High-interest rates and forex volatility are major factors militating against the growth of the real estate industry in Nigeria the Managing Director of Afriland Properties Plc, Uzo Oshogwe has said.
Speaking at the 2021 edition of the West Africa Property Investment Summit held in Lagos, Oshogwe provided insight into problems faced by developers in the real estate industry as well as trends in financing projects in the post-covid era.
“Most of the loans available, we get are at double-digit rates and this makes it very difficult to get a decent return on investment. The loan tenure is another challenge faced by developers; Short-term loans are not suitable for infrastructural projects which are long term in nature.”
Highlighting the effects of the volatility of the dollar on projects, she said, “the private sector, Federal Government and all relevant regulatory agencies need to come together to develop a framework that will hedge against these challenges and agree on key measures that will promote cheaper constructions and drive infrastructural development in the country”.
Sharing her company’s success as one of the leading real estate companies in the country, she explained that the firm was built on focused development. “We do not operate the build and they will come model. A lot of people have put up projects and are still waiting for people to occupy them. Rather, we identify a need, work closely with prospective off-takers before commencing construction.
“Another strategy deployed by Afriland is having a diversified portfolio of investments and product offerings. She pointed out that Afriland’s revenue lines are not limited to real estate development only. Afriland offers end-to-end services across the real estate value chain. We deploy diverse offerings that are tailormade to offer value to niche clients. Facility management, project management, real estate agency services are some of the diverse offerings we deliver.”
It will be recalled that Oshogwe was recently presented with the award of ‘Leading Woman in African Real Estate’ at the 5th edition of the African Property and Investment (API) awards ceremony. Under her stewardship, Afriland Properties Plc has achieved growth from a balance sheet size of N4.24 billion when it commenced business in 2013 to N27.1 billion currently.
Chiamaka Ajeamo (The Sun)