Arc Terver GEMADE, fnia fnim fmp

Managing Director / CEO, Federal Housing Authority



It is pertinent to state here that the Federal Housing Authority created under the Second National Development Plan in 1973 to coordinate, drive and execute Government Housing Agenda to the low, medium and high income groups has over years pursued this mandate despite huge challenges and the wide gap that still exists between housing needs and supply. During these years, over 37,000 housing units have been delivered cutting across every state of the federation.

However, as in most countries of the world, the bulk of housing provision remains outside the public sector. It has been reported that a large percentage of rental housing units in Nigeria which provide accommodation for majority of city-dwellers belong to the informal private sector (Salau, 1992). In Nigeria today, public housing accounts for only 10% compared to nations like Singapore where public housing is put at 90%. This contrasts with other areas of social policy such as education and health, where governments have applied a much more comprehensive and universal approach.


Gross Development Product 2011, Second Quarter Report states that ‘activities in the Nigerian real estate sector declined in the second quarter of 2011 with a growth rate of 10.47 percent against 10.48 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2010.

This sector has two major group ends namely the “high end area” and the “low end area”. The high end area comprises of investments of very high value and development predominantly driven by well established corporate bodies, while the low end area is the reverse which are driven by investments from individuals and few corporate bodies. The contraction in activities of the sector in the second quarter of 2011 was attributed to low level of investments in this sector during the period due to low level of resources within the operators in this sector’.

The Nigerian real estate sector is still grossly underdeveloped due to limited or non-existent institutional framework. Real estate contribution to Nigeria’s GDP is put at 1.64%. It supports all business ventures from the small business requiring office space to the major conglomerates requiring factories. The deficit of housing in the nation is high and the interest of potential investors in housing is equally high coupled with the increasing demand, current structuring and fundamentals of the sector being put in place, growth is near and soon especially in the major cities as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt in the first instance.

An overview of Nigeria real estate will not be complete without the mention of land. Land though not finite, constitutes 20% of the whole surface of the earth. It is a significant index for measuring man’s wealth and plays a central role in the development of man’s economy. It is at the centre of real estate and significantly affects it.

The Public Land Acquisition Act and eventual Land Use Act of 1978 helped the acquisition of large tracks of land – mostly untitled and vest all lands in the country to the government. The development of real estate in Nigeria is premised upon this, including the opportunity so created for private sector participation.

Following from these acquisitions, the FHA has inherited and initiated projects/schemes which today define the field for players interested in the market.

The potential of the real estate sector in Nigeria is yet to be adequately developed and creates opportunity for investors in the areas enumerated above. A country with a population of 167million people, 60% of whom are homeless or in sub standard homes and a housing deficit of above 16 million

translating to about N80 trillion, Nigeria provides a great market for intending investors again being the most populous country in Africa.

To be continued

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