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Firms urge ‘land banking’ to tackle housing challenge

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To address the nation’s increasing housing deficit, Aimart Realtors, have canvassed land banking as the way out of shortfall in home ownership.The estate company, which organized a seminar in Lagos, explained that land banking is a real estate investment scheme that involves buying large blocks of undeveloped land with a view to selling it at a profit when it has been approved for development.

Speaking with The Guardian at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Aimart, Bukola Iluyomade said the essence of the programme was to educate Nigerians on the new form of money.She said, “It is no gainsaying that the new form of money is in tying down cash on something with real value, in this case land, which is indestructible.

“ If you must know, 70 per cent of the land in Nigeria is not titled, so such people cannot device wealth out of it. We are sitting on gold but we do not know.”We want people to see the advantages of owing a properly documented land without hassles”, she added

On the possibility of Aimart spreading to other parts of the country especially in the South-East and South-South, Iluyomade said plans are on to acquire property for commercial estates in future.”It is something we are planning on. Already, we have properties in Oyo, Ogun and Lagos, but we are planning on expanding our horizon to other regions.”

On housing deficits, the CEO called on government to partner private companies and individuals in solving the problems.She said, “Housing deficit is not for the rich but for the poor. To solve that, the government should also create an enabling environment for private players. They should make documentationit easy. They should also look into the Land Use Act again and iron out the pitfalls.

“Another thing they can do is to take advantage of private companies like ours and utilise what we can offer to solve the issue of housing deficits. The government should also subsidize the cost of doing business in our sector so that it will encourage more investors to come in and invest.

“Our products and services are as a result of 15 years research into home ownership deficits in Africa with particular emphasis on the Nigeria market. Our products and value added services are tailor made to meet the needs of our niche market.

“The management team comprises of professionals and experts in the real estate business with more than 20 years working experience.”We follow the code of ethics for realtors which requires us to uphold specific duties to clients and customers, to the public and other realtors. We pledge ourselves to protect and promote the interest of our clients while treating all parties to the transactions honestly.”

Earlier, the Executive Director, International Centre for Human Rights, Non Violence and Safety Awareness Mrs. Sarah Ene Unobe, noted that man’s basic need in life is shelter. According to her, “People need to invest in land banking. They should invest in the future and not wait on the government to secure that right of shelter for them. The right to shelter is key and that is where land banking comes in. People need to invest in the kind of homes they want.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Asapha Limited, Adetolu Adetoye noted that financial freedom becomes a mirage when there is no financial education.He said, “Financial freedom is built over time and not overnight. In this case, Nigerians should get the right financial knowledge and information when it comes to land banking.”Also speaking, Tade Esan, popularly known as Tade Cash, harped on the economic advantage owning a property offers a Nigerian.


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Bukola Iluyomade
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