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Chidi Etoniru: Bridging Nigeria’s housing deficit through affordable and smart real estate products 

With more than a decade of professional experience in facility management, estate survey and real estate construction Chidi Etoniru, the CEO of Joe Etoniru and Associates, a lifestyle real estate firm that provides holistic real estate services is one of the industry players that is working toward bridging Nigeria’s housing deficit.

Etoniru, a chattered Estate Surveyor and Valuer with the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) have chaired Joe Etoniru and Associates to deliver more than ten real estate projects in eight years.

Haven started his real estate career in 2008 as the head of the facility management unit in Prime Atlantic Cegelec (PACE), an oil and Gas Company in Victoria Island, Lagos Chidi has grown to become an industry through his experience in the real estate industry spanning across facility management, real estate brokerage, valuation and property development.

Chidi has an undergraduate degree in estate management and an MSc. in facility management both from the University of Lagos. He is also a member of the Certified Institute of Auctioneers. The CEO was once responsible for the facility management of Epsilon Estate a subsidiary of C&M exchange limited.

In managing facilities, Chidi developed an eye for standard and quality in properties and real estate construction. Conversely, he saw a need to provide home seekers with access to quality rental and sales properties that ensure they get the best deals on their capital. In 2012, he launched Joe Etoniru and Associates in Lagos State to meet this need.

Joe Etoniru and Associates is an organization of seasoned real estate surveyors with proven experience providing premium real estate services. Launched in Lagos some eight years ago, Joe Etoniru began operations with a focus on real estate brokerage but has over the years systemically grown its operations to include property valuation, construction services, real estate advisory and property management services.

At Joe Etoniru and associates, growth has been as a result of prioritizing attention to client needs, gaining market insights and trends and translating these insights to products and services that meet demand.

Meanwhile, data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the real estate sector reported the fastest growth yet since 2016 at -2.36 percent for the year ended December 2019.

Despite ending 2019 in contraction mode, the growth reported by the property sector last year was 4.5 points better than the -6.86 percent recorded in the comparable period of 2016, the year NBS started collating data for the industry.

The adjustment to the new balance between property buyers and sellers was one of the factors why the property industry outperformed its growth performance in the last three years, as compiled from an industry survey.

While the aforementioned helped the property industry to exit its 12 consecutive quarter recession in the first quarter of 2019, the slow economic growth, lack of liquidity and dampened purchasing power in most of 2019 pushed the sector to end the year with a negative expansion.

Analysis of the NBS report for Q4 2019 revealed that the real estate’s contribution to Nigeria economy was down 0.39 percentage points in the review quarter from 6.60 percent in Q4 2018 to 6.21 percent in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Nigeria’s property industry which has a housing deficit of more than 20 million requires an estimated N170trillon to N200trillion to bridge its housing gap.

Faced with the challenges of low purchasing power fueled by Nigeria’s slow economic growth, lack of functioning mortgage system and poor income level, more than 64 million employed Nigerians cannot acquire the expensive properties largely constructed by most real estate developers.

Individual efforts at increasing the stock by way of developing more houses, coupled with talk shows offering insights into possible solutions have not helped to reduce the demand-supply gap or increase the ownership level.

Despite its large-size population and the self-acclaimed biggest economy in Africa, Nigeria is crawling behind its peers in terms of homeownership level.

Largely driven by Nigeria’s young population, the surge in the urban growth at 4.3 percent is one of the factors cited by industry players to spur growth in the industry as housing anywhere in the world is a basic necessity, which in the order of human needs, ranks third after food and clothing.

Having the highest population in Africa at 200 million, Nigeria’s homeownership of 25 percent is a laggard when compared to the 84 percent in Indonesia, 75 percent in Kenya and 56 percent in South.

However, the recent realization by property developers to bridge the supply-demand gap with a focus on the smaller unit apartment is an initiative expected by industry experts to help provide Nigerians with the desired real estate products.

Chidi, a serial entrepreneur with ownership of Move Smart, Bugboss and Clean smart businesses launched ideas that can help provide affordable real estate products to Nigeria’s excluded population.

JEA projects is one of such services. A subsidiary company of Joe Etoniru and Associates, JEA projects was launched based on a demand for luxury but affordable smart home properties that meet international standards.

With the youth in Nigeria accounting for more than half of her population, Chidi said real estate products and services must be targeted at meeting the demands of this emerging market. At Joe Etoniru and associates, this is the future, the company assured.

Joe Etoniru is systemically expanding its offerings to provide quality, affordable and smart housing to upwardly mobile millennials in Nigeria, integrating flexible payment options that take into consideration the purchasing power of individuals in this unique market.

Through the launch of JEA projects, the real estate company has been able to complete projects span across residential estates along the Lekki axis including Megamound Estate and Pinnock beach Estate, with the latest project- The Sixtus, currently ongoing in Lekki Phase 1.

Describing the luxury project which comes at an affordable rate, Joe Etoniru and Associates said the Sixtus consists of ensuite rooms, smart lighting, smart access control by Alexa, automatic blind control, smart locks and automated gate control.

The project which offers a 12-month payment plan has smart living facilities that include blinds, electronics, lights, doors, and Closed-circuit television (CCTV).

Some of the past projects delivered by the real estate company include a set of luxury five-bedroom fully detached house with penthouse in Pinnock Beach Estate, Osapa London and has facilities like swimming pool, carport and fully fitted kitchen with gas cooker.

The real estate firm has also delivered luxury 5-bedroom fully detached house with a room BQ in Megamound Estate, Ikota, and was built with an indoor 6-seater cinema, fully fitted kitchen with gas cooker, automated smart home controlled by Alexa Air conditioner, and a fire hydrant for emergencies.

From off-plan sales to customized projects and advisory services, JEA projects has been instrumental in introducing smart home technology into the property development space, making it a viable option for both property developers and end-users.

Also, Move Smart, Clean Smart and Bug boss are a set of subsidiary companies set up by Joe Etoinru Associates to provide after-sales/ leasing services to clients. These businesses evolved from a demand for services that ease clients into the occupation of their new homes seamlessly.

From moving of client’s items into their new homes to cleaning and fumigation of official and private residences, Joe Etoniru and associates has become a one-stop-shop for accessing end to end real estate services.

Under the leadership of Chidi, Joe Etoniru and associates said it is determined in contributing its quota in bridging it Nigeria’s housing deficit through the provision of smart but affordable real estate products.

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