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We’ll provide data for guided investment in real estate — Stakeholders

Critical stakeholders in the private and public sectors of the Nigerian social and economic polity have agreed to work together and produce data that will…

Critical stakeholders in the private and public sectors of the Nigerian social and economic polity have agreed to work together and produce data that will guide investment in the real estate sector.

Brainstorming on ways to harness the available data in the sector and optimise it for housing development at the 2023 Africa International Housing Show with the theme, ‘Beyond Rhetoric to Homes: Making Housing Happen’, the stakeholders emphasised the need for collaboration.

Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, Group Managing Director of Copen Group, and the chairman of the session, said data was essential for planning and decision-making.

He said the stakeholders included heads of organisations in the public and private sectors such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Population Commission (NPC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),  Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Family Homes Fund (FHF), World Bank and Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) and Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN).

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He said, “We have a number of other organisations that have come together and said that we have seen paucity of data; we don’t have sufficient data for real estate activities and this makes us to risk our investments.

“Whether you are a bank, a development finance institution investing in the real estate, you need to know whether those investments have the prospects of being absorbed; do we have a sufficient number of those who can afford those houses. The data on affordability is key.”

He, however, said the data already exists in some institutions like the CBN and NMRC but because the critical stakeholders have been working in isolation, the data has not been properly aggregated for optimal use for proper planning and decision-making in the sector.

“The data on mortgage and other things already exist at the CBN because by regulation, the banks are supposed to forward the number of mortgages they have created to the FMBN,” he said, adding that the essence of the session was to seek ways to collaborate and integrate and harness the data sets for sustainable development of the housing sector.

Rev. Chime, who heads a foremost construction and real estate company in Nigeria, said the collaboration would inspire NBS to perform better in providing data for the real estate sector which investors needing such data might even pay for. 

The NMRC on it’s part said the company started data collection on the sector right from inception when it was created in 2015, noting that there was no way the company would optimize its business without having the necessary data.

Toafeeq Olatinwo, Head of ICT and Business Process Operations of NMRC said, “We started by building the housing market information portal, hosting both the survey data and the operational data on what we call housing market systems.

“We worked extensively with NBS and CBN at that time from 2015-17. Thereafter, REDAN together with the CBN Department of Statistics started what is called the Nigeria Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme of which NMRC became a very strong member.

“At that point we adopted the Housing Market Information Portal as a defacto housing market system for Nigeria. Now we have the data and it is time for us to grow the data to make it become a consistent process rather than just having it as a project.

“We are collaborating now more with CBN, FMWH, FMBN, NBS, NPC and we are even bringing on board a party called Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa which is the secretariat for the African Union Housing Finance Programme. They are going to bring in their best practices, regional approach and global approach and we are all going to work together. 

“Yes, NMRC, we are ready, we are committed and we are moving forward with this in collaboration with others.”

Meanwhile, Mr Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran, the Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the (NBS), said the institution has the human resources and the technology to collaborate and play a key role in producing the needed data.  

 

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