11 Powerful Real Estate Marketing Ideas For Pros

Effective real estate marketing strategies that work

Have you been looking for ways to sell your property? The competition in the market for home buyers can be fierce, which is why you need to differentiate yourself to sell your house faster with creative ideas. These tips will also help you stay ahead of your competition.

Create catchy content to capture leads

When you have a property to sell, consider coming up with content that will deliver value to your intended audience as well as engage them. For instance, a free ebook can work wonders for you. You could create an e-book with the title, ’30 valuable things Nigerians should consider before buying a home.’ Another example is an e-book with the title ’40 crucial things to look out for in a new home.’ The catch in creating this free ebook is to give it out for free in exchange for email addresses and zip codes. it is a brilliant way to get leads. You can then nurture these leads with timely and valuable content on a regular basis so that you are top of mind when they make the decision to buy or rent property.

Work with a professional photographer

Let’s be honest, no matter how great your property is, poorly captured photographs will hurt the interest of potential buyers in your house. You should not compromise when it comes to photos of the property because a successful real estate business relies heavily on the amazing pictures. What you should do is hire a professional photographer. If you can find one with vast experience in architecture and taking pictures of homes, the better your chances of selling your property quickly. Alternatively, if you have a camera and all the tools you need to take a really good picture, you can capture them yourself but be sure that you are capable of getting good pictures.

Consider creating a niche

If you find yourself in a situation where the competition to lock down property buyers is becoming difficult, we suggest that you strongly consider creating a very specific niche for yourself. For instance, instead of being a property agent for houses to rent in Lekki, you could become a property agent for single and working people in Lekki Phase 1 or an estate agent for families with children. The idea is to come up with something very targeted. Establishing yourself as an expert in a particular niche would go a long way in improving your marketing in the niche you have created for yourself. This works wonders in a market where the competition is really fierce.

Emotional storytelling works

Storytelling has everything to do with your business of real estate marketing. The secret with storytelling is that the moment you learn and understand how to tell a good story, your audience is always going to want more and this is where you want to be when you are into property marketing. You can use a good emotional story around your real estate business to captivate prospective homebuyers and land great deals. Wondering how it works? When you are able to tap connect emotionally with people, they will become your audience. From being your audience, they connect with your story and your brand and eventually become leads. From being leads, they become customers and eventually become loyal customers. Humans respond positively to good stories. Tell them a really good story and customers will come to you.

Send a package after closing a deal

Your marketing does not end when you close a property deal with a client. No way! What you should do is to ensure that they remember your name so that there is a possibility that they will share information about you with their family, loved ones and friends who might need to relocate or buy a property in the near future. After closing a deal with a client, you should send a package to him/her/. The package could be anything you might have figured they like from your dealing with them. For instance, it could be movie tickets for two, tickets to a red carpet event, dinner reservation for two at a nice restaurant. Think of something they would really appreciate.

Have a website that offers value

Most clients do not sit back and expect things to happen especially when they have to do something like buying a property. Today, your clients eventually put a call through to you, they would have searched Google for the apartment or property that suits their needs and taste. For instance, a young lady who works in Marina and currently lives in Ikorodu could search for apartments in Surulere using the keywords ‘mini flat in Surulere under N300,000’ or ‘affordable house for sale in Yaba.’ This is where you want to be; to have your property or listings come up. However, this cannot happen when you don’t even have a website.

Before buying a property, some prospective buyers go as far as using Google Map to look at the street’s view. They search online for articles that are relevant to their location they intend to rent the property. For instance, a Nigerian who wants to relocate to Lagos could search for Lekki Neighbourhood guide. What he/she is searching for is to see what the neighbourhood has to offer. Does the place have a good road network? Are the social amenities available? Are there gyms, restaurants, beaches and recreation spots within the neighbourhood? They also search the web for good photos of the neighbourhood. If you have a website with the information they need, your chances of transforming leads into customers shoot up. All you have to do is to make it easy for users to access the information.

Ensure sure all your property pages have great pictures and have easy access to Google Maps and Google Earth.

Consider branding

Now is the best time to make branding work for you. By branding, we don’t mean spending N3 million on a billboard. Rather, what you should do when you want to sell a property is to brand items like torches, pens, T-shirts, hoodies, water flasks, flash drives and mugs. When you are done branding them, give them out as freebies at events or popular malls to spread the word about your brand by giving them something they are bound to use daily while at work or at home. The better the freebie, the better for your brand. Branding also involves brand credibility, integrity and the market perception of your service. Brand integrity includes clear values, goals, messaging, marketing and brand properties that make it easier for you to sell your property.

Write a column for a publication or website

If you plan to be effective in selling a property, then it is important that you focus on the local community where you are based. One way to do this is by becoming a columnist for a local newspaper, magazine or website. If you are based in Lagos for instance, you should consider writing for ‘Castle,’ which is a real estate magazine. However, it does not have to be a real estate publication. You should also consider writing for Punch, Guardian, The Nation, Sun or ThisDay newspaper, which also have an online presence.

