Nigeria: Real Estate Sector to Retain Position As Africa’s 5th Largest Contributor to GDP 

A foremost Nigerian online real estate firm, PropertyPro.ng (formerly ToLet.com.ng), has released a report of the Nigerian real estate sector for the first quarter of 2018 which focused on the trends of the Nigerian real estate market in the year 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, saying that the real estate sector is experiencing a significant growth to retain its position as the 5th biggest contributor to the GDP of Africa’s largest economy.

The study analysed how impactful the economic recession was in the real estate market. It also looked at trends and going prices for property within the residential and commercial umbrellas of the real estate market.

According to the CEO, Fikayo Ogundipe, “a lot is happening in the real estate sector, especially in Nigeria, and we feel it is something worth talking about. With this report, everyone interested in the real estate sector in Nigeria will be able to understand the current trends of the Nigerian real estate sector.

“The report has been influenced by the rate at which property are searched online by Nigerians and this explains the interest of house hunters in 2017 and the first quarter of the year 2018. We monitored the most searched types of property by Nigerians along with the price range that fell with the interest of online real estate end users”, said Ayeni, the Chief Technical Officer, PropertPro.ng

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As noted by the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder, Oladapo Eludire: “Real estate investment always require lots of funding and when dealing in such high-risk investment, gut-feeling isn’t enough in making the best decisions. Such decision needs to be backed up by data. PropertyPro.ng being the most used online real estate platform with the largest listing database across the country, has given us insight into the Nigerian real estate market on a micro and macro level.”

Sulaiman Balogun, Chief Business Officer and co-founder, stated that the statistical side of the report makes it evident that the real estate sector is experiencing a significant growth to retain its position as the 5th biggest contributor Nigeria’s GDP.

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This report by PropertyPro.ng has detailed study of the real estate economy in the economic overview column while the property trend explains the current trend of the Nigerian real estate market in terms of residential and commercial property, and the current trend in the prices of property for sale and for rent in various locations across the country. Contained in this report is the Land Use act thoroughly explained. This real estate report by PropertyPro.ng also featured studies of emerging real estate market in Nigeria as a whole, highlighting activity and performance.

Kingsley Adegboye

Jimmy Carter says the Trump administration is ignoring the affordable-housing shortage crisis 

 

  • Former President Jimmy Carter told CNBC that the Trump administration is ignoring a national housing crisis, and he urged voters to support candidates who promote affordable housing.
  • Carter also called for broad reform of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He said this fall’s elections offer voters a chance to support an issue that has been widely overlooked by candidates in this year’s midterm election cycle.
  • “Low-income housing needs to be raised much higher as a priority for our country,” Carter said in a phone interview. “That’s the first step toward making people who are now dependent on government assistance, on welfare rolls, to get a good job and have a chance to raise their families and put their kids through school.”

Former US president Jimmy Carter helps build a house as he visits the construction site of houses being built by Carter’s Habitat for Humanity foundation for victims of the earthquake in Leogane, Haiti in 2012.

Former President Jimmy Carter told CNBC this week that the Trump administration is ignoring a national housing crisis, and he urged voters to support candidates who promote affordable housing.

“Low-income housing needs to be raised much higher as a priority for our country,” Carter said in a phone interview. “That’s the first step toward making people who are now dependent on government assistance, on welfare rolls, to get a good job and have a chance to raise their families and put their kids through school.”

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who turns 94 in October, also called for broad reform for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He said this fall’s elections offer voters a chance to support an issue that has been widely overlooked by candidates in this year’s midterm election cycle.

In response to a request for comment, a HUD spokesman referred CNBC to the department’s website but did not answer specific questions.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the housing market has broadly recovered overall. But many Americans have been left behind. Millions of low-income Americans are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes on housing and face a shortage of available affordable rental apartments.

Carter said the gap between rich and poor has reached unprecedented levels as land becomes scarce and the cost of homebuilding rises.

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Meanwhile, HUD Secretary Ben Carson has proposed tripling the minimum rent paid by the poorest public-housing tenants and rolling back rent restrictions on 4.5 million households that participate in public housing programs, according to HUD data.

The White House’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal also slashes funding for HUD by $8.8 billion and calls for work requirements for those who receive public housing subsidies. The administration has also proposed raising the minimum rent for the poorest families to about $150 a month — three times the current minimum.

Carson has said the goal is to reduce assistance to the poor to combat what he sees as a cycle of dependency. Proponents of this approach argue that while safety-net programs are important, low-income renters and homeowners who rely on too much federal assistance will become stuck in dependent situations.

