When top players in the Nigerian real estate sector gathered at this year’s Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, their discussion centred on ways to grow the sector, including need for the provision of good, quality and affordable housing for the teeming population of the country.
Africa CEO Forum is the continent’s largest international gathering of private sector operators, international investors, experts and high-level policymakers around the continent and beyond to discuss the possibility of a fully developed Africa and the Nigeria without housing deficits.
The forum allows CEOs to benefit from an unrivaled networking platform with top decision-makers, identify new business opportunities with the world’s most influential business leaders and also learn from world-class consultants and experts how to navigate their various companies’ challenges.
This year’s edition, which is the 7th in the series, was held in Kigali, Rwanda and had as theme, ‘Shaping the Future of Africa’. It was attended by over 1800 participants who recommended more reforms to accelerate Africa’s economic integration.
Adeyinka Adesope, the GMD/CEO of Palton Morgan Holdings, comprising Propertymart, Grenadines Homes, Mcpalton, Mitcherutti contractors and Paltonloitte, noted on the sideline of the forum, that meeting the housing needs of Nigerians was at the core of the group’s business interest. He disclosed that, through its various subsidiaries, the company had been delivering on various housing initiatives across the country to battle the deficit with offerings like PropertyMart Fairmont, the fairest deal in the Lekki corridor; Grenadines Homes’ Oceanna, amongst others.
Adesope said the group had been able to provide for Nigerians affordable houses that meet their standards without the bottlenecks associated with acquiring properties in some parts of the country.
He posited that the success recorded so far was due to the way Palton Morgan and other companies under it approach delivering their products under good corporate governance they are known for.
“Through its member companies, the group’s strategic focus and policies rest on the development and completion of major projects in Nigeria and across the globe and the synergy of management and staff has grown the group to be one of the largest real estate investment firms in the country”, he said.
Continuing, he said, “while the economy of the nation has been tough on most sectors in the last three years, it has been tougher on the real estate sector and the federal government should wake up to the reality of the diagonal impact the housing sector has on the nation’s economy while major players of the sector must eschew operating in silos.”
Adesope wants Nigerian government to reconsider the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) it was yet to sign, saying the integration of Africa was one of the ways the continent’s developments could be galvanized.
He hoped that Nigeria’s role and participation in the integration would be critical for its success, which is long overdue as African nations need to work as one; for one continent, one currency and one market.
He added that collaboration amongst African nations was key to developing the continent, which must also be embraced by major players in the real estate sector to advance the sector.
Participants urged African governments to take advantage of pension funds to bridge their infrastructure funding shortfall and de-risk pension systems.
This was one of the proposals by a group of panelists in the second day of the forum at a session called ‘Infrastructure and Local Financing: A $100 Billion Opportunity’. Reforming the pension sector while de-risking and structuring infrastructure projects, they said, would help mobilize the highly needed funds.
Africa requires $95 billion every year to cater for its funding needs in energy, roads, ports, railway, and other infrastructure projects. However, they can only raise half of the required amount, which calls to look for more funding alternatives.
Corneille Karekezi, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Africa RE, said that since investing in infrastructure requires a lot of liquidity, countries must create vehicles that will help accumulate these resources