With the fast growth of Nigeria’s population and the current economic downturn, the UPDC has renewed its call for the release of over N13 trillion in pension funds to improve home accessibility and ownership among Nigerians.
The group also advocated for advocacy that will make the industry more appealing to property investors, such as an improvement in the review of the land tenure system, Land Use Act.
According to National Pension Commission data, pension assets in Nigeria increased by N190 billion in January 2022, reaching N13.61 trillion.
Pension funds have invested N8.35 trillion in Federal Government securities, while mutual funds have invested N2.28 trillion and N123. 4 billion.
Speaking to reporters in Lagos, Mr. Odunayo Ojo, Chief Executive Officer of UPDC, said there was a need to pass regulations that strengthened advocacy for Nigerians to be able to use their pension contributions as equity for housing.
“The pension assets are over N13 trillion of fund and can only be invested through instruments such as treasury bills and government bonds,” he said. As one of the viable investments, they can now invest in real estate development trusts.”
What a pension account holder must do is meet with a developer and express interest.”
Ojo, who stated that the firm is a member of the Real Estate Developers Association (REDAN), the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), and the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), as well as other organizations advocating for industry policy reform, stated that approximately 20 million houses are required to house Nigerians.
Ojo stated that the 2015 economic recession had an impact on the firm, but that it has recovered and reduced its debt from N21 billion to N6 billion.
According to him, UPDC now has a portfolio of over N22 billion in assets, a 471-room hotel, 30 estates under management, over 1,000 residential units built, and one large retail mall.
He stated that the firm was capitalizing on its 25-year reputation for delivering standard projects, coordinating efficient development/asset management value chains, providing facility management services, and restructuring its hotel project.
He also stated that UPDC is refocusing on the provision of middle-income housing across the country, as research shows that there is a high demand in the working-class segment.
“Recently, UPDC’s stake in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) was unbundled and distributed to its shareholders.” As the RElT’s sponsor, UPDC owns 5% of the residual. The company is strengthening its capital structure by raising N16 billion through a rights issue, and it is now operating as a subsidiary of Custodian Investment Plc and an associate company of UAC. The UPDC was able to refinance its debt obligations at a significantly lower cost (16% to 9%). “We have signed two development management mandates for 54 unit estate development advisory with Ocean City Lagos, Sterling Assets Management, and Trustees Limited,” he said.