Writing for a local newspaper is an effective way to reach your audience as most local publications have pages that are dedicated to property. For instance, you can write about how the rise in the cost of property in Lagos is a sign that the city is doing really well. There are quite a number of insights you can share with them and the moment, they consider you an authority, they will reach out to you when they have property-related concerns including if they want to buy a house.

Organise a seminar for property buyers

You can tap into the home crowgd by organising a seminar for your host community. For instance, you could educate them on the basics of what they need to know about buying their first house or how to secure a property loan.

Remember that a seminar about how to buy your first house is the local equivalent of a proper webinar. it takes time and energy to put a seminar together but you are bound to reap where you have sown when those in attendance turn to you when they want to buy a property.

Launch an email newsletter

The email newsletter is a powerful instrument to establish and maintain a long-term relationship with your audience. To achieve this, you have to collect emails from your website, your local outreach as well as WhatsApp and BBM channels. Ensure that what you are sending your email subscribers emails about are things that they need. Also, take into consideration what stage of the buyer journey they are in order to communicate effectively. Send them information on a new property on the market and tips that help them make better decisions. If you realise that you are in a different geographical space from your audience, you should consider segmenting your subscribers based on their needs and their location.

Get a super business card

The idea here is a ensure you get a business card that looks really amazing. However, it doesn’t end there. When you have the cards, don’t forget to hand them out at every opportunity you interact with potential clients. Good thing is housing is a basic need, everyone needs a roof over their heads. So, it might surprise you how many leads you could get from a single card.

Samod Biobaku

Going Green at Home: Easy Ways to Start

Going Green has earned its place as the buzz phrase that captures the principle for a sustainable, energy-efficient and safe lifestyle. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as rocket science. Instead of looking at the idea of going green as a project that would cost you millions of Naira, you can go the easy way.

Consider breaking things down into simple bits that take you closer to going green one step at a time. Your end goal should be to gradually cut down your carbon footprint (the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community) until you have made a significant change in this direction.

To make a really big difference, start today by making a lot of minor changes, which we will share in the lines that follow.

Electric Lawn Mowers Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The idea of going green is rested on the fundamental principle of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and this is precisely what you achieve when you settle for an electric lawn mower as opposed to one that is powered by gas.

If you carve out some time to reflect on all the things that you have that leave a carbon footprint, two of the biggest items on your list will probably be your car and your generator. If you own a lawn and you use a gas powered lawn mower, you should add it to your list. The reason is simple. Lawnmowers consume well over 800 million gallons of gas annually.

This explains the rise in the preference for electric lawn mowers over those powered by gas. Electric lawn mowers are more energy efficient and despite also leaving a carbon footprint, they are a mere fraction of the carbon dioxide you release when you use gas-powered lawn mowers.

Gas-powered lawn mowers also use oil and changing the oil means the used oil has to be taken out, which ends up contaminating the environment when spilt. The only way to avoid spilling the used oil is to destroy the oil; a process that requires a lot of heat, which still leaves you with a high carbon footprint.

Cancel Your Newspaper and Magazine Subscription
Do you have a running newspaper or magazine subscription especially for hard copies of these publications? If your answer is yes, consider cancelling these subscriptions.

Newspaper subscriptions mean you probably have a collection of both read and unread newspapers and magazine on your shelves at home. Your goal here should be to reduce your paper waste.

The manufacturing of paper requires fuel inputs and paper waste disposal can contribute to emissions of the potent greenhouse gas (GHG) and methane (CH4).

Going green – shut down PC

Drop the Habit of Putting Your Laptop on Sleep Mode
When you put your laptop or computer to sleep, it means it’s not shut down and still consumes power but at a slower pace. This means you’ll probably still have to charge it after some time; thus consuming more electricity than it would have needed if you had shut it down.

Going green can only be achieved when you make the little changes count. Don’t leave your laptop sucking energy when you can actually shut it down and reboot it when you’re ready to use the device. Cultivate the habit of shutting down your laptop at the end of each day.

Going Green – Cover the swimming pool

Cover Your Swimming Pool
Do you have a swimming pool at home? If you do, consider covering it when it is not in use. When you cover your pool, you achieve two things – First, you keep your pool cleaner. Secondly, you protect the water from evaporating at a faster rate, which in turn means you won’t have to refill as frequently as you do when it is left open.

Always remember that the idea of going green is to conserve resources and energy.

Plan Your Errands
Planning your errands means that you would you will cut out all trips to the mall or store for a quick fix. let us put this into perspective – If you drive to the mall 6 times a month to buy bits and pieces of things you need at home, you would leave a larger carbon footprint when compared to planning ahead and buying everything you need in one or two trips to the mall.

By planning your errands, you save time and fuel and leave a lower carbon footprint on your trail. Consider buying in bulk when you go shopping.

Going green – Take a break from the TV

Take a Break From the Screen
Are you a TV or movie addict? Consider spending some time outside to help you burn calories and save the energy you would have spent with your TV on.

The idea here is to get you away from electronics and gadgets that are powered by electric energy. In Nigeria, such an indulgence comes at a cost; you will leave your generator on, which means you will burn more fuel and leave a larger carbon footprint.