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But Carter, who has helped renovate 4,300 homes in 14 countries for Habitat for Humanity, said the policy is misguided. Rather than becoming more dependent on government, he said, the people who move into Habitat homes and receive public assistance are “hardworking” and become productive citizens and taxpayers.

“I don’t think that making people self-sufficient who are already in desperate need and who have never had a decent place to live is a good approach to low-income housing,” he said. “You can make people suffer longer by depriving them of adequate help.”

Facing increased demand and rising land prices, Habitat housing has become more expensive. The cost of building a home 35 years ago was roughly $20,000 to $25,000 and has since more than quadrupled, Carter said.

“The main thing that we have failed to do is to let people in general join in with Habitat and emphasize the need for low-income housing,” he said.

Emma Newburger

Challenges of Nigeria’s real estate, by experts

Real estate is supposed to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the Nigerian economy, but practitioners said absence of regulation and finance have remained a clog in the wheel of the sector’s growth. 

Nigeria possesses all the key factors for real estate investment and growth; a burgeoning middle-class population, growth in consumption, rapid urbanisation and a young demographic.

But despite all these, the sector has not been able to contribute positively to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the last two years due to economic impasse.

The industry has since been experiencing a major slump, leading to a huge number of vacant and abandoned properties/projects and defaults in rental values owing to low-purchasing power of people.

Although the nation is technically out of recession, raising hope for a rebound real estate sector, but the built environment experts are expressing concerns over lack of regulation in the industry, saying this has made it an all-comer’s affairs.

Besides, they identified absence of cheap funds as another major obstacle.

New Telegraph’s investigation shows that there is no agreement among stakeholders on the nation’s housing deficit figures.

While some subscribed to the United Nations (UN)’s 17 million housing deficit, others queried how the figure was arrived at.

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These shortcomings, among others, housing stakeholders said, have limited development of the sector and its potential to contribute maximally to the growth of Nigeria’s GDP.

Experts’ perspectives

According to the first Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, and Managing Director, Mixta Nigeria, Mr. Kola Ashiru-Balogun, except the sector is properly regulated and its activities coordinated, practitioners might end up in confusion.

They bemoaned the infiltration of the sector by land speculators and the manner the industry is filled with all kinds of fliers about proposed housing developments, which never saw the light of the day.

They are worried about the huge number of unsuspecting members of the public being duped in the process.

They also condemned low quality of housing development, and absence of mass and affordable housing provision in the sector.

Ayinde, a former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos State, stated that one of the problems of real estate sector in the country was absence of regulation, pointing out that people without requisite training had taken over the industry.

He noted a lot of misconception about the sector as people did not know what real estate is all about.

He therefore called on the government and stakeholders to streamline the industry’s activities and identify roles of each operator in the sector.

Ayinde explained that there had not been enough collaboration among relevant professions in the sector, stating that failure to bring these professions to play their roles as required by quality professional service delivery had been part of the reasons most estates are not functional.

He said: “It is important to note also that there are other professions, not classified as being in the construction sector, but are ancillary and vital to the viability of housing delivery.

“These include the legal profession and the professions in the financial sector-banking, accounting, insurance and taxation.

“Successful projects always have the inputs of these professionals, and these professionals necessarily depend on a virile manufacturing sector for quality construction materials.

“There is nobody harmonising this. Government has to do this. We have an industry with no vision, we don’t know the number of housing deficit. Our population is increasing every year and housing deficit is still 17million every year.”

Ashiru-Balogun, a real estate developer, corroborated Ayinde, saying it was only in Nigeria that anybody wakes up to become a real estate developer.

“There should be regulations. There is need to identify estate developers just as it is being done in other climes such as United Arab Emirates, America and United Kingdom. There is need to identify who a real estate developer is,” he said.

The Mixta boss wants the government to identify credible key stakeholders, especially the private sector participants and commit them to housing provision to reduce deficit in the country.

Most of the top billionaires in Nigeria are real estate investors. Real estate business is a money spinner of the highest level and it is presently booming in Nigeria with people making millions in it.

Other views

A former President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Chucks Omeife, said that absence of robust funding was a major problem in the sector, urging the government to set up special funding mechanism for the industry to propel its growth.

He said: “We don’t need much regulation but funding. There are professional bodies in the sector and each has its own regulations. What the sector needs apart from funding is implementation and enforcement of the regulations.

“Developers are there for business concerns, but government needs to ensure enforcement of regulations on how they can build houses to meet Nigeria’s standards.”

