Why Steel and Concrete Buildings are The Best — Toni Nasr

Mr. Toni Nasr, is the Project Manager, Azuri Peninsula, the largest city in the Marina District of Eko Atlantic, Lagos. The project includes three 30+ floor luxury residential towers as well as multiple town houses with ground floor/podium.

The three Towers including Oban Tower, Zuna Tower and Orun Tower, comprises seven-bedroom villas on the top two floors, six-bedroom penthouses and two and four-bedroom apartments in varied formats on all other floors. In this interview with Vanguard Homes & Property, he explains the concept of steel and concrete buildings which is in vogue across the world vis-avis the benefits of steel and concrete buildings to construction sub-sector.

Excerpts: Why the choice of steel and concrete method in building and construction as applied in Azuri Peinsula rather than the traditional method?

Using steel and concrete in building construction is time saving, as it allows for speed during execution.
Environmental wastes and hazard are also seriously reduced since less concrete and formwork are used.

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Among other things, using steel and concrete is hugely encouraged for the following reasons:
One, it guarantees quality which must be very high, as the steel used is fabricated from the factory with all the required specifications by experts to ensure quality is sustained. Secondly, it saves time. In the case, a lot of time is saved during execution as only assemblage and erection is needed, because time is money.

Are there challenges peculiar with steel and concrete buildings?

Yes. There are two major challenges associated with this type of construction technique: Safety measures (working at heights) and engineering capability. Although we have successfully surmounted these challenges as we see them as opportunities for growth and development. We ensure that safety measures are never toyed with during and after the erection procedures based on our top notch risk assessment and management.

Through proper planning of the engineering design and execution, we ensure quality during these processes by making sure only proven, qualified and competent experts are involved throughout who will pay attention to all the details in the factory and at erection phase.

There is also the challenge of heavy equipment and haulage services. To tackle this, we have ensured the use of most modern and efficient equipment certified to international standards in all our operations to further fast tract the execution of the project.

What is the adoption rate of steel and concrete in Nigeria?

The adoption rate is quite low as this methodology (composite) is not commonly practised. Most clients/construction companies do not erect composite concrete works because it requires expertise and highly qualified and competent experts and technicalities that very few companies possess. ITB Nigeria is one of the few construction companies that possess the capability. In a few years however, we foresee an increase in adoption considering the huge benefits that this technique offers.

Do you see a potential in the adoption of more steel and concrete buildings in Nigeria?

As I stated earlier, once clients start seeing the benefits accruable to the use of steel and concrete, then more companies will begin to adopt this method. One advantage that would appeal to clients is having a large span area with reduced columns without necessarily increasing the thickness of the slabs, and the safety of having less environmental pollution because of reduced use of concrete.

And more so, fabrications are all done in the factory leaving out only the erection and little concrete to complete massive structures. Ultimately, projects would eventually be delivered swiftly hence the steel structure/composite function can be a good option. With the growth in skill of engineers today, there will surely be increase in adoption rate.

Do steel and concrete buildings require specific maintenance techniques?

Like every other structure that requires maintenance, steel and concrete structures have to be maintained too. However, there is no major, regular or specific maintenance techniques required as all elements have passed through all requisite quality specifications and codes and are effectively covered with crisp finishing.

Does ITB Nigeria Ltd. have any other steel and concrete project in the pipeline?

Discussions with prospective clients are at advanced stage and we expect that such projects will commence shortly.

Do you source steel and concrete building materials locally?

Concrete building materials are readily available locally but we tend to import the steel elements as such grades of steel are not produced in Nigeria at the moment. As Nigeria becomes more technologically advanced, we hope to be able to source the steel elements locally.

Source: Vanguard Newspaper

Housing Challenges and Solutions for Africa’s Fast-growing Cities

Africa will have some of the fastest-growing cities in the world over the next 50 years. With this rapid expansion comes many challenges, including urban planning that encompasses affordable housing solutions for the growing number of urban dwellers, as well as provisions for sufficient clean water, electricity and sanitation.

