Real estate in danger – Report

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One of the damaged houses by the hoodlums

About 84 per cent of Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria agreed that real estate industry is plagued due to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially companies in the business of office rentals.

This is according to the CEO Report, a Philips Consulting initiative for 100 Nigerian business leaders.

The CEO Report further stated that 83 per cent and 55 per cent of CEOs had adopted a ‘Work from Home Strategy’ and ‘Standby Model Strategy’ respectively, and were beginning to question the need for large office spaces.

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

It noted that in commercial cities like Lagos where massive high-rise office complexes are commonplace, real estate players must be ready for a shift in demand.

They might be forced to repurpose their buildings or provide new services to suit the new mode of work, the report recommended.

Speaking on which industries benefit from the crisis, Philips Consulting’s CEO, Rob Taiwo, noted that globally, the IT sector experienced a surge in the wake of the pandemic as a result of the shift to remote working.

He said Nigeria was no exception as the survey showed that 86 per cent of CEOs reported that the pandemic led to them improving the IT infrastructure of their organisations.

On the level of preparedness for the pandemic, the report said only six per cent of CEOs reported that their organisations were prepared for the pandemic.

Hence, it was no surprise that 55 per cent of Nigerian businesses were operating below 50 per cent of their operating capacity.

On forging ahead into the next normal, the CEOs report revealed that 57 per cent of CEOs expected that the earliest possible time for the business environment in Nigeria to normalise would be August 2021.

“Results from our survey 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.

He noted that there was no going back to normal as the conversation now is how to prepare for the future that is full of unknowns. (Punch)

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