Over taxation, others ravage nation’s housing sector – experts

Experts in Nigeria’s real estate sector say over taxation, weak regulation, quackery, among others, are ravaging the nation’s housing sector.
Speaking at a talk show organised recently by Photizo Properties in Lagos, Patrick Oriyomi, CEO, Photizo Properties, said some investors shy away from investing in real estate because of lack of trust.
According to Oriyomi, real estate in Nigerian, especially in Lagos, has been bastardised by lots of quacks that embezzle investors’ money, leaving the investors in misery.
He noted that over-taxation on properties and difficulties in getting Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) were also parts of the challenges disrupting investment in the real estate sector in Lagos.
“I have a property that is free and gazetted already but the process has taken us more than four years and yet, the C of O has not been gotten. This also shows that some C of Os have not been gotten in Lagos.
“There should be a regulatory body in the real estate sector that would regulate how things are done. Everything should not be left for the court to handle, because some of these challenges can be handled without getting to court.
“In UK, from the day you put in money into real estate, you can actually calculate your return on investment for the next 10 years, but it is not so in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, one can buy a property for N100 million and sell it the same day for N120 million and this is because we don’t have strong laws that regulate investors and investments in the sector.
“There should be a body that regulates realtors and property agents in Nigeria if quackery must be stemmed. There should be certain exams and training, which realtors should undergo and they should have the regulatory identity to distinguish professionals from quacks.”
In her remarks, another real estate expert at Photizo, Maureen Okpoebo, noted that ignorance of some people to understand the importance of real estate was also a challenge facing the nation’s housing sector.
She said Nigeria as a country had not properly harnessed the opportunities that could come from giving comfortable homes to its masses.
“If you check in other countries, they no longer sell lands itself. They sell rooftops and spaces. Nigeria has not properly seen the importance of real estate and is yet to tap into its enormous benefits.
“A lot more needs to be done in terms of housing, lands and procurement of spaces. The government should create awareness by educating people on the importance of lands, good environment and having convenient homes,” she said.
She urged the government to look into land laws in terms of land surveying, land registry and property taxation to enable low-income earners benefit from investing in the nation’s housing sector.
Also, Oluwakemi Areola, CEO, Vivacity PR, said the programme was aimed at inspiring Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the real estate sector to further improve their skills and ideas to grow Nigeria’s real estate sector.
She urged MSMEs in the sector to re-evaluate what they were doing and re-strategise to get better results.

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