The Nigerian construction market has been described as brutal by the Chief Executive Officer of Elalan Construction Company, Mr. Andrea Geday.
Geday made the remark recently when the company hosted prospective buyers of its newly built Sapphire penthouses in the Lekki axis of Lagos State.
According to him, the construction sector has been rough because of the recession in the country in the last two to three years which have made things rather slow.
“It’s been brutal and we have survived by a miracle. The only reason we have survived is because we have managed the recession well; by reducing our prices and our margins. We’ve frozen salary increments and reduced salaries of high earning staff. So surviving the sector was really a collaborative effort from all the staff.” Geday said.
Speaking further Geday averred that the disruption was unprecedented as Nigeria has hardly been ever hit by recession, attributing it partly to the change in government and the erratic fluctuations in the price of crude oil.
Assuring that the industry had gone through the worst and it could only get better, Geday pointed out that two areas in which the government could ameliorate the sector was by mortgages and technical education.
“There is no country that has ever developed without mortgages. The government needs to provide affordable mortgages for the people. The current mortgages at 19% can double any loan in three years. The government needs to provide cheap mortgages that span between 25 to 50 years.” He said.
In the area of technical education , the building guru disclosed that there was a shortfall in skilled manpower in the industry, a situation which has prompted them to set up their own vocational school.
“We intend to fill this gap by employing experts; but by also training our own workers in house and setting up a school where the needed skills can be acquired or honed.”
He commended the government for having carried out various initiatives to improve the country’s economy, especially in the area of agriculture.
“The government has carried out a lot of initiatives in the agric sector which has paid off handsomely, and that is why more big companies and trading individuals have gone into the commodity export business. Today you have people exporting sesame, cashew, rice, peanuts, cocoa, etc to countries like cameroon, chad, etc”
The shortage of Forex has also compelled these companies to earn their own forex, making them the equivalent of the commodity boards and it is working. This is one initiative that i think has paid off.” Geday said.
Elalan Construction’s building project in Lekki is one conceived to bring a new dimension to housing and with its Sapphire penthouses due to be ready for occupation by January next year, owners are sure to enjoy some of the best modern facilities, some of which Mr Geday enumerated to include; spacious living spaces with great outdoor areas, swimming pool, tennis courts, parks, a shopping mall expected to rival The Palms and Ikeja Shopping Mall, the great views of the city and the ocean as well as basement car parks, complete with first class security.
With the quality of the project and the professionalism of its promoters, Geday assures that buyers will surely get their money’s worth and even more.