Given the challenges facing the real estate industry, valuers have urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for sustainable investment in the sector.
They also called for reduction in the cost of building materials through support for research and development, which would explore the use of local alternatives in housing projects.
President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Sir Emmanuel Wike, who made the call during a press conference in Lagos, said government should channel more resources into other sectors of the economy such as security, agriculture, power, and more importantly to real estate as well as infrastructure.
According to him, the economy needs reinvigoration and concerted efforts of all stakeholders to place it on a sound footing for sustainable development.
“More attention must be given to real estate and infrastructural development either by direct investment or partnering with the private sector, but most importantly by creating a more conducive environment for sustainable investment in these critical areas with clearly laid out policies.
“Government should spend sizeable sum on infrastructure. Government must lead aggressive intervention in housing delivery and come up with policies to stimulate and deepen private sector participation, if it sincerely desires to lift the economy and Nigerians out of poverty as well as promote the much desired social order,” he said.
Wike stated, “with the nation’s dependence on crude oil that accounts for more than 83 per cent of total export earnings, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), 70 per cent of government revenue and about 10 per cent of the country’s GDP, Nigeria’s economy is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in crude oil prices and production. The economy, as a result, has been periodically or intractably challenged, slipping in and out of recession.”
NIESV president revealed that Nigeria’s population of about 200 million and 17 million housing shortage provide incentives for investment. “There is no other investment or medium of investment that is comparable to real estate investment,” he said.
While commending government’s efforts in addressing security challenges, the estate surveyors called for a multifaceted approach from stakeholders.
“The crises has huge economic implications on business, including real estate, coupled with an intersection with poverty as a result of rising food prices, which can be linked clearly to the inaccessibility of farmlands taken over by criminal herdsmen and rampaging bandits.
“We call on the government to reinvent and rearrange the entire security architecture and apparatus,” Wike added.
Meanwhile, the institution has commended the General Council of the World Trade Organization for confirming the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Wike said: “We are confident that the former two times Minister of Finance would bring the wealth of experience to her new office, especially in this period of global financial and economic challenges.
“We urge her to deploy her enormous experience, skills and competence to the management of WTO and take the organization to greater heights. It is also expected of her to use her good offices to promote improved trade balances between Nigeria, Africa and the developed nations.”