Nigeria having a population of over 201 million is the largest in Africa, and is growing at 3.2% a year. The U.S. Census Bureau says that at this rate, there will be an estimated 402 million people in Nigeria in 2050.

With the fast rising population, one thing will be of necessity, and that is shelter. More homes will have to be built around the country to accommodate this number.

Real estate is still a blurry topic to the average man on the streets. We had a chat with real estate expert and CEO of NAIC Property Limited, Chimankpa Nwakanma to help strengthen a few basic issues around this growing industry.

So what’s the first and most important information a new home-buyer or a real estate novice has to know before venturing into real estate?

Chimankpa: Aside the general notion of knowing the title document of the property; having a budget; and also doing some vetting on the said property.

It is important for every home buyer or anyone who’d want to venture into real estate as a means of wealth building, to have a plan and a perspective.

Having a plan will determine the kind of property you buy, and the perspective is the foundation for which you want your investment to stand on.

What are some of the government policies that actually discourages people from going into real estate?

Chimankpa: One of the major things that stunts the growth of real estate, and thus discourages a lot of persons from going into real estate in Nigeria, is government’s inability to pay attention to the development of satellite towns across major commercial cities in the country.

Take for instance Lagos state that is already overpopulated, if the state government can be genuinely committed to the development of satellite towns, the issue of overpopulation in Lagos state will be drastically reduced, and the housing deficit will also reduce.

Another challenge is in the area of public private partnership. The government find it difficult to partner with estate developers, to actually develop low cost housing for the middle-class population. If there can be a good public private partnership with real estate developers in the development of low cost housing for middle-class Nigerians, the over 50% housing deficit rocking the housing sector will be drastically reduced.

Lastly, security is also a major challenge in real estate development. A lot of developers spend a lot in hiring armed security to accompany investors and subscribers to their various estates within the satellite towns, in order to scare away kidnappers or community leaders from harassing them. Most persons also do not seek to own properties in these satellite towns because of lack of adequate security…

A whole lot of attention needs to be given to these areas in other to encourage more persons to go into real estate and also grow the real estate market in Nigeria.

Fraudulent activities are rampant in real estate even from people you think are trustworthy. How can one thoroughly prevent being duped when making transactions in real estate?

Chimankpa: Yes, a lot of persons have been scammed in several real estate transactions in the past. But then; for every fake, there’s always an original.

This is one of the peculiar reasons why I advise people to buy from reputable real estate developers. This is what I do basically as a professional realtor. I help investors to play it safe while investing in real estate. As a company, we go ahead to verify every property owned by developers before we recommend such property to any of our clients.

Again, people are advised not to patronize fraudsters who often pose as community representatives. The best thing to do is to buy from a real estate company. That’s the best way to be safe. I suggest you contact @Chimankpa_Naic on Instagram for verified properties. You can also reach me on Facebook: Chimankpa Naic Nwakanma.

Finally, don’t pay money to a real estate agent. Ensure you pay directly to the company or the direct owner of the property.

Fraudsters are real in real estate, but they can be avoided if a potential investor takes the right step.

This year so far, there have been up to a dozen building collapses in Nigeria. Who is to blame for these disasters?

Chimankpa: It is disheartening to say the least. But both parties are to be blamed. The government and the developers (engineers) are to be blamed for such avoidable disaster.

First, the government agencies/ministeries in charge of verification and vetting of building design and structure for not doing a good job.

Corruption in that sector accounts for the compromise of the basic standard in building design and structural integrity.

The developers who go ahead to bribe their way through in other to get cleared by these government agencies are also aiding and abetting corruption.

Just for the sake of profit making, they compromise on standards and develop a substandard structure which won’t stand as an edifice with structural integrity, but as an edifice with the potency of causing a disaster.

Please tell us the services you provide in real estate.

Chimankpa: As a professional realtor, I help people create consistent and perpetual cashflow through real estate. This I do by carefully providing the best cashflow and capital appreciation deals in Nigeria and in Dubai.

If you’ll ever need to make money from your real estate investment, or want to own a property, I’m the person you should talk to.

At the moment, I am also building a platform where the investors can invest on a property with as low as 500 thousand naira and earn shared rent for up to 50 years. On the platform, people can also co-own an estate while we manage and develop for them.

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