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NMRC appoints new Chairman,MD

In view of recent board and management updates, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC), has appointed Charles Adeyemi Candide-Johnson SAN, and Mr Kehinde Ogundimu, as substantive Chairman and the Managing Director with effect from 1st December 2018. Mr Johnson takes over from Charles C. Okeahalam, PhD, who retired with effect from November 30. Also, the company’s Executive director in charge of policy, Strategy and Partnerships in the person of Dr. Mrs Chika Akporji, retired effective 30th November 2018. While, Mrs Anino Emuwa, Non-Executive Director, stepped down from the company’s board.

Until His appointment as Chairman, Mr Johnson was a non-executive Director, at NMRC, and a senior partner at Strachan Partners – a leading commercial law firm based in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria and substantial practice across the nation. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1984 and conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in September 2003.
He received an LL.M Degree from the University of London in 1985 and between 1984 and 1990 was Counsel in the leading chambers of Jon. B. Majiyagbe SAN, in Kano, Nigeria. He moved to Lagos in 1990 to establish the Lagos practice of that firm and in 1994 led the founding of Strachan Partners.

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Appointed as notary public for Nigeria in 1988 and in 1996 a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of England, Yemi is an approved tutor-examiner for the Institute. He is an honorary fellow at the Centre for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitration Association.

The new Managing Director, Mr Kehinde Ogundimu, was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Acting Managing Director, prior to his appointment as the substantive Managing Director. Ogundimu holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Ibadan and obtained an MBA from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years work experience in financial services (secondary mortgage and diversified banking), energy and public accounting.

Mr Ogundimu started his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers and subsequently worked in various capacities at Chevron Nigeria Ltd and in the Washington DC region at Pepco Energy Services, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and finally at Capital One Bank, where he was the Head of Debt, Derivatives and Securitization before joining NMRC.

“Mr. Ogundimu is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holder.
“He has attended several executive management programs in leading educational institutions including Harvard Business School and Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria,” the release further read.

The Company’s new Chairman and Managing Director, both come with wealth of experience acquired over the years, and are expected to oversee the affairs of the company, with a clear mandate to grow the primary and secondary mortgage markets and promote home ownership in Nigeria.

They are both proponents of the value chain approach to tackling the challenges facing a market comprising multi-faceted and complex operators, systems and processes along a supply and demand continuum.
The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company was conceived as a major institutional and financing intervention for the country’s housing sector, with the mandate of providing liquidity to mortgage lenders.

Source:Affa Dickson Acho

AFC Invests $142 Million In Hydro-Electric Power Station

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), one of the leading infrastructure development finance institutions in Africa, has announced to invest in the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), located 65KM north of Yaounde in Cameroon

The US$1.37bn power generation project will consist of a 420MW hydro-electric power station as well as a 50KM transmission line. The financing structure will take a 76:24 debt to equity ratio, with AFC providing US$56.94mn in debt and an additional 18-year interest rate swaps of up to US$85.41mn. Construction is expected to commence by the end of 2018.

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Other lenders participating in the investment consortium include the International Finance Corporation, European Investment Bank, Proparco, Société Générale and Standard Chartered.

Electricité de France International has a 40 per cent stake in NHPC, with InfraVentures, the World Bank’s infrastructure project development fund and the government of Cameroon each holding 30 per cent stakes.

This investment into Cameroon’s power sector comes following consistent growth in the demand for electricity across the country for both domestic and industrial use. For example, during the 2012 – 2016 period, demand grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.6 per cent, from 4.2TWh to 5.7TWh in the grid to which Nachtigal will connect. Currently, demand in the grid to which Nachtigal will be connected is expected to more than double from 5.7TWh in 2016 to above 13TWh by 2030.

At the same time, Eneo Cameroon SA, the country’s main electricity company, and off-taker to the NHP, has delivered significant operational improvements. This has consequently meant liquidity support for NHPC is stronger than it was for the Kribi Power Development Corporation IPP, which attracted a similar group of lenders.