Going green – Use solar panels

Consider Using Solar Panels as a Way of Going Green
Electricity in Nigeria remains as epileptic as it has been in previous years. The result of this is that you probably have a generator or even two with one serving as a backup. Running a generator means you will use up quite a large amount of fuel or diesel.

Did you know that using a Using a generator indoors can kill you in minutes? In 2014, generator fumes killed a family of 7 while they slept. In 2017, a businessman and his son died from inhaling fumes from their generator.

Experts have advised keeping generators far at a reasonable distance from your home to avoid inhaling lethal fumes. Generator exhaust contains high levels of carbon monoxide (CO), a poisonous gas you cannot see or smell.

The moment you can perceive the smell from a generator’s exhaust, you are inhaling CO. One way out of this is to get solar panels, which will help you burn less fuel and reduce your carbon footprint.

Plant Tree Around Your Home
When you plant trees around your home, you create shade for your home. They also help you clean the air. Did you know that trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in energy used for heating?

Trees planted around your home provide a natural home to birds, insects and other animals, which brings you closer to going green. Trees also increase the value of your property positively especially in a neighbourhood that is largely residential.

Going Green at Home (4)

Use Bulbs That Save Energy
Some bulbs use up less energy than others. For instance, compact fluorescent light bulbs help you save money as well as energy. Did you know that compact fluorescent light bulbs use around 75% less energy and last 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are not the perfect solution but on the measure of energy consumed, they beat incandescent bulbs.

Final Thoughts
Going green requires elements of discipline and an understanding of how your little actions add up to make your home more energy efficient. It helps you reduce waste and save money.

It also helps you ease into the culture of recycling. For instance, you can reuse old paint tins at home when decorating your house.

You should also be looking at the concept of green building if you prefer a more expansive foray into going green.

Samod Biobaku

Estate agent allegedly defrauds accommodation seekers of N490,000 

For allegedly duping two accommodation seekers of N490,000, a 36-year-old estate agent, Appollos Obichi, was on Thursday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. court Obichi, a resident of Surulere area of Lagos, is being tried for obtaining money under false pretences and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Victor Eruada, told the court that the accused committed the offences on Feb. 21 at Mushin, Lagos. He said the accused obtained N490,000 from two accommodation seekers on the pretext of letting out apartments to them.

“He collected N370,000 from Fatimat Ali on the pretext of letting out a mini-flat in Surulere. “Obichi also obtained N120,000 from Aisha Rasheedat for a room self-contained apartment in Western Avenue, Surulere,” the prosecutor alleged.

Eruada said the complainants paid the money into the bank account of the accused after they had inspected the apartments. “The accused took the complainants to the houses, he asked them to pay the money into his bank account which they did. “The complainants went to the houses after payment, but the landlords denied them the houses, saying they do not know the accused. “The complainants’ efforts to retrieve their money or have their accommodation proved unsuccessful. “Obichi was arrested and handed over to the police,” he said.

The offences contravened Sections 287 and 314 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015. Section 314 prescribes 15 years jail term for obtaining money under false pretences. The accused pleaded not guilty.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs M. I. Dan-Oni, granted the accused N100,000 bail with two sureties in like sum. Oni said the sureties should be gainfully employed with an evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government. The case was adjourned until June 28 for mention.



FMBN And Accessible Housing Fund

When Ahmed Dangiwa, an architect, took over as Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria(FMBN) a year ago, his main focus was to ensure some of the objectives of the National Housing Fund(NHF) achieved within the shortest possible time. Some of these objectives are: to mobilize funds for the provision of affordable housing in Nigeria; supply loans for building, purchasing and improving residential housing; incentivize capital market investments in property development and provide long-term loans to mortgage institutions for on-lending to contributors to the Fund.

And on the anniversary of his one year in office, the House of Representatives gave him a huge present. The house asked the Federal Government to recapitalize the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to the tune of N500bn. It said this was necessary to make the bank more vibrant and responsive to its functions for effective housing delivery in the country. The bank currently has a capital base of N5billion.

This recommendation followed the work of the house committee on housing investigated the non-compliance with the National Housing Fund Act and the inability of the government to deliver housing to the citizenry.

The committee, which is chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Katsina State, Mr. Ahmed Baba-Kaita, had observed that a major shortcoming was the failure of contributors to the Fund, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, commercial banks and insurance firms, to perform their duties.

The committee recommended that such contributors should be compelled to provide funds for the NHF as provided in the Act. The committee also recommended that the FMBN be given necessary government support in areas like guarantee, recapitalization and allocations to empower the bank for maximum productivity.

There are several bills before the National Assembly seeking to reposition the FMBN and the mortgage industry in the country, which have been starved of necessary funding over the years. The house committee on housing organized a public hearing last year to get stakeholders’ input into the bills. The public hearing was well attended largely due to the sensitization and mobilization done by the management of FMBN.

During the hearing on a bill for an act to establish the Institute of Mortgage Brokers and lenders of Nigeria (IMBLN) and a bill for an act to repeal the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap F16, 2004, stakeholders in the mortgage industry called for the repeal of the existing Act establishing FMBN to give room for its comprehensive re-establishment and strengthening of its board.

