To reduce Nigeria’s 17 million housing deficit, real estate developers are taking up pragmatic marketing strategies to help Nigerians realise their homeownership dream. Dayo Ayeyemi reports
Housing is more than mere shelter as it encompasses all basic infrastructures such as road network, power supply, clean water and other services that make life enjoyable.
Besides, the number of quality houses in any nation is one of the criteria for measuring its level of development and quality of life.
Real estate sector has been seen by experts as a mirror of the economy as it directly reflects the economic status of the nation.
However, despite the huge housing deficit of 17 million in Nigeria and the need to build 740,000 housing units annually to bridge the gap, statistics have shown that over 60 million residents are living in indecent houses across the federation.
According to the United Nation’s statistics, 60 per cent of households in the developing world don’t have access to clean water.
Besides, the UN report says 30 per cent of urban population in the developing world live in slums, while 4.5 million move into slum each week.
Bracing to reduce homelessness among Nigerians and improve living condition, some real estate developers have mapped out pragmatic sale strategies to simplify and help Nigerians in need of accommodation fulfill their dream of home ownership.
From site and services scheme to introductions of easy flexible payment, concession and high discounts among others, home seekers now have options to choose from.
Group Managing Director, Adron Homes And Properties Limited, Oba Adetola Emmanuel King, said that successful strategy required hard work, critical thinking and strong execution skills.
He hinted that from Lagos to Abuja and Ibadan, he had mapped out strategies through the company’s forthcoming ‘Lemon De Val Party’ to help families seeking accommodation realise their dream at low entry point.
He stated that first and second editions of the programme, which were held on Valentine Day, had helped 3,000 families to realhse their home ownership dream in his various housing estates across Nigeria.
As part of the strategies, the Adron boss introduced some Nigerian musicians and Nollywood practitioners such as Ajibola Alabi popularly known as “Pasuma” and “Small doctor,”, Saheed Balogun and Fathia Williams as the company’s ambassadors.
According to king, Nigerians need housing, stressing that he had discovered that the best way the company could make it possible at affordable rate was by ensuring that the entry point is reduced to N500 for easy accessibility.
“We have new estates coming on board. In a few days, we will be doing ground breaking ceremony of Town Park and Gardens in Imota, Ikorodu, Lagos,” he said.
“We are also going to be doing ground breaking in Kuje in Central Park and Gardens in Abuja and also in Ibadan. It is also in our plans to extend to the eastern part of Nigeria and also in northern Nigeria.”
The Adron boss disclosed that the company had acquired about 10,000 hectares of land, totaling 120,000 plots, with about 100,000 subscribers in its portfolio for home ownership scheme.
He said the company’s total assets is worth N100 billion.
He revealed that 2018 Valentine Day event had become necessary as construction of housing units by the company is meant to tackle the acute shortage of shelter in Lagos state and the FCT.
According to professionals in the sector, there are no shortcuts to marketing real estate products. Some tips, they said, included core abilities development, promotion of value, conpromotio, creation goals mindset, relationship management and development, leveraging other platforms and inbound marketing.
Director of Homework Development and Properties Limited, Mr. Jide Adekola, an architect, is restoring the trust in foreign investors in real estate sector. His firm now has affordable housing units in different locations in Lagos.
Adekola, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, disclosed this to Nigerians in Diaspora, while showcasing the products and promoting recent positive development.
He added that he has helped to change the perception that foreign investors would not get value for money or might get scammed in Nigeria.
He also said that there were professionals in the sector who are able to provide quality products in due time.
He said the forum had increased networking among customers, adding that it has increased trust in foreign investors in real estate market and boosted awareness.
Shedding light on some of the innovations being adopted to encourage Nigerians to own their homes while celebrating the Valentine season, King said that his firm would be offering incentives such as 14 per cent discount in all the estates, easy and flexible traditional payment system and supply of 100 bags of cement in some instances.
He explained: “Pay an initial deposit of N140.000 for a plot, spread the balance over a period of 14 months and you qualify for a free ticket to our Lemon De Val Promo 2018. Pay outright for a plot of land and you are qualified for a raffle draw to win a set of sofa, king sized bed and 100 bags of cement.”
Besides, he said the company had partnership with some mortgage institutions, while encouraging its clients that subscribed to National Housing Fund (NHF) to access it.
Since construction of housing is capital-incentive, Nigerians need easy access to cheap and effective mortgage system to attain their housing dreams.
Dangote: Businesses, residents lose N86bn daily to Apapa gridlock
Businesses and residents are losing N86 billion to Apapa-Wharf road gridlock daily, Africa’s richest man and President/CEO, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said.
He stated this in Lagos while condemning the challenges posed by traffic jam and heavy presence of different types of taskforce, including the Customs, on the major route leading to the nation’s largest port.
Dangote, who was on an inspection tour of the on-going reconstruction of N4.3 billion Apapa-Wharf road by AG Dangote recently, stated that businesses and residents are losing 20 times the project’s cost daily.
