By Chris OCHAYI
The National President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, REDAN, Chief Olabode Afolayan, has said the on-going reform in the banking sector has grounded developmental activities in the real estate sector of the economy.
Afolayan, who stated this during a visit to Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Nduese Essien, in Abuja, regretted that the present reforms have weakened abilities of banks to provide essential services, especially the real estate which requires huge capital injection.
According to him, â€œwe had looked at the banking reform as a thing that would open up lots of opportunities for investors in the real estate sector, but honestly, in the last couple of months, it has been a very unfortunate situation.
â€œThe Banks have not impacted on the real estate sector in the last say six months. They have not been able to give loans. Even the bank guaranty they used to give in the past has also stopped. When the reform was put in place, we had thought it would be a holistic approach at reforming all sectors of the economy.
â€œBut since it began, no meaningful service could be gotten from banks any more. The banks are now struggling to be in business, they are not investing any money. The reform has weakened abilities of the bank to provide essential services. Now, this has huge implication on the economy. The real estate sector is not just crippled; it is destroyed by this singular non performance of these banks.
â€œWhen you mention reform, we had expected that there should have been cushion effects on the economy. The short and long term effects of such reform ought to have been envisaged. I mean, for almost six months no single transaction in the real estate, tell me for how longer will one has to waitâ€.
Afolayan, while urging the Minister to come to the aid of developers in the country by tackling perennial problems facing the sector, however,Â called on Essien to use his influence as a former honourable member of the National Assembly to fast-track the passage of the land reform bill before the National Assembly.
Our suggestion is that long-term Funds like the Pension fund could be channelled in delivery houses in the country. We urge the minister to look at such possibility.
â€œExpedite the completion of the land use act in the NASS. We are appealing to state government to provide land so that developers across the federation can have adequate access to land. We urge the federal government to shove-up provision of infrastructure so as to enable developers build their house with ease. Hydrafone technology concept of building houses should be encouraged in the country because these are the last technology use in advance country. No plastering, it requires very little cement, and houses can be built in say two days.
In his response, the minster, who applauded REDAN for being the first body to officially pay him a visit since the ministry began operation 10 days ago, assured the team of his preparedness to w