Recently, Habitat for Humanity hosted a leadership conference in South Africa, focused on discussing housing challenges on the continent and how to overcome them. Respected speakers from around the world took to the podium to discuss issues affecting Sub-Saharan Africa, and exchanged ideas on how housing solutions can be funded.

1. Addressing Africa’s unique challenges

Land tenure, access to affordable housing finance, and cost-effective construction methods and materials are some of the unique African issues that need solutions, according to Kevin Chetty, Habitat for Humanity International, Regional Director at Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter.

“Once we understand what we need to overcome, then we can work towards sustainable solutions that stay true to Habitat’s principles of self-reliance and improving systems that enable families to achieve safe and affordable shelter without needing ongoing support,” says Chetty.

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Urban planning is another extremely important factor, with investment needed to fund urban infrastructure such as reliable power, clean water, sanitation and transportation, which in turn will boost economic development.

“Many African countries can’t keep up with the huge influx of people into urban areas, making it near-impossible to provide people with adequate housing, let alone an infrastructure that can handle the momentous task of providing electricity, running water and sanitation, which should be available to all,” he says.

Africa also needs a variety of affordable housing solutions for the growing number of urban dwellers, from housing microfinance to public schemes, and alternative construction methods and materials. “This conference brings together people from across the continent, as well as Europe, to share their successes and challenges and helping us all to achieve Habitats global vision.”

2. Housing is a process, not a product

Housing is complex, and can’t be seen in a linear way.

“A linear approach that looks for a simple cause and effect will most likely lead to a simple solution, and won’t address the totality of challenges that make up this dynamic system that is ever-changing and not static,” explains Chetty.

Understanding and recognising the complexity of housing, and moving beyond the traditional approaches to housing as a product is an essential step. With this new understanding, a successful people-centred integration of knowledge, financing, stakeholder mobilisation, and programme and policy interventions can be made.

A house is an asset, not just for the family living there, but also for the community as whole. Empowering the community and building them up to be sustainable will create positive systemic change.

3. Housing microfinance

In the developed world, housing finance is synonymous with mortgage lending, and represents one of the key building blocks of the banking sector. In less developed countries, mortgages are accessed by as little as one percent of the population.

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In Africa, the poor have invested the most in their housing, and nearly 80% of housing is self-financed. Housing microfinance is particularly suited to the building and financing needs of the majority of Africa’s population, as homes are built informally with local materials and unskilled labour.

Chetty points out that financial service providers are discovering that vast business opportunities exist within the lower-income housing markets of the developing world.

“The Terwilliger Centre for Innovation in Shelter has had a successful project running in Kenya, and we will be replicating this in South Africa in order to give the majority of the population access to microfinance and see the dream of having a home come to fruition.”

Source:  Property24

Multi-family homes, student housing top global real estate investments

Investors looking at residential property are increasingly looking at alternative real estate such as multi-family housing, retirement housing and student markets, according to new research.

Global student housing investment volumes in particular have risen 87 per cent in the last five years, says the study from international real estate firm Savills.

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According to Propertywire.com, the study explains that the maturity of the British and US markets, coupled with low provision yet high demand for purpose-built student accommodation, mean that southern European cities offer the strongest opportunities for new investment in the sector over the coming year.

But global need for multi-family, co-living and retirement housing offers opportunities across all jurisdictions, and are particularly under invested asset classes in the UK, it also points out.

Indeed, the provision of PBSA is highest in the UK where 27 per cent of all students can be accommodated, and lowest in southern Europe. In Italy, Europe’s fourth largest student market, the national provision rate is less than five per cent.

