About 20 million housing units deficit, estimated 10 percent homeownership level and less than 1 percent mortgage penetration in a 200-million population means housing situation in Nigeria is dire.
Again, delivering less than 100,000 housing units annually as against the required 700,000 units to close an ever-widening demand-supply gap means too that whatever is on offer goes to the highest bidder.
Affordability, therefore, is a big issue. Many investors and developers are worried about this situation and so are striving to change the narrative by contributing to closing the identified gap. One of such developers is Richard Nyong, Founder/CEO, Lekki Gardens Estates Limited.
In the last nine years when Lekki Gardens opened for business, Nyong has been deploying his charismatic approach and youthful energy to delivering value and changing the housing narrative.
Since Independence, Nigeria’s population has grown consistently by over 2 percent yearly, making her the most populous African nation with over 90million more people than second placed Ethiopia, according to Worldometer – an online data center.
But while population growth has provided some leverage, it has also made the shortage of infrastructure and other essentials more conspicuous. As stated above, there is an obvious gap in the housing industry which means the government would require more support in this sector.
This is why, Nyong, fresh from the university, spotted this trend and identified it as an opportunity to contribute his own quota towards what could be described as a fragmented sector at the time.
“From identifying good land deals and matching them with buyers as a third-party sales consultant, to acquiring some pieces of land of his own from his commissions, it was only a matter of time before Nyong became a household name in the real estate industry,” an official of the company revealed in a statement in Lagos at the weekend.
Young, charismatic and courageous, Nyong is a good salesman. His people’s person skills and high emotional stability meant that he could effectively connect with his clients and project the value he was offering above that of any other player so as to ensure that his clients got the maximum value possible for their investment.
After a stint of successes in land sales, Richard strategically scaled his business to include property development which would then offer him the opportunity to directly contribute towards developing more housing units in the country.
“From 2012, when Lekki Gardens was founded till date, Nyong has developed over 15,000 housing units across Lagos, Abuja, Ogun and Port Harcourt. The man, who is now regarded as ‘the indisputable king of Nigeria’s real estate industry’, has not only made luxury housing affordable, but also the process of homeownership easy with his range of tailor-made payment plans for different house-types,” the official revealed further.
In less than a decade, Nyong’s contributions have made the Nigeria real estate sector vibrant and appealing to other investors who have all ventured into the industry to contribute their quota towards narrowing the housing gap.
According to the official, Richard turns 40 in the coming days, and one would expect that, for all he has accomplished at such a young age, the billionaire businessman will go into early retirement. But that does not seem to be the case as it is mooted that he is already exploring opportunities in other African countries with the same vision to make affordable shelter available to all.
In all, life they say starts at 40 and so, it appears we might have to wait and see what other disruptions Nyong could push forward with his wealth of experience and fortitude.