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Omeife called for the establishment of virile mortgage sector in the country, adding that home seekers should be able to access housing without having to pay through their nose.

“Government should give people a leeway to buy houses. Cash and carry syndrome in the sector must be stopped. People should be able to buy houses and pay over a period of time, say 2c years,” he said.

Omeife also canvassed the setting up of a construction board for the management of quality assurance and skills acquisition in the industry.

Managing Director, HOB Estates Limited, Chief Olusegun Bamgbade, said there was enough regulation in the sector, pointing out that most of the professionals operating within the sector belonged to one association or the other.

“Maybe some people are afraid of competition; anything that is viable will attract competition. People will always come to real estate. There is need to encourage them to come in,” he said.

He pointed out that real estate activities were into different categories, adding that while some were real estate speculators, others were developers.

He said: “Speculators will buy land and be expecting that the land will appreciate, but developers will build houses for people to buy. So people will always buy what they prefer.”

Other challenges

Managing Director/CEO Afriland Properties, Mrs. Uzo Oshogwe, mentioned Land Use Act, poor policy, dearth of infrastructure, lack of access to government’s subsidised housing development, poor financial support as major challenges to affordable housing.

She tasked the government on reformation of land registry to ease bottlenecks associated with land registration and titling.

Ayinde pointed out that ineffective housing finance was a major challenge in the housing sector

According to him, it would be impossible to segregate finance from housing, adding that N6 million price tag for housing is not affordable for a lot of Nigerians.

He said: “We must address the fundamentals of poor economy; we need to sort out the issue of housing finance.”

Ayinde called on the Federal Government to embark on research and development (R&D), and come up with a sound policy on housing.

He also urged the government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to drive the sector and also allow the local governments to complement housing.

“Until real estate sector becomes an industry, we will not solve housing problems,” the former commissioner said.

Last line

Apart from regulation, there is also the need for establishment of data bank on real estate sector to position it for both local and foreign investments.

Dayo Ayeyemi

Guidelines for accessing National Housing Funds Loan From FMBN

National Housing Fund (NHF) is a Federal Government introduced scheme that mobilizes long-term funds from Nigerian workers, banks, insurance companies and the Federal Government to advance loans at soft interest rates to its contributors.

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The scheme was established by Act 3 of 1992 to enable Nigerians in all sectors of the economy, particularly those within the low and medium income levels who cannot afford commercial housing loans to own houses by contributing 2.5% of their monthly salary to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, managers of the fund.

Eligibility For (NHF)
To be eligible for the NHF loan, a contributor must be above the age of 18 and must have contributed to the Fund for a period not less than six (6) months. The applicant must have satisfactory evidence of regular flow of income to guarantee loan repayment.

How to Apply For National Housing Fund (NHF)
Except for institutional borrowers who can apply for the loan directly from Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), individuals can only apply through a duly licensed and accredited Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB) of their choice and not directly to the FMBN. Loan applications are also to be obtained from the same PMB.

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Requirements for accessing an NHF Loan
• Open a savings account with a registered PMB
• Contribution to the fund for at least six months prior to application.
• Have satisfactory evidence of regular flow of income to guarantee the loan.
• Submit photocopies of valid title documents (e.g. C of O).
• Approved survey/site plans
• Approved building plans
• Priced Bill of Quantities where applicable
• Valuation report prepared by a firm of registered surveyors and valuers where applicable
• Three years tax clearance certificate
• Letter of consent to mortgage to your chosen PMB
• Completed prescribed mortgage loan application form
• Evidence of NHF participation
• Copy of pay slips for the previous three months
• Equity contribution of personal stake of 30 percent, 20 percent or 10 percent depending on the loan amount applied for loans of N15 million, N10 million and N5 million respectively
• Offer letter/Acceptance and Allocation letter (in case of government projects)
• In case of registered self-employed applicant, a copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association and a copy of Certificate of Incorporation as evidence of employment status must be submitted.

FASHOLA IS CERTAINLY ONE OF BUHARI’S GREATEST ASSETS

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How Much to Apply For?
An individual borrower is entitled to a maximum of N15 million. No individual shall be granted a loan in excess of 90% of the cost or value of the property to be mortgaged.

Security for the Loan
The property (residential accommodation) for which the loan is sought shall serve as security for the loan. The property must have valid title documents (C of O, Deed of Sublease, Deed of Assignment or Letter of Allocation). The property shall conform to the existing planning laws and regulations and building plans approved by the appropriate authorities. The mortgage property must possess sufficient value to recover the loan, and must be insured against hazards.

