Babajide Odusolu, the Chief Executive Officer of real estate development firm, Octo5 Holdings Limited, has stated that Nigeria with an adult population in excess of 100 million, has a homeownership rate below 30 per cent, which is one of the poorest for large economies.
Odusolu made the statement during a virtual conference held in Lagos, Tuesday, October 6, 2020 to address issues and homebuyers’ concerns impeding real estate investments in Nigeria.
According to him, the number of Nigerians living in sub-standard homes was in excess of 50% in urban and peri-urban areas.
He added that despite an increase in private sector investments in the real estate industry, the country’s housing deficit kept getting worse.
“Even with several recent laudable initiatives such as the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company and Family Homes Funds by the Federal Government and initiatives such as LagosHOMS, the challenge remains unabated especially as there is a perennial mismatch between the desired homes and what are available for career professionals,” he said.
In response to this, Odusolu announced the launch of STOW, a web and app-enabled home purchase platform for off-plan and newly built homes provided by real estate developers.
He explained that the platform was designed as a demand aggregator and marketplace for buying and potentially trading homes.
According to the company, “Through STOW, prospective subscribers can evaluate projects, subscribe to chosen ones, track their payments, monitor project progress and if desired, exercise an option to convert their purchases to mortgage homes.”
Odusolu stated that STOW was to serve as a credible platform and bridge for marrying homebuyer needs with developers output and ultimately bridging the housing supply gap.
The CEO said, “What we have done is to remove a major barrier to entry that discourages Nigerians from aspiring to become homeowners.
“Until we unlock the latent wealth in the informal sector, Nigeria will not grow.”
Also speaking during the event, Madu Hamman, Managing Director /CEO Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, expressed his excitement to partner with Octo5 to show commitment to the development of the real estate industry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“We believe in providing equal opportunities for players in the sector so we welcome men and women to partner with us to foster the much needed development,” he said.
Odusolu added that STOW was the next step in the company’s quest to enable hardworking Nigerians attain the freedom of becoming homeowners and gaining economic empowerment.