The need to diversify the Nigerian economy has over the years been at the forefront of the government due to over-reliance on a single source of revenue – crude oil – a situation many have described as a monopoly. -economy.
This call becomes necessary in the context of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to soaring global food prices, shortages in the food supply chain and a sharp drop in federal allocation to states.
According to a report by Market and Research, published by Cision PR Newswire on the global value of real estate after a comprehensive analysis of 49 countries including Nigeria, the global real estate market is expected to grow from $3,386.11 billion in 2021 to $3,741.06 billion. in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5%. Further, the market is expected to reach $5,388.87 billion in 2026 with a CAGR of 9.6%.
Stemming from the above, one cannot easily let go of the huge opportunities in the real estate sector as it remains an unexplored gold mine in the 21st century and the future.
Ironically, while some developed countries with limited land mass have taken advantage of the real estate sector to boost their economic fortunes, most Nigerian states in particular have not fully explored the gains from its large expanse of land except of a state like Edo, which rolled out a series of reforms.
It will be recalled that upon taking office, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State stressed the need to look beyond crude oil and federal allocations to boost the state’s economy.
This is evidenced by its desire to create and promote a conducive business environment where investors can pursue their activities without any fear of return on investment.
Therefore, the ease of doing business in the state has largely improved with the establishment and innovations of the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and the Geographic Information Service of Edo State. State of Edo (EdoGIS).
These establishments have contributed immensely to making Edo a preferred destination for investors. One of the many sectors that have benefited from the business-friendly atmosphere is real estate, which has undoubtedly grown significantly in Edo.
Prior to Governor Obaseki’s administration, the issue of land grabbing, hooliganism and land racketeering characterized the land acquisition and allocation system in the state.
This in turn has led to frequent community crises, killings and even destruction of property in most of the affected communities where outlawed Community Development Associations (CDAs) have arrogated to themselves the power to acquire and allocate land, which they often held illegally.
Some of them became the terror of their communities as they continued to harass and scare away the real investors in the state. Their role has become detrimental to peace and the socio-economic fate of their communities and, by extension, the state.
In an effort to stem the tide of the threat, Governor Obaseki outlawed CDAs in the state with a gazette to that effect, as a way to clean up and end the centuries-old illegal land grabbing and racketeering. in the state.
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Along the same lines, the digitization of EdoGIS has redefined the issuance and certification of land holdings as a Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O), which was previously a herculean task has been made easily accessible and effective through transparency and technology-driven mechanism. Landowners, developers and their agents can now acquire C-of-Os seamlessly.
Today, investors in the real estate industry have made massive capital investments in different communities across the state, opening up remote communities to socio-economic development and land ownership appreciation.
Basic amenities such as roads, schools, hospitals, police stations and markets have also attracted the attention of the government due to the activities of these property developers.
Some of the notable investors in the real estate sector of Edo State that have emerged through the land reforms of the Obaseki-led government include D Prince Builders, Landsmith, Ise Real Estate, Get Rich Properties, Tweak Real Estate, Auto Bleez Immovable.
Another notable step in the land reforms is the massive campaign on the project titled Operation Plan Edo aimed at obtaining information on the government presence regarding infrastructure needs in the 18 local government areas of the state.
This project is commendable because of its immense benefits focusing on recertification of land holdings in the state to enable the state government to crack down on illegal and unapproved sites that have recently been developed by certain individuals and corporate bodies.
It is therefore relevant to say that the security architecture put in place by the government led by Obaseki has helped to revive the confidence of real estate developers.
Recently, the state was ranked among the safest states in the country considering the state government’s investment in its security system.
With Governor Obaseki’s continued and sustained investments in infrastructure development and land reforms, with a particular focus on using technology to drive land acquisition and allocation, it is safe to say that the boom current real estate sector in the state is just a tip of the iceberg and a bold step towards Making Edo Great Again (MEGA).
Goodluck, a social commentator, writes from Benin City