Source: MBAN

OGUNDELE: Agege boy who became one of Nigeria’s youngest billionaires

 In a society with limited opportunities  especially for  youths, he was terrified by the fear of poverty early in life. In Agege, a Lagos suburb, where he grew up, he converted  his  apprehension to a motivation  which eventually became his saving grace.  Education and creativity were vital  in elevating  Mr. Sijibomi Ogundele to the position of  Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of a multi-billion naira real estate firm, Sujimoto Construction. The firm built the tallest residential building, Lorenzo, in Lagos. His wealth and fame at a relatively young age, have been adjudged  an inspiration.  Ogundele, who is regarded as one of Nigeria’s youngest billionaires, is rated a brave young entrepreneur  by  Forbes Africa.

In the beginning

While growing up on the streets of Agege, the fear of poverty was my greatest motivation. Out of the 47 houses on our street, only two people owned a power generating set. This taught me a great lesson that for wealth to be generated, my environment and the people I surround myself with, need to change. At the tender age of 9, I started visiting Ikoyi with the mindset  that someday, I would also live there. Today, that dream has become reality. I became a billionaire at a young age because I prepared myself for it. It required hardwork and a strong conviction that I was chosen and ordained by God. This is the basis of  my confidence which motivates  me to  dream bigger than my environment.

Passion for entrepreneurship

I speak English, French, Spanish, Yoruba, and Hausa. It will interest you to know that I have a working knowledge of Japanese and Arabic languages. From childhood, I developed a passion for entrepreneurship. That’s been my only passion to date. I was first introduced to business at a tender age in Africa’s largest market, Oke-Arin. Out of curiosity, I  followed my mother to the market where I learned every aspect of trading. That’s why I’m not surprised  I’m the Managing Director and Chairman of Sujimoto. We usually say  Sujimoto is to architecture what Picasso was to art. We are a dynamic and innovative luxury real estate firm. Our major mission is to revolutionize the luxury real estate sector.

Fear of poverty

The fear of poverty brought me this far in life. As a builder, the foundation for me was very crucial because a man’s foundation gives him a glimpse into his future. Without my childhood experiences, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It didn’t only  make me resilient, it was a strong  pillar. I have zero tolerance for failure and I believe that a man  who lives in an apartment in Ikorodu today, can own a house in Ikoyi tomorrow. Success is all about choices we make and our priorities. I’m  quite  fortunate to have won the ovarian lottery of my mother; a woman who at the age of nine was sent to Cameroon as a sales girl. Today, against all odds, she’s  among the biggest distributors for Nestlé Nigeria Plc. She inspired me to be who and what  I am today. She taught me the importance of having a great vision and working persistently towards making it a reality.

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Foundations of my success

I found wealth by reading books. My first introduction to entrepreneurship was when I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Ten years in any university could never have given me what I learned in 10 days. This changed my life forever. I understood two things. The first is to look for a product. The second one is to create a competitive advantage. Also, customers should always come first. These principles are the foundations of my success.

My first major break I ventured into the luxury real estate sector at a time when Nigerians were beginning to demand value for their money. My vision was simple: to redefine luxury living by exceeding all expectations. My simple philosophy was to create sugar, after which ants will come. I have been doing real estate since 1998 when I lived in the South of France as a common agent with no license.

Back then, I brokered a lot of deals in project management and financing but my first major break was in 2011 when I bought an apartment in Paris and decided to remodel it. My friends thought I was crazy and ostentatious but after I was done renovating, I sold it in less than two months to a friend from Qatar for double the price. This investment flip in such a short time re-ignited my interest in real estate and changed my career path forever. Before moving back to Nigeria, I visited my aunt who bought a house on Banana Island.

After paying so much for the house, I still had to help her redesign the kitchen, change the doors, tiles and other things. It was very exerting and frustrating considering the fact that one would expect a house of that magnitude and price to have quality accessories and interiors.When I decided to return to Nigeria in 2014, I had the vision to liberate the Nigerian luxury real estate market and bring true value to customers, who were not only tired of architectural mediocrity but also frustrated by value depreciation. I ventured  into the luxury real estate sector at a time when Nigerians were beginning to demand quality and value for their money.

They had been at the mercy of mediocre developers who  refused to raise the bar in terms of quality but demanded ridiculous prices, because they thought the customer didn’t know better.The market was littered with substandard structures, going for exorbitant prices. All I did was to create sugar by offering  world-class service with  superb finishing of international standard at reasonable prices. The game changed and  today, most of the so-called top developers are using Sujimoto as a case study. Many have copied our designs and tried to emulate our marketing strategy.

