The Nigerian Ambassador to Uganda, Dr. Nya Asuquo, has said that banks in the country are not interested in developing the real estate sector.
He said no country could develop if the banks failed to fund property development, agriculture and Small and Medium-scale Enterprises.
The ambassador said this in Calabar, Cross River State on Friday during the unveiling of the phase one of 150 mortgaged housing units at the Aka Luxury Estate in the Bakoko axis of the metropolis.
Asuquo, who urged commercial banks to change their policy by assisting private investors who were interested in the real estate sector, lamented that exploiting the borrowers through high interest rates on loans was not the best for the country.
He said, “We conceived this vision of the estate in 2005. We would have finished it long before now, but it was hard to get money from the banks to inject into the project. Banks in Nigeria are only interested in granting loans to ventures that bring triple interests like sale of foreign currencies. They are not interested in giving out money to property developers.
“There is no country that develops without the banks consciously giving out money to developers, traders and farmers for development.
“So, I think the banks should turn a new leaf in Nigeria. The big time banks ought to help the real estate sector. Unfortunately, they prefer to exploit the people and declare dividends rather than putting in money for development as done in other climes.”
In his keynote address, the Consultant and Project Manager, Aka Luxury Estate, Mr. Bunmi Johnson, said the project was prompted by the influx of people into Calabar.
Johnson, who spoke on behalf of the project proponents, Kalmber, McDavison and Federal Housing Authority, said that a team was already in France to sign the funding agreement for the project.
“I will like to apologise on behalf of the Federal Housing Authority team, who are not here. We were informed this morning of their sudden trip to France for the signing of the funding agreement for this project,” he stated.
The special guest of honour at the event, an estate surveyor and valuer, Chief Gershom Henshaw, said the idea of mortgaging the units of flats to interested Nigerians was a welcome development.
He urged the state government to open up access roads to the area, where the estate is located, as a way of encouraging private investors.