Real estate developers are calling on the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for local investors in the industry to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
The developers, led by the Managing Director, Dutum Company Ltd., Mr Temitope Runsewe, pointed out that such policies would help to stop capital flight in the country.
Runsewe made the call during the ongoing two-day combined Physical and Virtual 7th West Africa Property Investment (WAPI) Summit tagged “Property Markets Redefined” in Lagos.
Justifying the call, he said the real estate sector was critical to the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
The Datum boss stated that as local indigenous construction service providers, it is important that real estate firms receive the support of the government in order to grow.
He said: “And that support should give us opportunities and funds that can make us compete because if we are not able to compete with the foreign companies, how do we grow?
“Foreign companies come with funds at zero per cent, one per cent while local service providers either cannot get the funds or when we do, we are getting it at 30 per cent and above per annum.
“You can see that it is a struggle to compete,” said Runsewe.
He, therefore, urged the government to create policies because the construction sector had a ripple effect on GDP.
“When you give a local construction company a new project the money stays here for the most part and gets recycled and results in GDP growth.
“But when you continue to give the biggest projects to the foreign companies, they do their bit and take the rest of the money out, so we are having capital flight,” he said.
Runsewe said giving opportunities to local experts would help them gain experience to develop the capacity to execute bigger projects for the benefit of the nation.
“We cannot be on the same competing ground with people who have money from their government, it causes unfair competition, so, tilt the competition in our favour so that we can grow our economy,” he said.
He urged the private sector to come together and fight as a group to actualise their goals of competing favourable to save income for the nation.
He lamented the impact of the COVID-19 on the real estate sector but said it created an opportunity to leverage technology to evolve new construction models of building compact apartments where people could live, work and play.
Earlier during a panel discussion, panelists took turns to explain the need to make buildings more compact due to the increasing population and shrinking resources, including land.
Founder/CEO Purple Ltd., Mr Olaide Agboola, said there was so much to be done to improve the construction value chain while evolving mixed development for the nation’s growing population.
He said the opportunity of mixed development where compact construction encompasses work, live, and play options was a huge market for the younger generation, which the nation’s experts must harness.
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