By calculation, N86 billion is being lost by business owners and residents on daily basis.
He said: “People don’t really understand how much money businesses are losing because of the gridlock here; if you quantify it in billions, it is 20 times the cost of this project every single day.”
Consequently, he urged the Federal Government to move the taskforce, including Customs, away from the route to ease traffic.
The reconstruction of the road that leads to Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports is being undertaken by Dangote Group, Nigerian Flour Mill Limited and the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), which are together committing N4.34 billion to the project.
Justifying the involvement of his company in sponsoring the project, Managing Director, Flour Mills Limited, Paul Gbadedo, lamented that it has been difficult for businesses and residents of Apapa.
Noting that the economy of Apapa is very huge, he said that businesses cannot see the traffic and road deteriorating without doing something.
He stated that 75 to 80 per cent of imports passed through the Apapa ports, noting that the road is strategic.
Dangote stressed that it did not make any commercial sense for Customs to mount check points outside the wharf after they might have checked and certified goods at the ports.
“If there should be any more checkpoints, they should be at the toll gates, not here where they are obstructing traffic flow,” he said.
Africa’s richest man said he was impressed with the progress and quality of work being done by AG Dangote, the contractor handling the reconstruction of the road.
He also lauded the palliative work going on on Apapa Oshodi Expressway and the Trailer Park being constructed by government off the expressway, pointing out that these were efforts being made to ensure that the access roads to the ports are decongested.
“My impression of this road has changed because AG Dangote is doing a great and excellent work here. You can see the quality of work being done. This is quite impressive. Even in Germany, you cannot see this kind of quality of road. This road can last at least two generations in which case you will be talking about over 60 years. It is so solid that it can take any weight and any traffic,” Dangote said.
“I can assure you that we will double our efforts to complete the project on schedule, that is, latest by the end of June,” he said.
Chief Executive, AG Dangote, Ajif Juma, stated that the company is facing a lot of challenges, citing traffic and gas pipeline as major ones.
“But now we are working hard to ensure we finish on schedule with some of our workers on night shift,” he said.
CBN to banks: Settle customers’ complaints within 2 weeks
Deposit Money Banks ( DMBs) and other financial Institutions have been directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to settle customers’ complaints on issues of overcharge, unauthorised deductions and other matters within two weeks.
CBN Head of Complaints management Division, Mr Tajudeen Ahmed, conveyed the Apex Bank’s directive in Abuja. He said the regulator would ensure that bank customers receive redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawal.
Ahmed reiterated the CBN’s commitment to eradicating the culture of excess and arbitrary charges. According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular,which could be found on the its website showing all legitimate bank charges. He explained that any charge outside what is contained in the circular was not allowed and should not be charged.
“The Consumer Protection Department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt of that complaint,” he said. “Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint. “If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of Central Bank of Nigeria to find solution to that complaint.”
Ahmed enjoined customers with unresolved complaints to contact the CBN by writing to the Director Consumer Protection Department. He also advised disgruntled bank customers to visit any branch of the CBN closest to them to lay their complaints.
“The CBN continually engages the banks to find out if their conducts and practices are fair to their customers in order to stimulate people’s confidence in the banking system. “Non-adherence to that normally results to regulatory sanctions as the case may be,” he said.
Ahmed faulted banks for setting a limit on ATM withdrawals to get customers to make several withdrawals to cash large sums. “I have also observed and noted this. Don’t forget that at the beginning, it wasn’t like this. Over time, we started having this problem.
“One of the reasons is that the quantum of N500 denomination is much more than that of N1,000 denomination,” he said. “When we approached the banks about these problems, they said that the machines become easily faulty when it is set to dispense up to N30, 000 to N40, 000 units.
“However, CBN has directed that the machines that allow payment of up to N30,000 to N50,000 should be installed. “This is still ongoing. The Banking and Payment Department of the CBN is championing it.” In her remarks, Head, Consumer Protection Department, Mrs Hadija Kasim, admonished bank customers to imbibe cashless policy.
“Let’s not forget that ATM cards can also be used on Point of Sale (POS) terminals. We are encouraging people that unless it is absolutely necessary, they should reduce the carriage of cash. Cashless transactions are more convenient, safer and you will avoid the problem of overcharges,” she said. She advised bank consumers to use bank transfer channels for transactions in cases where sellers do not have POS.
DAAR Communications commends retired workers
The Management of DAAR Communications Plc has announced the retirement of some members of staff of the organization with effect from Feb 2018.
A statement made available to New Telegraph said those affected had served the organisation between 20 and 25 years.
According to the statement, the Chairman and the Board of the media outfit commended and appreciated the retirees’ pioneering efforts, the outstanding, remarkable contributions and all the personal efforts to the organisation right from inception in 1993/1996.
“They made their respective indelible marks in their respective departments, which cumulatively made the broadcast stations of the organisation not only household names but also a reference point in broadcasting in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and indeed the continent of Africa.
“As they gracefully move into another stage in their respective lives, we wish them the very best and a most successful future endeavor,” the statement added.
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