Nigeria’s economic downturn created adverse conditions for international companies operating in the country, but property companies anticipate a slow recovery. The positive change can largely be attributed to oil production and the gradual availability of Forex.

Profica, a leading company in property and construction management solutions, has been able to weather the difficult conditions in Nigeria by adopting an astute approach to doing business. The company established a presence in Nigeria five years ago, and has a dedicated team on the ground to offer their main services namely project management, tenant coordination, development management and construction management services.

Chris Titmas, Profica’s Managing Director for West Africa, says about the decision to establish a presence in Nigeria: “We recognised exciting opportunities in the country, but were also well aware of the unique challenges. Many South African companies have already attempted to make their mark here and failed. We took a long-term view of operations and were committed to investing extensive time and effort to support this view.”

Malcolm Matanda, the company’s Country Manager in Nigeria, speculates that failure to successfully enter Nigeria’s market could arguably be due to a dismissive, ‘saviour’ mentality that premises the importance of advanced economy experience over local knowledge and practice.

“We knew that in order to succeed we would have to demonstrate cultural sensitivity, and the most effective way of getting this right would be to develop a truly Nigerian business comprised of local teams that understand the environment,” says Malcolm.

The company’s Nigerian office is taking advantage of the country’s slowly recovering economy. Following completion of two highly anticipated shopping complexes towards the end of 2016, key projects this include work on a 7-floor healthcare facility and a 15-storey office development which has just broken ground. The company will also be project managing a mixed-use development in Ilubirin on Lagos Island. The Ilubirin development is part of a major drive, initiated by Lagos State Government, to develop the area into a prime residential, leisure, recreation and tourism destination. Developments such as these are a good indication of new opportunities in the property and construction sector in Nigeria.

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