson-Awoyinka identified the Real Estate Market as a sector that has a tremendous multiplier-effect on the broader economy through two channels: private investment and housing services.
She stated that the real estate sector remains a critical component of the economy that represents one of the fundamental needs for livelihood, considering its influence on the health, social behaviour, efficiency, contentment and overall welfare of the citizenry and society.
Earlier in his presentation, the State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote, expressed the desire of the State Government to have sustainable, reliable power and greener energy towards the realisation of its vision of a 21st Century economy, which is one of the priority areas of the Sanwo-Olu administration.
While quoting the United Nations statistics, which revealed that real estate accounts for about 40% of the world’s energy consumption and a third of all carbon emissions, Odusote submitted that there is a need to ensure the availability of clean solutions and innovations to make buildings future-proof, adding that in line with SDG 7, efforts must be increased in energy efficiency.
In his words: “In line with its T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda to make Lagos a 21st-century economy, the State is desirous of having sustainable, reliable and greener energy across all sectors; the real estate sector particularly provides a unique opportunity to meet this objective”.
“Lagos, reported having the highest immigration rate in the world, is expected to be the largest city in the world by population in the next 100 years. This population growth will require significant sustainable housing and energy needs and thus, makes it imperative to ensure that new buildings are built green to avoid higher carbon emissions for decades that stem from inefficient energy use”, he added.
The Commissioner, who acknowledged the fact that real estate developers and owners have started recognising the importance of clean energy, maintained that the practitioners must ensure access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy by exploring the option of clean energy and energy-efficient solutions available.
As part of the State Government’s efforts to promote greener and environmental sustainability, the Commissioner reported that Lagos has embarked on the conversion of all streetlights from High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) to the brighter and significantly more efficient LED lighting, assuring that all 39,000 streetlights across the State will be retrofitted over the next six months to reduce operational costs by 65%.
He noted that street lighting will be further expanded to ensure that all major roads and designated public spaces will get full lighting coverage, adding that these clean energy and energy-efficient solutions are equally crucial and beneficial to the real estate sector as they guarantee significant energy cost savings for buildings.