Odunayo Ojo

Addressing Nigeria’s Housing Deficit and Real Estate Challenges: Insights from UACN Property Development Company’s Managing Director

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Renewed Interest of Nigerians in the Diaspora

The Nigerian real estate sector is experiencing a resurgence of interest from Nigerians living abroad. However, potential investors are now more discerning, seeking credible options due to previous negative experiences with collapsed buildings and poor project delivery. This presents an opportunity for reputable companies like UPDC that have maintained a track record of quality and timely project execution.

Building Collapse Prevention

To mitigate the recurring issue of building collapses in Nigeria, various stakeholders must take responsibility. Regulators need to strengthen their monitoring and evaluation processes, ensuring compliance with approved building plans. Professional bodies and developers must uphold higher standards, while capacity building initiatives should focus on continuous training and professional development for artisans, engineers, builders, and other construction personnel.

Bridging the Housing Gap

Resolving Nigeria’s housing deficit requires a pragmatic approach, focusing on the enablers of housing delivery. Accessible finance is a critical factor, and the high cost of funds in the country poses a significant challenge. To address this, the government can collaborate with international development finance institutions (DFIs) to provide loans at lower interest rates, thereby stimulating increased construction activity. Additionally, streamlining land acquisition processes, reducing construction costs through local production, and improving financing options for both builders and buyers are essential steps toward reducing the housing gap.

Government regulations and the potential merger of federal housing agencies are crucial considerations for enhancing efficiency within the sector, although the ultimate goal should be to improve operational effectiveness and reduce bureaucracy.

The Ineffectiveness of Monthly Rental Law

Attempts by the Lagos State government to enforce monthly rental payments through legislation have not yielded the desired results. Rent prices are primarily determined by market forces, and without substantial government intervention in housing supply, legislating monthly payments may not effectively address affordability concerns. Instead, the focus should be on increasing the availability of housing options, allowing individuals to choose more favorable terms through market competition.

 

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