With the Nigerian entrepreneurs innovating to solve the local problems, real estate cannot be left behind. This makes it an interesting setting for proptech in Nigeria.
Nigeria — a country in West Africa, one that is rich in wildlife reserves and natural landmarks, is an upcoming destination for real estate investment. The developing nation of Nigeria, with a population of 186 million individuals is increasingly relying on real estate development to contribute to its GDP. In 2018 the GDP of Nigeria was $397,270 million. According to a report by a report by Ubosi Eleh and Company, development of real estate for sale or lease has slowed down tremendously. The earlier demand for high-end homes has added because of changes in government’s tax policies. There is also the fear of security agencies’ harassment, among other issues.
Many Nigerian companies are now coming up with unique technology enabled solutions to solve the local problems of here, like other developing nations.
It is also interesting to note here that while construction of high rise buildings, hotels, and shopping malls can be seen all over Lagos, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria, it is still struggling with a big housing deficit.
How bad is it the housing deficit here?
As per the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the total value of capital importation into Nigeria stood at $ 5,513.55 million in the second quarter of 2018. This was a decrease of 12.53% compared to Q1 2018, but a 207.62% increase compared to the second quarter of 2017. A 2018 report by the same buruea also states that formal housing production is at approximately 100 000 units per year and this is highly inadequate because at least 1 000 000 units are needed yearly to bridge the 17 to 20 million housing deficit by government’s target date of 2033.
Despite being in recession and downturn, Nigeria’s real estate sector has only been growing, and it touted to become the major contributor to its GDP. The second quarter of 2018 suggests that the housing sector is consistently recovering from the effect of the recent recession. This means that the scope for proptech in Nigeria has just become better. Yet But to see how proptech can develop here, we should also dive into technology is being innovated and adopted in Nigeria.
Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in Nigeria
There is a reason why the three distinct yet intermingling sectors of innovation, technology, and innovation have been put together in this section. And that is because a combination of these sectors is what is needed, and being used, to solve the unique problems of Nigeria. Even with good human as well as natural resources, Nigeria has continued to remain poor and is now working to create a sustainable, wealthy future. The government is also involving themselves in these fields by creating short and long term ICT (Information, Communications, and Technology) plans to change the way Nigeria is.
The fast growing population of Nigeria is going to put the youth as in charge and drivers of growth and future of Nigeria. Using the keys of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, the youth can make for a bright future, one that is sustainable. Combine this drive with a growth in real estate and you have a winning formula for sustainability, especially for proptech in Nigeria.
The economic capital of Nigeria, Lagos, is long been touted to be the silicon valley of Africa. This has given birth to some international and local star startups like Hotels.ng, Andela, Supermart and IrokoTV. All of these are companies are solving unique Nigerian problems, in a global fashion using technology. This gives a good bird’s eye view of the entrepreneurship sector here. Though entrepreneurs are looking at technological innovations, it is not at par with global standards. Small things like availability of steady internet and electricity deter the growth of innovation her. Hence, the widespread adoption of technology is also restricted.
If we talk about proptech in Nigeria, we need to take a moment to see the technologies that are currently being used here, and how they affect real estate. With the increase in mobile phone usage amongst the population, a lot of technologies to utilize the same are coming. There is still a lack of tech adoption, and tools like 3D printing, VR enabled tours and Big Data are only just entering the market. There is still time for robotics, AI and virtual real estate agents to sweep in and change the game.
The largest tech adoption has been in the sector of listings and rents payment in Nigeria. There are a number of interesting listings platform here that are making discovery and buying/selling of property easy. Another unique solution is in the rent payment sector as rent in Nigeria is paid annually.
Some of these startups are:
Safi.ng is a startup that provides a highly personalized, convenient, on-demand dry-cleaning and laundry service. We have integrated quality and reliable service into every aspect of our operations, which makes them cleaner, quicker, and your garments fresher.
This startup is the leading real estate property centre platform in Nigeria. They are a web-based platform for property rentals and sales and provide users with the best property search experience both online and offline by connecting them with legitimate and verified real estate agents. They have over 60,000 property listings which include properties like homes, houses, lands, shops, office spaces and other commercial properties, small, medium and large-scale real estate companies in Nigeria who desire to scale up the sales and rentals of their properties can access or partner with this startup.
Started in 2017, Mama Casa is all about affordable homes with creative designs. They want to give people a chance people to live open life on the concept of one home through nation. They aim to create a relationship between rentals and owners along with one local identity for renters across and reduce the risk security for living in strange place and feels like home by getting the same as expected.
myPadi is an online off-campus hostel renting service for students & NYSC members in Nigeria. Everything is done in one seamless experience; browsing areas, finding directions & distance to school or PPA, and booking and paying for the space. All of this happens in minutes.
Jumia Group is aimed at connecting consumers and businesses across Africa and beyond. With their online platforms, they want consumers to access a wide range of products and services, from basic consumer goods to online travel. The group helps consumers “save time and save money”. Jumia Group aims to transform people’s lives through technology and is riding the digital shift of the entire African economy and supporting the growth of African companies while expanding their horizons. It also provides 3,000 jobs and many more through our sellers and logistics partners.
The way forward for proptech in Nigeria
Proptech in Nigeria is currently restricted to classifieds and listing websites that aim to make it easy for an average homebuyer or apartment hunter. Some innovative technologies are being used by larger corporates but their widespread use can’t be observed. As a developing nation with immense opportunity in real estate investments and proptech, Nigeria has the scope of becoming a hotbed for proptech, given a number of factors. The primary one being government involvement to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and better facilities and education. The entrepreneurship and technology ecosystem is taking off, especially in Lagos, and this can be good news for proptech in Nigeria. Speaking of the future, Nigeria has to work a lot to come up to current international standards. It seems like it’s going to be some time before Nigeria can be considered a flourishing proptech destination.