Afriland Properties tasks govt on cost of borrowing for mortgage properties

.As shareholders endorse N343.5m total dividend

Afriland Properties Plc has urged the Federal Government to intervene in the housing sector and ensure that people borrow for mortgage properties at a reduced rate over a long period of time to bridge nation’s huge housing deficit.

Chairman of the company, Emmanuel Nnorom, who said this while fielding questions from Journalists at the end of the firm’s 2023 yearly general meeting held in Lagos yesterday, stressed the need for government to create policies that would enable people to borrow for mortgage properties at an affordable rate over a period of 10 to 15 years.

Shareholders at the meeting endorsed a total dividend of N343.5 million, culminating to 25 kobo per share due to every investor of the firm for the 2023 financial year. This figure represented an increase of 150 per cent over 10 kobo dividend declared in 2022.

Nnorom said: “If you are having a good job, why wouldn’t you create a mortgage and invest in a property of your own. We heard government has improved consumer loan process in the country to ensure there are more available resources and we do hope this will come in a way to mitigate the high interest rate.

Reviewing its performance, the chairman said the company recorded a revenue of N4.72 billion, representing 150 per cent increase over N1.89 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2022 while Profit before tax increased by 34 per cent from N1.80 billion to N2.41 billion.

According to him, the company’s total assets also increased from N19.4 billion N34.1 billion representing 76 per cent growth. He said the company completed the development of its residential proprietary project situated in Oba Oyekan Avenue (The Residences by Afriland) in Ikoyi and Aromire Avenue (Iris Court) in Ikeja, Lagos.

Nnorom pointed out that the company also completed its commercial development offering retail spaces and offices, Afriland Complex in the Abule Egba area, in addition to several business offices belonging to the company and third party projects were completed, upgraded and handed over to its client within the year.

He added that the company is committed to harnessing state of the art technologies to elevate design, construction and administration of its project to enable it stay ahead of trends and remain competitive in the industry.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Uzoamaka Oshogwe, said the fundamentals of its business remained strong despite the nation’s macroeconomic challenges.

According to her, the firm is well positioned to leverage emerging trends and market dynamics by aligning the company’s five year strategic plan with the evolving needs of the stakeholders.

She assured shareholders that the company would continue to explore possibilities of partnering with any reputable organisation to optimise its property portfolio and improve rental yield on performing assets.

“We are committed to leveraging on viable opportunities to drive sustainable growth for the company despite the harsh operating environment as factors such as inflation, currency fluctuations and overall economic downturn may not abate in 2024.”

National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Bisi Bakare, commended the company for the increasing shareholders value through improved dividend payout.

She also urged the company to ensure that it consolidates on the 2023 performance to maintain its position as one of the largest property company in Nigeria.

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