Broll Property Services Nigeria, the country’s leading Property Services  company, has identified the huge potential of the real estate sector of the Nigerian economy as a viable alternative to oil and gas as a major source of income for the economy.

Welcoming members to the November edition of the Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting hosted by the company, the CEO, Broll Property Services Nigeria, Mrs. Erejuwa Gbadebo, said Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world with great prospects for investors.

In her opening address titled “Maximising Investment Potential in an Emerging Market,” Mrs. Gbadebo highlighted the fact that growing urbanisation, demography, technological development, natural resources and financial deepening are five trends  powering Nigeria’s appeal to foreign investors and it  is therefore imperative that these are harnessed positively in the interest of the country’s economy development.”

Mrs Gbadebo however enumerated access to land, the high cost of finance alongside the high cost of construction, a dearth of qualified/skilled professionals, the lack of use of innovative and appropriate building techniques, up-to-date market data and the unclear legal frame work in the country as some of the challenges facing the real estate sector in the country. She pointed out that these have restricted the real estate sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP to just 1.79%, as opposed to the 10-15% contribution in other emerging markets.

According to Mrs. Gbadebo, the  government is trying to make Nigeria investment friendly, for example with the lifting of bans on some areas of foreign trade which has aided the rise in the number of shopping malls in the country, and she therefore pointed out the need for more incentives to attract more investors into the real estate sector.

As one of the key challenges faced by investors was the unclear legal frame work governing the purchase of land, Mrs Gbadebo then introduced the guest speaker for the morning – Mr. George Etomi, Principal Partner, George Etomi & Partners – to give a short talk.

Speaking on “The Legal Regime Governing Land in Nigeria,” Mr George Etomi, stated that there was an urgent need to review the Land Use Act to correct the challenges associated with land purchase in the country.   Since he noted that this was likely to be some time in coming, he urged buyers to ensure they followed the proper procedure, irrespective of the challenge of delays in the process of land acquisition, to forestall forfeiture.  He then took the meeting through the process, using Lagos State as a case study, the first aspect of which would be to employ the services of good lawyer, one who was well versed in land acquisition in Nigeria.

The breakfast meeting is a monthly forum held by the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC).