Experts seek shift in land allocation policies

By Luminous Jannamike

ABUJA – Stakeholders in Nigeria’s real estate and construction sectors are advocating for a shift in land allocation policies.

During a briefing held in Abuja on Monday, Dr. Johnson Anene, Chairman of Real Estate and Construction (RECON), announced their campaign urging the government to allocate land directly to developers instead of speculators. The goal is to reduce housing costs.

“We are using this to launch a campaign for the direct allocation of land to developers instead of speculators who exploit their connections and personal relationships with government officials to acquire land for the purpose of selling it to developers.

“The idea is to ensure that developers can obtain these land parcels directly, thereby preventing unnecessary expenses and enabling them to construct more houses.

“This is the second part of our effort to demonstrate that by reducing the involvement of speculators, the cost of building in the country is decreased,” said Anene.

The Chairman noted that despite the real estate sector’s significant contributions to the world economy, it only contributes a meager 0.5 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He emphasized on the need for Nigerians to tap into the benefits of the real estate sector, stating, “The real estate sector has over the years enhanced the economic development of countries like Brazil, United Arab Emirate, China, Russia, Indonesia, and South Africa.

“It is high time we fully utilize this sector for the economic and social growth of Nigeria. We look forward to stimulating national economic growth through real estate investment, infrastructure, and technology,” Anene stated.

In addition to the change in land allocation initiative, he disclosed that RECON is organizing a housing and construction expo to attract foreign investment, promote local building materials, and contribute to economic growth.

Anene emphasized that this year’s RECON Expo, scheduled from November 21st to 23rd, 2023, will also support existing Nigerian investors in the housing sector and connect attendees with mortgage lenders and construction financing.

“There are also banks available that provide construction and project funding for individuals who already own land. Whether you wish to complete or build your own house, or if you want to renovate or expand your existing house, you can access these funds.

“We are committed to enhancing not only the real estate sector but also boosting the Nigerian economy,” Anene added.

He expressed optimism that this year’s expo would exceed the successes of previous ones and significantly contribute to Nigeria’s economic development.

According to him, the program will feature exhibitions, conferences, business-to-business, and business-to-government networking events.

The annual RECON Expo, organized in conjunction with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), and other public and private organizations, is expected to attract over 150 exhibitors and 20,000 participants from various parts of Nigeria and around the world.