Nigeria must stop borrowing for 20 years – Lai Omotola

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Mr. Lai Omotola, the Group Managing Director of CFL Group, a purely indigenous infrastructure development company with a core interest in real estate, agriculture, oil & gas as well as entertainment, examined extensively the challenges facing Nigeria’s domestic economy and proposed what could be done to revive the troubled economy. Omotola gave his opinions at the interactive session with journalists, at the 12th end-of-year media briefing on the state of the nation, held in his Maryland office on Tuesday. He spoke on doing business in Nigeria in line with the real estate sector. He highlighted the challenges in the real estate sector, Nigeria’s economy, and the way forward.

Doing business in Nigeria; What are the prospects and challenges?

Doing business in Nigeria can be quite challenging in spite of all the opportunities. Our location of business remains Lagos which is the commercial center of Nigeria. The business environment remains competitive with a bigger area of growth in most sections. Our flagship business is in real estate. Real estate in Lagos has been on the increase despite setbacks. As you all know construction remains the fastest way of getting out of recession because of the large value chain to the economy towards creating jobs. The business also has its challenges and one of them comes with the continuous delay in the registration of title and ownership of title such that you can never say when you will have a clear title The issue of ownership and disputes in ownership of land is on the increase in Lagos and also spread to other states. Our view is this problem can be solved through the use of land information in the office of the Surveyor-General but again the land information is inadequate because it only tells you whether the government has an interest in the land or not.

Our view is that it is best to expand the information to include the actual owner or the family that owns the area. This will go a long way in curbing unhealthy practices. Real estate in Lagos has been on the increase despite setbacks. As you all know construction remains the fastest way of getting out of recession because of the large value chain to the economy towards creating jobs. The business also has its challenges and one of them comes with the continuous delay in the registration of title and ownership of title such that you can never say when you will have a clear title. The issue of ownership and disputes in ownership of land is on the increase in Lagos and also spread to other states. Our view is this problem can be solved through the use of land information in the office of the Surveyor-General but again the land information is inadequate because it only tells you whether the government has an interest in the land or not. Our view is that it is best to expand the information to include the actual owner or the family that owns the area. This will go a long way in curbing unhealthy practices. The second problem in real estate is the registration of the title.