Stakeholders in the real estate industry have said Nigeria can solve its housing deficit challenge through creative thinking.
They noted that creative thinking would include tackling the problems of infrastructure, especially in transportation.
At the 2020 Real Estate Outlook organized by Alphacrux Limited in Lagos, stakeholders said the industry was still at its infancy and needed innovative ideas to grow.
The Chief Executive Officer, Alphacrux Limited, Tobi Adama, said stakeholders in the real estate industry needed to come together and look for ways to increase the contribution of the industry to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.
He said, “We always hear housing deficit. What I usually explain to people is that you need to classify what deficit is. Lagos is overpopulated and congested but if you go to other states in the country, there are spaces and rooms but because Lagos is a commercial hub; that’s why we have the challenge.
“For us to solve the affordable housing deficit, we just have to be creative and not to depend on the government to do everything. If you look around you will see lots of developers’ building estates in the Lekki corridor. It is not about building alone, what we are doing about infrastructure?
“If it takes 30 minutes on a fast train from Epe to Victoria Island and property in Epe is cheaper, a lot of people will move to the outskirts. I think what we should do is as we are tackling the deficit in affordable housing, we should also be tackling the infrastructure deficit.”
The Director of Research, Northcourt Real Estate, Mr Ayo Ibaru, said the size and complexity of housing affordability in the country were being underestimated.
According to him, the government’s role is to establish a framework for affordable housing components.
“We can always say affordable housing as many times as we want but there must be a place where developers can plugin, where investors can plugin and end users can plugin,” he said.
He stated that by the framework, he meant the conditions the government was willing to create to ensure a sustainable solution for everyone.
Ibaru said, “This idea of developers, financiers, investors and professionals coming together to invest their time and money in a Third World economy without any form of returns is something we should forget very quickly.
“The government needs to ensure we have a very strong affordable housing framework then we get the right professionals to design the draft and the legal process.”
He said the issues of the Land Use Act should also be dealt with, adding that the problem had lingered for years.
The Managing Director, Monarch Investments Limited, Dr. Gbadamosi Yakubu, said the new generation real estate developers should apply data analytic research and use technology applications to drive growth in the industry.
He said it had become necessary to change the conventional method of doing things, adding that the new generation should look at crowdfunding as a way of bridging the affordable housing gap.
Adama noted that the Real Estate Outlook, in its fourth edition, had improved and stakeholders had been benefiting from the interactive sessions aimed at improving a lot of the industry.