Analysing city by city data from StudentMarketing, an independent provider of student housing and micro living research and data, Savills has identified that provision is lowest in Rome, with a student population of 220,500, but only 6,500 student beds, a provision rate of just three per cent, followed by Porto at 3.5 per cent, Florence at 3.8 per cent, Barcelona at 4.9 per cent and Madrid at 5.7 per cent.

These cities therefore offer the best immediate opportunities for investors, says Savills, as many have strong international student populations, indicating a solid supply base, and high average PBSA rents.

“Italy’s proving to be an attractive market for investors where supply is low and the existing quality of accommodation is dated,” said Marcus Roberts, director of residential capital markets for Europe at Savills.

Source: Punch Newspaper

Affordable Housing: Using the Rwanda Model

If it is to go by the way of policies of successive governments on provision of affordable housing, Nigerians would have been the most housed in the world.

However, years after, these policies are still gathering dust, while homelessness among Nigerians has assumed a frightening dimension.

From 12 million housing deficit in 2007, the country’s accommodation shortage is estimated at between 17 and 20 million housing units in 2018 with a potential cost of N6 trillion ($16 billion) and a 900,000 annual unit deficit increase.

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Reasons such as lack of access to land, high cost of land and money, unfriendly interest rates, low income, lack of enabling environment, high cost of infrastructure, lack of virile mortgage institutions, lack of political will, bottleneck procedures associated with building approval/permits and title are among the factors reeled out by professionals and home seekers as major challenges to affordable housing in Nigeria.

While Nigerians and government are still trading blames, cheery news from Rwanda, a country trying to recover from the genocide of the mid-1990s, showed that the country has moved ahead others in Africa in the area of affordable housing for its citizens.

Rwanda’s housing programme

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Workers Affordable Properties Limited (WAP) Rwanda , Mr. Kunu Harmony, there are factors responsible for Rwanda’s awesome performance and exploit. He pointed out that the goal was to achieve affordable housing for low and middle income earners.
To achieve the goal, he said that government, financial institutions, private developers and the home beneficiaries played major roles.

According to him, there is an housing policy, which defines expectations of affordable housing with government roles and what the developer’s roles are, adding that the authorities also set maximum cost and what the size of housing should be.

In a chat with Nigerian professionals in the real estate sector on Housing Development Group’s whatsapp platform powered by Festus Adebayo-led Fesadeb Communication Limited, Harmony said there was also a mandatory requirement for government to provide certain facilities once the project is approved to have met affordable housing programme in Rwanda.

“The purpose is to ensure that cost of these facilities is not added to the cost of the housing units in order to keep the price of the housing units within the affordable range,” he said.

Example of such government support, Harmony said, included all external and major internal roads for the estate, water supply pipeline, electricity lines with transformers and fibrer optics, among others.

“However, if this is done by government, not everyone in the country qualifies for affordable housing units. Five conditions are provided in Article 8 of Rwanda’s law for government support for affordable housing,” he noted.

To qualify for the housing units, the CEO of Workers Affordable Properties Limited (WAP) explained that such a person must be a citizen or permanent resident of Rwanda and must be above 21 years of age.

The individual or her spouse, if married, must not have a house already within Kigali if the project is in Kigali and must be within certain salary range as set by prime minister every two years.

Also, the beneficiary cannot sell the house within 10 years, but can rent it out from date of purchase.

Criteria

The developers noted that most times, affordable housing process was abused in many forms, pointing out that technically, the initiative has seven basic assessment criteria that must be tested country by country or region by region if the country is very big.

The criteria for assessing affordable housing, he said, must ensure that 85 per cent of building materials is sourced locally; beneficiaries have access to fund, application of technology, project financing interest rate, project management capacity ‘access to land and cost of land, and government policy supporting affordable housing.

“If this is not done as initial assessment, obtaining affordable housing objectives for the targeted group may be difficult to achieve,” the CEO of WAP said.

On beneficiary’s access to fund, he noted that the World Bank and UN had defined affordable housing to target low and medium income earners, adding that the expectation is that not more than 45 per cent of salary should be spent on house need per month.

