Local Government System Must Be Decentralized To Drive National Growth, Development – Abiola Awonusi (fsm, fsds)

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Nurudeen Salako


“The private sector should partner more with the government on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis, wherein the state makes the titled land available and the private sector develops and jointly sell the same through an affordable mortgage to the general public without bias”


As an astute Business Development Psychologist and Management Strategist, Abiola Awonusi fsm, fsds is one of the highly resourced personnel in Nigeria with excellent career and experience in different sectors of the economy that span through banking, logistics, sales, and marketing, and most recently real estate

Abiola is a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria, as well as a Fellow of the International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS) and has published journals to his name, as well as many ongoing research works.

The active member of Junior Chamber International shared his position on emerging issues in the country crossing his areas of knowledge and interest such as strategic management in Nigeria and the real estate sector.

Abiola was recently inducted as a fellow of the Institute of strategic management of Nigeria, a boost for his career and adding more responsibilities on his shoulder to be proactive with new and reviewing existing policies and strategies for the growth of the nation.

According to him, his new role now comes with active participation and collaboration within and outside of ISMN on the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies for the benefit of all and the world at large.

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He further stated that as alumni and graduands of NIPPS formulate national policies and strategies, ISMN is also part and parcel of the nation’s growth.

When asked to give his verdict about the pace at which the country is managed, Abiola rated the pace at which the country is managed to be satisfactory relative, saying that Nigeria is a dynamic system and the nation needs more localization of policies, strategies, and solutions to solve national problems.

Relating his personal experience in China where he lived and worked, he explained that he learned how the Chinese tackled their issue locally, looking inward and solving their problems.

He stressed that Nigeria is diverse with different languages, tribes, and all, but not as much as China, yet the Chinese have been able to manage their diversity and are better off for it now.

In his words, “The present Government is doing its best in tackling issues head-on, but there’s really more to be done and we also need to reawaken the local government system and decentralize power more, so that government’s effort can be felt at the lowest level.

“I’m an advocate of One Nigeria, there is a huge strength in our diversity, we all need to come together to move the nation to greater heights, irrespective of whatever we see today. (One for all, all for One)”

Being a man likened to a book with different pages, Abiola is also an actor and stakeholder in the real estate sector which gives him another face beyond being an astute strategic manager.

When asked about the state of housing accessibility and development in Nigeria, Abiola scored the housing accessibility low for a nation like Nigeria with a population of over two hundred million people.

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Making reference to the United Nation’s statistics on housing accessibility in Nigeria, Abiola said the October 2021 United Nation’s statistics indicated that the housing deficit in Nigeria is estimated at 22 million homes.

While describing this figure as alarming, he noted that in the next ten years, the number of Nigerians with no homes would have doubled if care is not taken. He called on the government to do more in the areas of accessibility and affordability of durable dwelling units for the growing population.

Proffering a solution to the housing deficit in Nigeria, he commended the Federal Ministry of Housing’s initiative for launching a portal recently where Nigerians can apply for houses and charged the Federal Mortgage Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and other stakeholders to continue to work on policies and strategies for the availability of affordable mortgage, land, and others to enable more dwelling units to be built

On the position and role of private real estate firms in bridging the housing deficit gap for an average Nigeria, he noted that the real estate sector like any other sector of the economy must be actively monitored and regulated by the government, adding that there can’t be the private sector without the public sector.

He stressed that the real estate sector needs enabling and conducive climate to function and deliver well.

Speaking about the recent Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s event held in Lagos where Governor Babajide Sanwoolu talked about all lands in Lagos going digital, as well as full excision on untitled land, Abiola described those efforts as laudable and maintained the Lagos status as the business hub of Nigeria.

“The private sector should partner more with the government on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis, wherein the state makes the titled land available and the private sector develops and jointly sell the same through an affordable mortgage to the general public without bias”

Commenting on the competitiveness in the real estate sector and the model of uniqueness that differentiates one brand from another, Abiola highlighted that each real estate brand’s strategic management and leadership styles of the organisation play a very key role in making the organization stand out and above its competitors.

Stating further that besides the impact of the environment, government policies and what the organization stands for also makes it stand out. “It’s understanding of the need of the real estate market per-time, its products appeal as well as the location of the product, ROI on to the investors and many more”, he said.

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Incessant building collapse in the country according to Abiola has been an area of real estate that has given the sector a bad name, adding that the sector also needs to look inward and localize its solution.

He bemoans unprofessional practices where foremen and site managers are elevated as engineers overnight without the requisite knowledge and as a result of lack of proper monitoring, using substandard materials, or an inappropriate aggregate mixture of materials, building collapses are bound to occur.

“Most developers cut corners, play the good boy part when regulators are around, but turn around and do other things when not around”

However, the real estate practitioner proffers some measures on how the building collapse menace can be curb or effectively managed and reduced to the barest minimum.

He explained that the Lagos State Government has taken a step in the right direction by introducing the new act, calling for building stage for approving permits for buildings, wherein people get approval for each stage of your construction, subsequent to their continuous meeting the conditions of their permit.

Abiola further called on stakeholders’ practitioners in the building sector like the Town Planners, Architects, Structural Engineers, Mechanical among others to continue to uphold the tenets of their professions and not encourage the sharp practices which lead to collapses.

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“Everyone is eager to build a house and somehow just tell the architect to design, then use their own so-called street sense in building the house, which should not be encouraged. We all must be pragmatic and proactive in tackling the menace”, he said.

It is noteworthy to categorically state that Abiola Awonusi professional positions on challenging issues tackling various sectors in the country economy are substantial in proffering long-term solutions and recognized active players in the sector and regulator, the government must work towards its implementation for the betterment of the nation and for the common interest of an average Nigeria.

He described the 2022 budget as an improvement on the last budget and what will address a lot of infrastructure challenges, adding that if the allocated funds are properly channeled and monitored, it will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings.

He added that government must take proactive measures to address security challenges and what must be an improvement over the previous year to drive economic growth and advancement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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