Nigerians in Diaspora eye housing sector, seek enabling environment


A housing estate in Lagos

A cross section of participants at the event.

Some Nigerians in the Diaspora at the weekend called for an enabling environment to attract and secure private investments in the country’s housing sector.

They made the call at an international conference on Real Estate Investment and Mortgage Financing organised by Housing Circuit Magazine, and hosted by the Nigerian consulate in New York.

According to them, Nigeria’s huge housing deficit, estimated to be around 20 million, can only be bridged with massive private sector investment.

In a keynote address, Mr Ugochukwu Nwaokoro, a licensed real estate broker in the U.S. state of New Jersey, said a robust real estate sector required an environment with basic amenities.

Nwaokoro, who is the Deputy Mayor of Newark City, said government must ensure security of lives and property, and fix the transportation sector to guarantee free movement of goods and services.

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He said: “Nigeria as a location for real estate investment and mortgage financing is very limited to Lagos and Abuja.

“Something has to be done to spread development beyond these two cities as was the case in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

“Everybody does not have to live in Lagos and Abuja, and goods must not come into the country only through Lagos ports.

“The government should immediately open all the ports in the south, dismantle all the law enforcement checkpoints and roadblocks on the highways so that goods and services can move freely,” he said.

The keynote speaker also emphasised the need for a speed rail system in the country whereby people can travel across the country within a few hours for work and business.