Our Stand (81) —
This year’s African International Housing Show (AIHS) will bring people from diverse backgrounds in the housing and built industry together, with new options to cost effective and housing finance. Some of these professionals are drawn from across areas that include specialised indeginenous and foreign manufacturers of building materials, genuine decorators, state of the art facilities, developers, architectural and construction giants, dealers in building and housing products, mortgage and refinancing institutions, federal agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring deceny, affordable housing for citizens and specialised institutions for construction and environmental safety amongst others.
It hopes to attract more than 15,000 participants and over 400 or more exhibitors across the globe, not less than 36 countries.
The show described by the chief convener, Barr. Festus Adebayo as the Mecca of the housing industry in Africa, also offers an opportunity to make direct box sales and direct buying wholesale prices at highly discounted rates. It is worthy of note to understand that the AIHS enjoys massive advertisement opportunities and publicity on traditional and new media, as well as billboards at strategic locations.
Preparations are already getting intense for this year’s edition to be held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
The 2023 edition of the show, the 17th, like previous editions, is coming with new innovations that would include a session for the Under-40s making its debut, and cocktail at the end of each day of the event. The Under-40s session is a program prepared for professionals, CEOs under the age of 40 in the real estate industry.
The move is aimed at preparing young CEOs, professionals that would lead the next generation of real estate development in the country.
“If you are an Engineer, Architect, Real Estate Developer, whatever be your profession and you are under the age of 40, we are going to have a session for you, a meeting for you, a time to interact with, characterised with entertainment”, Barr. Festus said.
The much anticipated 2023 edition is already making a statement of intent, going with preparations seen.
“We have invited guests speakers from different places. We are partnering several international housing finance institutions, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Shelter Afrique is there, Africa Development Bank (AfDB) is there, these are at the international level.
“At the domestic level, we have all our housing agencies – the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), to mention a few, all are part of this huge event, including professional bodies like the builders, estate surveyors, architects, town planners.
“We have invited the Vice President of Nigeria to declare the event open, as the special guest if honour”. These are according to Barr. Adebayo.
The theme of this year’s edition, Beyond Rhetoric To Homes; Making Housing Happen, already makes for a mouth-watering anticipation, as the whole idea according to the organiser of the show, is centred on, “enough of talking, it is time for actions. We need houses, enough of the promises by the Nigerian government”. So, this year’s edition of the show is going to be an action packed event, as the theme suggests.
AIHS, the Largest Housing, Construction Exhibition and Conference in Africa, already commands the attention of housing professionals in the continent and was once dubbed the Abuja International Housing Show. However, with participants coming from other African countries and global guests, the magnitude of efforts put and successes it has gathered over the years, forced a change of name, engineered by housing experts outside Africa, who in the words of Barr. Adebayo, affirmed that the magnitude of the show and its participants globally, is a strong reason it should not be limited to just Abuja International Housing Show, hence the word ‘Africa International Housing Show’.
It has become a global brand recognised by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank and other global housing institutions. It is expected that there would be rotation of venues in subsequent editions in the future.
Last year’s edition tagged “Housing for all”, had participants deliberating on how to ensure better housing solutions in a post pandemic world that saw Covid-19 having a terrible impact on the housing market, globally.
The 2022 edition had participants within and outside the African continent contributed with speeches, lectures, debates on ways of improving the housing market, both domestically and globally.
Among the participants at the show include the former Managing Director of Nigeria’s Family Homes Funds (FHF), Femi Adewole representing the country’s former Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo. At the event, he said housing problems pose major challenges if left substantially unsolved and there could be no shortage of policies and programmes by the country’s different government administrations to tackle housing problems but, poor implementation of these policies remains a persistent dilemma.
The AIHS has recorded some level of achievements that include affecting policies in many ways. Previous editions called for database for land and according to Barr. Adebayo, he said “we are proud to say that today, a good number of states have land registry like the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS).
“We called for it some years ago and the FCT is now having their own, even the FHA is planning theirs. We have now seen the importance of land registry.
Apart from that, he said “there’s the RSA through the use of pension. It has been done. We have called through the AIHS for Shelter Afrique to stop giving loans to Nigerians in dollars because, our Naira is not stable and we have succeeded in them listening to us. They now give out loans in Naira, that’s an achievement.
“We have called on the NMRC to also give us a platform for data and it has been established.
This year’s edition of the AIHS will be looking at a land data platform that can used to find solutions to the problem of lack of data in the country and many others.
The show has assisted over 22,000 Nigerians who have visited its platform. Also, over 300 billion transaction have been transacted on the platform. Also, there has been accomplishments in the area of sales transactions made by partners and sponsors, developers, producers of building materials and marketers.
This is why the platform has continued to grow steadily and will keep growing as it has also created good number of employment opportunities for Nigerians.
This year’s edition promises to be unique, as it would be the first organised under the new administration of the country’s new President, Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
“(It) inadvertently means that majority of the faces expected to be seen at the event would be new faces, new political and government appointees, new senators, new house of representatives members, new state house of assembly members, new commissioners for housing, new heads of housing agencies. All these make this year’s event unique, Barr. Adebayo, an ex banker said.
“We (will) engage them on the importance of housing and the development of affordable housing. It means we would engage them, tutor them on how to achieve their political manifesto in the area of housing”.
The National Population Commission (NPC) is advised to make use of the 2023 AIHS as an opportunity to participate, as it will serve as a means of understanding why population and housing data is vital to planning and finding ways of reducing housing deficit in the country. We suggest that there should be a liaison between the organiser of the show, Barr. Festus Adebayo and the NPC to ensure that proceedings from debates at the AIHS are duly documented for the purpose of planning ahead of the rescheduled housing and population census.