Potentials and talents

My desire to create a platform that inspires the next generation made us to organise a mentorship platform. It was to inspire young talents and send a message to the nation that our major asset is our human capital. The Sujimoto one-day internship and mentoring programme is a lifetime project  and it’s  objective is  empowering young aspiring entrepreneurs with business skills, advisory, mentorship and financial support. Young Nigerian students between the ages of  12 and  22 were specially selected from different institutions from all over Nigeria to participate. This event is about inspiration.Without the right mentorship, people might miss the road to their destinies.

That’s why we have different people from different industries, who share their stories with young people and encourage them to pursue their dreams. Youths need to know that their location has nothing to do with their destination. The project is for youths for now. Nigeria  has a  tendency  of  discouraging people from achieving their potentials with their talents.  We want our brand to  empower  youths and help them achieve their potentials. A short message can transform a mindset, just the way a piece of advice can change a life.

Accepting failure

Mentoring assures people that there’s someone who cares about them, assures them that they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges and makes them feel  they matter. Ultimately, mentoring connects an individual to personal growth and development, social and economic opportunities. Sadly, one-in-three young people will grow up without this crucial asset.Anyone aspiring to be great should not accept failure. When failure happens, people should rather be strong and learn from it. Nobody succeeds without challenging himself. I want to encourage young people in this country to read books, because a widely read person is an asset any day. Being creative should not be ignored as well as associating with the right people.

Biggest challenge in life

I dreamed of developing what I can call the biggest project in my life; which is the tallest residential building in Sub-Sahara Africa estimated to cost $90 million. I invested all my money, time and passion into it because believed in it. Sadly, our economy crashed and things became rough. Sometimes, life snatches peoples’ dreams away, making everything around them appear impossible. At that point, some people told me that real estate is a difficult sector.

They said it was better I abandoned my passion and do something else. I visited a friend’s water factory in Abeokuta and thought about venturing into the pure-water business. Not satisfied with that, I was at Ijebu Igbo and visited some farms because farming looked promising.

Confused and devastated

A friend, whom I lent about $2 million defaulted.  I contemplated selling all I owned and move to New York City. At that point, I had spoken to a successful Nigerian actor, who relocated to Atlanta because of the recession in the country. He assured me that I could access credit through a flexible banking system. I was confused and devastated, but I kept the words of Napoléon Hills on replay in my head. I remembered that my condition at the time should not determine my destination.

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However, I knew that running away wasn’t the definition of the Motomatics Philosophy I had created. The Sujimoto I know wasn’t a runaway loser, neither is it a brand that lacked focus. I developed courage and refocused my life. I revisited my options and created Guilliano, the son of Lorenzo, the grandson of Cosimo the Medici. I conceptualised, planned and executed the project, even though I didn’t have all the money.  It was the most inspiring, most difficult and most challenging time for me. I am thankful I didn’t give up. I have remained focused in pursuing that dream and making  it come true. In 10 years from now, we want to see beneficiaries of the foundation come back to testify to how the organisation has changed their lives and also contribute to the moral and educational development of others. I want to see the foundation develop into a life-changing institution and a model in the humanitarian circle. Recently, professionals cautioned that the scope of the foundation is too broad. We were advised to focus on education, empowerment and community development.

Life of contentment

We must begin to address  challenges in the education sector in a strategic manner. When an individual is educated, many generations would automatically be liberated through him. That’s because the level of reasoning and the worldview of an educated individual are remarkably different from others. Through lawmaking, we can reform the education system and make it more result-oriented. Through lawmaking, we can bring hope to millions of people through education. The liberation of every society starts with education. To achieve this, we must live a life of contentment. We live flamboyant lifestyles that we do not have the capacity to sustain whereas crucial needs like education suffer. We cannot develop if we continue like that. This is why I invest so much in education.

Every year, I distribute thousands of exercise books to schools. When I was in primary two, I could not afford exercise books. Whenever I remember my experience, I acknowledge the deprivation some pupils go through and how useful I could be to them. That’s why I have been actively involved in the empowerment of  youths and women. To reach a larger percentage of these groups, we need to put in place robust institutional frameworks that are supportive of the society we want to build.

I think the society we want, should be progressive, developmental and wealth-creating. Young men and women die daily of ailments that could be cured by common medical solutions. Children, who are willing to learn do not have the basic facilities required for descent learning. If we cannot begin to think of how to address these challenges, it means we have lost the essence of humanity. We must create an environment that’s conducive for  education and healthy living.

