Experts projected that Dangote refinery would spur the growth of real estate along the Lekki-Epe area of Lagos State.

The Chief Executive Officer of UACN Property Development Company Plc, Odunayo Ojo, said this in a chat with our correspondent.

Ojo said, “It will have a net positive impact. That is a massive infrastructure. The first thing that is going to happen is that it is going to create an ecosystem of demand. Thousands of workers are going to be working there directly, and hundreds of thousands of workers are going to be working there indirectly. “Someone is going to provide food, uniforms, transportation, security, and cleaning services. Someone is going to provide housing for the people who are going to be working there.  There is going to be a multiplier effect. It is going to be a huge driver.

“That is why you have economies all over the world clamouring for companies to come and set up in their countries. I am surprised that many states in the country did not clamour for Dangote to set up in their states, and give him free land, and incentives because one way or the other, it will crystalise. If he is in a Free Zone and it does not pay taxes, the people working there will pay, and the person selling water will have to pay. That is the first thing, economies of scale.”

In the same vein, the Treasurer of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Philips Ayotunde, said the impact of the Dangote refinery would be great, adding that the construction of the refinery had opened up the entire Epe-Ajah axis.

He said, “We need more of such development that will be a catalyst to the real estate development in Nigeria.

“Everyone in that area is about to reach a level of prosperity because economic activities will be driven to that area. Land value in that area is going to appreciate.”

He added that structurally, the economic nodes in Lagos would be expanded from Victoria Island and Ikeja to now include the Epe-Ibeju area.

 “There is going to be a third node that is going to make sure the city is decentralized. The Epe-Ibeju node is about to really come alive. I believe the effect of the project is a net positive.”

According to Ojo, there are some unintended consequences of traffic management and even environmental ones, which he claimed could be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

“However, net impact, this country needs facilities like that, even more of things like that,” he continued.

 Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria, Toye Eniola, said the impact would be felt if only the operation reduced or eliminated the importation of refined oil, which will help to conserve foreign exchange used for importation and in turn stabilise the country’s forex market.

According to him, this would reduce pressure on the scarcity of dollars.

He added, “If this is achieved, it will drive down inflation and interest rates which will impact positively on the real estate sector. Naturally, this is what is expected to happen. However, in Nigeria, anything can happen and if the Nigeria factor sets in, we may continue to experience what is currently happening in the sector.”

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