AIHS 2023: Convergence of Housing Technocrats and Champions

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The 2023 Africa International Housing Show held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The 2023 Africa International Housing Show (AIHS) compelled a strong presence of housing elites, professionals, stakeholders, would-be investors and aspiring developers, young CEOs, top government functionaries across African, reaffirming its leading role as the top housing and construction expo in the continent.

With an outstanding display of discussions from panelists, presentations by housing luminaries, experts in real estate development, exhibitors, the show, tagged “Beyond Rhetoric To Homes; Making Housing Happen”, attracted housing and construction enthusiasts that impacted minds and left legacies in the hearts of many.

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The Africa International Housing Show provided an exceptional platform to connect with industry stakeholders and potential customers, positioning itself as a frontrunner in the housing and construction industry.

During the four-day event held from July 23rd to 27th, real estate companies, construction firms, building materials producers, and others, delightedly exhibited their diverse range of products to interested or potential clients who had first hand view of the products exhibited.

Something sparks up in me anytime I come here

At the event, the Chief Executive, Nuel Osilama Global, Esv Osilama Emmanuel Osilama commended the ‘global’ perspective the AIHS has commanded, describing it as one of the best things that have happened to Africa and has attracted people all over the world “to discuss ideas and ways to move the built industry forward”.

He said it’s a good platform that brings people together. “Something sparks up in me anytime I come here because, when you hear different professionals speak on this platform, you learn a lot from them, Osilama, who doubles as the Chairman, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), FCT Chapter, said”.

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A utiliser of all value chain

The Head, Corporate Promotions Unit (CPU), SOW Real Estate Nigeria Limited, Godswill Obinna Umesi called the event utilizer of all the value chain and key players in the housing sector.

He described the AIHS as a housing trade fair in the African continent that brings players in the housing industry together, including developers and producers of both local and foreign building materials, cutting across all accessories that are needed for housing, and even financing companies.

The AIHS has been able to harness all the value chain and key players in the housing sector, to bring them into a store, interface and network, putting heads together towards solving the housing deficit in the country”, Mr. Umesi said.

A grooming path for young CEOs

Managing Director of McDream Concept Limited, a real estate company, Engr. A.S Yunusa saw the show from a different unusual but, excellent angle. He described it as a platform that prepares the next generation of real estate developers, preparing the minds of students, young CEOs who are on the path of real estate practice, hoping to make successful careers out of it.

Kudos to the organisers of the show, this year’s edition was excellent. The sessions  were very thoughtful, especially with the way they were organised”, Engr. Yunusa said.

Housing developers and champions in the industry

The Chairman of the Abuja Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Tpl. Lami Ayuba said the AIHS was interesting and revealing because, “it brings together housing developers and champions in the industry.

Tpl Ayuba said it has impacted her organisation, NITP through collaboration with international bodies like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which she said will collaborate with the NITP in capacity building and edge certification.

According to her, the partnership is aimed at educating developers in the FCT for better packaging and upgrading of their organization in order to access finance that is provided by the IFC and through it, members of the institute in the private sector can also get pre-qualification for edge certification or become consultants to people who want to access finance, likewise members in the public sector.

Critical role of data must not be ignored

Accuracy in statistics creates room for improved planning and gives a defined lead on what resources to utilise.

The issue of housing data was also a talking point at the show, with various speakers giving their views on the importance of accuracy in data management in the housing industry.

The Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Madu Hamman alluded to this by concurring that its (data) critical role played in the planning and execution of policies for national development, particularly in the housing sector cannot be ignored.

Mr. Hamman highlighted the significance of reliable data in making informed decisions for housing development and said the lack of empirical investigation behind much of the data available within the housing system in the country, renders it untrustworthy. 

Housing woes are worsened by lack of records

Managing Director of Pan African housing financier, Shelter Afrique, Thierno-Habib Hann attributed the cause of Nigeria’s housing deficit to lack of investment data to guide policy making.

Mr Hann said the country’s housing woes are worsened by its land tenure system and land registries and lack of records. He added that the problem is compounded with low disposable incomes, development risks and ‘diseconomies of scale’, ’bank appetite to the sector’ and ‘short tenors’.

While revealing that the Nigerian housing industry is engrossed with lack of foreclosure laws, he said the lack of effective data to guide investments and policy making, will continue to hinder growth in the sector.

Impossible to mobilise investors in housing with no accurate data

Kecia Rust of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance In Africa (CAHF) spoke of the logical and accountable importance of housing data.

She believes her assertion can be proved right with the projected Nigerian housing deficit coming up with different figures from various publications that have no basic trace.

She said it is impossible to mobilise investors if they can’t be told of how their money will be used or what will happen with their money? She also said the accuracy of what will happen to investments can’t be predicted when there is no data. “We have to understand the pulse and movement of the housing sector”, she said.

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