ADDRESSING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHALLENGES: CHURCH HOLDS ‘THE ROUNDTABLE LEKKI’ TO EMPOWER PEOPLE, CONFERENCE HOLDS MAY 2ND
By Oki Samson
Considering the stiff socioeconomic challenges that many Nigerians faced with in recent times, a religious organization, the Church of God Mission International, Garden City, Victoria Island Zone has taken up the burden to provide information and opportunity for aspiring Nigerians to participate in the country’s multi-million dollar real estate industry.
The Church is organizing The Roundtable Lekki, now in its second year, as a platform for networking, business development, information sharing, and joint discussion on opportunities in the real estate sector with the sole aim of empowering people.
The conference themed ‘Current Trends for financing Real Estate Transactions’ is billed to hold on 2nd of May in the church’s auditorium but beamed online to a global audience.
About 4000 – 5000 participants are expected to join the free event physically and online, both within and outside the country.
The link for registration is www.theroundtablelekki.com but attendees can also register on the day. Real estate developers, land vendors, land owners, realtors, real estate agents, service providers, lawyers, support companies, financiers, mortgage firms, government officials, and other key industry players will grace the occasion. The Special Adviser (Housing) to Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka will give a special address at the event.
Speaking at The Roundtable Lekki Press Briefing attended by Oki Samson of Trek Africa Newspaper during the week, the Convener, Rev. Chris Ubamadu said: ‘We are all aware of the situation of the country as it relates to people’s ability to eke a living and live a decent life. When we met last year, we discussed the issues of insecurity and inflation and most of the indices we discussed are getting worse.
We are at a phase of learning to live with it. All of these come to affect individual’s pocket and the implication is increment in social vices, crime, frustration, suicide, homelessness, and infrastructure not enough to go round, the list is endless of how chaotic things have become. Brain drain does not look like an issue now but in the next 5, 10 years, every doctor that leaves will be felt.’
‘The Roundtable Lekki this year is focused on real estate because of the axis we are in, and beautifully real estate is a sector that houses a lot of hope for Nigerians with meaningful income. Real estate is huge. It has a huge value chain – development, agency, sale of building materials, and management of estate, the list is endless.
On this peninsula, unofficial report says we have 3000 estate management companies. We want to make this information available. We want the people to come and see and know. You will meet developers, land owners, financiers, investors, people who want to exchange service, so no matter the strata of society you are, it is a huge platform. We want people to see that they can make decent living in this sector that continues to blossom.’
‘Our interest at The Roundtable Lekki is providing information giving the particular sector – the housing potential – and to enable people with where they can find a source of livelihood. What we have adopted is to show people that they can make money. Let’s show them that their ability to meet their everyday needs can be improved.
It is a networking, business development, information sharing, joint discussion platform to discuss opportunities that trend in the real estate sector to empower the people’, Trek Africa Newspaper gathered.
On why the Church of God Mission is delving into addressing social issues, the Convener of the conference who is also the Zonal Coordinator, Rev. Chris Ubamadu said: ‘We are a church so you will think what our business is with the socioeconomic condition in Nigeria. We may join the bandwagon to make analysis but we have made a decision as a socially responsible organization and as a church that is conscious of its role as a light to the world to empower people.
As a church that has responsibility we want to provide a way out and succor. The Church of God Mission has been in existence in 1971 and we have won millions of souls but they are still here on earth and their needs exist. Their bodies need food, their feet need shoes, so how do you help them as a socially responsible church?’
‘There are two ways people do things economically – you may cut down on your expenses or to increase your earnings. Our decision as a church is to increase their earning so that the despondency can be reduced.
While we provide food for people, we also know we have limitations so the best thing is to empower them because like an English idiom says ‘if you give people fish, you feed them for a day but if you teach them to fish, you feed them for life.’
‘Eradicating poverty is one of the methods of preserving lives. One breadwinner that dies is death for many people. We have seen this over and over again as a church. So we need to empower them so they can live a good life. Real estate is a tool. If we find another sector that houses another option, we don’t have a problem to align with that.
We have chosen real estate because we are in the environment that houses the most opportunity in the whole of Africa – Lekki Peninsula is the fastest developing in the whole of Africa.’
Underscoring the essence of The Roundtable Lekki, Chief Operations Officer, Xtreme Mindz Solutions Ltd, Mr. John Obasi said: ‘The whole concept of this initiative is to impact the society. We want the people to focus on the things that are positive. Real estate is a platform to engage. It has so much opportunities. It is an ecosystem. We want to show people what real estate is about.’
‘We as an agency have decided to be part of this journey. We are proud to be part of the Roundtable Lekki to present our expertise. Xtreme Mindz Solutions is known to be experts of marketing communications and we cut across many industries.’
‘Please spread the word out there so people can come and partake and seize this opportunity. This is something honorable that they can be proud of’, Mr. Obasi charged pressmen at the media briefing.
The maiden edition of The Roundtable Lekki in 2021 had the Lagos State Commissioner for Urban Development in attendance. Other speakers present were developers, practitioners, real estate companies who showcased their products and services. The successes traced to the inaugural edition included huge sales for people, business partnerships established, some participants started businesses while others got jobs.