Another professional, Mr. Olatunde Adetayo, said that every sector in Rwanda was functioning well and properly regulated.

“The people understand where they are, what they have and equally what they lack. These are basic ingredients for planning,” he said.

According to Adetayo, the housing sector does not work in isolation; it works hand in hand with other government agencies to determine beneficiaries of housing units.

He said: “The key thing we must learn from Rwanda is that you should not attempt to bribe anyone to influence things or change records for undue favour.

“Let it also be known that Rwanda does not joke with its tax policies as it cuts across every sector, including land,” he said.

Finance

Talking about access to funds, Harmony listed two categories, which involve mortgage or construction loan programme from bank and government housing fund.

In Rwanda, he explained that mortgage loans were given for a near or finished house, why the grant of construction loan is different.

He said: “The construction loan interest rate is usually little higher than the mortgage loan interest rate. Some banks are still doing eight years repayment period while the banks we had alignment with have moved to 20 years repayment period.

“The interest rate for both mortgage loan and construction loan range from 15.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent, depending on the applicant risk level.”

On government’s housing fund, Harmony explained that the loan was being provided to prospective homeowners through the commercial banks at a much lower interest rate that is less than 10 per cent for a period of 20 years with zero down payment.

“Target is low and middle income earners. The origin of this loan is from the World Bank to Government Investment Bank, which then disburses to the participating commercial banks,” he said.

Local material

To attain affordable housing for the populace, the developer enjoined Nigerian real estate experts to explore opportunities in clay.

He said: “One big aspect I think we can look for affordable housing materials is the large deposit of clay we have in Nigeria . Most houses in Europe and United State are made from fired bricks produced from clay.

“The fired bricks with the right technology produce very strong and beautiful bricks in different colours. One can also produce other house finishing items for roofing, tiles and others from that if you have the right equipment.”

He hinted that his company was currently in phase three of acquiring some production equipment, targeting production of over 150,000 bricks per day in Rwanda.

Last line

When there is will, there is a way. Nigerian government must show the way by providing the enabling environment for private sector to thrive in the provision of cheap houses.

Source:  Dayo Ayeyemi

CBN Confirms 34 Primary Mortgage Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has listed only 34 firms as licensed primary mortgage banks in Nigeria.

According to the list released by the regulator on Monday, 50 per cent of the banks are operating in Lagos.

From its records as of the end of September,  the CBN said 17 of the PMBs were in Lagos; eight in Abuja; two in Akwa Ibom State; while Oyo, Delta, Ogun, Kebbi, Jigawa, Abia and Osun have one each.

In September, the CBN gave a notification to revoke the operating licences of 182 other financial institutions in the country, of which six PMBs were included.

One hundred and fifty four of the affected institutions are microfinance banks while the remaining 22 are finance companies.

The CBN said 62 of the microfinance banks had already closed shop; 74 became insolvent; 12 were terminally distressed; while six voluntarily liquidated.

The CBN listed the primary mortgage banks for revocation as Accord Savings and Loans Limited in Lagos that failed to recapitalise; and Ahocol Savings and Loans Limited in Anambra (state government-owned) that closed shop.

Other mortgage banks for revocation are Trans-Atlantic Savings and Loans Limited in Bayelsa (also state government-owned) that became insolvent; Royal Savings and Loans Limited in Delta State also closed shop; Amex Savings and Loans Limited in Lagos that failed to recapitalise; and Supreme Savings and Loans Limited in Lagos that closed shop.

The CBN disclosed that eight finance companies voluntary liquidated; 13 failed to recapitalise; while one became insolvent.

According to the apex bank, the affected institutions are from different states of the federation.

The CBN described a PMB as any company that is licensed to carry out primary mortgage banking business in Nigeria. They are permitted to engage in mortgage finance, real estate construction finance within the permitted limits, acceptance of savings and time/term deposits and acceptance of mortgage-focused demand deposits.