They made strident calls for the recapitalisation of the FMBN from the current N5 billion to at least N1 and the inclusion of the critical stakeholders who are contributing to the National Housing Fund as members of the board.

They also sought for the establishment of the regulation of the sector’s activities to instill professionalism. The stakeholders maintained that the establishment of regulatory institute in the mortgage industry will help to instill professionalism, eliminate fraudsters, remove speculators, provide regulatory framework, entrench sanity and decency, provide training programmes for practitioners in the sector, among others.

On the repeal of existing FMBN Act and the re-enactment of an Act re-establishing and strengthening the management and board of the bank, they stressed that it will embolden the bank to carry out its functions unimpeded.

They specifically called for the recapitalisation of the FMBN from the current N5 billion to at least N1 and the inclusion of the critical stakeholders who are contributing to the National Housing Fund as members of the board.

These have also been the position of Dangiwa when it comes to taking the mortgage sector to the next level. He was in the vanguard of those calling for the establishment of Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders of Nigeria to provide standards and professionalize the estate business.

Apart from supporting the repeal of the FMBN Act , he also proposed that the share capital of the bank should be increased to N500 billion to improve its liquidity. Lack of liquidity had prevented the bank from performing its role as the apex mortgage bank in the country. Contributors to the NHF have complained of inability to access housing loans, and this is because deductions from the fund are not remitted as and when due by the relevant institutions.

But since coming on board, the Dangiwa led management had made several initiatives to grow the customer base of the bank to improve its liquidity.The objective is to expand its coverage to capture the potential 50 million-market sizes and contribute significantly to the target of creating one million new mortgages on an annual basis, while maintaining the single-digit interest rate.

It is also targeting the market below the lower medium income bracket; increase mortgage sector contribution to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), meet the changing mortgage landscape and remain relevant in the face of other mortgage financing developments in the Nigerian Housing Sector.

It is the hope of the current management of the bank that FMBN would become wholly owned by the Federal Government instead of the current arrangement which makes the CBN and the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund shareholders of the bank. It is inexplicable how regulators in an industry could also be owners of an institution they’re supposed to regulate.

When the National Assembly eventually passes the Bill re-establishing FMBN, it will not only enhance its liquidity, but will remove unnecessary interventions from the Ministry of Finance and eliminate incident of having another agency carrying out the function of the FMBN or managing the National Housing Fund. This will no doubt eliminate the administrative bottlenecks that have hindered the efficiency of the fund.

It is a credit to the professionalism and commitment of the management of FMBN that it is able to rally stakeholders towards finding common solutions to the myriad of problems confronting the housing sector. It is almost unbelievable that stakeholders such the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Council of Registered Builders, Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Federal Government Staff Housing Board, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria, among others, would spearhead a common cause to salvage the housing sector.

.Johnson-Idemeto wrote in from Abuja

Eko Atlantic City targets 2023 finish as Nigeria economy rebounds

A high-end seaside development in Nigeria’s megacity of Lagos could be fully operational in the next five years, as the West African nation’s economy rebounds from its worst contraction in more than two decades, according to the project’s promoter.

Eko Atlantic City is being built on a planned 10-square-kilometer (3.8-square-mile) stretch of land that’s being reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, Ronald Chagoury, chairman of South Energyx Nigeria Ltd., said in an interview in the commercial hub.

When the final project is complete, as many as 250,000 people are expected to live in the development, where a three-bedroom apartment could cost almost $1 million, according to online property listings.

“We still need two years for the sea wall, one year after that for the sand-filling and another year to 18 months for the infrastructure, so say another five years to be fully operational with infrastructure,” with the first half already complete, said 69-year-old Chagoury, whose company is in charge of the basic infrastructure such as roads.

Developers will erect most buildings, and the wider project could take up to 35 years, he said. The sea wall will be 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) long once completed.

Construction slowed after a fall in oil prices in mid-2014 caused the economy of Nigeria, Africa’s top crude producer, to contract.

Today, Eko Atlantic, where so far 6.5 square kilometers have been reclaimed, is traversed by roads and has three completed and occupied buildings — two residential and one for businesses — and work has started on another 13.

“Over the last six months, we’ve seen an improvement in the economy,” the Lebanese-Nigerian businessman said. “We’re seeing the end of the tunnel.”

While economic growth slowed to 1.95 percent in the first three months of the year, Nigeria’s gross domestic product has expanded for four straight quarters.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts growth will accelerate to 2.1 percent this year from 0.8 percent in 2017, as oil output remains stable and prices rebound, providing more foreign currency for manufacturers to import inputs.

Once completed, Eko Atlantic City, will have high-speed fiber internet, 24-hour power in a country with frequent outages, restaurants and shops along its Eko Boulevard, which is modeled after Paris’ Champs Elysees. It also hopes to attract the corporate headquarters of top companies in Nigeria and West Africa.

Nigerian oil magnate Folorunso Alakija said in a 2015 interview with Bloomberg that she was investing there, and the U.S. consulate told CNN in August 2016 it was considering a property.

