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Real estate expert tasks government on ease of doing business

In response to the numerous bottlenecks that beset the Nigerian real estate sector, one of the experts has called...

In response to the numerous bottlenecks that beset the Nigerian real estate sector, one of the experts has called on the government to, among other things, make the process of property registration prompt, adding that this would encourage more investors to buy property, solve low cost housing problems and also create a sort of regulatory guide to stop the issue of land grabbers and local extortionists (omonile).

Patrick Oriyomi, a real estate developer and the founder of Photizo Properties Limited, who said this in Lagos, believes that only a strategic government intervention would go a long way in tackling major housing challenges in Nigeria, especially in major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

“Tedious land registration process in Nigeria is quite frustrating and this poses a major challenge in the real estate sector in the country. The process of registration can last up to two years or more with tedious procedures thereby forcing investors to spend more than they budgeted for.

“The omonile menace is of great concern in the sector which ranges from extorting money from investors developing their properties to selling half way developing houses to buyers resulting to continuous battle for possession of the land. Issues like these and more usually end up in court and the hoodlums sometimes abscond with the money. They demand levy on everything from the digging of foundation to the finish, making outrageous demands that discourage investors,” he said.

In addition, the real estate expert noted that investors in the sector are usually subjected to multiple taxes, listing some of the taxes levied against them to include development levy, income tax, building plan approval levy, property tax and land use tax.

At the beginning of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria’s real estate sector posted a negative growth of 2.36% for 2019 lower than the negative 4.74% reported in 2018. Despite the recent negative growth, Mr. Oriyomi, however, is optimistic about the country’s real estate market.

“Inasmuch as the coronavirus pandemic has affected every sector of the economy leading to the price hike of goods and services, including the real estate sector, we are optimistic that things would come back to normal.

“The beautiful thing about real estate is appreciation. The value of the property tends to increase as time goes by. That is why we advise investors to seize every opportunity the real estate sector offers because the price you buy today won’t be the same tomorrow,” he said.

Articulating his company’s strategic goal, Mr. Oriyomi said Photizo properties provides affordable housing for all by making their payment plans convenient for people of all classes.

“We have simplified the process of owning a home for both young and old and our short-term goal is to create affordable and convenient property opportunities for all thereby solving the issues of housing deficit in Nigeria.

“We operate on a high level of professionalism and our locations are prime and strategically placed. Most of our estates are in the heartbeat of Epe and Ibeju-Lekki, and these are the next big places to reckon with,” he explained.