MAN, LCCI others blame recession on COVID-19, #EndSARS; foresee job losses, reduced purchasing power…. Says Obama applied it to regain US economy

 By Chris Ochayi

Worried by the dwindling state of the nation’s economy, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, REDAN, has called on the Federal Government to urgently embark on massive construction works in order to reduce the economic conundrum confronting the country.

President of REDAN, Alhaji (Dr) Aliyu Wamako, who made the remarks, while speaking with Vanguard said the panacea to the lingering economic downturn occasioned by the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 could only be assuaged if the government leverage on opportunity in the building sector of the economy.

Dr. Wamako noted that embarking on aggressive on roads and housing construction would go a long way in reducing the hardship being experienced in the country today.

According to him, “We felt the government should embark on massive construction. That is what was used before. And in places like the United States of America, USA, ex-President Barrack Obama applied this measure and it worked.

“Obama used the same type of massive construction to regain back the US economy when there was economic meltdown”, he said.

He said, “And we call on the government presently, that if the government wants to go out of this economic downturn, most especially now that we are on the second wave of recession in Nigeria we felt the government should embark on massive construction.

“That is what was used before. And in places like the United States of America, USA, under President Obama in which they used the same type of massive construction to regain back their economy when there was economic meltdown if you could remember.

“So this is exactly what we think the Nigerian government should do. We will make ourselves available for this, so that at least it will help the teaming population of Nigerians and reduce the restiveness of the youths by creating a lot of employment, which has the incubation period.

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“We start construction today, job started, we started creating job today. So no incubation period and we believe our teeming youths will be having jobs to do and the level of insecurity in the country will definitely reduce drastically.

“And a lot of things that are happening within the macroeconomic indices of the country would be revitalized, and it will, as you know, will increase the GDP of Nigeria.”

Dr. Wamako, who is also the Chairman of Jedo Investment Co. Limited, a real estate firm has lamented that year 2020 was one of the calamitous year for the building industry following the outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic and the #EndSars protests.

Taking stocks of the activities of the sector in the outgoing 2020, Wamako recalled that the COVOD-19 pandemic and the EndSars protests took the sector by storm.

Alhaji Wamako, however, noted that the real estate was not alone at the receiving end of the pandemic, adding, “I want you to understand that the real estate is not operating in solo, because the pandemic is rampaging the whole world. And it brings a lot of economic downturn to all the countries.”

According to him, “I want you to understand that the real estate is not operating in solos, because the pandemic is rampaging the whole world. And it brings a lot of economic downturn, all the countries.

“All the economic operators have witness, you know, economic downturn. And the real estate sector is not exempted in this. It is on this note that I want to let you know that we have a lot of members here in Nigeria have a lot of challenges.

“The prices of building materials are going up, the exchange rate is also surging up. And the purchasing power of people is reducing. So, to be candid with you we don’t have a market, because people are not even having the capacity to pay now. That is where we even give some sort of palliative on rent during the COVID-19 pandemic critical period, that is February to June 2020.

“We exempted most of the people from paying any rent or mortgages from their monthly income because of this problem. So we also try to assist our members, by way of training them on how to handle their issues at the site. We also give some positives to some indigence of the FCT as our helping hand, despite our challenges.”

On quantum of loss to COVID-19 pandemic, Wamako said, “You see we have a lot of registered members over, 3000 all over the state in Nigeria. And honestly speaking we didn’t take this kind of assessment.

“But I believe it is running into billions of Naira. And we felt that the government can only do something by providing a level playing ground for our members to operate by giving us, loan in a single digit interest, which will make us to move back into action.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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