Private Sector will do more with accessibility to finance – Uzo Oshogwe – As Ezigbo charges contractors to guarantee structural integrity of buildings. Tagged ‘Make Nigeria Livable: Building Safe And Secure Homes’, the Trek Africa Real Estate & Expo 2020 organized by the Real Estate Reporters held at the Oriental Hotels, Lekki, Lagos. The Senior Special Assistant, Hon. ESV. Ayodeji Amodu who delivered the keynote speech articulated the steps that the Lagos State Government under the administration of Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu has taken in the close to one year at the saddle. He noted that Mr. Governor has charged the Ministry of Housing to complete all housing projects initiated by previous administrations as they were all embarked upon by state resources. He added that home ownership in any of the Lagos housing projects is on the basis of payment of 5% initial equity while the remaining 95% will be spread over 10 years. This, he noted, will help young Nigerians to be able to achieve their dreams of owning a home in the sprawling city of Lagos. The private sector was well-represented at the event. Prof. Joseph Ezigbo, Chairman of Falcon Corporation centered on the issue of structural analysis. He said: ‘Existing private buildings and public infrastructures need to undergo immediate structural testing. This is because of the incessant episodes of fallen buildings that is been experienced these days. It is sad to say that many contractors feel that building of houses begin and end with the initial construction. Structural testing is an important part of construction today. Impact testing, tensile testing, exposure site testing, weatherability are few among the several tests that ought to be conducted. Today’s real estate industry cannot be run on old systems.’ Also speaking Uzo Uzoigwe, the Managing Director of Afriland Properties Plc, getting finance is a huge challenge to making homes available for Nigerians. She noted that the estimate of 17-20 million units as housing deficit is actually economical as it was recorded around 2007. The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Lanre Rasak expressed that safe and secure housing should not be a luxury. In his words, ‘It should be something that everyone irrespective of level of income is able to afford. That should be our aim.’ At the end of the speeches, two panel sessions held which focused on key themes of the conference. The first was anchored by Hon. Ayodeji Amodu and had panelists like Mrs. Uzoigwe of Afriland Properties Plc, Chief Ezigbo of Falcon Corporation, Mr. Oladipo Pius Idowu-Agida of Dradrock Real Estate Ltd., and Chief Waheed Ogunbiyi of Oguns Construction Limited while the other anchored by Clara Onuoha had Engr. Gafar Raimi Olorunseye of Verdant World Linited, Engr. Jumade Adejola of Surleillant Fire Limited, Obianuju Chinwuba of Pwan Prime Investments and Properties Limited and others as panel speakers.