Kingsley U.N Chikwendu —
The Group Managing Director, Arkset Group, a real estate firm, Adetunji Abraham Abiodun has revealed that real estate business in Nigeria is yet to advance to a level of impacting growth-wise, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because, the secrets of the housing sector are yet to be explored by both investors and the government.
He advises the government to make stiffer penalties against developers or people whose interests are not for the creation of job opportunities but, siphoning funds, thereby, encouraging corrupt activities.
“We are yet to harness its (housing) potential to the benefit of Nigerians, he said.
“As of 2015, Nigeria had a housing deficit estimated at 17 million units which required about N59.5 trillion to close. So, it’s obvious there is a shortage of affordable homes, especially for low-income families and, of course, we cannot over-emphasize its effect on their productivity and the nation’s economy at large.
“Therefore, the task of bridging the gap is a collective one.
“What I will advise the government to do is to discourage real estate practices that are not geared towards job creation but serves as a conduit for siphoning money or proceeds of corruption.
“Developers should be sensitized on the need to operate within their means so that projects can be completed in record time to yield timely returns. There should also be quality control while shortchanging supply contracts and false practices should be discouraged.
“I strongly believe that if all these are put in check, real estate will contribute more our country’s GDP.
Mr. Abiodun who describes himself as an early riser, a goal-getter, and growth-inclined individual, while he spoke with Business Day, gave his view on the promise made by the Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu to merge all federal housing agencies into a bigger one.
“The merger will be good for our country, he said.
“It will be a unique opportunity to reposition and restructure the affected agencies to ensure that they are fit for purpose and deliver government priorities for the benefit of citizens.
“It will help the government to tackle the perennial problems of overstaffing or understaffing in certain ministries, departments and agencies which leads to duplication of functions, lack of clear job descriptions, and performance management system.
“I think it will also address the issue of incompetence in executing priority programmes in the housing sector, and you know these issues affect all ministries not just the Ministry of Works and Housing”, he stated.