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LETTER FROM Letter from Nigeria

Nigeria is a land of rich resources and there are high returns to be made on property investments if you can overcome market difficulties.

as I put pen to paper, I still feel that way! Truth is Nigeria is a country hard to describe; you really have to live it to get a measure of it. Ranked 131 out of 185 by the


World Bank Group for ease of doing business and plagued with a history rife with fraud and infrastructural decay, Nigeria is one country that people would be justifi ed in ignoring in their global roll-out plans, but as all true globalists would agree, to ignore Nigeria is to do so at your peril! With a land mass about four times

the size of Great Britain, (over 80% of which is arable), a population in excess of 160 million people, (set to expand to 400 million by 2050), one-fi fth of Africa’s oil reserves and 35% of its natural gas reserves, Nigeria is a land of immense wealth and resources. It has one of the world’s fastest growing economies with an average growth rate of

hen asked to write about Nigeria, I thought, “What do I say?” And even now

7.5%, a median population age of 18, an emerging, technology-savvy, consumer base and it’s urbanising at a rapid pace…every investor’s dream! Whilst there are many ways that investors can maximise potential, the truth is, as the success of these has

“Nigeria’s rentals are among the highest in Africa and there is a dearth of good property stock”

much to do with the sophistication of the fi nancial market, for an emerging market economy like Nigeria, arguably the most viable means of fi nancial investment is real estate, but there are a number of challenges real estate investors need to know. The fi rst and arguably the biggest

challenge is access to land! In 1978, Nigeria enacted the Land Use Act vesting the control and management of all urban land to the

state Governors. Though amended somewhat since then, no-one can buy land freehold and the Governor’s consent is required for every land transaction! As if that is not bad enough, a lack of up-to-date market data, the high cost of fi nance and construction, and a dearth of skilled building professionals all add to the diffi culties investors face. But there are high rewards.

Nigeria’s rentals are among the highest in Africa! There is a dearth of good property stock and typical rentals for good quality, commercial stock range between $650 and $800/ sqm/a, whilst that for a four-bed apartment can top $120,000/a. In addition, reforms in Government legislation – the granting of seven-year Tax exemption for certain classes of real estate, the passing of an act guaranteeing the safety of investment in event of war, revolution, expropriation or nationalisation, the allowing of 100% ownership by foreigners allowing for the repatriation of profi ts and |MAY 2013

Erejuwa Gbadebo is the CEO of Broll Property Services Ltd., a real estate advisory fi rm based in Lagos, Nigeria. An architect with over 26 years’ experience, Erejuwa’s strength is in the design, con- struction and management of properties. Email: Telephone: +234 1 270 1892-4 Website:

the transfer of dividends – plus the fact that Nigeria is one of the Next Eleven, have all worked to encourage foreign direct investment. And who’s investing? Well currently Nigerians – the emerging middle classes plus those in the diaspora – the Chinese and the South Africans! Maybe, it’s time to get on board!

Coming Soon... June 2013 We hope you enjoy it.

June will see the launch of the new, revamped OPP. New look, new layout, new regular features, a broader coverage of our industry and more integrated with OPP Connect.

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