Stakeholders seek policy support, incentives for growth in estate sector
Say Lagos is the most expensive place to build in Africa
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, yesterday, advocated policy support to promote the use of local building materials and incentives that will engender more growth in the real estate sector.
He gave the charge at the opening of a two-day real estate conference in Lagos, tagged: “Recovery,” organised by Thinkmint Nigeria, and Thinkmint Europe, supported by Purple, Yahshud, Homework Group, Federal Housing Authority, Elan Orris Real Estate and Sabre works Services.
The governor said that the sector is a key indicator of the health of an economy, saying that where there are no construction activities, the economy is sick.
He, however, lamented the high cost of cement and stressed that nearly all things used for building construction in Nigeria are imported, except sand.
According to him, over-reliance on the importation of building materials is a pressure point on the sector.
Emmanuel, who was the special guest of honour, represented by the state’s Commissioner for information and Strategy, and Ememobong, urged the government at all levels to create an environment that will aid the local production of building materials, while the people must also appreciate local materials.
In his keynote address, Project Director, Turner and Townsend, Bruce Haswell, enjoined the Nigerian government to ensure that rising inflation is controlled, make the country more attractive for foreign direct investment, promote green building opportunities, property technology growth and improve the retail, as well as residential development.
Haswell said that the top three challenges facing the construction sector include the escalating cost of materials, skilled labour shortages and transportation bottlenecks.
He observed that Lagos had become the most expensive place to build in Africa at $2,056 per square metre and ranked it as the 56th most expensive city to build when compared to 88 cities surveyed internationally in 2022.
Also, Managing Partner, Thinkmint Nigeria and Thinkmint Europe, lmelda Olaoye-Usoro, said the event, which provided networking opportunities, learning and transactions through the extensive range of discussions, networking receptions, investors’ forum, award ceremony and exhibition, would improve efforts at developing the sector.