The consulate didn’t answer an email or return a call seeking comment, and Chagoury declined to speak about his clients.

He also declined to say how much money had been invested in the project and how many plots had been sold.

Lagos’s high-end property market, which has typically been dominated by politicians, has also suffered from a crackdown on corruption since President Muhammadu Buhari was elected three years ago, said Afrinvest Securities Ltd. Managing Director Ayodeji Ebo.

“People can’t just bring out their money anyhow,” he said by phone from Lagos. “Occupancy rates have been very low.”

While the project won praise by former U.S. President Bill Clinton who visited the site in 2013, the need for more luxury or even upper-middle-class housing has been questioned in a city of 20 million inhabitants who mostly earn a modest income.

In the high-value areas of Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Banana Island, vacancy rates run between 20 to 30 percent, according to Jonathan Millard, director at Troloppe Property Services.

“And then there are all these buildings that are currently empty,” he said by phone.

Eko Atlantic’s plan includes one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments starting at a sale price of $200,000, Chagoury said.

“People think it’s for the rich only,” he said. “It’s not for the rich; it’s for the middle class and up.”

With an income per capita of $7,000, according to Lagos-based advisory group Financial Derivatives, the average city resident won’t be able to live there now.

But an estimated 6.5 percent annual growth rate in the urban area’s economy between 2015 and 2030 means the number of households earning $70,000 annually could double to about 120,000 by 2030, according to PwC.

With land and property priced in dollars, Eko Atlantic has missed out on buyers affected by a more-than-halving of the value of the naira against the greenback since mid-2014. So South Energyx is seeking to attract some of the estimated 15 to 18 million Nigerians who live abroad and have access to cheaper loans and foreign-currency earnings.

Less than one in 20 of houses in Nigeria are financed by property loans, according to the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria.

Chagoury and his older brother Gilbert founded the Chagoury Group conglomerate in the 1970’s with a range of interests including flour Mills, water bottling, insurance, furniture manufacturing, telecommunications and hospitality, according to the group’s website.

Now Ronald Chagoury’s primary focus is finishing Eko Atlantic. He remains confident the demand will pick up again, 12 years after the signing of a 78-year concession-agreement with Lagos state to get the project started.

“Lagos’s population is growing to 25 million,” he said. “If 2 percent can afford it, or 5 percent, that will be enough.”

Business Day

Nigeria: Stimulate Economy Through Housing, Capital Projects, Experts Tell Govt

Some operators in the building construction sector have called on the Federal Government to stimulate the economy by embarking on more capital projects.

They said in Lagos on Tuesday that the dividends of democracy had not been felt in the industry because of the slow pace of construction activities across the country.

The experts advised the government at all levels to focus more on development of capital projects as a way of stimulating the economy.

According to them, it is through capital project developments that money can start coming into the country, which will revive the economy from the effects of recession.

Mr Chucks Omeife, a former President, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), stressed the need for the Federal Government to re-examine the way multinational construction companies are currently being managed.

Omeife said that government should come up with policy that would influence the ownership structure of multinational construction firms in Nigeria.

According to him, the few construction activities in the country are being handled by multinational construction companies.

“Nigeria should benefit from the experience of other countries.

“For instance, the South Korean Government enacted a law known as Engineering Services Law (ESPL), which compels registered engineering firms in South Korea to have at least one South Korean Professional engineer.

“Such law can be enacted in Nigeria. And until the government starts empowering the local contractors and professionals by awarding contracts to them, the Nigeria construction sector may not record significant growth,” Omeife said.

Prof. Timothy Nubi of University of Lagos said that construction sector had the potential to revive and grow the Nigerian economy.

Nubi, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, UNILAG, said that construction activities would provide more job opportunities to large number of people at a time, stressing that efforts should be made toward embarking on more housing and infrastructure projects.

“Though, housing and infrastructure projects are capital-intensive, the government must not wait until the economy becomes very financially buoyant to embark on them.

“Let the government take the bull by the horns by investing in infrastructure/housing projects because when construction works are going on, a lot of people will be gainfully engaged,” he said.

Mr Olayemi Shonubi, Vice President, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), suggested that the money recovered from corruption should be ploughed to the economy to stimulate economic activities.

Shonubi said that the government needed to continually invest in the economy, particularly in capital projects.

He said the government must stabilise the exchange market to ensure a sustainable exchange rate, saying “sustainable exchange rates will stimulate investment and economic activities.

“It will also aid the diversification of the economy in terms of boosting the competitiveness of our local products,” Shonubi said.



‘We are complementing FG’s efforts at providing affordable housing’

The federal government’s efforts at providing affordable housing for low income Nigerians will remain a mirage for so long as it does not involve the private sector meaningfully, says Festus Adebayo, a housing expert, who disclosed that all they are doing as a complement government’s efforts.

Affordability of houses, interest rates, access to land, green building and local building materials have become topical issues and constitute major topics for discussion at the annual housing show already slated for July in Abuja with the aim of giving Nigerians access to own houses.

