How some government policies strangulate businesses – Akinlade

Dr Edward Akinlade is a fellow of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) who is into real estate and other businesses. In this interview with OGUNTADE ISMAILA, he reels out his exploits, but said government policies on businesses are cumbersome.

What was the reason for Haldane McCall ‘s recent celebration?

The reason was that God Almighty did so much for us as our business has been good in the last 18 years. Since 2006, it’s been tough; our toughest challenge has been the battle with Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) but we thank God who gave us victory on February 16, 2024. That was the reason we needed to celebrate. I believe that God is there for us and would do more. We have done 16 years; we would do 50 and many more years ahead.

What edition did you celebrated?

That made 5th to 7th of the celebration, but we have been doing it before now only that the title is now been affirmed. I believe this is the only way I can thank God. Going forward, it will now be celebrated every year.

 How do you intend to sustain this initiative?

The initiative is privately funded by me though it involves a lot of money. The uniqueness of it is that we have international musicians like Yinka Ayefele, Tope Alabi, Senwele Jusu and others in a day and in one place. Though, it is very expensive, but as long as God Almighty blesses me I will continue to sustain it.

How do you intend to be the most preferred real estate in Nigeria and beyond?

I think the answer is in what we have done which defines who we are and also paving way for future. In Ikorodu, Ibeshe, we have built a lot of estates where we sold apartment for about eight million naira, but now, it is at the rates of 25,000,000. I also remember that we built about 57 houses in GRA Ikeja. We built several apartments on Abeokuta Street, Ebute Meta area. We have just completed about 34 units at Ketu in Lagos and sold them all while another 16 in Owode has been completed and now we are planning to do more 100 apartments still in Owode at the moment. Our business is built on integrity but we realised people don’t have all these money. For example, in Ketu, we sold them for N50m, but how many people can afford N50m in Nigeria? That’s why we are asking for N20m down payment while we give years to pay the balance.

What has been your greatest challenge in real estate business?

My greatest challenges is finding the right people because we lack integrity due to poverty in the country. Corruption is in our DNA; until we deal with that attitude, we are going no anywhere. The next is  government regulations, taxation and many more, They forget that we pay stamp duty, VAT, management charges on the same account that is meant to fund the National Security Adviser’s Office whereas the money is already in the budget. So, government has not been helpful; their role is actually to give the enabling environment, unfortunately, we have not seen it. To borrow money from the  bank had always been a problem because of government policy. If you don’t agree to pay 30 per cent interest, you may be denied the loan.  

Based on all these, what are your expectations?

 The system needs to be completely overhauled.  The constitution needs to be amended again so that every Nigerian would have access to what belongs to them. I think the president needs to get professionals on board who can move this country forward. As a matter of fact, each state should bring their best on the table and that is the reason we are asking for Parliamentary System of Government so that each minister will be addressing the parliament every week as they operate in advanced countries; it would expose lazy ones. There must be a reform and restructures in judiciary system where the Supreme Court would be situated in the six geopolitical zone instead of  Abuja alone. The case we recently won took us about seven years from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court while some cases may not get to Supreme Court in 50 years. More so, government should adopt a system that will encourage all Nigerians to be paying tax and where taxpayers get palliatives in bank credit.