As is the case with all projects Africa Finance Corporation participates in, the decision to go forward with the Nachtigal hydro project was based on its potential to drive economic development while also considering its wider impact. The NHPC will be the cornerstone of Cameroon’s low carbon development plan and was selected because it was ranked as the best future hydro project to be developed in the LCDP. AFC, the sponsors and lenders will develop the project in compliance with national and international best practices in terms of environmental and social management and infrastructure building.

Samaila Zubairu, president and CEO to AFC, commented, “Cameroon is a textbook example of a nation that has, in recent years, demonstrated a deep-rooted commitment to surmount its power deficit challenges by successfully creating a highly investible sector.”

“Moreover, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) having raised Cameroon’s economic growth outlook to 4.2 per cent from 2017’s 3.2 per cent, we will be investing in the country’s essential infrastructure that will help unlock further economic growth in the years to come, and for the people of Cameroon reach their developmental aspirations.”


Mortgage Underwriting Approval Process

The mortgage underwriting approval process often feels like an exceptionally long dental appointment. You’ve dutifully gathered the mountain of documentation required to obtain a mortgage. You’ll hand them over to your loan officer or a mortgage processor. Either way, your documents will be reviewed for thoroughness, completeness, and accuracy.

And almost everyone messes something up. They forget to check some box, omit a statement or miss a signature. Usually, your missing documents or signatures will be requested along with clarification on anything that’s not crystal clear about your documents.

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Here’s what to expect out of the process.

Your Choice of a Lender 

The underwriting process can vary a great deal depending on your loan officer and lender. The mortgage lender and loan officer you choose, the type of loan you need, and the general level of detail you’ve put into gathering your documents will play a large part in determining your personal level of underwriting discomfort.”

Your file will be passed on to a corporate mortgage processor in a centralized location that is typically nowhere near you, at least if you are with a large bank or lending institution.

Smaller lenders and independent mortgage brokers usually staff cohesive in-house teams. This results in more efficient operations and everyone is under one roof.

Even so, there are many good reasons to use a big bank. The giants can generally afford to take more chances than the small ones, and that’s great if you find yourself in a gray zone for approval. They also typically offer a wider variety of niche mortgage products for things like renovation and construction financing. But you’ll have to give up a little something in the way of efficiency in exchange for these advantages.

The Effect of “Turn Time”

All mortgage lenders have a “turn time,” the time from submission to underwriter review and the lender’s decision. The turn time can be affected by a number of factors big and small

Ask your loan officer what He/she expects your turn time will be and consider that factor in your ultimate choice of a lender. Keep in mind that purchase turn times should always be less than refinance turn times. Home buyers have hard deadlines they must meet so they get underwriting dibs.

Under normal circumstances, your purchase application should be underwritten within 72 hours of underwriting submission and within one week after you provide your fully completed documentation to your loan officer.

Approved, Denied, or Suspended 

The underwriter will typically issue one of three dispositions to your application: approved, denied, or suspended.

If it’s approved, underwriting will typically assign conditions you’ll have to meet for full approval. This might be clarification regarding a late payment, a large deposit, or a past life transgression. It could simply be a missed signature here or there.

If it’s suspended—which is not completely unusual—the issue of underwriting becomes more confused and needs clarification. These delays are typically employment- or income-related, but occasionally an asset verification question can also lead to a suspension. In this case, you’ll get two conditions: one to clear the suspense and the standard conditions needed for full approval.

Finally, if you’re denied, you’ll want to find out exactly why. Not all loans that start as denials end up that way. Many times a denial just requires you to rethink your loan product or your down payment. You might have to clear up a mistake in your application or on your credit report.

Approved With Conditions

The status of the vast majority of loan applications is “approved with conditions,” aka “conditional approval.” In this case, the underwriter simply wants clarification and additional documents, mostly to protect himself and his employer. He wants the closed loan to be as sound and risk-free as possible.

Quite frequently, the additional items aren’t requested to convince the underwriter, but rather to make sure the mortgage meets all the standards required by potential secondary investors who might end up buying the closed loan when everything is said and done.

Your Role in All This 

Your primary job during the time your loan is in underwriting is to move quickly on document requests, questions, and anything else that’s asked of you. No matter how ridiculous you think the document request might be.