Adebayo, the managing director of International Housing and Construction Show Limited, the organizers of the annual Abuja international Housing Show (AIHS), urged the government to take a cue from India, Singapore and Malaysia on how they were able to address their housing challenges, hoping that government would help to improve ways to get it right providing affordable housing for Nigerians.

The AIHS, already in its 12th edition, has become a platform that has carved for itself international reputation in the course of finding lasting solutions to housing shortage in Nigeria.

“The show has also become a credible platform where people network, promote their businesses and make housing available at affordable rates; It has been doing all these with the support of its partners drawn from World Bank, Africa Union of Housing Finance , UN Habitat and other major housing -professional bodies,“ Adebayo said.

This year’s edition of the show with the theme, ‘Everyone Deserves a Home’, promises to be the largest international real estate festival in Africa. Earlier editions had hosted many Nigerian leaders, including the senate president, speaker, House of Representatives, governors, ministers, etc.



DEMOCRACY DAY: Nigerians report better power supply, less use of generators –Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less use of generators.

He says his administration is committed to lawful interventions to ensure that the operators of the power distribution business live up to expectations.

The President stated this when he addressed the nation in a broadcast to mark the 19th year of Nigeria’s nascent democracy and the third anniversary of his administration in Abuja on Tuesday.

The president, who noted an impressive improvement in power generation and distribution in the past three years, however, charged the operators in the sector to enhance their services, especially in the areas of distribution capacity, service delivery, collection efficiency, and metering to eliminate contentious estimated billing.

“In the area of power generation, Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less use of generators.

“This underscores the effectiveness of the methodical plan to deliver incremental and uninterrupted power supply to our homes, markets, offices and factories.

“The country achieved 5, 222.3 MW representing the highest peak of power generated onto the national grid and delivered to customers in December, 2017.

“With new facilities, repairs and rehabilitations by Government and private investors, generation capability now exceeds 7,500 MW,’’ he said.

On the transportation Sector, the President observed that the sector had continued to undergo a series of reforms in order to sustain the international best practices and ensure safety and security.

According to him, the nation’s major airports have witnessed reconstruction of runways, installation of navigational equipment and new international terminals.

He said these new terminals were due for commissioning in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Enugu.

President Buhari expressed the hope that Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Nigeria and the Governments of other countries would significantly open up new flight routes.

He said: “As a result of strict regulatory and compliance policies, Nigeria retained her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status, after a routine international audit.

“Recently, a new Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility with capacity for aircraft C-checks and other comprehensive levels of maintenance was established in Lagos.

“This would save the country an estimated 90million dollars annually.’’

The president added that giant strides had been recorded over the past three years to improve road transport infrastructure in all geopolitical zones of the country.

He stated that the railway sector had also received tremendous attention as government was committed to the goal of linking all state capitals in the federation by rail network to ease the movement of goods and passengers.



Infinity Trust Bank records N222.7 million profit

The Chairman of Infinity Trust Mortgage Trust Bank (ITMB) Plc, Dr. Adeyinka Bibilari, has declared a profit after tax of N222.72million for the financial year ended December 2017.This however, is against the N242.86 million it announced in its 2016 financial year, representing an 8.3 percent decrease.

The financial statement also shows a 16 percent decrease in profit before tax (PBT) from N312.70 in 2016 to N260.92million in 2017.Addressing stakeholders at the company’s 15th annual general meeting in Abuja.

Bibilari in a statement said the tough operating environment, orchestrated by the nation being in recession for most part of the year, impacted greatly on the income of most households which affected purchasing power, savings and investment culminated into a reduction in the PBT and PAT as against the previous year.

The bank also announced that it has approved the cash dividend of 2 kobo per ordinary share against 3 kobo in previous year of 2016 and 7k per preference share to shareholders whose names appear in the books of the registrars by 9th May 2018, translating to an aggregate of N125.4million.

The company’s gross earnings however, grew by 2.5% from N861million in 2016 to N883million in 2017.The firm’s total assets stood at N.8.13billion as at 2017 in contrast to N8.08 billion in the corresponding period of 2016 as a result of continuous growth in the bank’s investments, risk assets, deposits, on lending funds and shareholders’ funds.

Its shareholders’ funds also rose from N5.69 billion in 2016 to N5.75 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 0.9 percent.On his part, the bank Managing Director/Chief executive Officer, Olabanjo Obaleye, said the bank in its 12years of operation, has been able to make 4000 people home owners despite bottlenecks and challenges that arose from some of government policies.

Obalaye said the bank would continue to build on this feat not minding the present economic situation and hostile business environment it is operating under.The Managing Director said the firm is working tirelessly to ensure that its shareholders are treated well and called on the government to map out policies that would ensure easier ownership of land by private individual and investors.

He said: “We have lot of bottlenecks that tie us down but we have been able to hold our head high above water. The Bank has declared dividend for the fourth year running as a listed company and for the 12th consecutive time since 2006.“We want to ensure that we increase our shareholders wealth and again delight our smaller shareholders that are always interested in dividend, no matter how small it is. We are working with government to ensure that these bottlenecks are removed”

Sodiq Omolaoye

Full text of President Buhari’s Democracy Day speech


My Dear Nigerians!

