Light, Water, Housing!
These three things, power, clean water and good quality housing, are essential for the well being of man and for the progress of any nation. Unfortunately these three seem to be lacking in this country!
What I have noticed is that a lot of developers who build good quality properties, are ensuring that there is water provided to the homes by digging boreholes and putting in a water treatment system as well as ensuring that there is provision for electricity, whether directly or indirectly. Directly by installing one or two large generators to power all the properties, or indirectly by providing connections for generators to individual homes.
I recently met a developer who did not want to be bothered by service charges and the hassle of collecting diesel payment, so he instead provided points for each flat (12 in total) to connect their generators to and service their generators themselves. The problem with this hands off approach though, is that 12 generators or more being put on at the same time, will give rise to complaints from the neighbours, especially if not sound proofed. Also fuelling 12 generators in a compound is a health and safety hazard. The developer/landlord has effectively handed over the responsibility of light provision to the occupiers.
There is an estate along the Lekki Express ay, that has fallen into disrepair and ruin, through lack of maintenance and neglect. This estate is inhabited by people who were relocated from their original places of abode beside Victoria Island, about 25 years ago. Although the estate is in ruins, it still houses many families who struggle daily to maintain a roof over their heads. One of the most popular markets in Lagos resides in this estate, so traffic there is high. The roads during the rainy season are impassable, gutters and drainage have broken down and flow freely into the streets
I understand plans may be underway to relocate these people again, much further from where they are now and this estate demolished as it sits on prime land. This seems to be a case of carrying the same old baggage and lack of maintenance and dumping it elsewhere, until that too deteriorates and is moved elsewhere.
I received a call from a lady today, who said she was acting on behalf of her clients who were abroad, and wanted to see a property we had on our books. She wanted me to guarantee that it was what she as looking for and that it would be suitable for her clients! I explained to her that I could send her photographs so she could decide if she wanted to take the next step of visiting, as I could not guarantee her clients taste. After receiving the photographs, she rang me back to ask if I could give her the street name as she felt she had seen it before, but wanted to confirm. I told her I could arrange for someone to meet her there, but she insisted she wanted to see it herself. Methinks she is a speculator and wants to see what is out there. I have unfortunately been through this too often.
A developer I know rang me to say his new development of 16 units which he was preparing to let out had been broken into and all the air conditioners and light fittings stolen! How could this have taken place on a busy road full of gatemen and people? The police were called, but nothing gained from this. It seems the operation had taken place over the course of the night and no one saw anything! More than 40 air conditioner units were stolen.
I got an invitation to visit the garden city (Port Harcourt) to look at some new developments! I am not sure I want to travel that far although I am aware that there are interesting property opportunities outside of Lagos State. I will ponder on this a while!
Until next week!