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Experts seek optimisation of real estate, public assets to raise nation’s GDP

By Victor Gbonegun
23 May 2022   |   3:04 am
AMID plummeting revenue, industry professionals are canvassing strategic handling of real estate and public assets to unlock more wealth and make Nigeria an investment destination.

AMID plummeting revenue, industry professionals are canvassing strategic handling of real estate and public assets to unlock more wealth and make Nigeria an investment destination.

They lamented that Nigerian cities and public assets are in decay, as well as neglected to the point that they can’t create wealth, hence, the need for improved urban renewal.

The experts spoke at the fourth summit, organised by the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) on ‘Advancing Real Estate Practice in the Era of Changing Norms.’ 

The experts deliberated on the impact of Financial Act 2021 on real estate practice, repositioning the mortgage and insurance valuation practice under a distressed economic climate, new developments in facilities management practice and development of a successful real estate agency practice in the era of changing norms. 

The real estate sector closed the year 2021 on a positive note, recording a 2.26 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, despite this; stakeholders were of the view that good fortunes are still in the industry.

Leading the discussion, an economist and Chief Executive Officer of Economic Associates (EA), Dr. Ayo Teriba, said the different levels of government must unlock potential of the sector as revenue accruing to government will continue to decrease.

With prospects for portfolio investment/balance sheet gains continue to brighten, Teriba said the Federal Government must create more cities, connect assets to global liquidity, deliver good infrastructure and get better returns.

He said: “Show me a country, state or city that is liquid, stable and growing, with socio-political harmony and I will show you how it is optimising its public assets. Show me one that is illiquid, unstable and declining, with socio-political disharmony and I will show you it is not optimising its public assets. Assets can always be optimised to fix or rejuvenate balance sheets and income statements.”

He disclosed that in the last decade, the United Kingdom has relocated about a dozen inner-city prisons to more economic locations and freed old prison sites for repurposing and redevelopment into luxury homes, hotels, offices, shopping and other income generating commercial purposes.

Teriba said: “The United States of America created Federal Real Property Council that has liberalised its real estate portfolio. India Investment Grid (IIG)), showcases thousands of investment opportunities in India’s states and provinces and 27 sectors on a single online platform to connect potential investors to projects and promoters on a real time basis. India also planned to create 100 global cities, but we neglected our cities and allow hoodlums to take over.”

According to him, Nigeria’s GDP might disconnect from wealth, if corporate, physical, intangible human assets remain unexploited, as the case in the Nigerian public assets.

The economist advised government to secure its land areas through surveillance and urged estate surveyors to improve advocacy through independent opinions on the need for government to make the real estate sector economically vibrant.

NIESV Chairman, Lagos branch, Mrs. Olabisi Demola-Alade, said COVID-19 has changed so many things, including people’s lifestyles and the manner they now pursue their economic endeavours. She added that every sector of the economy has changed in one way or the other.

Speaking on the impact of Finance Act 2021 on real estate practice, a tax expert, Temitope Adewale, said transiting to Africa’s model mega city requires humongous resources; yet, all the tiers of government are facing revenue challenge. He said professional have obligations as taxpayers and agents of collection to reassess how they are fairing?.

NIESV President, Sir Emmanuel Wike, represented by the second Vice President, Mr. Victor Alonge, lauded the branch for its consistency in bringing issues affecting the industry to limelight, stressing that practitioners and other stakeholders are benefiting from it.

Wike, who observed that the Lagos branch was central to the mission and vision of the institution, said the branch has continued to live up to expectation.

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