Stakeholders Call for Deepening Real Estate Investment Trust to Revitalise Property Market  

Dike Onwuamaeze

Participants in the recently concluded West African Property Investment (WAPI) Summit 2022 has called for the launching of frameworks and policies that would deepen the institutionalisation of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) as a vehicle that would allow public funds to be raised and invested into the Nigerian property market.

They argued further that REITs would enable larger numbers of Nigerians to invest in property stocks and become part owners of choice real estate assets that would guarantee them reliable long term investments that would grow their wealth and ensure good returns on them.

Among those who canvassed for deepening the institutionalisation of the REIT in Nigeria were the Chief Executive Officer of Novare Fund Manager Nigeria Limited, Mr. Heindu Plessis; Head, Real Estate Finance, West Africa, Stanbic IBTC Capital, Mr. Tola Akinhanmi; the Legal Officer of Pennek, Mr. Michael Obiajulu and the Managing Director/CEO SFS Capital, Mr. Patrick Ilodianya.

According to Plessis, who described Nigerian real estate sector as an opportunity that is waiting to be fully unlocked at this point in time, said that institutionalising the REIT would be “very important because it will allow every Nigerians to become part owners of real estate assets.”

Speaking in the same vein, Akinhanmi of Stanbic IBTC, said that institutionalising the real estate market would enable the market to grow by creating the right framework that would enable investors and different players to investment in the real estate assets.

He said: “When an industry is fragmented and small it will not be able to harness the opportunity an attract capital in significant proportion from the local and offshore markets.”   

Ilodianya, who is the CEO of SFS Capital, said that nurturing the evolution of the REITs would be very important to the development of the country’s real estate market.

The Executive Director and Head Equity Capital Markets Execution, Africa Regions of Stanbic IBTC, Ms. Oyinda Akinyemi, said that the evolution of REIT is still at its fledgling stage compared to experiences in other developed markets. She said that only three REITs are listed in the Nigerian exchange.

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