The management of WEMABOD Limited on Friday organised a conference involving bringing stakeholders in the Real Estate Business and financial experts to brainstorm ways of enhancing sectoral performance amidst the economic downturn.

Mr Oluyemi Ejidiran, MD/CEO, WEMABOD Limited who set the tone for the conference revealed that it is organised to provide an avenue to evaluate significant impacts that the macroeconomic vagaries have on the real estate activities, especially in Nigeria, stressing that WEMABOD Limited as a result of its key role in the Sector took a proactive decision to champion this realistic outlook.

Explaining that the goal of the conference is beyond engaging professionals to provide critical analysis of issues affecting the sector, but create avenues for players in this sector to network and collaborate for sustainable growth, regardless of the economic challenges being faced.

Me Ejidiran said, “The critical nature of this sector, therefore requires comprehensive data gathering and analytics of all government policies and macroeconomic indices, for sector players to be adequately informed, and prepared to navigate investment risks, as well as tap into opportunities that abound in the real estate market which are interdependent with the economy of any nation.

“We expect that this information will provide all sector players the opportunity to gauge the operating environment realistic opportunities and real estate investment opportunities for taking well-informed strategies towards creating sustàinable growth of the real estate sector of the economy,” he added.

In his remarks, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Chairman, of Odua Investment Company Limited, said, “It is our track law that the real estate sector cannot operate in isolation of the macroeconomic environment and we need to have a proper understanding of the dynamics of the economy to enhance our real estate investment decision-making process.”

Emmanuel Ibunkun Efuntayo, Chairman of WEMABOD Limited, expressed his. desire for the facilitators to talk about how government can help to actualise the issue of mass housing, making funds available at single digit rate, like the Bank of Industry is doing to support SMEs, hoping that the Mortgage Banks who are currently loaning out at 23% owing to depositors who are also putting it down at a rate that will guarantee their profit margin.
He asked, “So how can we get cheap funds to fund mass Housing programmes, ensuring that we meet the demands of our people and improving the issue of safety from the incidences of collapsed buildings?”

Bismarck Rewane, MD/CEO, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, in his objective analysis, asked: “So first and foremost, why are we talking about real estate? When there is a Forex crisis as a federal government crisis, the new Naira crisis and the electricity crisis, leading to what I call an institutional crisis.

“In economics, we have what we call leading economic indicators, which means that the things that happen before the cycle, we have what we call coincident indicators which happened during the cycle and then we have what we call lagging indicators, which happens after the cycle.

“Real estate is a lagging indicator. Which means that you see the effect after the event. You would have lost your job first before you default on your rent.” He added.

He revealed that the greatest challenge faced by the Real Estate sector is predicated more on the poor economic policies enunciated by the governments of the day originating from a skewed constitution as against what transpired in the days of Chief Obafemi Awolowo who used the surpluses from International trade as the capital used to set up WEMABOD, working as a leader committed to delivering to the people at that time, commercial, residential and other forms of real estate.

Mr. Tayo Bamgbose, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning, agreed with the assertions that government policies and regulations go a long way to impact the economy and especially the growth of the Real Estate sector, but that the Lagos State Government has created some initiatives and given some stimulus to try to force or encourage that sector to move in the direction expected of it, including the creation of a PPP arrangement to boost housing projects.

Mr. Ejidiran in an exclusive interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT gave the derivatives from the conference, stating, This, this meeting has provided a sufficient platform for us to be able to learn on the experience and the expertise of the experts here, as you can see we have a lot of ideas and opinions from them.

“These are some of the things we hope will come out of this event, the opinions, suggestions, advise, and ideas will be plowed into the activities of WEMABOD and of course into the real estate business itself, a communique will be issued to help real estate practitioners to grow the real estate sector market going forward,” Ejidiran added.