Africans are naturally richer than Western economists and the media we like you to believe. Many African nations like Nigeria are ownership society. A society where 95 % of its citizens fully own their homes, cars, and other essential assets. In contrast to Western nations where 90 % of citizens do not fully own their homes and cars. An average American owes 30 years mortgage in their primary residence, and any missed payment can easily cause a family of four to be homeless. This is not the case in Africa where homes are owned free and clear and passed down from generation to generation.
Now, why is Africa still portrayed as poor? The answer is simple. Most Africans may fully own their homes, but are unable to value their true assets, due to lack of government standardization and issuance of Certificate of Ownership ( Titles). Thus most Africans are unable to borrow or liquidate their fixed assets to raise capital for investment or expand the business.
What Is a Liquid Asset? Real Estate.
A liquid asset is something you own that can quickly and simply be converted into cash while retaining its market value. Something like a home, or parcel of land. The sum of all your assets combined, liquid or otherwise, minus your liabilities (debts you owe), makes up your net worth. While African nations may be indebted to Western nations and China, Africans on the other hand have the least amount of debt in the world.
Governor Obaseki is one of the few African leaders that has taken an aggressive step in this direction. He established the Edo Geographic Information Service (EDOGIS) agency to provide an easier, cheaper, and convenient way of processing title documents for Real Estate property.
Obaseki Evbuomwan, who disclosed this during an interview with journalists in Benin City, the state capital, noted that the process has now been computerized and is now customer-focused.
According to him, “Our processes are computerized; we are very seamless now. When you come around, you will find that we have developed a system for customer service, which is because we are a customer-focused agency now.
“It is very much easier now, a lot cheaper and we have put in a lot of conveniences to ensure that even those who are outside the country can benefit from our services.”
Currently, securing a Certificate of Ownership in Edo state takes about 30 days. This surely will allow many Africans that have landed properties to establish legal ownership, and then convert these landed properties into liquid cash for investments.
By Osayande Aghaze. US-Expert on Global Policy matters, and Human Rights. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org