REAL estate refers to tangible and fixed landed property. It is subdivided into three categories which are – residential real estate, which is the most common form of real estate. Residential real estate includes all forms of property used for housing people.

It includes blocks of flats, duplexes, triplexes, single family homes, among others. The second category of real estate is commercial real estate. This type is utilized for business purposes. It includes offices (open-floor offices, co-working spaces, and buildings), hospital, shopping malls, and cinemas among others.

The third category is industrial real estate. As the name implies, it is used for industrial purposes such as farming, warehouses, and factories. The real estate sector is a highly regulated one. The primary legislation regulating the sector is the Land Use Act of 1978 which was promulgated under the administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo, the then Military Head of State.

The act has four objectives. Firstly, to remove the bitter controversies resulting at times in the loss of lives and limbs, which land is known to be causing. The second objective is to streamline and simplify the management and ownership of land in Nigeria. The third objective is to assist all Nigerians irrespective of their social status to realise the aspiration and ambition of owning a place where they and their families can live secure lives. Lastly, the Act aims at enabling the government to bring under control the use to which land can be put in all parts of the country, thereby facilitating planning and zoning programmes for particular uses.

By the provisions of Section 1(1), all lands in a state are held by the Governor as a Trustee. The Governor is to administer such land for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians. The Governor has the right to grant use of land for use by individuals for a number of years as provided by Section 5(1)(a). It should be noted that the Governor is the trustee of all Urban lands, except Federal Land.

Furthermore, the local government is in charge of rural land. In furtherance of powers of the Governor as the trustee of all state land, he can grant citizens usage of a land for a period of time, usually 99 years. The grant is subject to payments of rents and observance of conditions and covenants of the grant. The document that encapsulates this grant of land is called a Certificate of Occupancy, C of O.

It is common knowledge that Nigeria is not only the most populous Black nation on earth, but is also the country with the largest economy in Africa. This underscores the increasing demand for real estate in the country. The World Bank Open Data of 2016 shows that Nigeria has an annual growth rate of 4.3%, and estimated that its urban population will have doubled by 2037.

According to the Nigeria GDP Report of the National Bureau of Statistics, published in 2021, the real estate sector accounted for 6.4% of nominal GDP at the close of 2020, down slightly from the 6.5% seen in 2019.

According to the 2022 report, in nominal terms, Real Estate Services in the first quarter of 2022 grew by 10.84%, higher by 2.79% points than the growth rate reported for the same period in 2021 and higher by 7.35% points compared to the preceding Quarter. Quarter-on-Quarter, the sector growth rate was -22.62%.

The contribution to nominal GDP in Q1 2022 stood at 4.92% as against 5.03% recorded in the first quarter of 2021 and lower than the 5.85% accounted in the fourth quarter of 2021. Real GDP growth recorded in the sector for the first quarter of 2022 stood at 4.44%, higher than the growth recorded in the first quarter of 2021 by 2.67% points, and higher by 2.96% points relative to Q4 2021. Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by -26.75% in the first quarter of 2022. It contributed 5.34% to real GDP in Q1 2022, higher than the 5.28% it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2021.

As at October 2021, Nigeria was estimated to have a housing deficit of 20 million housing units. Furthermore, the country only has a 25% home ownership rate. This is lower than its counterparts in other emerging markets, such as Turkey (58%), Indonesia (84%), and South Africa (84%).

This calls for more investment in the sector. It is against this background that the Udom Emmanuel-led administration has made substantial investments in the sector. One of the notable real estate development projects of the administration is the Dakkada Tower.

The 21-storey Dakkada Tower located in the Central Business District of Uyo is 104 meters high and occupies an area of 48,200 square meters; it is a five-star business tower. The ground floor is designed to accommodate banks and cafeterias, while the second to twentieth-floor office spaces are provided to end-users. The twenty-first floor is a terrace where tourists, guests and investors can stand to catch a glimpse of the beautiful landscape of Uyo.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, commissioned the tower on Friday, September 24, 2021. In his words: “The completion of the Dakkada Tower will most definitely address the paucity of world-class office accommodation for both local corporate and international companies, especially oil and gas companies. With this development, the big players in corporate Nigeria and especially in the oil and gas industry should now find it entirely auspicious to relocate their administrative headquarters to Uyo.

“The tower is a state-of-the-art smart building, combining architectural beauty with the latest technology developed for smart and efficient workspaces.… The Tower is a catalyst for the private sector to leverage on the emerging real estate market by constructing more skyscrapers, which would be required as the promoters and partners of several of the industrial projects here in Akwa Ibom State begin to require quality accommodation for their offices.

For the partners in the Ibom Deep Sea Port, the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone and other key players will begin to demand facilities befitting of international businesses and they will find it right here. There will also be new jobs created and transfer of knowledge and technology as the tower is put to use”.

Another notable real estate development project is the Dakkada Luxury Estate, which is under development. The estate is a low-density estate designed to offer a world-class residence to high net worth individuals.