Charles Kumolu

BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA: CAUSES & REMEDY

 

The spates of building collapse in Nigeria in the past years have assumed a very worrisome dimension as many lives are lost and huge investments wasted. A building, once properly constructed is expected to be in use for a very long time. Although every society has its own problems and Nigeria is not an exception yet the very recent challenges of buildings collapsing in various locations have been giving the various arms of government and the people of Nigeria sleepless nights in view of the enormous loss of huge investments in housing.

In Recent times, Nigeria has witnessed issues of building collapse resulting in death of hundreds of its citizens. Most prominent of these include the Jabi Building Collapse of August 17th, The Synagogue Church of all nation guest house collapse of September 2014 and the Reigners Bible Church building collapse at Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria amongst many others with a combined death of over 300.

Below are some underlining and avoidable causes of these saddening occurrences which if properly taken into consideration can bring about a stop to this menace.

1. Structural Design Handled by quacks
Building designs are usually handled by qualified structural engineers who are normally trained and certified by relevant professional bodies like NISE and COREN. This is a fundamental aspect of every building and construction process. Absence of these means a lot can go wrong from the very beginning and cause structural damages that can lead to loss of life and other un-intended consequences.

2. Absence of Soil Test
The importance of soil test in any building and construction activity cannot be over emphasized. Soil test enables the builders to determine soil strata, foundation type and where to lay the foundation for the building proper.
Places like Lagos has swampy grounds and many estates are built on recovered grounds. These means that the foundation of such buildings needs to be strong and carried out after a proper soil test. Absence of this has led to many avoidable building collapses that we have witnessed in this part of the world in recent times.

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3. Lack of adherence to building specification by personnel
Every building and construction project has sets of design specifications that professionals ought to adhere to. Some of these design specifications includes Architectural Design, Mechanical and Engineering Design, Structural Design and the Survey plan. Adhering to the specifications contained within these documents will ensure that the building comes out exactly the way it should and is not subjected to abuse by future builders.

4. The use of sub-standard building materials
This is a very important factor which is all about actual implementation of all that is contained within the building and construction design documents. The lure of shortcuts and greed to make quick gains, has lead to the rise in the use of sub-standard building materials by building contractors which has contributed to a great extent, in re-occurrence of building collapses in recent times. This can be checkmated through the implementation of proper quality control by project site supervisors.


5. Professional Negligence
By professionals we refer to the builders, the town planers, the estate surveyors, the architect, the engineers, the quantity surveyors and all who are trained and directly involved in the entire construction process. Professional negligence hinders work progress, causes improper documentation, non-compliance to all necessary requirement and ultimately compromises standards.

A scenario where the design and materials needed for the projects are all in place but the workers find’s themselves making one mistake to the other due to absent of trained /skilled professionals and lack of synergy between all involved in carrying out the building process depicts a good example of professional negligence.

Synergy between building professionals is very vital as it will bring to reality the ideas of the client. It will also ensure proper checks and balances required to carry out proper work and that workers in the lower end of the construction process use the right materials and in the right ways.

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6. Bad Construction practices
All that we have listed above so far, amounts to bad construction practices it now left for Building professionals to adhere to the standards of the industry and for the industry regulators to do their job, in ensuring that every building and construction projects in this part of world, follows all the rules within its book. Doing this will not only ensure we all live in safety, but save the nation of needless and preventable lost of life’s that we witness on a daily basis in this part of the world.

Workers spared housing levy MPs reject Treasury’s proposal

Workers have been spared a pay cut of up to Sh5,000 after MPs shot down a Treasury’s proposal to create a fund to finance a new low-cost housing fund.

The Treasury had set the low-cost housing deduction at 0.5 per cent of the gross pay per month as long as the contribution does not exceed Sh5,000.

Employers were to match the employees’ contribution.

The MPs said the move would cause significant cost burden to companies while hurting workers.

The State Department of Housing announced two months ago that it was finalising regulations to operationalise the housing development fund, whose finer details are yet to be released.

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This was the first time that the Housing ministry was establishing the fund that had been lying dormant under the Housing Act for decades.

Its implementation meant an employee earning Sh100,000 would contribute Sh500 every month to the fund – up to the maximum Sh5,000 for those earning Sh1 million and above.

The creation of the fund was meant to help the government realise the goal of delivering half a million affordable housing units in five years.

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However, the provision faced hostility from unions and employers who consider the tax burden already too heavy on them.

