If Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, doesn’t unlock the potentials in its property industry, resolve the Land Use Act, its wealth creation opportunity will remain untapped, Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor, Central Bank of Nigeria and founder & CEO, Sogato Strategies LLC said at the ongoing BusinessDay 2022 Africa Business Convention.
Acknowledging that there were reasons why the Land Use Act was established, Moghalu said the “era has passed”.
“I call for the constitutional abrogation of the land use act because it creates unnecessary bureaucracy and it limits what use people can put to land,” he said.
Access to affordable housing in Nigeria is crippled by among other factors, the country’s 44 years old Land Use Act.
Difficulties in acquiring land for real estate development could mean – less inventory in the market or the available products will come at a higher cost as access to land is the foundation of any real estate project.
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The latter is the case for Nigeria, a country that requires an estimated N170 trillion to N200 trillion to bridge its housing deficit of more than 20 million units.
“We have issues of property rights and the Land Use Act in Nigeria for example vest the right to land in the government. This is a major obstacle to wealth creation in this country,” he said.
Unlocking the potentials in Nigeria’s real estate sector would mean more revenue from the 70 to 80 percent dead capital, affordable housing for over 23 million Nigerians, lower unemployment rate and higher economic growth, according to industry players.
“There is a difference between when you own land in freehold and you can do whatever you want and when you simply have a certificate of occupancy, you are simply a tenant of the government and that is not very good for the creation of prosperity,” Moghalu said.