Chief Ifeanyi Harry Jeffery is the CEO of Ocean Growth Homes; a luxury real estate development company, setting extraordinary records in the industry.
The company also prides itself as a fully integrated real estate developer given its reputation of creating functional spaces through beautiful and exquisite interior designs formed out of rare creativity.
He has led the company to develop remarkable projects in the highbrow areas of Lagos, with a delivery of over 150 units of luxury housing units yearly. He is also the brain behind Ocean Growth Farms; an agro-based venture involved in livestock farming.
What inspired your interest in the real estate business?
I was inspired by the need to breach the overwhelming deficit in the Nigerian housing sector. I saw a huge gap in the provision of affordable housing and I decided to contribute positively.
It has not been easy. There are late nights, early mornings, no weekends, and infrequent vacations, but the payoff is that you get to help people through one of the biggest decisions in their lives and make their dreams come true. Real Estate is a gold mine which if well harnessed, will not only bring benefits and return of investments, but satisfy the needs of the country.
Nigeria currently have a huge housing deficit, how do you think the imbalance in supply and demand of housing can be bridged?
As humans, we have three basic needs; food, shelter and clothing. The need for a roof over ones head cannot be under-estimated. The provision of adequate and quality housing to Nigerians lies bulkily on the federal and state governments, but we cannot leave everything to the government.
If the government at all levels can engage in public-private partnership, whereby the government make land available for immediate development and also grant investors soft policies, policy consistency, easy documentation, reduced tax and levies, provide soft loan with single digit interest to attract investors and equally promote use of local building materials and technology, it will usher in great investment in the sector and the deficit can be greatly reduced. The issue of land grabbing which is prevalent in many parts of the country should be looked into as it discourages investors.
To what extend would you say ocean growth homes has contributed to reducing housing deficit in Nigeria?
Ocean Growth Homes has contributed immensely in reducing housing deficit, but compare to the widening deficit gap, a lot still needs to be done. Our contributions and effect have been felt especially in Lagos state and we are on the verge of reaching other parts of the country, especially Abuja, Anambra, Rivers and Imo States
Mortgage financing is one of the major challenges of housing ownership in Nigeria, what do you think is the way forward?
I think the goal of the government at all levels should be to ensure that all Nigerians own or have access to decent housing and accommodation at affordable cost. In order to achieve this goal, the government should pursue the following policy objectives.
Encourage and promote active participation in housing delivery at all tiers of government.
Strengthen institutions within the system to render their operations more responsively to demand.
Emphasize housing investment which satisfy basic needs. That is, encourage greater participation by private sector in housing development
Ensure continuous flow of long-term fund for housing development and providing affordable loans for income housing.
Provision of incentives for the capital market to invest in property development.
Encourage the development of specific programmes that would ensure effective financing of housing development in particular for low-income workers, and proper policy control over allocation of funds between the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
More so, commercial banks and mortgage institutions should unilaterally adopt single digit interest charge on housing mortgage loans to both real estate development companies and purchaser/investors as well.
What are your goals for ocean growth homes in the next five years?
To make Ocean Growth Homes a household name nationwide as far as real estate industry/housing sector is concerned. To continue to provide quality and affordable luxury homes to both the upper, middle and lower-income earners towards achieving our goal of meeting the housing need of over one million Nigerians. To become the leading real estate company in Africa providing world class real estate services that meet our clients needs at all times.