Four pillars

Affordable housing is one of the four pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda for the next four years.

Treasury defended introduction of yet another payroll levy on people in formal employment, who are already burdened by multiple levies, saying that it would help the government realise the goal of affordable housing.

The Finance Bill has also introduced amendments to the Central Bank of Kenya Act to include regulation of mortgage refinance companies.

The move paves the way for the establishment of state-backed Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company meant to address the demand side of the housing market by offering liquidity to the mortgage industry.

Treasury did not offer details on how the fund will be managed.

Business Daily

Record London Rents Lure Overseas Landlords to Housing Market

The U.K.’s struggle to secure a favorable Brexit deal may be giving Prime Minister Theresa May a headache, but it’s making London’s battered buy-to-let market attractive overseas again.

Foreign-based landlords owned 12 percent of the homes rented out in the capital at the end of the first half, up from 7 percent last year, according to Hamptons International, which measured a subset of the London’s housing market. A falling pound has made it cheaper for overseas investors to buy homes using their local currencies, and many have been lured by a red-hot rental market that’s still at record levels because of tenant demand.

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“I was convinced rents would drop as people fled the U.K. after the Brexit vote — in fact, everyone was expecting Armageddon,” said Agus Marcos Blanco, a 39-year-old pharmacist in Barcelona, who shelved plans to purchase a London property immediately after the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Now, with rents having stayed buoyant, he’s looking for a buy-to-let investment in the U.K. capital.

The jump in foreign interest is a boon for London’s real estate market, where property values have cooled in recent months as many domestic buyers are priced out. This, together with a series of tax changes has sent sales down to levels not seen since the financial crisis and threatened a market that’s the preferred way of investing for many Britons.

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The imbalance between supply and demand in London has pushed average rents to 1,615 pounds ($2,100) a month, according to Homelet, the U.K.’s largest tenant referencing company. That’s the highest since it began collating the data in 2011 and 72 percent above the country-wide average of 937 pounds per month.

Juan Guerrero, head of foreign-exchange trading at Banca March SA in Madrid, estimates the pound could bounce back as much as 15 percent against the euro if the U.K. negotiates a successful EU divorce deal. A home worth the London average of 483,000 pounds costs a European buyer 537,500 euros at the current exchange rate, and would be worth around 70,000 euros more after such a rebound.

Yet it’s not an entirely rosy picture for foreign landlords. By some measures, growth in the rental market has cooled. And while the pound has rallied in recent days as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was seen to have diminished, some forecasts have the U.K. currency sliding toward levels versus the euro last seen in 2009. That would mean rental returns would be worth less when converted back to a landlord’s own currency.

Marcos Blanco, who has bid an undisclosed amount for a two-bedroom apartment in Bow, East London, is undeterred by the prospect of a further drop in sterling. “I think all the negative news has been factored in, and the only way is up,” he said. “Time will tell.”

Sharon R Smyth

 

Commissioning 200 Housing Units for IDPs in North East – Dangote Foundation

 

In another rare gesture from a private sector operator to help government in the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in parts of the insurgency ravaged areas in the North East, the Aliko Dangote Foundation has concluded preparation to commission a multi-billion naira housing estate

The commissioning of the 200 housing units for IDPs in Borno according to the CEO of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou is coming even as the Foundation has also completed the construction of a state-of-the-art hostel in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

The 10 block of hostel has the capacity to accommodate 1,440 students conveniently.

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Youssoufou who made the disclosure at an event in Maiduguri, Borno state stated that the housing units is one of the many critical interventions the Foundation had mapped out for execution in the North Eastern part of Nigeria to restore life to the area and help IDPs live a normal life again.

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State while reacting to this development said Dangote is the single largest benefactor of the IDPs after the Federal and state governments.

The Governor stated tha Dangote’s contribution does not only stop at feeding and clothing the IDPs which he has been doing over the years, it also stretches to resettling and rehabilitating them, a feat no other private organization has been able to match.

Just recently the Aliko Dangote Foundation flagged off its 2018 Ramadan Food distribution in the state with the distribution of food items worth N150 million to some 200 households from Dalori Community in the state. The items include: Rice, Sugar, Salt, Spaghetti, Semolina, Wheat Meal, Maize and Millet.

On the 10 blocks of hostel constructed for the ABU, the Group Executive Director, Stakeholders Management and Corporate Communication of the Dangote Group, Engr. Ahmed Mansur, said the Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of the Foundation was not resting on his oars, as he plans to up his stakes in the act of philanthropy.

