As the cost of building materials continues to rise astronomically, the Managing Director of Legrande Property Development Company, Babajide Durojaiye, has pleaded for government intervention as the situation is gradually getting out of hand.
According to Durojaiye, between 2020 and 2023, the cost of building materials increased to between 200 and 300 percent. Should the trend continue, he noted, by 2027, it would have increased to about 500 percent.
If the situation is not nipped, he asked what then would be the fate of the poor masses, whom he said constituted over 80 percent of the populace.
“The masses constitute not less than 80 percent of our population. Where are they going to stay? Like the common cliché now, the poor should be allowed to breathe. So if the poor should be allowed to breathe, then the government should intervene in the crisis and see how they can bring in mechanisms to crash most of these prices.
David Ogundare, Executive Secretary, Legrande Properties Development Company Limited (left); Okey Iroegbu, chairman, Property and Environment Writers Association of Nigeria (PEWAN), (second left); Babajide Durojaiye, Managing Director, Legrande (third left); Bukola Adeniji, HR Manager (middle); Eze Ekpeni (third right); Segun Arinze, Brand Ambassador, Legrande (second right); Blessed Amiolemen, company secretary (right)
“Government needs to come in right now because if as a developer you want to drive the cost down, you may end up with substandard materials.”
The Managing Director of Legrande Properties Development Company made the above assertion recently during an interactive session with members of the Property and Environment Writers Association of Nigeria (PEWAN) which was held at the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) plaza in Lagos.
Of particular note, he called on the members of the public to stop seeing the government’s interventions as pieces of national cake as such would negatively impact the incoming generation.
“One of the problems that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is having today, is that most of the people they have given National Housing Funds (NHF) loans refuse to pay because they see it as their share of the national cake.
“We need to make them understand that they are not doing that for themselves but they are doing that to affect the unborn generation as they would end up not having access to those financial facilities again in the future.”
Durojaiye also mentioned that the government should work on the Land Use Act (LUA) to make it easy for people to have seamless access to land titles because many who have been duped on land matters cannot cry out.
Continuing on the land issues, he said that there is always a battle between the real estate developers and the Omo Oniles (land grabbers). All of these, he emphasized, are part of the things that contribute to the housing shortage in Nigeria.
Furthermore, the property developer called on the financial sector to help the developers and property subscribers as members of the sector were only interested in short-term loan facilities that they will roll over three or four times in a single year and make a huge profit.
“What we are seeing in the financial sector in which they are declaring 400 to 500 percent profit while real estate is managing to survive on two to three percent, is a clear indication that there is a problem. So the financial sector needs to come up if they want to help the real estate sector and help the populace.
“As I am talking to you, the interest rate on a loan is about 27 percent. That means that for every N100 you are collecting, you only have about N73 to it. That is why landowners in Ikoyi and Banana Island, are selling properties in dollars, and the minimum you can get is about $250,000. When you convert that to naira, you will see how much you are paying. So, the financial sector is not helping us.
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the current project of Legrande Properties Development Company, Alexandra Courts Coastal City, Ibeju Lekki, which is a partnership project with the Lagos State government.
Some of the attractions to the one-in-town project that brings a new dimension to real estate development in Lagos include its proximity to the following: New Lekki Deep Seaport, Dangote Refinery; Lagos Free Trade Zone; Alaro Industrial City’ the New Lekki Airport and others.
The payment plans, the developers said, are also potential-client-friendly both for subscribers to the National Housing Fund (NHF and non-subscribers.