Government short-cut measures hurting provision of houses for Nigerians — Bode Adediji

• “Why did I go to the least paid job after graduation”

By Ebun Sessou

Mr. Bode Adegiji, Chief Executive Officer of the Bode Adegiji Partnership, is the former president of the Nigerian Institute of Surveyors and Real Estate Appraisers. In addition to his professional vocation, he devoted himself to mentors younger. In this interview, Adegiji talks about her rise to the peak of her career.

What are the projects under development?

All projects are at the incubation stage, especially in Lagos and Abuja. As a real estate expert, this is not ideal for starting any project during a recession. The country has just emerged from recession, and now the political atmosphere is tense. We can only draw a template for some projects. But we hope that by the first quarter of 2019 we should have implemented some projects in Lagos and Abuja.

Does this mean some financial imbalance in the real estate sector?

Of course! Banks have no desire to invest in real estate, and banks cannot be blamed for this. There is an economic downturn, and this has greatly affected the sector. In addition, if you are struggling to carry out a specific housing project, there are no customers to rent or buy houses because of the economic downturn that simply weakens.

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According to your explanation, where is the country located?

Nice place, I suppose. Although it is assumed that the country has just emerged from a recession, I believe that Nigeria is still experiencing a recession. And even if we get out of a recession, real estate is always the first to enter a recession, and the last sector will come out of it.

With your explanation, what is the future of Nigerian youth?

In the real estate sector, it is expected that anyone who aspires to become a professional should be well aware of what he entails. This means that he or she should critically look at the challenges and opportunities in him. We have a huge population, which explains why foreign investors prefer the Nigerian market. Real estate does not flourish where the population has stalled, but in conditions where the population is growing.

Compared to the Western world, basic infrastructure in Nigeria has not yet been developed. But there are prospects. Nigeria has great potential for the housing and real estate market. We are now faced with problems caused by our political and economic imbalances over the past 12 decades. For example, if the problem of access to land has been effectively resolved within the framework of the Land Use Act, we will not face this crisis.

If consistent governments paid adequate attention to the institutionalization of the mortgage lending system, so that the culture of cash and transfers was erased, our housing and property development sectors would flourish over the past 30 years. And other countries, including South Africa, will compete with Nigeria for housing.

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But instead of solving problems, we stop talking and do nothing. And governments are deploying sustainable housing policies and programs from one regime to another, but if you scratch yourself outside the surface, you will see that these housing policies and programs are just a trick. No government policy provides housing projects in Nigeria.

Does this mean that Nigerian youths are sitting on gunpowder?

This is problem. The only advice is that the Nigerian youth should hope. They should continue to train and risk appetite, and, above all, they should be aware that the real estate sector is not working for a short time. You must follow the proper procedure.

And the Federal Mortgage Bank in Nigeria?

Well, it works for the government, but people's opinions are different. If you ask your neighbors, classmates, colleagues, church members, or mosque, they will tell you about their work experience in the federal government mortgage loans over the past three years, and the answer will be no.

But if the sector is growing among the problems of insufficient housing among young people, why does the country still creep?

All factors of production to which Nigeria should pay attention, including policies, availability of finance, long-term financing, access to land at reasonable prices, as well as technical capabilities for production, are missing.

The country has yet to attract someone who will focus on the ability of local residents and material sufficiency for the production of mass housing. But if we have enough local resources to produce building materials, then the dependence on imports, which covers cement, iron rods, aluminum frames and roofing sheets, can be used to create affordable housing schemes for ordinary Nigerians. Unfortunately, the housing scheme for the middle class is outdated, because there is no money for rent or for rent.

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So what are the housing prospects in Nigeria?

The prospects are huge. And my prayer is that the country will be blessed by the government, which will consider all issues related to housing, and also find a way to harmonize the public and private sectors for an effective housing scheme in Nigeria. There is no amount of energy that the private sector can deploy on its own to raise a new building or property when the government is either warm or reluctant to provide adequate infrastructure.

The housing problem that we have in Nigeria is not absolute if the government has adequate investments. The insecurity and lack of good infrastructure are the cause of the housing crisis that we have in Nigeria. This goes beyond the production unit of housing alone. Will the government be ready and can provide infrastructure. Health, environment and housing go hand in hand. The money that the nation spends on health care would be significantly reduced if we considered the issue of housing 30 years ago.

You were the president of your association. Why didn't you use your office to influence government policy on housing?

With 40 years of experience, not all of these issues that we talked about at the corporate, institutional and governmental levels are not unreasonable, but today one of the main disappointments in this country is that you can talk with any authority, but you can choose implement any recommendations held by the government. The government of Nigeria prefers short measures rather than pre-planning housing policies. They are not prepared, educated or equipped to receive advice and act on them regardless of difficulties. And while they are the driving forces of the main sectors, the private sector can do little to influence what they decide to do, regardless of the long-term implications.

Can you remember your achievements?

I contributed to institutional development. I also demonstrated a practical ability for a professional service delivery system. I have consulted on a high and low level, especially in the main areas of our profession, including property management, appraisal, property development and consulting services among others. We have completed housing projects in Lagos and Abuja in various scales and sizes. Since I served as managing director of companies for the past 35 years, I have been working on young people for training, leadership and mentoring. If there is something that I value most, it is the ability to influence young people who are very successful.

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If you are given a pen to write, how did you start your journey in two lines, what would it be?

I accidentally started my profession. But, if I look at my whole life, there has always been the hand of God in all that I am. I entered Ife University, now at Obafemi Avolovo University, to study economics and accounting, and within one year I was rated as the best student, and when I went to the Department of Engineering and Property Management, I was also rated among the best students and received an award as the best graduate in 1979, having no idea who I would become. This was the first mystery of my career. Secondly, after my NYSC, I had three assignments, but I was completely embarrassed by what to do.

Then I decided to join a company that offered me the lowest salary, but created an opportunity for training. The training helped me develop faster than my contemporaries, and I climbed the stairs, and four years later I became the managing director of the company at the age of 34.

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