Do not take the inquisition personally. This is just what underwriting does. Just handle the last few items and submit them so that you can hear the three best words in real estate—”clear to close”!


Reasons why your listing is turning buyers off

The best way to get potential buyers through the door and interested in your home is with a stellar online listing. Photos of the house and a description of the property are standard fare, but not all listings do what they’re supposed to do. In fact, some might actually do more harm than good.

In many ways, trying to sell your home is like applying for a job, and your online listing is the resume or cover letter. If it’s not polished, you’ll never even get to the next phase.

So, what are the parts of a listing that can turn buyers off? Below are some of the worst offenses.

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  1. Lackluster (or non-existent) description

It can be hard to sum up your home in a couple of paragraphs. However, if you want to attract buyers, you’ll need to paint an inviting picture of the property.

If it is a lakefront home, highlight the best parts of living on the lake; if it is an urban town, mention that you are within walking distance of top-rated restaurants.

Work with your real estate agent to pinpoint what buyers are looking for in your area, so you can mention it as early as possible in the listing description.

Also keep in mind that the online listing might initially show just a couple of lines of text, so make sure the most eye-catching information appears first.

  1. Too much (or the wrong type of) information

Colorful listing photos or descriptions are sure to entice, but you have to be objective. Your favourite aspects of the home might not have the same effect on buyers.



  1. Amateur photographs

Everyone thinks they can take quality pictures with their smartphones and save some money, but you only get one chance to impress potential buyers online

That’s why it’s important to feature high-quality photographs, shot by someone who has experience taking photos.


  1. Not staging your home

While many buyers like to think of a new house as a blank canvas for their own furniture and design tastes, leaving the rooms completely devoid of furniture and art in the listing photos can hurt you in the long run. Buyers like to see the potential of the home, so staging is highly recommended.


  1. Too many days on the market

Buyers look closely at the listing price and days on the market (DOM) because this information can help them determine whether the house is priced too low or too high—and how much they should offer if they’re interested.

Because every real estate market is different, there isn’t a hard and fast number of days it takes for a listing to be considered stale. However, most real estate agents agree that it takes about 30 days on the market for a listing to lose its lustre.

So how can you revive a stale listing? Additional marketing efforts like new photos or an added incentive may help. But the most effective way to generate more buzz about your property is with a price adjustment.

The best tactic, ultimately, is to price the house correctly the first time, so it doesn’t end up languishing on the market for a couple of weeks.

An overpriced home will force a seller to drop the price of their home numerous times to reach the ‘sweet spot’ where buyers become interested in the listing.


Aretha Franklin’s Historic Home Sold For $300k

The late, great Aretha Franklin was one of Detroit’s most celebrated residents. The Queen of Soul’s reign in the Motor City has come to an end, with word that the singer’s estate has sold off her property  in the city proper.

Her 5,600-square-foot brick home next to the Detroit Golf Club sold for $300,000 in October.

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Built in 1927, the historic mansion has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a backyard adjacent to the golf course. Franklin’s estate gave the new buyer—who reportedly has no connection with Franklin or her family—a sweet deal. The home is estimated to be worth more than $318,000.

The “Natural Woman” singer purchased the home in 1993 for an undisclosed amount. The property fell into foreclosure in 2008 due to unpaid taxes, an issue Franklin blamed on an accounting error at the time. The taxes were paid shortly thereafter and the home was saved.

While the Detroit home sold quickly, there’s still a home on the market owned by Franklin’s estate if you’re looking for your own piece of pedigreed property. On sale for $800,000, the five-bedroom home in the posh suburb of Bloomfield Township MI, was built in 1990.

At the time of her death, Franklin owned five Michigan properties and was worth an estimated $80 million. However, she died without a will in place and her estate was divided between her four sons.

“I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive,” Don Wilson, an attorney,told the Associated Press. “She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do one.’ She understood the need, It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to.”

Her heirs are making quick work of selling off the properties. And although the properties will acquire new owners, the city will always bear the indelible mark of Franklin’s achievements.



