The Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) has been recognised and endorsed by relevant industry stakeholders as the biggest platform for tackling housing deficit in Nigeria. The show has through its programs and quality attendance been able to generate some of the best ideas for scaling housing demand and supply in Nigeria.
Housing policies are often introduced by government whose tenures are largely limited, but the Abuja Housing Show is the only regular and permanent housing platform in Nigeria and Africa where old and new ideas on housing and construction are developed, adapted and presented to relevant authorities for implementation.
Through its advocacy and reportage, the show and its organisers have been able to keep housing stakeholders on their toes. The show’s organisers own the first and most vibrant Housing Development Programs on TV and Radio in the country. Through these platforms, they are also able to continuously advance housing issues, track the implementation of policies and demand accountability and efficiency from product suppliers, whether in the public or private sector.
As a result of the high cost and limited production of affordable housing in Nigeria, an important number of its population lives in rented property which condition varies from shacks to formal housing with highly speculated rent. Neither the government nor the private sector provides sufficient housing units especially for the masses that need and demand it. Formal housing production is at approximately 100 000 units per year and this is highly inadequate because at least 1 000 000 units are needed yearly to bridge the 17 to 20 million housing deficit by government’s target date of 2033.
It is in recognition of these seemingly daunting challenges that the Abuja International Housing Show is convened. It is a significant platform for real estate companies, mortgage finance managers, housing experts from all over the world and government officials to come together in a marriage of ideas to suggest tested and trusted modalities of solving these age-long challenges.
According to the convener, Bar Festus Adebayo, the show features a CEOs Forum, Panel Discussions, Breakout sessions, and individual keynote speakers with the purpose of identifying and analysing the methods of housing finance adopted by the country’s institutions, low income and informal groups in order to recognise the loopholes and suggest better plans.
AIHS: A Story of Success
Over the years, the show has been able to provide opportunities for home seekers to access affordable mortgage plans and even Rent-to-Own Schemes. Every year, over 5000 home seekers benefit from the cheap housing plans that are retailed by estate developers and even government housing projects at the show. These offers are usually limited to the show and home seekers know that there is no other way they could have gotten access to such flexible and relaxed payment plans.
Influencing Policies and Projects
At the end of every show, after thorough deliberations by Real Estate Managers, Industry CEOs, Mortgage Finance Executives and Government Officials, there is a communique drawn up, encapsulating the challenges and the solutions or action plans.
These communiques are usually adopted by the government – federal and state – and private organisations in the planning and execution of housing policies/projects which have so far aided them in the efficient provision of more houses.
Even after the shows, stakeholders continue to make reference to the communique in order to achieve maximum results.
Largest Gathering of Stakeholders
The show plays host to over 200 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from varied firms and institutions in the housing, construction and business industries across Africa and the world. It is the biggest convergence of such important figures sharing ideas, experience and expertise on how to lead a more effective and financially inclusive industry.
These top stakeholders in the real estate, mortgage housing finance, construction companies and professional institutions focus on macro-economic and socio-political environment and impact of real estate market.
According to the show’s convener, Bar. Festus Adebayo: “The forum which is a gathering of high profile professionals who are founders and business owners enables the opportunity to present and discuss challenges facing their respective organisations and the way forward. It is a collaborative and supportive environment for leaders in Nigerian real estate industry support services and mortgage banks. Participating in the forum also increase high level business contact.’’
The show always present the best opportunity for professional networking and business exchanges.
Awarding Excellence and Performance
The show has also developed a sustained value of awarding excellence and performance in the industry. The Show has been able to identify high-flyers, both in public and private sectors, delivering good results and living up to expectations, in spite of the obvious challenges in the industry.
The awards are usually meant to serve as a motivation for more performance. Most previous awardees went on to become elevated in their capacities because of how noteworthy their performances were – a validation for the show’s awards.
As mentioned earlier, the Show and its organisers own the first and biggest housing development TV, Radio and Web programs in Nigeria. These specialised programs boast of very large viewership, being the number one stop for the latest developments in the housing and construction industry.
This cements their place as a major stakeholder in the industry. There is a recognisable level of commitment, passion and excellence in the administration of housing information and opportunity.
Most industry leaders, whether in the public or private sector are always keen on speaking with these Housing Development Programs because of the confidence they have in them and the realisation that their comments and opinion will travel far across.
Speaking in broad terms, the Abuja International Housing Show is the most established platform whose commitment to driving up housing supply and affordability in Nigeria is unmatched. The impact that has been made by the show on the housing and construction industry can never be over emphasised. And this is why it has continued to convene the show every year, with participants from different parts of the world seeking ideas and opportunities for the kind of change they always trust AIHS to bring.
By Ojonugbwa Felix Ugboja