It will not be easy for you as an investor if you fail to consider these various factors before buying land or buildings in any part of the country.
Several buildings have been demolished and dozens of others are marked for demolition in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Anambra among other states in Nigeria. Those houses are to be demolished by the government, not because they are old or dilapidated, not because they were acquired or built with substandard materials, nor because the owners got them through theft. These are structures worth billions of Naira built by individuals who are legitimately engaged in various businesses in the country. They are buildings owned by investors and leaders from various walks of life. The prevailing incidents are coupled with land ownership revocation by various administrations.
Questions begging for answers are: why does the government demolish or revoke buildings and lands? Does this action have anything to do with politics, tribe, or religious hegemony? Who is to be blamed for the losses that property owners also referred to as real estate investors record?
Now, control your inquisitiveness and pay absolute attention to the secrets behind the demolitions of the majority of the structures in the various states across the federation, as well as the revocation of land ownership. It could be recalled that virtually every government in Nigeria that comes to power initiates and executes one policy or another. Most times, such policies are tagged or labeled “political” without one taking a critical review of the underlying objectives.
Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Anambra among other states would serve best the case study in our revelation. The government of Anambra State under the leadership of Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo launched a campaign against illegal structures and buildings in Awka, Onitsha, among others, upon his assumption of duties. Consequently, structures worth billions of naira will have been demolished in the cause of the exercise.
Similarly, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Nyesom Wike, has revoked no fewer than 300 plots of land as well as demolished dozens of illegal structures in Abuja. Imagine revoking ownership of plots of land or houses due to a lack of complete documentation, and maintenance respectively. Wike has also revoked ownership of several other plots of land that contradict the Land Use Act.
In Kano State, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf rolled out bulldozers for the demolition of illegal structures erected on public properties, such as schools, mosques, playgrounds, graveyards, markets, etc., to ensure strict adherence to the Urban Planning, beautification, and safety of people.
It’s therefore, worth concern about the growing rate of demolition of buildings in different parts of the country before one would invest money in the real estate business.
Some of the reasons for the demolition of the structures include Lands procured without proper documentation and Planning, construction without verification, and signatory of the Ministry of Urban Planning or Ministry of Housing, dilapidation or use of substandard materials for construction, etc.
Therefore, to avoid falling victim to revocation or demolition of your land or buildings, consider the following factors before investing in the real estate business.
- You must consider not just the expected cash flow or profit opportunities but also go through the Ministry of Housing or Urban Planning Commission for a proper investigation. Many investors or buyers land themselves in regret because of their desirous quest for the property that they often get through agents who may not give them professional guidelines and direction that could save them from land revocation or property demolitions.
- Consider the property location before committing to it. A lot of people are frustrated today due to their failure to make proper consideration of lands or structures before their commitment. Thus, to avoid the issues relating to Town/Urban Planning, get informed that every state has a Land Use Act, as well as a Public Land Acquisition Law (PLAL), which grants the right for private use and public use of lands respectively.
Also, Property Registration Guidelines must be considered. A lot of people go into the real estate business simply because they have the money to invest in the business but don’t take the time to study the procedure for the investment.
- Real Estate Agents/Bodies: Nowadays, in Nigeria, everybody is a real estate agent, advertising and marketing properties in various parts of the country. Although a lot are genuinely running the business, others will have ulterior motives for their financial breakthrough, without the foresight to decide whether or not the property is located and secured with valid documentation. Fraud is real in the country and the world. Thus, whether you’re an investor who resides in Nigeria or other countries of the world, you should be able to do the necessary investigation beyond the horizon of your real estate agent knowledge, to ensure that you escape from the prevailing incidents of property demolition and land revoking in the various states across the federation.
- Know Your Real Estate Developer: It is one thing to acquire a landed property, and it’s another to develop it. Some real estate investors spend a whopping amount of money on the purchase of lands and also the development or erection of buildings. Do you know that many of the collapsed buildings in States across the country were not built by certified developers? Do you also know that a lot of them deliberately use substandard materials just to save extra money from what they charge? Ok, now, you are informed and must always remember that every structure has a recommendation of the quality of material that is to be used in erecting the. Failure to meet the requirements comes with demolition.
- Consider the Investment Purpose: A lot of buildings currently revoked in the Federal Capital Territory were converted for other uses rather than for residential purposes they were built. It could be easy to reconstruct or turn a residential building into a warehouse or mall in many parts of Nigeria. This system only lasts for a while but gets quashed as soon as the government steps up its actions.
- Avoid Cutting corners: A lot of people have fallen victim to Justice due to their quest to satiate the kleptomaniac fingers of those working under the Ministry of Land, Town/ Urban Planning in the states across the federation. Imagine spending hundreds of thousands or millions of Naira to obtain land ownership documents only to be later informed that the said land has been revoked or that your building has been marked for demolition. You know what that would lead to I guess.
- Others include Target profit or gain, Proximity to certain industrial-based areas such as markets, schools, banks, churches, etc., Also is proximity to natural threats such as riverine areas, flood-prone axes, etc.
Thus, a real estate investor must be ready to go through the rigors of getting the necessary information about the property, including the location, cost, land Laws and Acts, and the type of agents, developers, as well as government officials that they engage with. Someone who is in an official position today may give you a gate pass while another who may take over will summon you over any of the issues raised earlier in our revelation.
Real Estate Investment remains one of the best forms of investment in the world, although, investors must be awake like fish.