To improve the quality of Nigerian lives, the Federal Government needs a deliberate plan to diversify the economy, shifting its long-standing dependence on oil to real estate as experienced in Dubai, this was suggested by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gtext Global, Stephen Akintayo.
Akintayo said this at the Global Property Brokers Conference, as reported by The Guardian.
He stated that for insecurity in the country to be tackled, the Federal Government would need to create jobs, pointing to the recruitment of Nigerians by Boko Haram insurgents due to the dearth of job opportunities and medical centres in the country.
He said, “insecurity is one of the major challenges in Nigeria. We cannot just tackle insecurity with bullets and by bombarding people. I was in Maiduguri in 2019 and I visited one of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. There were 35,000 people in a place meant to take 3,500 persons.
“They didn’t have jobs, no enough medicine at the health centre. So, tell me, why will they decline if Boko Haram promises any of them more money or tell them they will have access to 1000 virgins?
“If we don’t want insecurity to continue, we have to find a way to create jobs. Last year, Gtext created a platform to employ 100,000 people in the real estate sector and we are committing 15 per cent of our income to that. We launched the GCP programme and this is a follow-up to that.”
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Shift From Oil To Real Estate
Akintayo said that the Federal Government could emulate the government of the city of Dubai by pivoting from oil and developing Nigeria’s real estate sector.
He said, “To shift the country’s focus from oil is solely in the hands of the government. The Dubai government made an intentional decision to develop its real estate industry.
“The country was deliberate to diversify its economy from oil by going into real estate and tourism among others. To do this, they started building the right infrastructures to enable other industries to thrive.
“The Nigerian government can also decide to diversify the economy through the real estate sector. So all we just need is a little government support to make things easier. Look at what is happening in Ogun and Oyo States, investment is moving to those places because it is easy to get your Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). So, those are little things government can do to create the much-needed jobs for the economy. Real estate is the biggest employer of labour.”
On the role of Gtext Homes, a subsidiary of Gtext Global, Akintayo said, “we are building one thousand housing units and we have started already, a lot of contractors are already mobilized, and we are getting more on board, and by the end of the year, we would be having more than 20 branches in the country.”