Let me say it clearly, Nigeria can easily grow our economy and reduce unemployment within 12 months. If you pay attention to the recent drivers of our GDP growth, you will notice that digital technology (and startups) sector is critical.
If all the houses in Nigerian villages are moved from their dormant states to dynamic assets, you will create more than five million jobs in three years. In the books, those houses in villages are dormant assets with no (significant) monetary value. They are not tradable and investable which means someone cannot easily create value on them, by buying and reselling them. Dormant assets kill growth.
As a nation, we can change that through public private partnership.
Yes, government does not need to be directly involved but government must recognize new species of startups – PropertyTech – to transform those dormant assets into investable assets. Add farmland to the real estate, you will see Nigeria hitting great numbers.
How can that man whose father left 100 hectares of rural farmlands tap into that asset to expand his business in the city? Today, the land worth nothing and the man is looking for $10,000 to put in his business when he has control of 100 hectares of land somewhere. No luck on bank loan because the dormant asset has no value before banks and insurers.
Unlocking those assets by using digital companies will improve the wealth of Nigeria. To execute that, I will vote for-profit digital companies, giving them vouchers to work with the property owners who will pay them to capture the values towards formalizing the assets and unlocking better futures across villages.
If you model at the impacts, you can have 5 million jobs created in three years. There are so many things we can fix in Nigeria to be at parity with developed world. And most of those things cannot be leapfrogged upon. Yes, not using property rights to unlock expansion of the economy is a failure in our political and economic leadership.
We need to overlay technology in the real estate sector to have PropertyTech just as we have technology on financial services to have Fintech.