*Government will drive greener energy
As part of the submissions reached 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 revealed 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 2-day event was organised by Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority- LASRERA- as a meeting point for Real Estate Practitioners/Property Developers and their potential clients with relevant State Government Agencies in the Built Sector to serve as a one-stop-shop for the Real Estate Market.
The Special Adviser submitted that addressing the housing deficit will have a game-changing impact on our society and communities when compared with other less important sectors that are presently being given greater attention at the detriment of the housing sector.
While saying most African countries do not see and threat 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.
Benson-Awoyinka stated that the real estate/ housing sector remains a critical component of the economy that represents one of the fundamental needs for livelihood considering its influence on the health, social behavior, efficiency, contentment, and overall welfare of the citizenry and society.
In the same vein, 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 realization of its vision of a 21st-century economy which is one of the priority areas of the present administration in the State.
While quoting the United Nations statistics which revealed that real estate accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption and a third of all carbon emissions, Odusote submitted that there is the 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 on energy efficiency.
He said, “In line with its THEMES agenda to make Lagos State a 21st-century economy, Lagos 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 to have 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.”
The Commissioner, who acknowledged the fact that real estate developers and owners have started recognizing 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 it has embarked on the conversion of all streetlights in Lagos from hp to the brighter and significantly more efficient LED lighting, assuring that all 39,000 streetlights in Lagos will be retrofitted over the next 6 months and will lead to a 65% operational cost savings to the state government.