Stakeholders to Tackle Issues on Land and National Development

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Mary Nnah

Land affects every aspect of a city and national development at large. It is believed to be the central issue in the development process. Its ownership and uses have always played an important role in shaping identities, defining power relations and understanding the political, economic and social process at work. However, there are issue associated with its acquisition, management and use that often evoke controversies and emotions which requires much attention on an almost daily basis.

To this end, stakeholders in the Real Estate sector will converge to address issues that have to do with land and development in Lagos State and its environs during an international conference organised by the Research & Innovation Office in conjunction with Centre for Housing & Sustainable Development both of the University of Lagos, Akoka.

Billed to take place from October 24th to 26th at the Jelili Adebisi Omotola Multipurpose Halls, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos and tagged, “Land and Development in Lagos”, the event among other things, aims to assist government in formulating appropriate land policies that bring about development in the state and nation at large.

The conference, according to organisers, will attract scholars from all over the world as well as features experts in land matters, policies makers, researchers and practitioners on land in its multifarious dimensions. It will also feature an honours award ceremony for sponsors and partners.

Speaking during a press briefing at the University of Lagos to announce the forthcoming international conference, the Convener and HOD, History & Strategic Studies, Prof Rufus Akinyele, said the conference aims to bring together experts and stakeholders to discuss various issues relating to land in metropolitan Lagos.

“When you talk about the issue of land and development, it is not just the issue of housing but a verse field. So we want to look at it holistically, bringing different stakeholders together for discussions. One thing is that you cannot even isolate one dimension of it from the rest of them because the evolution of land use also has legal implication. We will also be talking about valuation, so everything is interconnected”, Akinyele noted.

Speaking also Dr. Mayowa Fasona of Geography Department, Unilag, said, “If we look at Lagos, we would discover that what we call Lagos today has extended far beyond the boundaries of Lagos State. Almost 40 percent of the population in Lagos State, if not more than, lives in Ogun State. So when you bring that into planning, you need the kind of planning we call Supra Urban planning, that a supra urban space rather than just saying we want to do something for Lagos, you have to look at the cities and states surrounding it. That is one of the key issues that we would be discussing at the conference which has been missing.

The person who lives at Mowe or Ijoko in Ogun State and goes to work on the Island does not understand such boundary. He wants to go to work and come back, so when we talk about transport and planning every other thing, we would need a kind of supra urban space planning.”

There shall be exhibitions by both local and international organisations during the conference to showcase wares and services in land procurement, development, usage and commercial value chain for which interested exhibitions can contact organisers for more details.

“When to talk about land in Lagos, people relate to it based on personal circumstances and here we have the issue of housing shortage, this is something we want to address during the conference” said the Event Coordinator, Dr. Edmund Chilaka.

“It is one of the reasons why we included the exhibition aspect. We want people who come to this conference to be able to go to the exhibition boots and talk to people about the kind of plots of lands they have and the arrangement attached to them. So the exhibition is a very key aspect of the conference which we encourage people to be part of. It is a very rich conference which will carter to everyone in the real estate sector”, Chilaka added.