L-R: Head, Finance, Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, Mr. Vitalis Anieze; Managing Director, Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi; and Development Trading Officer, Mr. Segun Ariwayo, during a media parley in Lagos
A frontline Real Estate operator and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, Mr Adetokunbo Ajayi has identified some structural problems affecting the government’s mass housing project and proposed measures to revamp them.
In an interactive session with the media at the weekend on how Propertygate has been able to weather the storm despite the recession, Ajayi explained that lack of good road network, power supply, sewage and water remain hurdle to be crossed in order to make the government’s mass housing project attractive to the beneficiaries.
The federal and state governments have over the years embarked on mass housing for all in order to provide affordable shelter for the middle class and those at the lower level as evidence of government’s sensitivity to the welfare of the people.
But the projects according to Ajayi require strategic plan for enhanced implementation. He noted that the target beneficiary of the housing for all requires minimum facilities in order to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Our expectation as private operators is that the government should provide enabling environment in those areas in order to encourage the target beneficiaries to take advantage. The easiest item to get by the government is land. But beyond the land is the issue of facilities such as good road network, sewage, pipe borne water, electricity and a host of others that can bring about enabling environment” Ajayi said. He lamented that due to low income and weak purchasing power of the target beneficiaries; the rich still buys the low-cost houses and let them out to the poor, the ultimate beneficiaries.
Speaking on Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, Ajayi explained that despite the tough operating climate, the company had consistently operated profitably due to factors such as corporate integrity, innovation, excellent customer care and strong and dedicated human capital. According to him, Propertygate had executed many high-profile projects in the year. He however admitted that the Real Estate industry had experienced a lot of challenges as a result of the recessionary period.
“Most high networth clients could not make effective demand due to weak purchasing power. Real Estate operators’ ability to import some components of building has been moderated by the high cost of forex.
“Real Estate is a capital intensive business; hence, operators are at the mercy of banks due to high cost of funds and low profitability. Government should create an enabling environment for the real estate operators to enable us operate optimally. But creativity and adherence to quality products and services would continue to define our operational philosophy at Propertygate”, he said.
By Marc Philips