FIABCI, others seek institutional framework for real estate growth
Real estate practitioners have called on the political class to evolve institutional framework that would improve access to property rights. They lamented that poor governance structure, particularly in land registration and dispute resolution is fueling bribery and corruption as well as debarring foreign direct investments in the industry.
Leading the call during a webinar titled, ‘Effective governance and rational dispute resolution’ organised by International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI-Nigeria),Principal Consultant, World Citizen Consulting, Mr Bill Endsley said property rights and effective governance in the market are the fundamental building blocks of a modern economy.
The forum attracted the Chairman, Lagos Building Investment Company, Hakeem Ogunniran who moderated the discussion, President FIABCI-Nigeria, Adeniji Adele, principal Enitan Associate, Mr Olukayode Enitan and Chief Executive Officer, El-Values Advisory, Dr. Nechi Ezeako.
For a sustainable property market development in Nigeria, Endsley said, core elements such as property rights, access to credit, effective governance, rational dispute resolution, appropriate regulations and financial transparency are needed to be enforced.
A senior official, Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Ms Lola Adekanye, observed that opportunities in Africa and Nigeria, especially in the real estate sector could engender growth. She stressed that good governance would ensure opinions are represented in governing the country.
Adekanye alluded to a report by transparency International, which stated that one in every three Nigerians paid bribes for basic services from 2016 to 2019, noting that such development erodes foreign direct investment in the real estate industry.
She further noted that weak law enforcement, sanctions and regulatory regime, poor corruption mitigation and compliance capacity, limited access to credible information and compliance resources as well as limited automation in public administration and company management operations are impacting the sector negatively.
Adekanye called for institutional structures that would make the industry attractive for investors. She also urged players to show responsibility by promoting transparency in the market.
Contributing, a real estate lawyer and managing partner, Mark Odu and Company, Francis Okpaleke, said despite role of the real estate sector to the development of any economy, resolving disputes through the traditional court has been very challenging over the years.
Also speaking, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, and Partner, Akinwunmi & Busari, Olamide Busari advocated stakeholders’ involvement in matters relating to real estate and protection of property rights of the citizens.
They said that high cost of transaction, high informality and issues of security of tenure reduces property investment in the sector as well as deter foreign investments.
To Olumide-Fusika, if people in the real estate sector are involved in policy making, there would be focus on policies that ameliorate issues affecting the growth of real estate in the country.
Busari emphasised that if any investor would commit funds to real estate in Nigeria, he or she would be interested in the observance of the rule of law, equality before the law, right to acquire, and own immovable property and the justice delivery system. He urged authorities to improve on these basic fundamentals to boost interest in the industry.
“Properties are not supposed to be revoked from the owners, without compensations. But properties are revoked by those in power and allocated to politicians”, he said.