World Bank Partnership: 171 projects completed in Akwa-Ibom

The Government of Akwa Ibom State, in partnership with World Bank, has through the Community and Social Development Programme (AKSG-CSDP), completed the construction of 171 micro-projects in the state, with 56 others still on-going.

The projects worth N686, 903, 711, 31.00, include 13 health centres, 12 school blocks 30 (24-unit each) open market stalls, 39 motorised boreholes, 24 electricity extension, five culverts/drainages, several VIP toilets, town halls/civic centres, viewing centre, among others, spread across 89 rural communities in the state.

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Ekong Sampson, the state Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning, made this known on Thursday while inspecting some completed projects in Eyulor Community in Urueofong-Ooruko Local Government Area.

Sampson said Akwa Ibom State Government has used the CSDP micro projects scheme to give voice and dignity to the poor and vulnerable at the grassroots, as it had significantly reduced poverty, enhanced the standard of living of rural people, created employment through the various social infrastructures in the 89 benefitting communities.

He lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel’s value and commitment to serving his people, as demonstrated in his fulfillment of all conditions by the World Bank , including payment of counterpart funds, which enabled the state’s CSDP to come on board the scheme on time and to make great strides.

Sampson affirmed that the strides so far recorded in the AKSG-CSDP was indicative of efforts made by the Governor Emmanuel-led administration towards the actualisation of its five-point agenda of Wealth Creation, Job Creation, Political and Economic Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation and Infrastructure expansion and consolidation.

He maintained that measuring by significant increase of access of the poor and vulnerable to improved healthcare services, potable water, electricity, as well as reduction in pupils per class ratio and average distances to schools among many other Key Performance Indicators(KPIs)  the Akwa Ibom State Government, through its collaboration with World Bank under the CSDP, has performed creditably well.

Ishmael Akpan, the General Manager of the AKSG-CSDP, in his remarks, applauded the state government for its promptness in taking advantage of the partnership in the interest of the rural dwellers in the state.

He said Akwa Ibom was one of the first states to come on board the programme in 2015 and as at October 2018, has recorded 171 completed projects, being the highest number on the scheme, while still having 56 projects  at different stages of completion.

Creation of protected areas to benefit African countries – UN

Jaime Cavelier, senior environmental specialist with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) said that the protected areas can develop sustainable tourism that can be a major source of revenue generation for the countries.

“The protected areas are capable of improving the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) hence helped in improving the lives of populations,”

He said that the countries must begin to be strategic regarding their expenditures since donor funding is getting limited with time.

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Cavelier said that the creation of conservancies has proven very useful as it helps offer communities socio – economic benefits and has reduced human – wildlife conflicts.

He said that with proper management, the revenue accrued from the protected areas can help support other sectors such as health, education and infrastructure.

Cavelier revealed that GEF has donated $131 million to help 19 countries in Africa and Asia to address problems associated with poaching that threatens the survival of wildlife globally.

He said that part of the amount will be used to train wildlife rangers to help preserve pangolin and rhinos that are threatened with extinction due to demand for their products by illegal traders in wildlife products.

“It is important that governments allocate additional funds to help save the wildlife from extinction,” he added.

He further said that UN agency has also allocated $1.2 billion in recent years towards the conservation of biodiversity and a further 500,000 million towards climate change and land degradation through small grants projects.

The official said that GEF is in the process of integrating the programs on conservation of biodiversity, climate change and land degradation that has been running independently for a long time.

He said that the approach will forge a joint effort to help arrest environmental degradation that has been continuing despite interventions put in place by UN programmes and other development agencies.

Cavelier stressed the need for countries to mainstream fisheries and tourism as part of the productive sectors in line with SDGs.

Source: Environews


Africa and Middle East to spend more on smart cities by 2022

The amount spent by smart cities on technology is set to double in the coming four years within the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

The total spending is anticipated to increase from $1.3bn to $2.7bn during the review period, according to a recent report released by KPMG.

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The report, titled ‘The Rise of Smart Cities – Digital Transformation in the Public Sector’. Dr Samer Abdallah, Head of Digital Transformation at KPMG Saudi Arabia, announced that the leaders in smart city development are Riyadh and Dubai.

