Real estate in Nigeria, in great risk - Report

Real estate industry in Nigeria, especially companies that are into office rentals are plagued CEO Report says.
Emeh Joy

About 84% of Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria have agreed that the real estate industry in Nigeria has been plagued due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially companies specialised in office rentals, CEO Report says.

CEO Report is a Philips Consulting initiative for 100 Nigerian business leaders.

The CEO Report had gone further to state that 83 per cent and 55 per cent CEOs had opted for a "Work from Home Strategy" and "Standby Model Strategy" respectively.

Thus, the need for large office spaces is now being questioned.

"Only 46 per cent CEOs are considered retaining their current offices, while others will seek smaller and cheaper offices, shared offices or adopt an entirely virtual working model", the report added.

It pointed out that commercial cities such as Lagos which has more significant numbers of high-rise office complexes should be ready for this shift in demand.

It said they might have no option but to start offering new services to suit the new mode of work or repurpose their office buildings.

Businesses will have to restructure their buildings, share office space or start providing new services to suit new work mode

Philips Consulting CEO, Rob Taiwo who spoke regarding industries that benefit from the crisis said that the IT sector, not only in Nigeria but worldwide experienced a surge in the wake of the pandemic as a result of the move to remote working.

Taiwo noted that the survey showed that 86% of CEOS in Nigeria reported that the pandemic caused them to improve the IT infrastructure of their organisations.

As regards preparedness for the pandemic, the report said only about 6% of CEOs said their organisations were prepared for the pandemic.

On how to forge ahead, the CEOs report showed that 57 per cent of CEOs expect that the earliest possible time for the business environment in Nigeria to get back to normal would be in August 2021.

"Results from our surveys showed that the Nigerian government and business leaders should pay close attention to the post-COVID-19 policies and strategies of the United Kingdom, China and the United States of America as these will have the most profound impact on the Nigerian business environment", Taiwo said.

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