Amid falling revenues, industry professionals are calling for strategic management of real estate and public assets to unlock more wealth and make Nigeria an investment destination.
They lamented that Nigerian cities and public assets are decaying, as well as neglected to the point that they cannot create wealth, hence the need for enhanced urban renewal.
Experts spoke at the Fourth Summit, organized by the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Institution of Property Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) on “Advancing the Practice of Real Estate in an Era of Changing Standards “.
Experts deliberated on the impact of the Financial Law 2021 on the practice of real estate, the repositioning of the practice of mortgage and insurance appraisal in a difficult economic climate, new developments in the practice of management facilities and the development of a successful estate agency practice in an era of changing standards.
The real estate sector ended 2021 on a high note, recording gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.26%, despite this; the speakers were of the opinion that the good fortunes are still in the industry.
Leading the discussion, an economist and Managing Director of Economic Associates (EA), Dr. Ayo Teriba, said different levels of government must unlock the potential of the sector as government revenues will continue to decline.
As the outlook for portfolio investments/balance sheet gains continues to improve, Teriba said the federal government needs to create more cities, connect assets to global liquidity, provide good infrastructure and achieve better returns .
He said: “Show me a country, state or city that is liquid, stable and growing, with socio-political harmony and I will show you how it optimizes its public goods. Show me one that is illiquid, unstable and in decline, with socio-political disagreements and I will show you that it is not optimizing its public goods. Assets can always be optimized to repair or rejuvenate balance sheets and income statements. »
He revealed that over the past decade the UK had moved a dozen city center prisons to more economical sites and freed up former prison sites to be repurposed and redeveloped into luxury homes, hotels , offices, shops and other income-generating commercial activities.
Teriba said, “The United States of America created the Federal Real Property Council which liberalized its real estate portfolio. India Investment Grid (IIG), presents thousands of investment opportunities across Indian states and provinces and 27 sectors in a single online platform to connect potential investors with projects and developers in real time. India was also planning to create 100 global cities, but we neglected our cities and allowed thugs to take over.
According to him, Nigerian GDP could become disconnected from wealth if the physical and intangible human assets of companies remain untapped, as is the case with Nigerian public assets.
The economist advised the government to secure its land through oversight and urged land surveyors to improve advocacy through independent opinions on the need for the government to make the real estate sector economically vibrant.
The President of NIESV, Lagos Branch, Mrs. Olabisi Demola-Alade said that COVID-19 has changed so many things including people’s lifestyles and the way they now pursue their economic endeavours. She added that every sector of the economy has changed in one way or another.
Speaking on the impact of the 2021 finance law on the practice of real estate, a tax expert, Temitope Adewale, said that transit to the African model megalopolis requires colossal resources; Yet all levels of government face revenue challenges. He said professionals have an obligation, as taxpayers and debt collectors, to reevaluate how they are doing.
NIESV Chairman, Sir Emmanuel Wike, represented by Second Vice-Chairman, Mr Victor Alonge, commended the branch for its consistency in highlighting issues affecting the industry, noting that practitioners and other stakeholders benefit from it.
Wike, who observed that the Lagos branch was central to the institution’s mission and vision, said the branch continued to meet expectations.