Mrs. Okonjo, 2face Idibia, Ms. Ruth Obih and Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran at the Real Estate Unite conference and awards
Fine & Country wins Stakeholders from all sectors of Nigeria’s Real Estate converged at The Civic Centre Lagos at the weekend to explore alternative strategies for the nation’s economic growth.
The Real Estate Unite conference and awards was organised by 3Invest Limited, a real estate marketing, media and advocacy company.
At the awards, Fine & Country West Africa emerged winner of the “Best Real Estate Support Service Company” in Marketing and Advisory category at the 2012 Real Estate Unite Awards.
Players in the real estate sector converged to exhibit their products and services; gain knowledge from experts in the field; build strong networks and allegiances.
The Fine & Country stand at the exhibition was a display of grandeur with top notch branding and interior décor. This drew commendations from those that visited the stand, including the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje. The exhibition was an opportunity to showcase the various developments and most especially to give an opportunity for independent real estate practitioners to join the “Golden Circle Network”; which is a business platform hinged on the referral structure and underscored by credibility.
The event was crowned with a gala and awards dinner which attracted the connoisseurs in the real estate, finance and entertainment industry including Mrs. Maryanne Okonjo, Chief Executive Officer of Fine and Country West Africa, Chief Executive Officer of Broll Nigeria, Mrs. Erejuwa Gbadebo, The Dangote Group, Director, Actis Investments Limited, Chu’di Ejekan, Director, 3Invest, Ruth Obih, Managing Director, UPDC, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran and ace comedian, Ali Baba who compered the event.
Companies that went away with awards are; Actis West Africa in the “Most Active Real Estate Funding Institution (equity) category, UPDC in the “Developer of the Year” category, Elegant Court, Lekki in the “Affordable Housing Development of the Year” category. Fine & Country West Africa went away with an award in the real estate marketing and advisory category for the “Best Real Estate Support Service Company.” On receiving the award, Mrs. Maryanne Okonjo acknowledged the good work of the 3Invest Company and dedicated the award to her team of champions who were present at the dinner.
The night capped off with a surprise appearance by 2face Idibia who enthralled the audience with his hit songs.
Earlier, the real estate sector players shared ideas as to how to develop the nation’s economy through increase input in its GDP at the two-day business-to-business conference.
At the opening, Lagos state Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje lauded 3Invest’s insight to stage such an all-inclusive event and advised participants to seek to analyse the challenges of the sector and come up with solutions that are holistic, yet peculiar to individual sectors.
Jeje, who restated the state government’s commitment to affordable housing, explained that the government has built 886 housing units in the last five years for low income earners, to improve their standard of living and ease housing challenges in the state.
“Apart from the multiplier effects of the provision of houses on the economy and the people, the regulation of transactions in the real estate sector of the state will have direct positive impact on all concerned,” he said.
The Real Estate Unite’s conference featured four panels; all geared to ensure that the industry is not just tuned to growth, but attractive enough for global investment.
The first panel, Affordable Residential Real Estate Development Roundtable, sponsored by Growth and Empowerment in States (GEMS 2), a UKAID-funded intervention project focused on unlocking the sector to create employment and generate wealth for construction artisans and tradesmen; was well-attended by Real Estate experts who explored various topics in Supply of Homes for Upper, Middle and Lower income earners, The Role of Extensive Research and Demand Survey, The Role of Effective Home Designs among others germane topics.
In his remarks on the round table, Afolabi Imoukhuede, intervention lead, GEMS 2, who led the panel, said his organisation was willing to partner with other stakeholders in the areas of technical assistance and key into laudable ventures such as Real Estate Unite’s to realise its objectives.
Also, the Chief Operating Officer of Mutual Properties Limited, Mr. Olujide Ojo, said the solutions to the affordable housing quagmire are access to finance, reduction in building construction costs, mortgage registration, amongst other things.
In her presentation on ‘The Role of Public Private Partnership and other Enabling Business Environment’, Director, Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS), Nike Animashaun, said the government has come to the awareness of the need to partner with private sector for improve housing delivery. She, however, emphasised on the considerations of entering into such partnerships.
Discussing Real Estate Funding Panel, Head of property Finance, Stanbic IBTC West Africa, Mr. Niyi Adeleye told the audience that structuring finance for real estate is a function of a well-thought-out plan of how to access funds. He said this against the backdrop of project types that attract finance. Adeleye highlighted issues such as geographical locations and the opportunities inherent in them; types and nature of investment; as well as key focus of the Nigerian market.
Corroborating Adeleye’s submissions, Director of Real Estate, ACTIS, Chu’di Ejekam, took the audience through the opportunities that abound in the Nigerian retail space. He attributed what he described as the ‘Retail Revolution’ to the growing middle class in the Nigerian society. Ejekam however stated that the sector still has to resolve issues around land titling, technical skills, etc for Nigeria to be accessible to other equity interests.
Managing Director of 3Invest, Ruth Obih, said she is convinced that the conference, which was aimed at uniting stakeholders in the real estate sector to improve the standard of practice, has delivered on its objectives.
Obih, however, expressed the willingness of her company to engage more partners and form more alliances to ensure what she described as a movement, fully realized its vision of repositioning Nigeria’s real estate for global investment.