Ugo Aliogo

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been urged to cushion the effects of forex scarcity in the economy by ensuring enough supply in order to assist investors in the real estate market to procure building materials from overseas.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, the Group Manager, Project, Herel Global, Osamudiame Ogbeide, said forex is a serious concern for investors in this sector because many of the building construction equipment especially for finishings are imported from Europe and Asia such as elevators, light fittings, and tiles, as a result, “we cannot run away from the search for forex.”

He lamented that the difficulty in accessing forex through the parallel market.

He revealed that due to the constant increase in the rate of forex on a daily basis, it has made producers of building materials to increase their prices, “even people that have production factories today in Nigeria, who would typically base their prices in naira are now making it US dollar dominated.”

Ogbeide lamented that the inflation in the prices of building materials, noting that it is also impacting the sector negatively, and has created several shifts in prices of commodities.

According to him, “We have to consider inflation as something we cannot run away from. So, if you are looking at a project that will run for say 24 months or even 12 months, right, because we have seen shifts between prices as high as 10x 5x in the space of a month or two. So, you are not talking about 24 months, you’re talking about 14 months depending on the project. You have to postulate inflation and study the trend.”