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Expert Analyses Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector, Cites Challenges And Opportunities

“Nigeria’s real estate sector has faced challenges, including inefficient markets and outdated regulations, hindering growth and development,” says Ayo Ibaru.

CEO of NorthCourt Real Estate, Ayo Ibaru, has shared his insights on Nigeria’s real estate sector, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that lie within.

According to Ibaru, liquidity in the real estate market is hindered by Nigeria’s unpredictable economy, making it difficult to extend funding for housing purchases over an extended period.

“The regulations around housing development and land administration are still difficult,” Ibaru said. “I would wait for the Senate President’s comment before speaking on it.”

Regarding the GDP growth chart for Nigeria’s real estate sector, Ibaru noted in an interview with ARISE NEWS that the market is largely inefficient, making it difficult to get things done.
“Developing a project in Nigeria is a cumbersome process,” Ibaru stated. 

“To attempt to simplify, if you want to develop a project, as far as the World Bank is concerned, completing title documentation and processing the necessary papers takes an average of 92 days, which is significantly longer than in Rwanda, where it takes just 8 days,”he added.

In response to Lagos Governor Sanwo-Olu’s goal to target 20% contribution to GDP, Ibaru emphasised the need for swift action. “As a government or people, we have to realise that we don’t have as much time as we think we do,” he said.

“There is a gestation period from planning to final execution of projects, which means that the current work ongoing on infrastructure needs to be executed, which would help to enforce investment into other areas,”he added.

Ibaru also highlighted the challenges posed by the Land Use Act of 1978, which he believed  its needed to be addressed to unlock the full potential of the real estate sector.

“If the Senate President really wants to help us, it’s something that they need to look at.

“It’s arguably the one stumbling block that needs to be dealt with, which would put all power, control of land, and property in the hands of the state governor, and then he can use that for public good,”he said.

Despite the challenges, Ibaru remained optimistic about the sector’s potential.
“Wherever the economy grows, the real estate market follows, when the economy is weak, the real estate market suffers, and that’s why we see a thriving real estate market in Lagos and Abuja.

“But a slower pace in Port Harcourt due to insecurity and instability, which could take up to 68 months to recover before new investments start pouring in,”he said.

In conclusion, Ibaru emphasised the need for state governors to specialise in areas that can accelerate growth in their economy and force growth through partnerships and other means.

Boluwatife Enome

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