Why FG must focus attention on real estate, by valuers

National publicity secretary, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Charles Ebia (left); President, Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi, Deputy President, Emma Wike; and one of the newly inductees, Utchay Okoroji , during NIESV fellows induction in Lagos

Optimistic of the potentials of the Nigerian real estate to engender greater economic growth, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has appealed to the government to shift attention to the development of the sector as well as increase infrastructural development in the country.

The NIESV President, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi observed that the nation has not succeeded in unlocking the wealth in the sector, which is the only robust solution to grow the economy.

Speaking in Lagos on how the economy can be diversified and the imperative of the real estate sector to the country’s growth, he said: “Real estate business is about management of all land resources which give the support for all activities of man. Every business is done on land, human life and basic needs are dependent on land; hence Nigeria must pay attention to real estate, except we are not prepared to come out of our economic woes.”

According to him, in most developed and developing countries like Singapore, Dubai among others, real estate investment is the pedestal for their economic development and growth

“There is effective demand in the real estate sector; developers only need to seek the consultancy services of estate surveyors and valuers to know which type of real estate should be developed in a particular place. I wonder why the government thinks the economy can only be diversified through agriculture and film and fashion industry rather than the real estate sector.”

He explained that even the focus on agriculture is not well handled to ensure a stable development because government has refused to do sufficient work on the survey of every parcel of land in Nigeria pointing out that surveying every parcel of land will ensure that every owner including every farmer has registered title to their land.

Accordingly, he stated that such effort would make it possible and easier for the public to have access to loan facilities for all types of developments such as residential, agricultural, commercial or industrial.

“Government must make law on land administration and enforce it. It is also important to mention that infrastructural development goes along with real estate development; roads, rails, water-ways, and even airways, are avenues through which products, services and people move easily to make the economy vibrant.”

Patunola-Ajayi lamented that many have gone into real estate investment without professional advice and have burnt their fingers warning that people must seek professionals’ advice before venturing into the sector.

He said real estate investment resonates as an edge against inflation with its value increasing with time and appealed to government to put more attention into the sector especially housing projects noting that one important fact that must be accepted is that government housing programmes must have a touch of socialism to touch the lives of people.

For him, real estate is an all embracing sector as a single contract in construction involves and touch many lives such as; consultants, contractors, suppliers of building materials, vendors, labourers and artisans coupled with a resultant effect that houses are available for living, offices are available for business including transportation to move goods and services from one place to another.

The NIESV boss advanced the need for government to provide land, infrastructure, building plans and approval at subsidized price to encourage developers, and investors.

“Government has the capacity to generate revenue from subsequent transaction if the entire land of the country is assembled into a central information system known as Land Census. Federal Government can earn a lot of revenue from the effective management of land information while states as presently obtained will continue to generate revenue from the subsequent transaction, with local government’s generating revenue from rating assessment and administration.”

He argued that when development is balanced, there would be reduction in the rural-urban migration while our cities will be rid of congestion, over population, crime and slums. Subsequently, cost of living can be reduced, because demand will not be in excess of supply all the time, and more people will stay in the rural areas to produce goods for sale in the urban centers.



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