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Real Estate

How government can encourage SMEs in real estate sector

Patrick Agbaza is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Pazino Engineering and Construction Company, a startup with interest in real estate, engineering, construction and dredging, operating in Nigeria and parts of Africa.

Agbaza told Daily Sun that real estate operations now take new dimensions, in terms of business operations, which his company has been exploring, despite the attendant challenges.

He also spoke on patronage, competition and government’s intervention in promoting SME businesses in the country.

Real estate business in Nigeria

Real Estate, especially in Lagos, Nigeria has taken new different dimensions and a positive one at that. It has enhanced the investment angle, with the profitability aspect of the business. Hitherto, years before now, the industry was not that rewarding. All that has changed. The agency fees and commission system of real estate  product and service have increased and that area has opened up. Let us look at the commission earning system, you have first, second and third generation of earnings. In the past, there was no structure like that in the real estate industry. Secondly, there is so much awareness about the real estate business now, unlike in the past. A lot of people didn’t really know about the benefits of investing in real estate but now, people know that the safest area to invest your money is in real estate. That area has been opened up as well.

Initial capital

I have worked in some places for years, before starting my company. I planned and saved towards it. Basically, in real estate, the business grows as your networks increases.

Challenges

Traffic is the major challenge, amongst others. Lagos is a highly traffic congested area and it affects our business in many ways. One of the challenges we face in the Ibeju Lekki axis of Lagos State is traffic and one of the ways the government can tackle it is  to expand the roads and build  more over head bridges. Having alternative road networks is a good idea for solving the problem.

Business experience

I will say we are not there yet, but there is tremendous improvement as compared to the business in the past, like 20 or 30 years ago. Today, there are structural designs and a lot of investment opportunities have been opened up in real estate. The list is endless. There are now professionals handling  various aspects of real estate. In the past, people were not serious about real estate. It was just in the hands of the selected few. People didn’t think deeply about the sector but all that is changed, at least, within the last 15 years. Some of us are doing well in that sector. You will agree with me that when professionals come into an industry, they take it to the next level. Yes, once you have invested in a professional like Pazino  Estate, you don’t need to worry because we have everything planned. You go to sleep knowing that your investment is secured. Unless when you invest in a shady scheme of the “omonile” where you don’t get to see your investment after a while. For us at Pazino, we are trained professionals in the business and our core value is to deliver the required services in real estate.

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Patronage

Well, we have lands that can go for as low as N800,000 and you can spread the payments between six to 12 months or more as the case maybe. It will interest you to know that most people now know that investment in land is the best way to secure your future and many are going that way now. Our estate schemes accommodate but low income earners, middle class and the higher income earners. Everybody is covered.

Competition

Competition is in every business. For us in the real estate , a healthy competition keeps you on your toes. It also helps to make rooms for growth and expansion. We are an emerging sector. The business world is at its advanced stage and gradually, Nigerian businesses are catching up, through networking, seminars and workshops.

Business operations

Well, Pazino is well spread, aside from our presence in Ibeju Lekki. We have presence in Epe, Ikorodu and also looking at the Mowe axis of Lagos. The Pazino train will soon be moving to the eastern part of the country. We will soon be in Owerri, Imo state, from there to Port Harcourt, River State, and also to Abuja. We have offices in Warri, Benin, Port- Harcourt, Abuja. We have about four offices in Lagos State where the company is primarily domiciled. We have another office in South Africa, just to mention a few. We enjoin other well meaning Nigerians to join us as we put smiles on people’s faces.

Partnership with government

In the areas of population explosion, welI, I have a dual plan for the government. The traffic congestion from Lekki Phase One down to Ajah has been there for years. I will expect the government to look into it critically to alleviate the sufferings of the people by coming out with more alternative plans, because the government is the major regulator of the real estate. They need to come up with plans to expand the road networks and build more over head bridges in this axis. They should as well partner with private organisations and private individuals to carve out a more robust contempary city plan. This will allow people start busineses in their homes and by so doing, they will stay off the roads and that will make it less congested.

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Business goals for 2019

This year, we will be very pragmatic. We have been acquiring landed properties over the years but this year 2019, we are starting some of our building structurws. On or before December, some of our projects will be standing. I am proud to announce to you that we have started constructing works in our Hills Garden in Epe and it will soon be spread to other estate schemes. This year, we are going to expand structurally. You are going to be seeing our duplexes, terrace apartments and others in our estate  schemes. We are very much affordable. Some years back, we had an estate scheme for as low as N600,000. Currently, we are running a promo going for as low as N800,000 and you can pay from 6 to 12 months, as the case maybe. We have high net property and the low ones as well, everybody is covered in our property – the low, middle and high income earners – all have lands they can buy.

Promoting SMEs

There are so many ways the government can encourage SMEs. One is by providing a conducive environment for the business to thrive. Policies that will favour the businesses, through trainings, seminars and workshops is also very key. Funding is also very important.

Advice for investors

My advice for a investors is for them to invest through Pazino well structured estate schemes, as a gateway to real estate, especially in the Ibeju Lekki axis of Lagos State. Ibeju Lekki is where the Free Trade Zone project is ongoing. The Dangote refinery, the fertilizers plant, the deep seaport project, the cargo airport, just to mention a few. With the ongoing projects, what that portend for an investor, in one word, is a cashcow because of the developmental strides that are going on in this area. It simply means that when you invest in this area, your return on investment (RoI) will be higher and faster. In the last eight years, Ibeju Lekki has been tested and proven as number one, in terms of long and short term investments. When you invest in real estate through Pazino, your investment will count.

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Pazino has been tested and proven, over the years. Some of the people who invested through the Pazino platforms in the last three or four years are smiling now because of higher returns on their investments. Our clients are more like our partners in progress. We came into the business because there was a public yearning for things to be professionally done. We are to do real estate businesses as professionals]

Source: By Ayo Alonge

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