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Fashola gives keynote address, as Real Estate Unite Conference 2014 kicks off in Lagos


It was another gathering of Africa’s major real estate stakeholders, on Thursday, October 2, 2014, as Real Estate Unite Conference 2014 kicked off at Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos.

Ruth Obih, CEO of 3Invest, the continent’s largest online and information platform for the real estate sector, and organiser of the conference, welcomed participants.

In her speech, she stated that the event was an annual summit designed to drive sustainable growth and shared prosperity in Nigeria’s real estate industry, saying “we believe that that Africa’s largest economy has a strong role to play in making real estate a major contributor to national GDPs across the continent; thus, the event brings together global experts to uncover untapped opportunities within the industry.”

After two years of organising the summit, she said, they have identified four major factors contributing either to the industry’s growth or its stagnation. These are finance, infrastructure, red tapism, and education. These factors, she said, formed the theme for this year’s event “Igniting the F.I.R.E where lies the key?”

3Invest being a firm that is responsive to current trends in the real estate industry, will through Real Estate Unite introduce a new market opportunity in Healthcare Real Estate, she said, noting “we knew it was time to bring to the forefront a new market opportunity when we were suddenly faced with the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Lagos and West Africa at large. As I stand here today, may I quickly congratulate the Lagos State government for their brave and quick response to containment of the Ebola Virus.”

The conference keynote and opening speech was given by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State.

In his opening remarks, Governor Fashola said: “I Think 3Invest and its leadership deserve to be applauded for putting together this spectacular gathering,” stating that he was delighted for many reasons, not the least, being his passion for housing and what it meant to him.

“The experience I have had in the housing industry is quite breathetaking,” he said. Speaking on behalf of Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (H.O.M.S.), he stated that initiating the project took many years to deliver. “The purpose and objective for Lagos H.O.M.S. was to solve socio-economic problems,” he said.

In his final statement, he said: “I hope I have provoked you successfully as you go into your various breakout sessions,” and with that he declared the conference open.

The infrastructure panel was first with the topic “Improving Nigeria’s Infrastructure Development: Time for a new approach?” Speaking on the panel chaired by Jumoke Akinwunmi, special adviser on housing, Ogun State Housing Corporation, were Kelechukwu Mbagwu, CMB; Charles Akindayomi, CA Consultants; Chima Ucheya, Rainbow Town Port Harcourt, and Kareem Okereke, Stucton Limited.

Other panels at the conference were the finance panel with the topic “A critical evaluation of the Nigerian housing finance sector; Red tapism panel with topic “Reducing Red Tape,” and the Education panel that discussed the topic “The role of education in improving needed skills for a robust housing sector.”