A Real Estate Consultant, Mr Samuel Ukpong, has urged the Federal Government to explore the potential in the real estate sector to aid economic development and alleviate poverty.
Ukpong, the Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), said this could be achieved through a review of the Land Use Act.
He said that some Sections of the Land Use Act of 1978, which vested land matters on the government, should be looked into to unleash wealth in the real estate sector.
“If the Land Use Act, which is before the National Assembly, can be properly reviewed to facilitate easy access to land, it will go a long way to reduce poverty in the country,” Ukpong said.
According to him, there are many lands, both in the rural and urban areas lying untapped, saying that those resources could be put to use to generate income.
“If acquisition of land and obtaining of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) are liberalised, it will encourage a lot of business transactions in the real estate industry,’’ the expert said.
He identified the land tenure system, infrastructure development, long-term funding, effective mortgage system, among others, as the basic requirements for the real estate sector to boom again.
“The challenges that come with the aforementioned factors pose great burden to the prospective property owners and investors,” he said.
Ukpong said that obtaining the “C of O’’ is still expensive, time consuming and frustrating and needs to be made friendly.
He said the government should realise that land, being an asset, could be held by the poor to sustain living, adding that the ability to explore it was critical to their economic advancement.
“With access to land, individuals can accumulate enough wealth to stay on site permanently and sustain their living.”