Experts seek overhaul of built sector’s philosophy, regulations to drive growth

Mr Hakeem Ogunniran, Chairman, Lagos Building Investment Co. Plc
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By Rukayat Moisemhe

Built sector experts on Tuesday called for rethinking of the sector’s philosophy, regulations and frameworks to fully exploit its abilities as a critical driver and contributor to the Nigerian economy.

Mr Hakeem Ogunniran, Chairman, Lagos Building Investment Co. Plc, said at the 2nd Biennial Corporate Governance and Enterprise Development Conference in Lagos, that the new philosophy must place people as the new drivers.

The event organised by the Centre for Enterprise Governance and H. Michael and Co had as its theme: “Revisioning Built Environment in Nigeria: Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement to the Rescue.”

Ogunniran said the sector had enormous enabling impact on jobs and economic growth with the ability to drive the realisation of some sustainability goals, including energy efficiency, climate change and adaptation.

He noted that some of the challenges facing the built environment included cumbersome permit/approval processes, thorny legal process, multiplicity of regulatory authorities, uncertainty of title issues, infrastructure, land supply and costs.

“However, with a new philosophy we are calling for, we must begin to strengthen framework and institutions, and make sure there is the conscious infusion of relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the various stages of the built environment life cycle.

“It is important to have the enactment and full domestication of the building code while a realignment of multiple government agencies and the elimination of multiple documentation is done.

“The future of Nigeria’s built environment hinges on our collective efforts to revise, reform and reimagine our approach to regulatory compliance and enforcement,” he said.

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Sir Alderton Ewa Ewa, president, Nigerian Institute of Building, said the built environment was the cornerstone of any society; not only in physical infrastructure and human-made surroundings but in conformity to safety standards, utility, sustainability and overall wellbeing.

Ewa stressed that in the Nigerian context, regulatory compliance and effective enforcement was critical for sustainable development given the rapid urbanisation, over population and climate change.

He noted that the nation was at a crucial juncture, facing challenges and opportunities in managing its built environment, hence the existing regulatory framework required meticulous evaluation.

“As professionals in the built environment, we must acknowledge the paramountcy of our roles to champion compliance, advocate for stronger regulations and contribute our expertise to the cause of providing a healthier, livable and a more sustainable built environment.

“Moreover, technology stands as a beacon of hope so embracing advanced solutions can streamline processes, bolster compliance efforts, and pave the way for a more digitally enabled industry.

“However, transformation cannot happen in silos as it necessitates inclusivity, policy advocacy and collaboration.

“We must actively engage with policy makers, industry players and stakeholders, fostering a collective determination to advance the cause of regulatory compliance and enforcement,” he said.

Mr Babajide Odusolu, Chief Executive Officer, Octo5 Holdings, stated that it was necessary to find solutions to the various challenges beguiling the built sector.

Odusolu said government must reduce multiplicity of charges attached to building control processes, and partner build sector professionals and negotiate highly reduced rates for homes, particularly priced between N10 million and N50 million.

“It is also important to partner developers and institutions to create certification system for master craftsmen and ensure only documented/certified craftsmen can practice trade,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Salif Atojoko

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