The PMBs also engage in financial advisory services for mortgage customers and other activities the CBN may approve from time to time.

Source: Nike Popoola.

Coalition Advocates Reform in Urban Policies, Resources Allocation to Councils

Global experts have enjoined African governments to review their National Urban Policies (NUPs) to address structural impediments and lay the foundations for inclusive urban expansion.

They pinpointed out that 18 NUPs drafted in Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria are full of the standard policy jargon.

The technical capabilities, legal frameworks, financial instruments, and political will to deliver on these complex policies appear to be lacking.

However, progress in implementing them has been slow, suggesting political and administrative disincentives for devolving budgets and power.

This was the submission of the Coalition for Urban Transitions, a major global initiative to support national governments to accelerate economic development and tackle dangerous climate change by transforming cities.

It provides an independent, evidence-based approach for thinking about how to manage urban areas, and the accompanying process of economic, social, and environmental transformation, to maximize benefits for people and the planet.

The Coalition is a special initiative of the New Climate Economy and jointly managed by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

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It brings together major institutions spanning five continents including research institutions, city networks, international organizations, infrastructure providers, and strategic advisory companies and is guided and championed by an urban leadership council.

The experts disclosed that if NUPs are to be meaningful and implementable, they have to coordinate government, donor, civil society, and private sector efforts to ensure that the urban transition in Africa realizes its potential benefits and avoids risks.

“NUPs need to go beyond donor-funded tick-box compliance with the African Charter or UN-Habitat requirements.

They must create governance arrangements that can address local contexts by establishing common goals, clear roles and balanced power relations among the stakeholders that influence urban development.”

NUPs emerged from Habitat III in 2016 as the policy instrument through which national governments can engage and shape an urbanizing world.

They are particularly important in Sub-Saharan Africa, where urbanization is rapid and local governments are typically weak.

NUPs can bring greater coherence and legitimacy to authorities and agents in cities and—critically—recalibrate the balance of power shared by different levels of government, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), civil society and the private sector.

According to the group, the effectiveness of NUPs hinge on their capacity to reflect the lived realities of African urban growth, including political tensions, informal settlements and economies, and acute shortages of public funds.

“NUPs need to go beyond infrastructure and finance wish-lists if they are to address the barriers to functional multilevel governance in urban Africa. Although each country is different, there is a common need to strengthen national governments’ political and legislative commitment to cities and coordinate the formal and informal rules of the game.”

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In a position paper ‘Developing Prosperous and Inclusive Cities in Africa – National Urban Policies to the Rescue?, the coalition revealed that African countries will be able to realize the potential urbanization dividend only by establishing enabling multilevel governance arrangements that are ONE: Committing to increase the capacities of and resources allocated to urban governments—and codifying those commitments in law.

“The importance of NUPs lies in their ability to outline mandates and responsibilities across tiers of government. National governments are typically best placed to oversee matters such as sectoral alignment in the national economy and the stewardship of water basins and national power grids.

“Local governments may be or solid waste management—but they need support to develop the requisite capacities and manage the associated budgets. The appropriate balance of mandates requires regular recalibration, particularly as new technologies emerge that alter the nature of public goods and the best locus of coordination.”

TWO: Creating a culture of rights and social justice. NUPs provide an opportunity for national governments to articulate natural rights (such as rights to water, sanitation, and shelter) and legal rights (such as rights to citizenship, suffrage, and peaceful protest) that can provide the foundation for a social contract.

Tanzania’s land management policies—in which the president has important powers to acquire land for public use but legal protections are in place for landholders and occupiers2—illustrates how national policies can balance public and private interests.

They argued that establishing an urban rights culture can validate the contributions of grassroots organizations, informal livelihoods, the media, and academia in forging new development pathways and vibrant cities.

“It can also facilitate the social participation and economic contribution of marginalized urban residents, such as women and youth.

