The Nigerian real estate industry is one of the most hit sectors of the economy as the lack of liquidity in the economy has continued to make many businesses to continue to struggle.
A seasoned real estate developer and investor, Chief Omo Aisegbonhi, made this known in a media chat.
Aisegbonhi, who is the Chairman and CEO, OMAIS Investment Group, insisted that lack of liquidity and downturn in the economy had made many property investors to be ‘struggling’ to survive as many would-be house owners, property retailers, renters, and others had held back from investing in properties, as many of them often complained of being affected by the cash crunch that had hit the nation, a situation he said had not been helped by the activities of the banks.
“Banks have refused to lend to real estate investors while the nation’s foreign exchange is dancing naked. As I speak, this is no smiling moment for real estate investors. We are all struggling to survive, and it seems the nation itself is trying to survive. As a nation, we are yet to have a clear direction of where we are going. Nigerians have drastically reduced their spending and investments in real estate,” he lamented.
The OMAIS Investment Group boss, also lamented that the disposition of the government to many of the these things had not been encouraging to property investors, especially with some of the policies which he insisted had done more harm than good for the real estate sector.
He said the asperity of some of the government policies, especially regarding the importation of certain items into the country, had led to a situation whereby investors now take to smuggling or telling lies in order to get some of such goods into the country.
This, he argued, had led to the enrichment of neighbouring countries like Benin Republic and Togo at the expense of Nigeria.
In other parts of the world, the government encourages people to have their own houses, but in Nigeria, the government seems to be discouraging would-be house owners through some of its policies and bureaucracy, many of which are ontinuously getting more difficult to meet,” he said.
Chief Aisegbonhi also identified multiple taxation as another area that the government needs to address quickly, if it really hopes to divest the economy from being oil dependent, and turning it into a country which makes huge revenue from the real estate sector.
“Multiple taxation is still another issue affecting real estate, and it has the potential to destroy any business, especially the low and medium- size ones. To prevent this from happening, the government needs to find means of ensuring that the idea of multiple taxation becomes a thing of the past,” he said.
While proposing the way forward, the seasoned property investor, called on the government to come up with more real estate-friendly policies which he said would, for example make land cheap, obtaining of titles and other necessary land documents less cumbersome, as well as putting structures in place that will make banks give out mortgage loans with single digit interest rates.
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