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Businessday Recognises Frankrealtor’s Founder, Nwafor Franklin.

Nwafor Franklin, the founder Frank Realtor Limited, on a recent interview with businessday newspaper discussed on tough economy situation affecting Nigerian Real Estate Market.

Even before coronavirus struck, property owners and many of the businesses that leased their space were under strain due to high vacancy rate and rents default.

Their woes seem to multiply now as jobs and the economic effects of the pandemic have hit incomes of thousands of people. Experts predict that property owners could face cash crunches as renters default and many renters will move in with family and friends or relocate to less expensive locations.

Nwafor Franklin, the founder Frank Realtor Limited, a real state agency based in Abuja Nigeria, has appeal to the government to support the real estate business owners especially in this period of economic downturn.

According to him, the major issue that continues to affect housing in Nigeria include constraints related to the high cost of securing and registering secure land title, inadequate access to finance, slow administrative procedures and of course the high cost of land.

Given these challenges, Franklin said, a sustainable action plan is required to reduce the housing gap in the country, noting that some efforts have been made, but there is a need to bring it all together.

“The harsh economic situation in Nigeria is affecting the real estate business. The reality could also be seen from the number of property listed for sales without positive outcomes. As a result, trillions of naira, which could have been used to boost the economy are stuck in the sector which has been considered one of the good things that happened in Nigeria before the recession,” Franklin said.

According to Franklin, “accessing some of the documents for procuring lands are becoming a burden. Government operatives in charge are not doing enough to ease this pressure which has harmed real estate business. Complaints have been registered but more efforts are needed to get the government attention to help resolve this issue.”

He added that in line with the government order to stay at home to limit the spread of COVID-19, his company have built an online platform where investors can easily explore and take part in some of the company’s business offers.

With a housing deficit estimated at 20 million units valued at N59 trillion, Nigeria has a huge housing challenge. This is why housing sector stakeholders say the recent pronouncement by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) that it would be making funding intervention in affordable housing is a welcome development.

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Land Ownership Shouldn’t be for the Rich Alone – Nwafor Franklin

Prospect of an average Nigerian owning land and houses is waning speedily following the unstable and harsh economic situations, which have greatly affected many businesses.

As a result of that, most companies can barely pay salaries, while salary increments are becoming a lot more difficult. Even as dysfunctional mortgage system and salaries increase rate are getting much slower, buying a property has become harder for most people.

However, Mr Franklin Chibuzo Nwafor, a real estate agent in an interview with our editor stressed that owning a land can be somewhat lucrative. He added that every individual, regardless of class, should consider owning a land property as it can be a life time investment that will change their lives.

“In Nigeria, people complain about the hard economy. Even during lock-down, people still feed. The situation in Nigeria and possibly anywhere in the world can never be ultimately perfect. There must be lapses to fill but this should not be an excuse for not exploring chances”.

Stressing further on the issue he said, “Coming from a middle class family, I know first-hand the challenges of owning a house in Nigeria, especially in Lagos where I was raised. However, land and home ownership shouldn’t only be for the rich, because in developed countries, almost everyone owns a home, however small. So this fact is what drives our vision at Frank realtor limited, to deliver affordable life-changing land properties to the middle and low-income earners in choice locations of the country, one city at a time.

According to him, many real estate firms, like his company are now adopting installment packages which now allow an average Nigerian between aged 20- 25 to access lands with N20,000 deposit monthly.