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How we plan to address housing deficit in Nigeria – Akinyemi

VICTOR AKINYEMI, founder and chairman of Vision Nest Group (VNG), is an exceptional all time player in the Nigerian real estate industry. He is a professional in urban and regional planning with a vast experience in architectural and geographical surgery works. A graduate of Architecture and Accounting from both Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State and Lagos State University, Ojo respectively. He also bagged a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from LASU.
In this interview, he spoke on the depth of housing deficit in Nigeria, solutions to the quagmire and how his firm is poised to join other stakeholders to find remedy to many housing brouhaha in the country. Excerpts:

According to the UN data, Nigeria population is expected to reach 263million by 2030 and 401 million by 2050 becoming the 3rd most populous nation in the world. What are the short, mid and long term plans of your company to meet the housing needs of Nigerians?
Nigeria’s impending population explosion is expected to come with its challenges. Shelter being one of the challenges also presents itself as a unique opportunity for us to be of service to the nation at a very important time like this. Our short term plan is to build a team of young and experienced professionals strategically positioned to meet the immediate shelter needs of Nigerians, prepare for the years and population ahead through the development of SMART organizational goals to respond adequately to impending population explosion by providing shelter for the different classes of our society.

It is our company culture to balance client’s budget with quality from conception through architectural designing, to structural engineering, project execution, and completion. With our focus on quality, standard and innovations, we will deploy low-cost housing projects across the country to cater for the middle class and low-income earners with flexible plan to ensure anyone earning and willing to become a house owner become one without any drama.

We will also deploy reasonable resources and human capital to meet high-end real estate needs which will aid urbanization through the construction of architectural masterpieces that could compete with its types anywhere in the world. It is our dream to build the first green village in Nigeria with zero-emission, taking into consideration the effect of climate change on our planet. While breaking architectural and structural engineering limit, we will place a premium on safety, environment, and safe climate practices.

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With the current concern of Nigerians concerning land grabbing, what are you planning to do to gain the trust of Nigerians?
The experience I have earned in the industry over the years will come to bear in ensuring we keep our promises to all our clients. We will build trust through transparency, customer care services, and strict adherence to extant laws regarding property acquisition and disposals. We will ensure that we keep all our promises with our clients and prospective clients, promise less while offering more. Our comprehensive understanding of the land use acts and related laws will ensure that we act and promise within the acceptable legal framework and the rights and privileges of our clients are always protected. We have developed a strong feedback mechanism that will enhance the efficient follow-up process of all our promises and we shall from time to time evaluate our performance through feedback from our clients.

Many companies have failed in their promises to their customers leading to court cases and various litigations. What are your plans to ensure you meet all your promises to your prospective customers as you journey into Real Estate Firmament as a developer?
The fundamental principle guiding our organization is to provide quality service delivery to the people within the industry and redefine real estate in Nigeria. In doing this, we will raise the bar of trust, transparency and ensure that while pursuing profit and sustainability for our investors, we are not tempted to make promises we cannot fulfil to avoid litigations. We shall ensure all our operations are in full compliance with the extant laws and regulations within the industry. The interest of our clients, our organizational culture of transparency and trustworthiness, the safety of our internal and external customers, and that of our environment and climate will always come first and in doing this, we will avoid unnecessary litigation and maintain our pact with our clients.

Having spent 10 years in the real estate industry, what do you plan to do differently to improve housing deficit in Nigeria, especially in Lagos State?
Let me reiterate that we intend to bring unprecedented transparency into our operation. We will, through innovations, technologies, and disruption, mobilize resources to build mass, massive low-cost estate across the country and simplify property acquisition through the development of flexible packages that allows Nigerians to own their homes irrespective of their social class and income level.

What is the vision of your organisation for urban development in Nigeria?
It is evident that buildings, as inanimate as they are, contribute to the life and beauty of a community. A community with outstanding buildings makes it attractive. Our vision is to develop the best low-cost luxury houses, built with quality from start to finish all over the world. As the saying goes, “the looks attract, but the quality keeps”. We will build sustainable and eco-friendly houses that align with the nation’s urban development plans.

How do you intend to mobilize funding for your ambitious projects?
In funding our projects, we have decided to draw funds through investors. This presents opportunities for investors to benefit from our projects and our company. While building houses for Nigerians, we will be building financial freedom for our subscribers and investors through top-notch business services and management. Considering the current rate of inflation and devaluation of Naira, it is evident that real estate presents the most reliable investment destination as there is little or no risk of devaluation or even a loss. Real estate is a wiser choice of risk-free and sustainable investment. Our investors stand to benefit from the store of value that real estate offers, the quality of our management, and the innovations of our carefully selected, highly experienced personnel.

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