Managing Director of Knightstone Properties Limited, Adeniyi Adams, has called on government at all levels to make houses affordable for all in Nigeria.
Formerly Adaksa Nigeria Limited, Knightstone, since inception in 2005, has been able to move from a commercial and property developer to a real estate and construction company. “We have never ceased to come up with innovative initiatives in the construction and real estate industry, meeting every client’s need. The vision of the company is to become the leading construction firm in Nigeria with an uncompromising commitment to excellence and innovation.”
Speaking at the official handing over of 20 houses out of the 150 housing units at Rose Garden, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, Adams said if all hands are on deck, the housing deficit problem would be a thing of the past. He said that with the 17 million housing deficit, Lagos data has been able to show there is need to build at least 200,000 houses yearly.
At the event, Adams said 15 months ago, Knightstone had an arrangement with Adax Petroleum Multi-purpose Cooperative Society to build 56 housing units for them. “Actually, they bought into one of our flagship estates, Rose Gardens, where they bought 56 units of houses out of the 150. Today we are delivering 20 houses to them. This is a flexible paying arrangement, so its light on our customers,” he said.
He called for more focus in the informal sector due to its huge population. “We must also look at those in the Diaspora. They need houses too. Many of our people would want to come home and many of them have been swindled in the past. They want people whom they could trust with their money. These are the areas we also target. People must live somewhere. We can’t continue to pretend nothing is happening. Something is happening and people are living in slums and this must be corrected. The government must help. There are many things the government needs to do. First, there are so many premiums on land because if I’m buying a land for about N7 million, it’s going to affect the affordability of the houses that I’m going to deliver. So, if there is fewer premiums on land, that will help.
“Secondly, the registration of land; if you buy a piece of land now, it would be difficult to register it. Look at what Lagos government is doing. Multiple taxation. We keep saying we want affordable housing. Government is only paying lips service to the campaign. They have a lot to do, even in terms of infrastructure. We do the infrastructure ourselves, so why charge us? They would say that before you get your estate, there’s a road, but the bottom line is that, that is a social service and that is why we pay tax.”