Faced with dwindling government revenue, the federal government has been urged to involve Nigerians in diaspora in joint venture initiatives, to attract foreign investments into the real estate sector.
The Chief Executive officer, Four Seasons Legacy Limited, Dr. Alfred Bisi Tofade, who made the call in Lagos during the launch of a platform on real estate, said people in diaspora have a yearning to build investment in properties but looks for trustworthy collaborators to work with in building retirement homes, resort centers, hospitals, industrial parks and estates among others.
He said there was the need to focus on such investment, with the objective to provide fraud-proof process that gives the people peace of mind as they commit their resources in the sector.
Dr. Tofade, said, “There are between 5-15 million Nigerians in the diaspora; based on various estimates with the highest population in the United States of America, United Kingdom, and South Africa. Nigerians love their fatherland and many of them have the desire to build a property in their country at a point in their lives or have a real estate investment. This is a dream they hold very deeply in their hearts. Unfortunately over the years, this dream has become a mirage and hope of many dashed due to frauds from family members and friends stealing money, developers taking the money and poor finishing of jobs.”
He explained that to woo Nigerians in the diaspora, there was a need to build systems and processes that work.
“They are very familiar with systems and processes. They prefer a system that works. Hence the first thing is to create a solid system. Secondly, to attract them to invest, the frauds in the system must be dealt with Thirdly, the quality of houses being built in the country has to improve.
“Houses with poor finishing and bad quality of workmanship will turn many of them away. Fourthly, the energy problem of the country has to be resolved to attract many folks in the Diaspora to want to return and live at home and the issue of security is a huge problem lately.”
Tofade advised the government to provide enabling environment and support to genuine organisations trying hard to create systems and processes stressing that such is what Four Seasons legacy Investment is doing currently.
He emphasised that the transfer of the fund to Nigeria is not the problem but how the funds are used to accomplished dreams in the real estate adding that such a system is virtually non-existence.
Tofade further said the company was strategically positioned to resolve some of the challenges people in the diaspora constantly face with regards to mitigating the risk members of frauds, eliminating travel risks and need to give money to family members, sourcing for loans and getting vetted professionals to handle projects.
The Group Managing Director, Future View, Mrs. Elizabeth Ebi, who spoke on interior decoration component of housing, maintained that appropriate budget and proper finishing of projects, are necessary, to boost confidence, sanity, and longevity in real estate particularly with regards to diaspora investment.