In the words of Iloduba Tochukwu Joemartins, Chief Executive Officer of Lagos-based Joe Best Estate Development and Property Limited, private sector-driven real estate is the solution to Nigeria’s housing challenges.
The country currently has a 17 million housing deficit and requires no less than 700, 000 houses annually to bridge the gap.
“Private real estate developers can do so much to reduce the deficit in the country’s housing sector if their efforts are complemented by impact policies from government,” said De Joe as he is popularly known.
According to him: “The bulk of the new developments in real estate are investments from the private sector, from firms and individual developers. Our governments have been talking about affordable housing for all for ages, yet that target can easily be met when estate developers are engaged and enhanced by the government.”
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De Joe further added: “Real estate business has been paid little attention in the past by both federal and state governments but it is becoming clear that affordable housing is an important indicator of the standard of living and the overall well-being of the citizens of a country.”
While observing that prices of building materials have skyrocketed in the past few months, De Joe avowed that estate developers are not discouraged from taking on new projects. Instead, they have become more pragmatic in how they handle new projects.
“Shelter is an essential need of every man, so under every circumstance, man will continue to satisfy that need, that means, those of us stakeholders in the real estate sector will continue to find a way to provide for the housing needs of the people,” he said.
Despite the effect of inflation on prices of building materials, De Joe is confident that the real estate sector will continue to grow stronger. “The sector is becoming competitive and this is challenging stakeholders to be more strategic in their planning,” he said. “Real estate business, whether developing estates or marketing them, requires patience, hard work and integrity. Any one who plays by the rules will always be successful, come rain or sunshine.”