Quest to Reduce Housing Deficit

Uzoma Mba reports that Brass and Castles Property is on a quest to reduce housing deficit through service delivery

For real estate firm, Brass and Castles Property Company Limited, its quest to reduce the housing deficit will help solve the challenges associated with housing in Nigeria.

According to the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peacemaker Afolabi, “we want to be able to decrease the deficiency in housing in Nigeria at a bigger level. In another year, we will be handing over almost 50 apartments.

“So it’s a big one for us that we came into the industry. By doing that, we have already reduced the housing deficit. When we came into the industry, we made the promise to people that we are going to build and deliver to them.

“That’s what drives us. And it is even very significant for us that we can have a drive and we can also achieve that drive.”

Afolabi, who made this disclosure at the inauguration of Brass & Castles’ Dotsy Apartment housing project at Ologolo, Lekki, Lagos, also placed emphasises on private-public partnership, noting that it would assist in achieving speedy progress in the industry.

He said: “We need to make a lot of noise around public-private partnerships. There’s so much that can happen. A lot of times, the private sector comes with funding; the other times the public sector comes with enablement, the environment for us to be able to achieve so many things.

“There are also scenarios where the government will make materials more affordable for the private sector. And in all, we need to be more accountable in the housing sector. So quality control is very important. Once we have these two, the housing sector will be highly improved.”

On the inaugurated project he said: “Today is a remarkable day, a day of fulfilment to people. We promised to deliver the apartment to our customers/clients in eight months and today we are handing over to them.”

Addressing the significance of young/ emerging real estate companies to the industry and generally to the Nigerian economy, Afolabi noted that “the major drive that brought us into the market is delivery. We wanted to promise and deliver. The significance is that we want to add to numbers, to decrease deficiency in housing in Nigeria at large. This is an example: handing over of a 12unit apartments in eight months. The next one year we will hand over almost 50 apartments.”

On his projections for the industry this new year and why it is important for private practitioners to collaborate with government to push the real estate forward, Afolabi opined that it comes under two factors- “Enablement for the private sector to comes with funding and the public gives environment and approval, as well as policy and ability to ride faster in doing the development.

“Last year the housing sector contributed about 10 per cent across board to our GDP. This year we are looking at 15 per cent as a decrease in housing deficiency results to more people owning a house, more tax payers, land use charges.”

Also speaking, Management Consultant, Niyi Adesanya, harped on the need for certification for anyone that wants to venture into the real estate sector.

He said: “Getting people trained and certified into real estate is key. Anybody going into real estate has to go through the certification process. If you’re building for 10 to 15 people, then you have to go through the certification program.

“The real estate industry will keep growing as it’s the best investment one can make but the quality of your product is important and a lot must be done to improve the real estate sector.

“There should be government regulations to guide the industry. Training and certifying people to become real estate professionals. We pray that good people in the industry will be more than the bad people.

“The significance of government- private collaboration is that every private should collaborate. Government should make it easy for private to achieve their dreams. With this synergy, the industry will develop more.”

Also harping on the need for public- private partnership, which he said cannot be over emphasised, Chairman Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Hon Saheed Bankole, said: “The private-public collaboration adds merit to each other. The government enables the private. I appreciate good works especially when it’s done to help increase the housing numbers. I support such and it will in turn encourage upcoming private developers.”

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