Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibajo, SAN; and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; were speakers at The National House Fair 5.0 organised by Abuja based real estate giant BSTAN Homes between 7th-10 October, 2021 at the International Conference Centre, ICC, Abuja.
The event aim to promotes economic and social development via sustainable housing.
With the theme of Three ‘S’ of Shelter in Economic Stability – A New Wave”, viz-a-viz Standard, Secure, and Sustainable shelter provided an opportunity to explore, connect, and provide access to a better life by making quality and safe shelter available to all people, irrespective of social or economic position it also exposed participants and attendants the opportunity to network and invest in real estate across Nigeria.
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; at the event, called for increased partnership of the private and public sectors in the housing industry, explaining that the problem of housing is everybody’s business.
Obasanjo made this call through a virtual speech , commending the Group for its introduction of the “metro shelter” scheme aimed at decentralising movement from rural to urban areas.
He stated that BSTAN Group cannot remedy the housing deficit alone, stressing that government at all levels as well as the private sector need to do more in ensuring that the housing issue ceases to exist.
According to him, “Housing is one of the essential requirements of humankind. Here, let me commend what BSTAN Group has been doing in providing affordable accommodation all over Nigeria. They have covered about a third of the states in the country. There’s still a lot to be done, but once again I will say, more grease to their elbow.
“What exactly are they doing? They work on what they call metro housing scheme; which is to actually ensure that houses are spread to new organised areas, organised in the sense that, wherever you have around 1000 people, they become what you can call an organised area, and so what you need is affordable housing, businesses, employment opportunities so that people can stay as close to where they are working as possible and this idea is a very welcome, and again I will commend Bstan for metro housing.
“BSTAN alone cannot carry this baggage by itself, it has to work with others in the private sector, it has to work with government at the local government level, state level and at the Federal level, Regional level; like the ECOWAS and such other regions in Africa.
“I will urge and plead with government in Nigeria at every level to work hand in hand with the private sector; the likes of BSTAN to develop and implement more housing system, bringing houses to little urban communities so that they can be encouraged to remain in their location rather than move to large locations which will create other problems”.
He expressed his belief in what BSTAN group is doing in housing development and provision of housing at affordable prices for all categories of people in Nigeria and further wished them success.
Also, the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Adeola Ipaye challenged professionals to devise means and methods by which the huge housing deficit in the country can be bridged as soon as possible.
The VP, who was the chairman of the occasion at the opening ceremony of the House Fair said the issue of providing cheap and affordable accommodation for Nigerians and reducing the deficit gap seemed to have defied all solutions since independence.
“This challenge which over the last six decades has continued to evade sustainable solution must be tackled. But I can assure you that it is also one of issues this administration is seriously determined to resolve.
“Although, there is no shortage of policies and programmes enacted by various governments to tackle this debacle, we all know that the effective implementation remains the persistent problem. I therefore hope that those of you, eminent professionals, who are participating in the event today will enthusiastically deploy your skills and experience to find the right answers to the housing question in Nigeria, particularly the housing needs of the 70% of Nigerians who are low income earners, but who are desperately seeking a home they can afford,” VP Osinbajo added.
He also gave kudos to the Managing Director of BSTAN Group, Dr. Becky Olubukola, for her initiative which in the past have brought together over 950 exhibitors from 20 countries to meet over 15,000 industry decision-makers and providing individuals and stakeholders with the resources and professional guidance they need to make homeownership a reality for millions of people.
Dr Olubukola said the aim of the event was to help in solving the housing need of the people and charting the way forward in the sector.
Others speakers at the event included: the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Mrs. Adetoke Benson-Awoyinka who represented the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu; representative of Ogun State Governor, Mr. Akande Omoniyi who is also the state Commissioner for Housing; Senator Grace Bent; Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, among others.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director, BSTAN Group, Dr Becky Olubukola thanked the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi who is the Chairman of BSTAN Group for his unflinching support and the fatherly role he plays.
According to her, BSTAN is working tirelessly and in partnership with several state governments and the private sector to not just provide accommodation, but make homes that are safe, efficient, secure, with adequate electricity, adopting new technologies that allow for speed in construction – hence the metro shelter scheme.
Olubokula also congratulated the BSTAN Group management and staff for the Success of the NHF 5.0 and also appreciate them for their hardwork and tenacity.
‘’The sky is the starting point…we are the future of the housing sector in Africa,’’ she added.
The event was not about lecture alone as the leading property firms rewarded attendance as many won plots of land and other mouth- watering gifts through a raffle draw.