A real estate developer, Bamidele Onalaja believes that if the federal government reforms the Land Use Act, the challenges of homelessness in the nation will be resolved in a short time. Bennett Oghifo reports
Professionals in the housing sector have been calling for transformation of the Land Use Act to make land transaction easy. The call is turning into an uproar because there is no recognisable sign that the government is listening, even now that the reform can be done with on-going constitutional amendments.
Some players in the sector have recommended that the Act should be removed from the constitution to make its amendment easy, and as the need arose.
Recently, a real estate developer, Bamidele Onalaja appealed to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola, SAN, to carry out reforms in the house sector that would yield affordable housing so as to reduce the perennial shortage of houses in the country.
Onalaja, the Managing Director of RevolutionPlus Property Development Company Ltd made the appeal last weekend during the commissioning of the his company’s head office, RevolutionPlus House, in Ikeja, Lagos.
The reforms, which Onalaja suggested, include restructuring of the Land Use Act, as well as a review of the process of accessing facilities from mortgage banks, stating that these, along with easing of land documentation processes, would lead to availability of affordable housing schemes nationwide.
Onalaja stated that efforts by successive government, such as the famous ‘housing for all by year 2020’, aimed at stimulating the sector to meet the housing demands of Nigerians have not yielded the desired results.
On the important role of the private sector in increasing the nation’s housing stock, the Surveyor-General of Lagos State, Mr. Oluwatomi Sangowanwa acknowledged the impact of private investors, stating that they are indispensible partners, and that the government alone cannot do all that was needed to make homes available for all Nigerians.
Sangowanwa said, “The Governor Akinwumi Ambode-led administration in Lagos State is working round the clock to ensure the speedy perfection of land documentation within 30 days.” He praised RevolutionPlus Property Development Company and other private investors in the housing sector for their intervention, saying government alone, at any level, “cannot take the land, acquire the land, compensate the people and build the houses” and that it was the reason the banking industry is providing mortgage facilities to the private sector-driven revolution in the housing sector.
The RevolutionPlus house, located on Olufunmilayo Okikiolu, off Toyin Street in Ikeja Lagos is a magnificent one-storey building bought over by the company and reconstructed into a befitting office complex, and fully branded in the RevolutionPlus corporate colours.