A Review of the Property Data Challenge in Nigeria
Data on Nigeria’s property sector tends to be inadequate and inaccessible. While the government produces statistics for its own activities, such as GDP and inflation rates, other sectors function with insufficient information. This is particularly true for Nigeria’s property sector and its data which have been given a lesser status despite an increasing economic importance for investment opportunity, GDP contribution and attraction of foreign investment funds. The gap in data creates a challenging situation for property valuers, but also, an opportunity for property researchers. This paper, which reviews existing literature on the subject, is a contribution to the debate as well as an effort towards a solution. The literature stipulates that poor accessibility to property data leads valuers to enact coping mechanisms rather than best practice and that property data is synonymous with market transactions which makes it invaluable to valuers. Also, there is a convergence of views in the reviewed literature that a central data bank offers opportunities for a solution. Conversely, it is here argued that focusing on market transactions is a narrow understanding of data as property data extends beyond such transactions. This school of thought believes that the users and uses of property transaction data extend beyond valuers and valuations and that the central data bank recommendation requires examination as to its feasibility. Accordingly, this paper broadens the definition of property data by recognising the existence of non-market data, by identifying its other users and uses as well as its role in socio-economic policies. The considerable doubts associated with the central data bank recommendation leads the study to make recommendations which are novel, but nevertheless, hold holistic methods for addressing Nigeria’s property data challenge.