To date, national governments have displayed little willingness to engage alternative voices in anything other than confrontation.”

THREE: Collecting data and assimilating evidence that demystify all aspects of African cities, including the informal sector. NUPs in Africa can help make informality more legible to planning efforts and investors.

The process of designing, implementing, and reviewing NUPs offers an opportunity for decision-makers to collect and share evidence from multiple sources, formal and informal.

This requires closer engagement between government agencies, academia, private sector and civil society actors, all of which generate relevant evidence that needs to be brought to bear on urban decision making.

The paper authored by Anton Cartwright, Ian Palmer, Anna Taylor, Edgar Pieterse, Susan Parnell, and Sarah Colenbrander noted that NUPs need to establish multilevel governance over planning, construction, and operations to ensure that transport is affordable and accessible to low-income households, financially sustainable from the perspective of transport operators and local governments, capable of connecting commuters with work, services and leisure opportunities as well as afer for commuters and pedestrians than existing modes of transport, which kill more commuters per travelled distance than in any other region.

Source: Chinedum Uwaegbulam, The Guardian Newspaper

Decentralise land administration, experts tell govt

For Lagos residents and Nigerians at large to get more benefits from owning land, the government needs to decentralise land administration and management, experts have said.

The experts noted that the level of poverty in the country would continue to grow if proper land management that could promote investment and wealth for landowners was not put in place.

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They posited that no country had progressed by leaving land administration solely to the governor of a state.

According to an emeritus Professor and Chairman, Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform, Peter Adeniyi, decentralisation has recently been recognised as one of the means through which development opportunities can reach majority of the population both in the urban and rural areas.

He explained that it entailed the transfer of specific operational functions of land administration from central/state to the local/community level.

“A decentralised system of land administration creates more opportunities to the local people in the decision-making process, promotes peoples’ participation and encourages sustainability. It also offers more efficient and effective administration and management,” he said.

Adeniyi and other experts, spoke at the International Conference on Land and Development in Lagos, which held at the University of Lagos.

He said the most desirable decentralisation of land administration in Lagos State should be the transfer or delegation of power of functions such as land registration, land transaction, dispute resolution and other functions as prescribed by the Land Use Act to the Local Government Areas.

“Doing this will significantly improve tenure security and land rights, conflict resolution, opportunity for institutionalised credit facilities and job creation. Dealing with land grabbing and growth of informalities will be enhanced,” he added.

He, however, stated that to accomplish the reform in land administration, there would be a need for a change of mindset by the political leadership in the state as well as a re-consideration of treating every piece of land in Lagos state as urban.

Adeniyi said, “In essence, a robust legislation is required to specify the roles and responsibilities of government at different levels and coordination between them.

“Owing to the long neglect of the Local Government Areas in the area of land administration, there is the need for human capacity building and resource mobilisation to enable them to successfully carry out the responsibility entrusted to them by this suggested but imperative reform.”

A past Surveyor-General, Prof Peter Nwilo, stated that data remained a huge challenge for land administration in the country, adding that almost all data available were not harmonised.

He said the Lagos State Government had achieved success in mapping, which had increased its income generation, and urged other states to do the same.

The General Manager, Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency, Mr Lateef Solebo, noted that the state government, in line with its mega city status, had developed programmes to tackle land use issues such as identifying slums and developing investment policies for private investors in such areas.

“We have to begin to build vertical cities, we cannot sprawl anymore, as this depletes infrastructure,” he said.

The Founding Director, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, conveners of the conference, Prof Gbenga Nubi, said the Lagos State Government as well as other state governments needed to get land and development issues right to eradicate poverty.

The Vice-Chancellor, UNILAG, Prof Olutoyin Ogundipe, who was represented by the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Iyiola Oni, said planning, management and use of land were critical issues that government at all levels should address.

