Cooperative societies are increasingly investing in real estate to ameliorate housing needs and create wealth for members, thereby reducing effects of economic recession. Dayo Ayeyemi reports
There is no doubt that the recent economic recession has led to the emergence of different types of cooperatives in Nigeria with the motive of helping individuals to get financial support to attain basic needs of life.
One of such needs is shelter as many people cannot afford to own houses in a well structured environment at affordable rates.
To meet the desire for housing and other investment purposes, a few Nigerians are now organising themselves into cooperative societies in order to pool resources together to make their dream of home ownership and wealth creation a reality.
From thrift and loans society to cooperative multipurpose society, depending on their objectives, the primary motive is to allow people put their available resources into series of investment portfolios and make profit or dividends.
Public servants including the army and police are taking advantage of cooperatives for members, craftsmen from the informal sector are also organising themselves into societies to enhance homeownership among members.
Taking advantages of opportunities inherent in cooperative society is a group of people under the auspices of the Perfection Real Estate Investors Cooperative Society Limited (PREICS).
According to its President, Mr. Niyi Adeleye, the cooperative has been taking the lead to explore opportunities in real estate for members’ housing needs.
He explained to concessionaire of Festac Phase Two project, New Festac Property Development Company, when he led his members and would-be investors to the site, that the creation of the society was borne out of the need and passion to tackle myriad of challenges in real estate sector of the economy.
He said that members of the cooperative society had come to register their presence and indicate interest in the new Festac project.
According to him, his members are on rescue mission to make housing and real estate investment a reality.
He said: “We are planning to acquire some hectares of land in Festac Phase two and develop as investment for members, numbering 500.”
Speaking on how it commenced, he stated that hunt for membership started with friends and other relatives who possess same mindset about wealth creation through real estate for benefits.
“We came together to kick off the wealth creation process by pooling our resources together in order to take advantage of opportunities by investing in real estate and to enjoy all the benefits thereof together,” he said.
By pooling resources together, Adeleye said that members had been able to get involved in some mega real estate deals, adding that they have also invested in expanse of land in different locations such as Ibeju Lekki and Ikorodu, Lagos.
Vice Executive Chairman, NFPDCL, the concessionaire, Mr. Isaac Chuks, disclosed that his company had secured over 100 offtakers, pointing out that these investors would be coming to invest their money in housing development, education, hospitality and heath care projects in the new city.
According to him, investors have been waiting for the completion of sandfilling of the entire land to take possession and commence development.
He said the project had been divided into phases, adding that the company would be spending over $300million in the first phase.
Chuks told would be investors and cooperators that the right time to invest in Festac Phase two project was now.
He said: “It is cheap to buy now; there are opportunities to buy houses, land and invest in real estate. This is meant to be for big boys, but the company has broken it down to make it easier for other people to benefit.”
It would be recalled that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) introduced the Informal Sector Cooperative Housing Scheme in 2011 in a bid to integrate Nigerians operating in the informal sector of the economy into the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme.
The loan facility under the scheme could be accessed in one of two ways, namely: Cooperative Housing Development Loan (CHDL) or Co-operative National Housing Fund Loan (CNL).
Through cooperative, the Nigeria Police Force had been able to inaugurate more than 1,000 housing units for the rank and file of the police force as part of efforts to improve the welfare of the inspectorate and give them better incentives to protect lives and property.
Speaking on real estate cooperative societies, a former spokesperson of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), South West, Mr. Debo Adejana, said it includsd cemetery, prime houses in first class locations, site and services schemes and warehouses for industrial usage.
Managing Director, M.I Okoro and Associates, Dr. Meckson Okoro, tasked cooperative societies to conduct research on demand for their products, adding they should find out whether the upper class and middle working class or lower class of the society were in need of their products. He said it would help to identify one’s target market.
Management and officers in charge of cooperative societies must be transparent and display high integrity to command trust of members and investors.
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