Propertygate tasks govts over illegal real estate operators, pledges better service

Director, Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, Mr. Wole Ogungbola; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer,  Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi and Company Secretary, Mrs. Tosin Aarinola, during the company’s 6th Annual General Meeting in Lagos recently.

Director, Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, Mr. Wole Ogungbola; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer,<br />Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi and Company Secretary, Mrs. Tosin Aarinola, during the company’s 6th Annual General Meeting in Lagos recently.

FOR a sustainable and healthy growth of Nigeria’s real estate industry, government at all levels and professionals have been asked to tame activities of all illegal operators within the sector.

Managing Director, Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi, made the call last week in Lagos during the company’s sixth Annual General Meeting (AGM), adding that, the way of manner the illegal operators were going on, if not checked, the real estate industry in the country may run into comatose.

Almost two weeks into Buhari’s government, different experts have been suggesting roadmaps to turn the economy around. And for this, Ajayi said, it was good for new governments to check nefarious deeds of illegal operators within the real estate industry in Nigeria.

Ajayi, who predicted growth for the real estate industry, however said: “The optimism will not automatically translate to success for operators in the industry without more.

There are still threats and internal weaknesses that must be addressed by operators. The rise of unaccountable operators is one of the challenges facing the sector. This group poses serious danger to the industry, as their compliance level is low to almost non-existent.

By their activities, they distort competition, negatively impact the built environment and undermine the highly professional nature of the real estate vocation.”

Addressing the company’s shareholders at the AGM, Ajayi explained that Propertygate would continue to wax stronger irrespective of the challenges militating against real estate sector. “Propertygate Development and Investment Plc is comforted by the fact that it is in a business where the need for its products and services remain tremendously high, and will continue to be so for a long time to come.

He added that: “The company will continue to review key strategic issues of markets and products, sales, funding, production and marketing, in addition to strengthening its operational strategy”.

Commenting on the factors that would help drive growth in the real sector, Ajayi explained that the products and services in the real estate are always high demand. This according to him is more noticeable in housing, retail and leisure among others. Another set of growth drivers, according to Ajayi, are the nation’s demography, planned economic expansion, much anticipated growth in infrastructure and the atmosphere of hope generally.

According to him, “There are quite a number of challenges confronting the real estate. Let me mention a few of them. Land administration.

For instance, in a place like Lagos, and in some other places too, land title processes that should not take more than a day, end up taking weeks and months. This is not good for the nation’s outlook. There is no reason, why it should take months for survey documents to be done.

“Another major problem is lack of infrastructure. There is huge deficit in this area. If you are lucky to have your development in areas where the government has provided infrastructure, your property will have more value appreciation. But in my place, where infrastructure is not either provided or degraded, I suffer loss of value. Besides, where there is lack of government presence in any area, it stagnates development opportunities in that area.

Notwithstanding the challenges, Ajayi assured the shareholders that propertygate, would continue to make appreciable progress in the years ahead.

He said his company would now concentrate more on middle-income group. “We want to concentrate on the middle-income group, particularly, the lower segment of that group. It is a shame that an investor with N15m cannot buy good houses and to us that is not acceptable. We are looking at strategies that will meet this group through efficient use of land, designs and concepts without compromising the quality.”

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