Managing Director, Wiser Estate, Mr. Nasir Suleiman in this interview with Mary Ekah, says better days are ahead for Nigerians in the area of affordable housing
What is your assessment of the real estate and property industry in Nigeria?
The industry is still in its infant stage and all key sectors like banks, telecom companies, and federal parastatals should have policies that will provide accommodation for their employees rather than paying housing allowances. This will definitely provide staffs with a place to call his/her home upon retirement and also provide vast opportunities to existing and new real estate developers by providing affordable houses for the generality of Nigerians.
What in your own opinion can be done to develop the industry and attract investors?
The land use act should be revisited and government should work in partnership with private investors in building houses at affordable rates. Land allocation and acquisition should be done directly to real estate developers and not to politicians or friends of government officials who are not into real estate business leaving the genuine estate developers with no choice than to source for land from them as a third party at exorbitant cost.
What should government do to support private sector investment in the real estate sector?
Government should create a viable synergy with private sector as Public Private Partnership (PPP). Single digit interest rate to commerce repayment after one year of takeoff capital, encourage private investors with tax holidays for like five years, this will enable investors consolidates on his/her projects. Government bureaucratic processes should be revisited and easy access to land allocation and acquisition.
What are the offerings of WISER Estate that distinguishes it from other operators?
We work with our clients alongside government officials to develop innovative solutions that meet modern housing designs. Our technical expertise and continuous investment in housing technology ensures we remain at the cutting edge of service provision. We provide an integrated and holistic solution for our clients, providing access to sustainable and affordable housing project services in terms of flexible mode of payment. Our target audience is clients that can afford houses in medium and high-density areas of the cities.
As one of the leading providers of housing project in Abuja, Wiser Estates key differentiator is our consultative approach to relationships, combined with executive management’s commitment to the conventional standards in the constructions business. We provide an electronic solutions using modern communications medium via our online channels like websites, etc. as we are open for business all round the year and for serious constructive engagements and consultations with relevant stakeholders for suggestive thinking and scenarios building of our vision, mission and objectives.
In developing your estate, what are the key factors you consider?
Our leadership position in the market empowers us to drive and initiate market developments. We consider the three rights of construction that is quality, pricing, and completion period.
Direct labour: we engage local artisans and expertise directly into our construction process as against contracting jobs out at high prices and ensures close monitoring of project from pre-construction stage to completion stage. We are duty bound to give out having the right values and work hard to get what our clients want in record time. In Wiser Estates, we have learnt to keep our hands to ourselves, respecting one another’s personal boundaries as much as possible within the space we live in as we hope to give our clients a choice for a better life, aiming at making our clients have that chance at greatness, success and endless possibilities.
The present economic situation makes real estate to be beyond reach of the common man, what is your take?
There should be holistic government interventions to affordable housing scheme for its citizens. Workers should know their status and their balance in the National Housing Fund and plan ahead like what we are experiencing in the pension sector.
There should be provisions of corresponding infrastructures like access roads network; provision of potable water and electricity in new layouts as these will reduces the burden and cost of construction drastically.
What is the way forward for real estate development in Nigeria?
Indeed, the future looks bright if there is strong political will to encourage mass housing scheme as the government is working on presently and the government should demonstrate a strong will in its fight against corruption. There must be an alternative source of construction as against the conventional means, we should look into the use of timbers, bricks, hydro foams and polyserine etc in building because it reduces the cost of construction drastically thus paving way for more middle class Nigerians to comfortably own a house.