Two UK-based Nigerian firms, Access Bank UK Limited and Daniel Ford International, were in Nigeria on Tuesday this week for a UK Property Roadshow held at Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Roadshow provided an opportunity for the firms to educate Nigerian investors on investing in real estate in UK, highlighting the benefits and methods of such investment.
Both Access Bank and Daniel Bank teams, led by Johnson Ememandu and Yemi Edun respectively, came with several critical members that covered all the different important bases any client would need from a compliance officer all the way to a Chartered Accountant.
“The point was to display the depth and robustness of their service offerings,” Edun, who is Daniel Ford’s CEO, explained to BusinessDay.
Edun noted that the event, which had Roosevelt Ogbonna, the CEO of Access Bank Plc, and Victor Etuokwu, the DMD, in attendance, was not meant to say that investing in the UK showed a lack of patriotism or belief in the Nigerian project, but was, instead, a critical component of any wealth management or building portfolio, as even countries have foreign reserves.
According to him, London has a deep market offering with appeal across the world due to the legacy of the British empire. “To illustrate the point, London’s airports combined handled high passenger volume, numbering 133.8 million whilst global travel recovers from the COVID pandemic. At its peak, pre-covid in 2019, it handled 177.6 million passengers. That is almost an equivalent of the population of Nigeria,” he said.
These and many more factors, he added, make London a robust and versatile environment to invest in real estate and maintain wealth or even build.
Edun also addressed the current interest rate rises and low stock of properties and the resultant effect on the buyer, revealing that the white-hot rental market was giving sizeable yields with upfront payments of up to 18 months for Landlords and finally increased-Anti Money Laundry checks.
He explained that Anti-Money Laundering checks have gone up from lasting just a few hours to lasting up to two months now. “However, this is good as it keeps out drug dealers and criminals who would bid up property prices unfairly compared to what the average buyer can cover,” he said.
The well-attended event was populated by a lot of professionals looking at pension plans, estate planning, and and answers to questions on how they could make their estates outlive them.
There were a lot of questions on how, where, and what to buy. There was also curiosity about what was a better buy, between leaseholds and freeholds. These questions and many more were engaged with and answers provided for a highly engaged audience.