Today marks the 19th year of our nascent democracy and the 3rd Anniversary of this administration. I am thankful to Almighty God for bringing us thus far. This administration came at a time that Nigerians needed Change, the Change we promised and the Change we continue to deliver. We have faced a lot of challenges on this journey and Nigerians have stood by us in achieving the three cardinal points of this administration namely; Security, Corruption and the Economy.

The commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day is a celebration of freedom, a salute to the resilience and determination of Nigerians and a recommitment by Government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.

Public safety and security remains the primary duty of this Government. Before this Administration came into being 3 years ago, Boko Haram held large areas of land spanning several Local Governments in the North East.

Today, the capacity of the insurgents has been degraded leading to the re-establishment of authority of government and the release of captives including, happily, 106 Chibok and 104 Dapchi girls, and over 16,000 other persons held by the Boko Haram.

In order to minimize the impact of the insurgency on Internally Displaced Persons, Government has established secure IDP Camps and has improved the mechanism for the distribution of basic aid, foods and essential commodities using various strategies in collaboration with local and international Organizations.

Efforts are in process for resettlement of IDPs in their home communities by providing schools, hospitals, clinics, water and sanitation to facilitate a quick return to economic activities. Government is similarly implementing de-radicalization and rehabilitation programmes to facilitate sustainable peace and development.

The unfortunate incidences of kidnappings, herdsmen and farmers clashes in several communities which have led to high number of fatalities and loss of properties across the country is being addressed and the identified culprits and their sponsors shall be made to face the full wrath of the law. All the three tiers of Government are presently engaged with communities and religious organizations to restore peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

I want to commend members of the Multinational Joint Task Force drawn from Niger, Benin, Chad, Cameroon and our own country in collaboration with the International Community who are assisting in the fight against insurgency in the North East. I also commend the gallantry of members of our Armed Forces and other security agencies that have continued to provide security for lives and properties across the country. State and Local traditional authorities are helping with much needed intelligence in this fight against insurgency.

This administration is pained over the grievous loss of lives and properties occasioned by the carnage of insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country. I wish to assure Nigerians that we will not rest until all criminal elements and their sponsors are brought to justice. Government is boosting the capacity of our security agencies through recruitment of more personnel, training and procurement of modern equipment, enhancement of intelligence gathering as well as boosting their morale in the face of daunting challenges.

The Niger Delta Region has enjoyed relative peace through social inclusiveness and cooperation of the Elders and the good people of the region. Government is committed to implementing the comprehensive peace, security and development plan for the region. The environmental clean-up of the region which commenced with the launch in Bodo, Ogoni in June 2016 is progressing satisfactorily. Furthermore, farming assets are being revived and investors in cocoa and palm oil plantations are showing serious interest.

The second primary object of this Administration is to fight corruption headlong. Like I have always said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will destroy the country. Three years into this Administration, Nigerians and the international community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption. We are more than ever before determined to win this war, however hard the road is. I, therefore, appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support us in this fight.

Various policy measures already put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices are yielding remarkable results. Some of these key reform policies include:

The Treasury Single Account (TSA) has realized Billions of Naira being saved from maintenance fee payable to banks. N200 Billion has also been saved from elimination of ghost workers in public service.

The Whistle-Blowing Policy has helped to recover over N500 Billion.

The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit set up with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel costs, ensure compliance with Public Financial Management reforms has helped to identify and remove over 52,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government MDAs Payroll;

The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) aimed at expanding tax education and awareness has offered the opportunity for tax defaulters to regularise their status in order to enjoy the amnesty of forgiveness on overdue interest, penalties and the assurance of non-prosecution or subject to tax investigations.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund project portfolio has been expanded with an injection of US$650 million so as to strengthen its investment in local infrastructure, power, health, re-construction of Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East West Road (Section V) and the Mambilla Hydro-electric Power project as well as the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.

The fight against corruption through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has resulted in recoveries of Billions of Naira, as well as forfeiture of various forms of assets. This alongside other efforts has improved Nigeria’s international image and regional cooperation.

We have retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally. This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing Treaties, Conventions as well as Bilateral Agreements with Multilateral bodies and Nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.

This Administration has therefore focused on revamping the ailing economy it inherited in 2015. In 2016, Government executed an expansionary budget and developed the Strategic Implementation Plan. For the first time, 30% of the budget was earmarked for capital expenditure which represents an upward review when compared with the 2015 budget. The SIP was followed by the development of a comprehensive medium term plan – the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017 – 2020.

The broad strategic objectives of the ERGP were to; Restore and sustain economic growth; Build a globally competitive economy; and Invest in our people. The implementation of the ERGP has started yielding results. The National Bureau of Statistics reports that the economy grew by 1.95% in 1st quarter 2018, which is a good performance when viewed against -0.91 in 1st quarter 2017 and -0.67% in 1st quarter 2016 respectively.

Our foreign reserve has improved significantly to 47.5 billion USD as of May, 2018 as against 29.6 billion USD in 2015. The inflationary rate has consistently declined every month since January, 2017.

