Absence of Trust Threatens Investment in Nigeria’s Real Estate Market, Says Developer

Bennett Oghifo

Chief Executive Officer, Photizo Properties, Patrick Oriyomi, has said some investors shy away from investing in real estate in Nigeria because of the lack of trust.

According to him, “real estate in Nigerian, especially in Lagos has been bastardised by lots of quacks that embezzle investors’ money, leaving the investors in misery.”

He noted that over-taxation on properties and difficulty in getting Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) were also part of the challenges disrupting investments in the real estate sector in Lagos.

Oriyomi said: “I have a property that is free and gazetted already but the process has taken us more than four years and yet, the C of O has not been gotten. This also shows that some C of O’s have not been gotten in Lagos.

“There should be a regulatory body in the real estate sector that would regulate how things are done. Everything should not be left for the court to handle because some of these challenges can be handled without getting to court.

“In United Kingdom (UK), from the day you put in money into real estate, you can actually calculate your return on investment for the next 10 years but it’s not so in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, one can buy a property for N100 million and sell it the same day for N120 million and this is because we don’t have strong laws that regulate investors and investments in the sector.

“There should be a body that regulates realtors and property agents in Nigeria if quackery must be stemmed. There should be certain exams and training, which realtors should undergo and they should have the regulatory identity to distinguish professionals from quacks.”

He admonished realtors to undergo training before they move on, to market real estate products to investors, noting that it would distinguish them from quacks.

However, he urged government to boost the business-enabling environment in order to encourage investments in the nation’s housing sector.

In her remarks, another real estate expert at Photizo, Maureen Okpoebo, noted that ignorance of some people to understand the importance of real estate was also a challenge facing the nation’s housing sector.

She maintained that Nigeria as a country has not properly harnessed the opportunities that could come from giving comfortable homes to its masses.

She said: “If you check in other countries, they no longer sell lands itself. They sell rooftops and spaces. Nigeria has not properly seen the importance of real estate and is yet to tap into its enormous benefits.

“A lot more needs to be done in terms of housing, lands and procurement of spaces. The government should create awareness by educating people on the importance of lands, good environment and having convenient homes.”

Okpoebo urged the government to look into land laws in terms of land surveying, land registry and property taxation to enable low-income earners in Nigerians to benefit from investing in the nation’s housing sector.

In her remarks, Chief Executive Officer, Vivacity PR, Oluwakemi Areola, said the programme was aimed at inspiring Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the real estate sector to further improve their skills and ideas to grow Nigeria’s real estate sector.

She urged MSMEs in the sector to re-evaluate what they are doing and re-strategise to get better results.

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