The 16th African International Housing Show, formerly known as the Abuja Housing Show, was held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, from 25th to 28th of July, 2022, showcasing plans and ideas from industry stakeholders.

The show is the largest housing show in the continent which aims to bring stakeholders in Nigeria’s housing and construction market to a neutral venue to talk about housing in Africa’s largest economy.

In an interview with Nairametrics, the CEO, Festus Adebayo, said that the Abuja property market will be a major contender with the Lagos Housing market in 5 years. He also reveals what the show has achieved since its inception.

What is the Africa International housing show all about?

The whole idea behind the show is to create a big platform for experts and stakeholders and professionals to meet in a neutral platform that is of international standard, without any bias, with strong objectivity, to actualize the development of the housing and construction industry in Nigeria and Africa.

This project started 16 years ago. We have been honoured by the presence of Ministers across African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, and Egypt and have also featured the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo in 2019.

This year featured the present Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and Ministers in that capacity have participated in the Abuja Housing International show, now the African International Housing Show.

Why the change of name?

The new name is to enable the platform to repeat similar programmes in other countries, including Rwanda, which we are planning to do in February 2023, and also in Lagos, which we are already planning with the Lagos State government later this year in October.

What contributions to the development of the housing industry has the shown made so far?

The Platform has through dialogues assisted governments in coming up with policies on Land Information systems. We have come up with ideas that have enabled the establishment of organisations that bear relevance in the development of land and housing today, including the Family Home Fund which we have made a lot of input.

The conference has made a lot of input towards the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) also, and still making inputs to the housing development in Nigeria. As you can see the stakeholders are all available on ground.

What does this year’s edition of the show hope to achieve?

The Abuja International Show has been regarded as the leading platform which parades the leading credible brands and practitioners, in the sector. We have stakeholders from all over the countries in Africa and some in Europe here to exchange ideas and showcase the latest trends in the sector.

For instance, we have the Dangote Cement day in the show, in which will highlight the innovations they are making in the housing and construction space, including unveiling their housing plans for the future.

Dangote Cement is a serious stakeholder because of the need for cement, and beyond that, we have seen Lafarge and another serious brand in the housing and construction sector. They spoke on their paper which was fantastic. Last year, they were also here and spoke about 3D modelling in Housing. We have also seen the International Finance Corporation, IFC, on a session on green housing, climate change and affordable housing.

The platform has also beamed its searchlight on alternative funding for housing, as we believe that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, The Family Homes Fund, need to be assisted with other funding arrangements that can enable Nigerians to afford homes. We also had a session on how the capital markets can help, as Oscar Onyema, CEO of the Nigerian Exchange Group was here, proffering solutions on how capital markets can enable affordable housing financing in Nigeria.

The African International housing show is championing new innovations for capital markets and non-interest funding for capital markets, for affordable market development, as housing costs have gone beyond the level of affordability, and brainstorming on the way forward.

Where do you see the Abuja property market in 5 years?

The Abuja property market in 5 years will be a major contender with the Lagos property market, because, of the status of the Federal Capital Territory, as a lot of people are coming here and the sector is witnessing huge investments.

Also, major construction companies in Nigeria are moving their headquarters to Abuja, where they can easily access the Federal Ministries. This will have a positive effect on the local property markets, as they will be big, and strong, in the next five years. The ROI from the Abuja property market in the next 5 years will be great.