Engr. Mansur said no date has yet been fixed for the commissioning of the newly built 10-blocks of hostel and that they have and would
continue to contribute enormously to the educational sector in Nigeria.

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He quoted Dangote as saying that Dangote Group had spent well over N4 billion in building classrooms, scholarship programmes and upgrading infrastructure across various University among others.

“We have just recently commissioned the Dangote Business School in Kano, the only Business School in Nigeria that is well equipped. We will also be commissioning similar projects in University of Ibadan, we have done quite a lot in the education system and we are looking to do more.

“Investing in the young people to us means, we are all working together to build a better Nigeria. In equipping Nigeria youths and prepare them for the 21st century challenges, we established the Dangote Academy in Kogi State, which provide specialized training and management skills for the youths particularly considering the large man power needed in the manufacturing industries,” he said.

He added: “Our ultimate goal is to promote rapid industrialization of Nigeria, using our own local talents.”

National President of the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association, Professor Ahmed Tijani Mora who expressed gratitude for the students’ accommodation further described the President of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote as a ‘dedicated philanthropist.’

He said the intervention by the Foundation was crucial and timely as the University’s infrastructure was already overstretched.

It would be recalled that only recently, the Foundation donated a well-equipped secondary school valued at N120 million in Lagos.

The Foundation donated a World Class Business School worth N1.2bn to the Bayero University Kano, while building another one in the University of Ibadan, which is due for commissioning too.

Funding was also provided for the construction of a 500 capacity student hostel complex of the University of Science and Technology, Wudil in Kano.

The Aliko Dangote Foundation has instituted several scholarship schemes in its business units across Nigeria. Only last week, the Foundation donated 150 fully equipped patrol cars to the Nigeria Police to aid in combating crimes.

Mr. Dangote had said that the motivation behind his public spirit gesture was because he does not only want to be “known as the Africa’s Richest Man, but the biggest African philanthropist. I will continue to use my resources and my voice to help shape a better Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.”

Victor Okeh

Family Homes Fund drives affordable housing with 500,000 Houses

 

Family Homes Funds, the largest affordable housing focused fund in sub-Saharan Africa – a collaborative fund chartered by the Federal Ministry of Finance Inc and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, has launched a recruitment campaign through international recruitment firm, Price WaterHouse Coopers. Boasting a projected capital base of N1 trillion by 2023, the primary objective of the fund is to facilitate access to affordable housing for millions of Nigerians within the low to medium income bracket.

At the core of this incandescent partnership is the visionary objective to support the delivery of over 500,000 homes, parallely fulfilling an underlying 1.5 million jobs creation target. Hence, the launch of an extensive recruitment campaign designed to secure high cadre human capacity to ensure optimum quality and on-schedule delivery of the affordable housing programme, one of the critical areas of the social intervention programme activated by the Nigerian Government.

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Family Homes Funds has taken proactive steps to meeting its affordable homes target by delivering 400 housing units in Grand Luvu, Nasarawa state at a competitive rate of N3.5million only; a major partnership milestone which satisfies 10% of homes presently under construction across Ogun, Kano, Delta, Nasarawa and Kaduna states. In addition, the fund is in concluding parts of negotiation talks with development partners to kickoff construction of 30,000 homes by November.

The fund envisages human capacity gaps in tandem with construction growth, imperative to fulfilling an earmarked 8000 homes by December 2018. With over 13,000 created jobs through concurrent constructions and an estimated 360,000 more in the coming year, the project has met with success at its infantile stage.

The Grand Luvu project, a supplier of 8000 of these jobs has seen the employment of graduates like Kabiru Usman, a 26 year old who was engaged in training within the construction value chain guaranteeing him sustainable income to support a young family. Unskilled and unemployed youth like Hassan have not been left out, receiving inclusive training and employment in masonry, emerging from chronic socioeconomic dependency on his extended family.

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The Millennium City project in Kaduna directly accounts for the employment of 200 artisans including carpenters, bricklayers, masons, iron benders, electricians etc. Unemployed youth like Abu Imitaz, a graduate of accounting from Kaduna Polytechnic secured a job as site accountant while Yusuf Ishaq an unemployed bricklayer has a stable source of income at the Kaduna construction.

The Family Homes Funds which spent 9 months on the drawing board to enable a solid foundation for success, aspires to create affordable homes for low income earners while ensuring its investments provide opportunities for this demography to consistently earn decent wages. It is poised to achieve these objectives through strategic partnerships with various players in the sector and a crop of reliable Development Finance Institutions.

Koko Ombu, HousingNews, Abuja

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