* Real estate professionals urged to target young population in building services
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank Group, has disclosed that Nigeria would get about seven per cent share of the $1 trillion climate change investment opportunity coming to Africa, which translates to $70 billion.
The IFC’s EDGE and Green Building Market Transformation Programme Contact for Lagos, Temilola Sonola, disclosed this in Lagos, at the weekend during her presentation at the Knight Frank Nigeria Breakfast Roundtable, with the theme: “Real Estate, Construction, and Tech: The Future of Real Estate Services in Nigeria”
This was just as real estate companies and professionals have been urged to consider the needs of the 85 per cent of Nigeria’s population, which is mostly people under 50 years, when developing building structures as they are the main driver of the customer base in the present and future real estate market.
Sonola, who spoke on the topic, “Revolutionary Ideas in Real Estate,” said the IFC’s recent report had showed that climate change presents Investment opportunities worth over $24.7 trillion, with Africa getting $1 trillion share of that.
She explained that climate change was the biggest thing being considered at the moment at the World Bank and IFC and that that drives their lending decisions.
She said discussion about climate change was important to the IFC and the World Bank because it is a huge area and because of their belief that the issue could help them to fulfil their mandate of getting people out of poverty.
“We also believe that it’s a good investment opportunity. So if you see climate change right now as not making money, you are wrong. The reason being that we recently did a report that said that in the world generally, the opportunity in terms of climate change is over $24.7 trillion.
“And for Africa, that is over $1 trillion, and who do you think that the chunk of it is going to go to in Africa? Definitely in Nigeria. So Nigeria will probably get about seven per cent of that $1 trillion of investment opportunity.
“So we see it as an opportunity and going further, we have decided that we are going to tackle climate change head on in different areas. This is why we think that we have to definitely do something about climate change because it’s pushing more people into poverty and it’s like regressing the work that we are doing over the years. So we have to do something about it.
“So we believe there is an investment opportunity and these are the focus areas for us in terms of climate change for the World Bank Group. We are looking at clean energy. So the people who do the solar, windmills and so on, you are more likely to get a loan from IFC than if you were buying the diesel truck,” he added.
Dwelling on the need for a revolution in the real estate sector, Sonola said there was need for the building sector and the government to create “climate smart cities”.
Noting her gladness that Lagos State was one of the forward-looking states that have very robust climate smart or climate strategy, the IFC chief said they have been working with the state overtime in terms of adopting green buildings and the building energy efficiency programme as well.
“We want to change the market; we need to find a way of ensuring that people start thinking differently. So the revolution is this: one, we want to break those barriers about building green. We want to change the landscape; we want you to be normal to see green buildings everywhere.
“Right now in Nigeria, the penetration of green buildings is probably just about one per cent. We don’t even have the data to be able to compare,” Sonola added.
In his presentation, the Managing Director of Broadbased Communications Limited, Prince Henry Iseghohi, stressed the need for real estate companies and construction professionals to consider the needs of the 85 per cent of Nigeria’s population, which is mostly people under 50 years, when developing building structures as they are the main driver of the customer base in the present and future real estate market.
“Build safer, all-inclusive small towns within a city larger than six kilometres. This should target the 85 per cent of the Nigerian population. You can call it Tecky City. Collaborate with telecommunications network providers, collaborate with the developers, other subtle stakeholders.
“Focus on the need of the 85 per cent of the population. These demographics may want real estates with uninterrupted online access,” Iseghohi said.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Senior Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Knight Frank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Frank Okosun, said the construction and real estate sectors were critical aspects of the Nigerian economy contributing cumulatively about nine to 12 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually to the Nigerian economy in the last 10 years.
He described the sectors as key employers of labour, critical factor of production and the hosts of all business, living or recreational activities, whose importance cannot be overstated.
Noting that the world was changing, Okosun said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the necessity and power of new technology to influence how people live, work and play.
“But COVID has not been the only driver informing the prominence of technology in our world – the incessant recessions, reducing purchasing power, epileptic exchange rate regime, changing user demographics and changes in tastes and fashion of occupiers – have all also resulted in significant alterations in ‘how and what’ goods and services are in demand. Construction and real estate inclusive.
“It is for these reasons; we have deemed it necessary to focus this breakfast learning session on this germaine subject,” he stated.