By Grace Alegba
Mr Temitope Runsewe, Managing Director, Dutum Company Ltd., on Tuesday, appealed to the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for local real estate investors to compete favourably to stop capital flight.
Runsewe made the call during the ongoing two-day combined Physical and Virtual 7th West Africa Property Investment (WAPI) Summit tagged “Property Markets Redefined” in Lagos.
He said the real estate sector was critical to the growth of the nation’s GDP.
“We are one of the local indigenous construction service providers and it is important that we receive the support of government so that we can grow.
“And that support should give us opportunities and funds that can make us compete because if we are not able to compete with the foreign companies, how do we grow?
“Foreign companies come with funds at zero per cent, one per cent while local service providers either cannot get the funds or when we do, we are getting it at 30 per cent and above per annum.
“You can see that it is a struggle to compete,” said Runsewe.
He, therefore, urged the government to create policies because the construction sector had a ripple effect on GDP.
“When you give a local construction company a new project the money stays here from the most part and gets recycled and results in GDP growth.
“But when you continue to give the biggest projects to the foreign companies, they do their bit and take the rest of the money out, so we are having capital flight,” he said.
Runsewe said giving opportunities to local experts would help them gain experience to develop capacity to execute bigger projects for the benefit of the nation.
“We cannot be on the same competing ground with people who have money from their government, it causes unfair competition, so, tilt the competition in our favour so that we can grow our economy,” he said.
He urged the private sector to come together and fight as a group to actualise their goals of competing favourable to save income for the nation.
He lamented the impact of the COVID-19 on the real estate sector but said it created opportunity to leverage on technology to evolve new construction models of building compact apartments where people could live, work and play.
Earlier during, a panel discussion, panelists took turns to explain the need to make buildings more compact due to the increasing population and shrinking resources, including land.
Mr Olaide Agboola, Founder/CEO Purple Ltd., said there was so much to be done to improve the construction value chain while evolving mixed development for the nation’s growing population.
He said the opportunity of mixed development where compact construction encompasses work, live and play options was a huge market for the younger generation, which the nation’s experts must harness. (NAN)