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Firm to provide one million houses

Published by The Nation on Thu, 14 Feb 2019

An investment firm, Lifepage Group, is to build one million houses by 2041, translating to 40,000 houses yearly.Its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oladipupo Clement, explained that the initiative would take care of the supply and demand of the market.According to him, the programme, to be launched in the second quarter, will be the first of its kind in the country as it will make the sector a major contributor to the nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP).Besides, he is convinced that the initiative will provide a long-term funding for housing development, leading ultimately to cheaper funds for the growth of the real estate sector.We have a goal to provide one million houses by 2041. It will start with the launch of a housing investment fund, and we are giving it everything because we believe it will have a huge impact. By the time we break that down on yearly basis, it will be well over 40, 000. It will take care of both the supply and demand end, he said.He explained that when housing issues were resolved and taken out of the concerns of any household, other things are easy to manage. He said many rich people do not really need houses but those at the bottom, making the deficit to be heavy.This, he further said, accounts for why there are several vacant houses in highbrow areas like Ikoyi, Asokoro, amongst others.Besides, Lifepage has introduced a scheme called boot camps targeted at training people on real estate potential, and to demonstrate that the real estate could offer better opportunities if well planned.At the moment, the firm has completed some urban regeneration schemes, with a landmark project called the Millennium Estate in Gbagada, Lagos State. It comprises Zeder Pavillion and terrace apartments, and is being developed in line with the urban renewal programme of the Lagos state government.The Millennium Estate comprises affordable luxury apartments of 12 units with four blocks, three in each block as well as eight units premium plots.The urban regeneration option is geared to meet the middle class in environment with existing infrastructures rather than going to new areas with infrastructural challenges. The premium plots come with four bedroom duplex and studio apartments to accommodate the bigger class, Clement explained.In its seventh year, Lifepage has invested in large expanse of estates in Lagos, Ogun, Rivers states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). These include over 60 acres of land in FCT, over 100 acres in Lagos, over 400 acres in Ogun State and over 30 acres of land in River State.The Lifepage boss, however, lamented the unstructured real estate environment, saying it is no affecting investment.Notwithstanding, the potential in the sector remains untapped, a situation, he said, calls for its re-organisation to enable it add more value to the economy.Hear him: The sector is plagued with several challenges, which include lack of funding and infrastructure, which has made the deficit coming more from the base of the pyramid rather than from the top of the pyramid. The government should provide the infrastructure and cheap funds, while developers can come in with creative ways.Clement added that the odds were against real estate developers because more often than not, they had to provide infrastructure, such as roads, water, electricity, to their estates, and yet, still try to build affordable houses.
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