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Experts Seek Reforms In Financial Service Industry

Economic and financial experts have said new reforms in the financial services sector will help to reposition the industry and prepare it to drive economic growth.
The experts spoke in Lagos at a forum organised by Lekki Gardens Estate Investment
The Chief Executive Officer, Lead Capital Plc, Mr. Abimbola Olashore, said new reforms in the banking sector would guarantee fair banking practices and better regulatory supervision.
According to him, the move will help to unlock the financing gap in various sectors of the economy including the 17 million housing deficit in the real estate market.
Presenting a paper on ‘Unlocking the opportunities in the Nigerian residential real estate market: The investor’s perspective’, Olashore said, “Africa’s growth presents investment opportunities in key sectors given the sheer size of the market and the continent’s potential.
“By 2030, more than 50 per cent of Africans will be living in cities. The key drivers in Africa real estate are political stability, macro-economic reforms, rapid urbanisation, and growing middle class.”
He said the sector had challenges with issues that border on land registrations, access to finance, lack of infrastructure, importation of raw-materials, and affordability.
According to the Lead Capital boss, the opportunities inherent in the real estate sector hinges on the increasing population growth in which more than 80 per cent of Nigerians live in settlements.
The investment forum had in attendance various captains of the industry who spoke on how opportunities could be unlocked in the real estate sector through the banker’s perspective, investor’s perspective, infrastructural banker’s perspective, pension manager’s perspective and fund manager’s perspective.
The Managing Director, FSDH Merchant Bank, Mr. Rilwan Belo-Osagie, who spoke from the banker’s perspective, noted that the demand for housing in the country was large and, as such, the real estate business was growing very fast.
He said, “The key issue in financing real estate is achieving bankability, and dealing with weak value chains which ranges from property registration and taxes, infrastructure, high interest rate, access to long-term finances.
“Unless we get more mortgages in Nigeria, developing the residential real estate among other real estate segments will be difficult.”
For Olashore, with the level of housing at only two dwelling units per thousand people compared to a rate of 8-10 dwelling units per thousand people as recommended by the United Nations, the rate of housing demand will continue to exceed supply.
This, he said, presented ample opportunities for growth and development.

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