By Chika Okeke, Abuja
With the biting economic recession currently affecting over 170 million Nigerian populations, there is an indication that activities in Abuja real estate sector are at the lowest ebb, a situation that experts said the market was established on artificial value.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP, the President of Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN), Mallam Hussaini Dikko blamed the incidence on the activities of money launderers who felt that the safe place to hide their loot was to invest in realty.
“What we had before now is that an artificial market have been created largely by money launderers who felt that the safe place to hide their loot is to invest in property and whether the properties are occupied or not, they are not bothered”.
He said though there would be hardship in the long run but it would eventually balance overtime.
“With time, it will benefit those willing to buy or rent properties as well as investors in the property market because the level of activity will drop so that people can buy property based on purely economic factor and not artificial rent like we had in the previous years during the oil boom”.
“If we handle it well, it will be beneficial to the economy and all”.
He attributed the escalating number of completed and empty houses in Abuja to the gap between demand and supply adding that most houses were targeted towards high-end users irrespective of their location.
According to him, “What we need to address more is the lower-end of the market because the housing sector cannot thrive if we have artificial driven property rental and property sale”.
He appealed with Nigerians to be patient and take corrections adding that the economic situation would improve very soon.
On his part, the Principal Consultant, AA Abdulfatai & Co, ESV Abdulfatai Abdulrauf concurred that the entire property developed in Abuja was built on artificial value both for the landlord and tenant.
“It’s now we are facing the reality of what the actual rate should be either for the landlord or tenant but the issue is that landlords should accept the economic hardship and review the rent downward”.
He further lamented that most tenants preferred to adapt to artificial lifestyle by living beyond their annual earnings stressing that majority of civil servants earning meager salaries live in highbrow areas instead of satellite towns.
“There is nothing wrong if government can provide roads in some of these satellite towns that would be affordable so that people can buy lands on what they can afford to pay”.
Abdulrauf encouraged the FCT minister, Musa Muhammadu Bello to expand the satellite towns by relocating some of the industries to the towns.
“If you enter the Central Area at night, you will discover that it’s a ghost city, there are properties all over the city but people cannot buy them due to high price”.