When real estate professionals, experts and sundry stakeholders gather in Lagos in the next couple of days for the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Nigeria’s New Year Dinner, economy and infrastructure will be the focus of discussion.
The FIABCI New Year Dinner, already in its third edition, is an annual event through which the international real estate association, Nigerian Chapter, beams searchlight on the economy, bringing all the factors that enable and enhance real estate development into focus.

FIABCI is a worldwide real estate organization whose membership cuts across all segments of real estate industry including commercial, residential, retail, commercial office and industrial space. It has members in 65 countries including 100 professional associations, 65 academic institutions and 3,000 individual members.

“FIABCI is the most representative organization of the real estate industry in the world and holds special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSCOC) of the United Nations”, explained Joseph Akhigbe, FIABCI Nigeria President, who assured that the forth-coming annual dinner would provoke thoughts on both the economy and infrastructure.

Gbenga Ismail, the association’s public relations officer, explained in a statement at the weekend that the annual dinner prides itself by bringing erudite and acclaimed speakers to further spice the night.

“This year, we will be dining with Bode Agusto, a renowned finance consultant and founder of Agusto & Co who is also the current chair of Lagos Economic Advisory Council”, Ismail disclosed, adding, “the theme for this year’s event is ‘Infrastructure Financing in a Challenging Economy’”.

He argued that without infrastructure, there can be no meaningful development, pointing out that the annual dinner is not an event for speeches but a convivial atmosphere for exchanging ideas and planning for the new year. “It is a black tie event aimed to make us all feel good”, he said.

The New Year Dinner is always laced with achievement awards. Ismail explained that the awards are aimed to recognize real estate projects and people all over the world that best embody excellence in all the real estate disciplines involved in its creation.

“The awards illustrate concretely the FIABCI ideal of ‘providing society with the optimal solution to its property needs”, he said, adding, “this year, the Real Estate Excellence awards will honour players in the recognized components that deliver world class real estate projects”.

According to him, real estate changes the society, pointing out that from iconic buildings to affordable housing, real estate or property remains one of the major considerations in every human mind which is why it is considered a big deal.

Awards will be presented in three different categories, including Master Development Project, Media Achievement Award and Property Person of the Year.

“We have specially invited the Lagos State governor as Special Guest of Honour because we intend to launch FIABCI Internationals Partnership with UN Habitat in developing the ‘City Property Initiative Perception Index’ (CPI). This is a great initiative from the UN that will help put Lagos on the world map as it seeks to attain its new urban and sustainable city agenda”, Ismail revealed.

By Marc Philips