By Adewale Sanyaolu
For Nigeria to bridge its housing deficit, the nation’s real estate sector must be reasonably priced, good and have quality properties, Chief Executive Officer, Purple Premium Ltd, Mr. Richard Obahor, has said. Obahor, stated this shortly after receiving the prestigious BEFFTA Leadership Awards in London, adding that the few market players who are quality driven tend to dominate the market and they are doing extremely well.
BEFFTA is Europe’s biggest award ceremony celebrating black and ethnic personalities in entertainment, film, fashion, television, arts, sports and leadership. It celebrates outstanding African, Caribbean and Asian personalities globally.
The housing deficit of Nigeria, according to the World Bank, is estimated at a whopping 17 million units, while it valued the cost of the 17 million housing deficit at about N59.5trillion.
“However, these players only target the top end of the market because they feel that’s where most of the profit is,” he said.
He lamented that most developers operating at the lower end of the market perceive that part of the market to be a dumping ground where they could offload sub-standard properties.
As such, Obahor argued that mass housing should not necessarily mean low quality and maintained that the narrative must be challenged.
“The market requires developers that will commit to building high quality homes at the expense of profit and this should be regardless of who they are targeting in the market,” he said.
The developer advised that the government could play a significant role by pushing for policies that would ensure regulation and promote rigorous enforcement mechanisms.
Obahor, a property developer operating in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, described the award as a reward for his unrelenting service in whatever capacity he found himself.
“I hold very strong views that leadership should be a platform to serve and not a rank. Rather unfortunately, society, most times, misconstrue leadership to be a status symbol, and so-called leaders regularly demand followership rather than earn it.
It has always been my passion to serve in whatever capacity I can and because of my philosophies; I always ensure everything I do is conditioned around serving others. Even as a businessman, our ethos is service before profit,” said Obahor
Obahor was awarded the BEFFTA Leadership Awards alongside Nigeria’s acting High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Simon Ogah and Mrs. Olufolake Davies Abdulrazaq, Minister/Head of Consular, Education & Welfare at the Nigerian High Commission.
Kenya’s presidential candidate, Dr. Ekuru Aukot; former President of the Maldives, Muhamed Nasheed and Mary Kay’s UK National President, Chief Mrs. Elizabeth Ozua were also honoured.