“Given the Saudi government’s move to embrace digital transformation in alignment with Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020, information technology (IT) spending in the kingdom is slated to grow by at least 14 per cent each year,” Abdallah stated.

Smart city spending across the world is expected to expand from $81bn in 2018 to $158bn by 2022, Abdallah revealed using statistics from the International Data Corporation.

“As Saudi Arabia makes great strides to build a sophisticated digital infrastructure under its Vision 2030, cloud computing will be a catalyst for digital transformation,” Abdallah said at the “Race to the Cloud: Present and the future of cloud platforms in fuelling Artificial Intelligence’ presentation.

Source: globalconstructionreview

Burundi And Tanzania Get $322 Million AfDB Loan

In a bid to boost regional integration and trade in East Africa, the African Development Bank Group has approved US$322m in loans to Burundi and Tanzania, mostly for road upgrades.

A major component of the package is paving a 260km gravel road linking Kabingo, Kasulu and Manyovu in Tanzania.

The package also includes: A 45km road improvement project between Rumonge-Gitaza in southwest Burundi;A one stop border post between Tanzania and Burundi at Manyovu/Mugina Border; New health centres, schools and community water sources; and rehabilitation of other rural and urban roads.

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“The project will fundamentally enhance the mobility of goods and services for the people in Burundi and Tanzania”,said Gabriel Negatu, director general of the bank’s East Africa Regional Development & Business Delivery Office.

“The improved transport will bring additional benefits for the two neighbouring countries, including empowering women and youth for whom new market centres will be opened and other economic activities will increase.”

The projects are aimed at strengthening links between the Port of Dar es Salaam to markets in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Road upgrades are due to be completed in 2023.

The project coincides with the bank’s ten year strategy , running from 2013 to 2022, focusing on “assisting its regional member countries achieve more inclusive and greener growth” and “including integrating Africa and improving the lives of the people of Africa”.

Source: globalconstructionreview


REDAN Throws Weight Behind Family Homes Fund

Against the backdrop of the widening housing gap in the country,and new Initiatives supported by the federal government to address the housing shortfall, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, (REDAN), has reiterated its support for Family Homes Fund, one of such new initiatives.

The support came from the President of REDAN, Rev Ugochukwu Chime, during an interview at the National Workshop of the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN),in Abuja.

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He said, ‘’Family homes fund is a welcome development that will cater to the yearnings for low income housing for years, we need a new paradigm to cater for the poor. And to ensure that the housing need of the poor is met’’.

He noted that apart from the provision of houses to low-income earners, it is an initiative that will create employment to many Nigerians.

‘’with the Family Homes Fund coming into place, we are now creating an opportunity for employment in the sites where those projects will be developed, they have a target of 500,000 housing units, in a year, that is, if you multiply by 8 people, that will give us 4million Nigerians who are gainfully employed, so the family homes fund and the N power projects, are a symbiotic relationship, and with that as a fulcrum, we will begin to look at other issues, like land use, and land administration’’.

On the challenges that such initiatives usually face, he said, ‘’I must say the man driving it is one who has had international exposure, Internally they have a very good mechanism, but like we all know, we need an established managerial component, you need to have the land administration processes streamlined, you need to have the transaction cost on land reduced, you need to have the transaction time on land reduced, also you need to have, some of the other parties, take some concessions, including the developers, and reduce the profit expectations, so that at the end of the day, we will meet the target of achieving housing for the poor.

So, Family Homes Fund, on its own cannot do it because, a chain is as strong as its weakest link, they cannot start the whole process and end it in the office, they need other stakeholders in the real estate value chain to come together, and that is what we have been doing as REDAN, because we understand that, we stand at the centre of it all’’.

Family Homes Fund is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority as founding shareholders. The Fund is the largest affordable housing-focused fund in Sub-Sahara Africa, leveraging its significant capital (in excess of N1trn by 2023) to facilitate access to affordable housing for millions of Nigerians on low to medium income groups.

Source: Affa Dickson Acho

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