Source:  Maureen Ihua Maduenyi

Don Seek Decentralization of Land Administration

For the nation to reap enormous benefits from land administration, there is the need to decentralize its management, promote systemic titling and registration as well as improve transparency in governance.

These were the submissions of experts at the two-day “International Conference on Land and Development in Lagos” organized by Center for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos (UNI-LAG).

The conference brought together scholars from the nation’s universities and professional in the construction industry.

Leading the call, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on land reforms former, Prof. Peter Adeniyi canvassed the devolution of land administration to local government particularly in terms of registration, transactions and land conflict resolutions.

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For instance, he pointed out that Lagos is too big in terms of administration for every land actions to be done at the center, stressing that it would not work irrespective of energy investment in the process.

Prof. Adeniyi said it’s unfortunate that the country currently lacks some basic information like; the number of informal structures in the cities, area of registered land parcels and records of parcel owners with respect to career status, gender among others, which could facilitate sustainable land management.

Speaking on, “Land reform: A catalyst for inclusive growth and development in Lagos”, Adeniyi, the former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akura, observed that one of the problems confronting land governance in the country is lack of implementation and enforcement of policies amid increasing numbers of actors such as the public sector, traditional authorities, private sector and civil society who has interest on land. He lamented that the country is not organized in putting proper law together for effective land administration.

According to him, the nation needs to adopt good land governance principles that are secured, transparent, equitable and sustainable with balance of social/economic and environmental needs. He also warned that weak land governance gives room for unreliable data, informal land transaction and land grabbing.

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The former Surveyor General of the Federation, Prof. Peter Nwilo, urged all levels of  government to adopt the proposal of the presidential committee on land reform, which suggested the adoption of systematic land registration methods for survey plans and cad-astral records.

He said there was a need for increased training and capacity building for surveyors and other experts involved in land administration, renewed investment in geodetic infrastructure and creating synergy among professionals in land administration.

Earlier, UNILAG Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe represented by Prof. Iyiola Oni noted that land is a critical issue as no development could occur without a well conserved and managed land resources. He stressed that issues of land use, tenure system, legal matters and land policy has come a long way to describe the importance of the natural resources.

On his part, the Chairman, local organizing committee, Prof. Timothy Nubi, explained that the level of poverty in any nation is dependent on how well land is managed. He therefore said, authorities must effectively realize the latent potentials in land management.

Source: Victor Gbonegun, The Guardian Newspaper

Harsh economy forcing many city dwellers to uncompleted buildings

The stark reality of the harsh economic situation is leading to an upsurge of Nigerians moving to uncompleted buildings in major towns and on the outskirts, leaving some of the homeowners with sad tales.However, the trend is growing spontaneously as housing has remained a major challenge in the cities due shortage of residential accommodation.

Many residents, who cannot afford decent homes, stay in houses that have structural defects, sewage challenges, congestion and lack of ventilation among others.

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The figure pitched Nigeria high on the global figure of 1.6 billion people that lacked adequate housing as released by The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN–Habitat) in 2015.

This is a consequence of many factors, including rapid urbanisation and poverty, high cost of rents and currently mainly the terror by Boko Haram.

The practice is more evident in neighbouring towns within major cities like Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.

In several parts of Lagos for instance, residents who cannot afford the high cost of apartments in the highbrow areas, move to the outskirts to rent apartments, which usually lack basic amenities.

These buildings, which are often in their uncompleted stages, are dotted in several estates, shanties and other dirty environment in border towns.

Ideally, people should not be living in such conditions, but in Lagos, it doesn’t matter because it is the survival of the fittest. The situation is worsened by the present economic realities, which led to 70 percent devaluation of Naira.

According to the United Nations, a house must have some basic amenities and once those things are not there people are bound to be expose to social risks.

These basic amenities include, adequate privacy, adequate space; physical accessibility; adequate security; security of tenure; structural stability and reliability; adequate lighting, heating and ventilation; adequate basic infrastructure, such as water supply, sanitation and waste-management facilities; suitable quality environment.

