In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, Mr. Kennedy Okonkwo, Chief Executive Officer of Nedcomoaks, a Lagos-based real estate development company, revealed that the growing demand for housing across all strata of the society is so huge that the industry cannot satisfy the demand.
According to Okonkwo who started real estate business as an estate agent, it is difficult to churn out 500 housing units annually in the country by developers. Now his firm has a mission to provide affordable homes for Nigeria’s middle class. Emphasising the importance of shelter, Okonkwo noted that he went into actual construction of houses by starting with a room and palour self contain.
He said after food, the next priority of a man or woman is shelter which explains the growing demand for housing across the nation. He added that the demand for housing in Nigeria is so huge that it requires the collaboration of government at federal and state levels as well as private developers.
Okonkwo pointed out that he went into the property development because he felt there is a real need for it. “When you look at your needs, it is food first and then you think of shelter. So there is no way anybody that is providing shelter will get it wrong. I think there are enormous opportunities to tap into in the Nigerian property market today and the reputation of the developer matters a whole lot,” he said.
Bemoaning challenges confronting the industry, Okonkwo lamented a situation where a developer after completing an estate, has to provide power and build roads to service the estate, saying all these add up to the cost of owning homes in the country, because developers usually transfer such costs to buyers. He said another major problem of developers is huge interest rate being charged by banks, pointing out that mortgage facilities are not readily available and where you have them, they go for double digits, which is not what is applicable in other countries of the world. Okonkwo said ‘Victoria Crest’ is the flagship of his projects, noting that it consists of three-bedroom terrace homes, with ample parking space due for delivery this year, adding that the phase I of Victoria Crest comprises 92 units of terrace houses, while the second phase will consist of about 300 units when fully completed
Read full interview here