Business

Investor seeks interest rates slash, revival of Ajaokuta steel firm

An investor, Donald Anih, has called for the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company and reduction of interest rates in the country to single digit.

Anih made the call in Lagos at the unveiling of Edmark 20-storey residential-commercial building.

He said: “What happened to Ajaokuta Steel Company and so many cement companies in Nigeria that have gone down? Can the government revive them and if the government cannot revive them, the government should consider zero tariffs to bring in some of the housing materials that are coming from outside the country at exorbitant prices.

“Any country that wants to make houses available and affordable must get involved and consider its policy. We know that the government alone cannot provide all the houses needed by the population; likewise, individuals alone may not go far if the government policies are so stringent. The cost of land is not just the purchase price but the money paid for the perfection of documents to the government; the money paid for construction and others are discouraging policies that do not allow the real sector to flow freely.

“We will suggest that the government lower the taxes. Taxes on construction should come to one digit to enable the country to provide housing for its population. There are several areas we can improve on the housing sector in Nigeria. The devaluation of the Naira is not helping matters and a lot of instability in the polity is also not helping people to keep divestment in Nigeria.

“We currently have what looks like an investment flight, just like we have others flying out of Nigeria, but we are hopeful that the government will realise some of these and make the mortgage bank to work effectively for the purpose it was created, and reduce interest rate to single-digit.

“Economic usage of land, reduction in interest rate and liberalising is very crucial to the sector growth,” he stated.

Speaking on what the firm is doing to lift the industry, Chief Operations Officer, Edmark in Nigeria, Bien Wapanio, said: “Edmark city is a smart city; we are building a city where residents can shop, work and play. This is a self-sustaining city because everything needed is there, 24 hours electricity and strong security.

“Transition to smarter cities is already happening in many places around the world. According to a study, the global smart cities market will grow at a compound yearly growth rate of 18.9 per cent from 2019 to 2025 to reach $237.6 billion. This projected growth demonstrates how seriously cities are taking the transition to become smart cities. Over the coming years, we’ll see many new smart cities and innovations emerge. And we at Edmark Group of Companies, aim to be part of this change towards a dream living future for all.”

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