Apart from health hazards, living in such buildings also come with some social implications.

A Septuagenarian, Mrs. Eunice Erosomole, who lives in an uncompleted three bedroom Bungalow at Peace Estate, Mowe with her four children said, these amenities are a luxury they cannot think of because of the circumstance that forced them to live the unfinished home.

She was forced to relocate to the apartment with her children following the death of her husband. Narrating her ordeal, she had to park out because of her inability to pay the landlord in Ketu area of Lagos.

The landlord, she said, went as far as removing their roof and they have no option than to relocate even though, the building was yet to be ceiled, floored and plastered.

“ We are even lucky to have a place we can called our own, if not we don’t know what would have been our fate today”, she said.

Mrs. Erosomole said thieves, who broke into her house through the roof and the blocks, had robbed her severally.

“ When, I lost my husband, I had the option to use his gratuity to complete the house but my two children were in the university. One was in his second year, while the other was in his final year. I came to the conclusion that the money should be used for their education. They have graduated but yet to get employment”, she lamented.

There was also the same case with Mr. Johnson Oleka, who is living with his family in Agbara in Ogun State.

Oleka was forced to his uncompleted building from Ilasa area of Lagos.

Apart from lack of infrastructure in the area, which is the trademark of such developing outskirts, he has constant battle with reptiles and robbers.

He rehearsed the sorry tale of how termites invaded one of the rooms he used as poultry in his house last month and killed all the birds; he was rearing to sell during December season.

Oleka said he has planned to use the proceeds to plaster the rooms and the sewage before the unfortunate incidence.

The trend is not limited in Lagos, as many residents in Marraba and environs in Nasarrawa State are living in uncompleted building because they cannot afford the rents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

One of such residents, Upele John, said he commenced the building during the last administration but lost his job, hence his decision to park into the house with the family, as he could not afford the exorbitant house rents.

John said in this kind of situation nobody considers the risk associated with living in uncompleted, as you will see that you are not alone.

But the Country Leader at Cromwell Professional Services International and Urban Development, Sola Enitan, said there is no how anybody would continue to pay rents when he has an uncompleted building he could live in.

The situation, he said is further compounded when landlords are increasing rents in order to maximize their investments with the depreciating value of the Naira.

Enitan, an estate surveyor and valuer said the phenomenon could be traceable to the economic situation where the value of Naira is continuously depreciating.

“ Nobody can fault this phenomenon because naira has lost about 70 per cent of its value and nobody in his right sense who has an uncompleted building will like to go to pay rents”, he said.

Enitan, an Estate Surveyor and Valuer said the phenomenon could be linked to the clampdown on corruption by the present administration, which has reduced the income of majority of Nigerians who feed on corruption proceeds.

Source: Guardian Newspaper

 

Town planners Institute task members on ethical standard

 

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has elevated 77 town planners to fellowship position.

Speaking at the investiture of the new fellows, held over the weekend in   Abuja, Chairman NITP Fellows Selection Committee, Donatus Obialo said as senior planners, they should show exemplary integrity and live above board in practice and in all aspect of life.

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He warned that the institute would not hesitate to discipline Fellows who fail “to live up to the high esteem of the Fellowship class in terms of integrity, ethics and morals of the profession.”

Earlier,  NITP National President,  Luka Achi commended the selection board for selecting those with professional distinction and character credibility.

He said, “The award of fellowship is conferred on members who have distinguished themselves in their contributions to research, theory and practice of profession as well as those who, through active participation have left visible legacies.”

He said the aim of town planners is to re- orientate politicians and policy makers on the role of town planning in economic development and the consequences of ignoring it.

Among those elevated to fellowship position is the Governor of Taraba State Ishaku Darius and Abuja Municipal Management Council Coordinator (AMMC)  Umar Shuaibu.

Source: Mustapha Sulieman

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