• Friday, September 29, 2023
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Developer explains why Nigeria must adopt an alternative building system

Developer explains why Nigeria must adopt an alternative building system

Authorities of a real estate development firm, Gidi, have explained why Nigeria must consider alternative building systems away from the current brick-and-mortar or block model.

Tobi Akerele, the company’s chief executive officer, says that, apart from helping to reduce the high cost of building and renting in the country, an alternative system is self-sustaining with the capacity to bring down construction costs and gives good value to home buyers.

Akerele spoke at the allocation of land to the first batch of buyers at Epe Garden being developed by the company in the Epe area of Lagos.

“We are considering an alternative means of building that is self-sustaining. There are other means of building that don’t have to be the block style. With this, we will be able to bring down the cost of construction and at the same time give the best value to our clients,” he said.

He noted that the real estate sector was very broad with challenges as it remained less regulated, coupled with the ‘omonile’ issue which has become a household name associated with the industry.

“Real estate is a very broad and less regulated sector. Starting from the land aspect, our major challenge is the ‘omoniles’. They are good and nice people but I think regulation needs to be put in place. We need to know who we are dealing with and who the government recognises.

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You can get land today and after three years another family will come, claiming to be the original owners. A system needs to be put in place where we can confirm the particular family that owns the land,” he said.

“I think Lagos has passed the stage of ‘omonile’ coming to sites to disturb developers. This is a mega city. You won’t go to any mega city elsewhere and see a regular person coming to the site to disturb workers even when you have settled the government,” Akerele said.

He assured of the firm’s commitment to help tackle the issue of housing deficit in Nigeria, noting however that it was a long-term project of building 4.1 million housing units in the next 10 years.

“There are many factors that come with the housing deficit in Nigeria. Over 20 million housing units need to be built in Nigeria to cut down the number of the deficit. Gidi wants to build 4.1 million units in the next 10 years. If each real estate firm first provides 4.1 million units, it will be reduced to the barest minimum. We don’t have to leave it for the government alone, it’s time for private sector operators to come in and take care of their own people,” he said.

He also emphasized the need for the government to reduce the cost of land which most times affects rental costs, adding that there was a need to adopt weekly or monthly rental payments to make rent affordable in the country.

Akerele disclosed Gidi had taken a lot of people off the unemployment market by recruiting more staff, thereby contributing to curbing the rising unemployment rate in Nigeria.

“There is a brokerage firm with over 75,000 realtors which has partnered with us. So, indirectly, some 75,000 realtors are making money through our services. Our in-house staff alone are over 30. But, in the real estate sector, when we came, we said that we wanted to be different because we believed that if everybody was going to the right, we believe that there are opportunities to the left,” he added.