Lagos, Nigeria; October 10, 2016: Eko Atlantic, the rising smart city being developed from reclaimed land on the shores of Victoria Island is attracting more and more international investors as awareness about the new city’s potentials grows among the international audience. As such, the project is expected to be one of the leading sources of foreign direct investments into the country.
Disclosing this was Mr. Pierre Edde, Development Director, South Energyx Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group, and the developers of the ambitious multibillion dollar project. He spoke at the 2016 Real Estate Unite, an annual summit and one of Africa’s largest real estate event which attracted high ranking dignitaries in the African real estate sector.
According to him, international interest in the project has grown tremendously over the last few years, leading to expression of interests from around the globe, with many of the prospects looking forward to establishing their corporate offices at the city’s business district. He noted that such foreign investments in Eko Atlantic will be good for the economic development of the country, and is an answer to the government’s FDI drive.
Edde, however pointed out that in order to achieve the desired level of foreign direct investment into the country, the Government will need to work alongside Eko Atlantic and others in the private sector in implementing world class governance, transparency and accountability.
On ways to boost the real estate sector in the country, he advised government and financial institutions to work together towards improving the mortgage system, as it is critical to the growth of the sector. This, he added, is the only way the sector can be able to really improve on its contribution to the nation’s GDP.
“The Nigerian mortgage system is at an alarmingly low level at just 0.05% of the country’s GDP. Banks alongside the government will need to revamp the mortgage system to afford individuals the ability to purchase homes, especially in face of the current economic recession in the country,” he said.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Sonnie Ayere, Founder and Group Chairman of Dunn Loren Merrifield, a full-service investment firm reiterated the importance of the real estate sector to the Nigerian economy. “The Nigerian housing sector is the big elephant in the room that no one seems to acknowledge. The private sector and the government are key to subsidizing the sector and are a key force in executing the development of the housing sector.”
This year’s summit had the theme “Filling the G.A.P.S (Government Gaps; Access Gaps; Private Sector Gaps and Strategy Gaps), and focused on propelling Nigeria’s economic development through strategic partnerships between public and private investors. At the summit, key issues in the sector were discussed, including policies, the mortgage system, as well as government and private sectors efforts to grow the sector and attract foreign direct investment into the country.