Recently, Government conducted Focus Labs in three key sectors of the Economy namely, Agriculture & Transport, Manufacturing and Processing as well as Power and Gas. These have yielded significant prospects for investments and Job creation to the tune of US$ 22.5 billion with a potential for creating more than 500,000 jobs by 2020. These investment generation initiatives are expected to increase capital inflows in the form of foreign direct investment. There is a high prospect that the cumulative investments from this first phase of the Labs will hit US$39.2 billion by 2025.

Under agriculture, Nigeria continues to pursue a strategic food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimization of import dependency. As a result, rice importation from other countries has been cut down by 90% which has a direct impact on foreign reserves.

The Social Investment Programmes (SIP) has been created as a means to graduating our citizens from poverty through capacity building, investment and direct support. The major strategic objective is to restore livelihood, economic opportunities and sustenance for the poor across the country. The SIP programmes and projects include:

Home Grown School Feeding Programme – About 8.2 million pupils are currently being fed from 24 States of the Federation with over 75,000 Catering Staff engaged under the programme.

The Conditional Cash Transfer has so far recorded over 297,000 caregivers and being trained by 2,495 Community Facilitators in 21 states. Less privileged Nigerians are now being paid N5,000 monthly stipend in 9 pilot States of Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo. Eventually the scheme will cover all the 36 states of the federation including the FCT.

Under the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme – About 264,269 loans had been disbursed to 4,822 societies in the 36 States and FCT, while another 370,635 are awaiting release of funds.

N-Power Job creation Scheme – is targeted at providing jobs for unemployed young graduates and has so far recruited 200,000 youths while the next batch of 300,000 have been selected, verified and would soon be deployed across the 36 States and the FCT. Furthermore, 20,000 non-graduate volunteers have also been selected to kick off the N-Build programme in collaboration with the National Automotive Design and Development Council and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria.

In the area of power generation, Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less use of generators. This underscores the effectiveness of the methodical plan to deliver incremental and uninterrupted power supply to our homes, markets, offices and factories.

The country achieved 5, 222.3 MW representing the highest peak of power generated onto the national grid and delivered to customers in December, 2017. With new facilities, repairs and rehabilitations by Government and private investors, generation capability now exceeds 7,500 MW.

This Administration is committed to lawful interventions to ensure the operators of the distribution business live up to expectations especially in the areas of distribution capacity, service delivery, collection efficiency, and metering to eliminate contentious estimated billing.

The Transportation Sector continues to undergo a series of reforms in order to sustain the international best practices and ensure safety and security. The nation’s major airports have witnessed reconstruction of runways, installation of navigational equipment and new international terminals due for commissioning in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Enugu. Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Nigeria and the Governments of other countries will significantly open up new flight routes.

As a result of strict regulatory and compliance policies, Nigeria retained her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status, after a routine international audit. Recently, a new Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility with capacity for aircraft C-checks and other comprehensive levels of maintenance was established in Lagos. This would save the country an estimated $90m annually.

Giant strides have been recorded over the past three years to improve road transport infrastructure in all geopolitical zones of the country.

The Railway Sector has also received tremendous attention as this Administration is committed to the goal of linking all State capitals in the Federation by rail network to ease the movement of goods and passengers.

The Education Sector especially at tertiary level has continued to witness expansion in order to improve access to higher education by millions of youths in Nigeria. Over the last three years, Government has approved the establishment of 1 new Federal Polytechnic, granted licenses for the establishment of 4 State and 14 private-owned Universities as well as 12 private Polytechnics.

Government has also continued to support the implementation of various initiatives aimed at improving the quality of Basic Education delivery. Thus, it has ensured proper funding at the Basic Education level with the disbursement of N42.2 billion UBE Matching Grant to 26 States and the FCT, N851.5 million Special Education Grant disbursed to 23 States and private providers of Special Education and N2.2 billion Teachers Professional Development Fund to 33 States and the FCT.

The Federal Government has continued to support fiscal sustainability at the sub-national governments through the implementation of the Budget Support Facility which was accompanied by the 22- point Fiscal Sustainability Plan. Thus, bailouts funds were made available to States to ease their fiscal challenges and other obligations including payment of salaries.

In addition, a total of 73 Ecological Fund projects for the control of gully erosion in different communities across all geopolitical zones have been completed in the last three years and are undergoing commissioning while 53 other projects are ongoing. The execution of these projects has generated 357 skilled jobs and 1,350 unskilled jobs during this period.

It is pertinent to also make mention of the immeasurable contributions of the Nigerian woman to national development and advancement of democracy, over the last three years. The government and people appreciate you all as mothers of our great country.

My dear country men and women, as we all celebrate our democratic experience, let us resolve to avoid hatred and intolerance; we can only achieve our objectives in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence.

Finally, the upcoming months will usher us into another season of general elections. Let me use this opportunity to urge us all to conduct ourselves, our wards and our constituencies with the utmost sense of fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence such that we will have not only hitch-free elections but also a credible and violence-free process.

In few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the “Not Too Young to Run” Bill

I thank you for your attention.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Guardian

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