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Canada Needs a Rebirth of Co-Op Housing

The cost of housing is gearing up to be a top issue in the coming federal election.

Surveys show that several cities in Canada rank amongst the world’s least affordable housing markets. For many, home ownership is completely out of reach. Meanwhile, unaffordability in the rental market is making it harder for people to feel secure and save for the future.

Canadians are looking for a place to call home that is affordable, attainable and sustainable. Often, we consider only two options: renting or buying. But there is another choice. Housing co-ops offer people a chance to get ahead, have control and live affordably.

Today, over a quarter of a million Canadians call a housing co-op their home. Housing co-ops are owned and controlled by the people who live there, and the rents are set by the members to cover the costs of maintaining the co-op today and for future generations.

This means that housing co-operatives stay affordable. Living in a co-op in Canada costs less than either renting or owning, on average. Furthermore, co-op costs are more stable, with smaller year-over-year increases.

Most importantly, co-ops provide a stable place for families. Members can’t be evicted just because a landlord wants to renovate, and a family can’t be forced to move so that a landlord can increase the rents. Co-op members can continue to live there as long as they follow its rules or bylaws and pay their rent on time.

Co-ops bring people together from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds and they are built on mutual respect and support. A young professional family that is saving up for a house can be neighbours with a low-income senior who otherwise would have been isolated.

Demand for the new co-op on York Street, in downtown Toronto, was so great that members were chosen by lottery. For 12 units, over 1,200 applications were received.

To address this unmet demand, we need a rebirth of co-op housing in this country.

Last month, the federal government announced the extension of the Federal Community Housing Initiative, to continue rental subsidies for 55,000 households in co-ops and community housing until 2028. This is very good news, as this investment will provide additional support to house vulnerable households for many years to come.

But there’s still more work to do. We know that 1.7 million Canadian households’ needs are not being served by today’s housing market, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Housing co-ops are ready to do their part. The majority of co-ops in Canada are very close to retiring their first mortgages, and many are now considering options for how to renew their communities and also develop more co-op homes to address unmet demand.

Co-ops can accelerate new development opportunities with supportive government policies and programs. What’s really needed is for every jurisdiction and every level of government to prioritize housing.

Governments need to look at leveraging surplus land for the public good. Long-term development grants and financing are needed to build a more affordable housing supply, including co-operatives. Income- and rental- assistance programs need to be made permanent and more generous. And we need to continue to advance the right to housing for all.

This will not be easy, and governments of all levels have a responsibility to come together to respond to the public demand for solutions.

We want more Canadians to understand what it means to live in a housing co-op, and why political parties of all stripes must take action to ensure more affordable housing in Canada. As Canadians head to the polls, we encourage everyone to remember there’s another choice: to buy, to rent and to co-op.

Source: theglobeandmail

JUST IN: Many Feared Dead as Three-Storey Building Collapses in Jos

A three-storey building on Monday collapsed in Jos, the Plateau state capital with many trapped under the wreckage. The residential building which located at Seriki Street in the state capital was said to have caved in around 4:30 pm without any sign.

Some occupants of the building said to have been completed a few years ago were believed to be inside when it suddenly came down, raising fears of their safety.

Source: punchng

Experts Seek Enforcement of Estimated N1 Trillion Housing Insurance

Experts in the insurance sector have said that the compulsory housing insurance policies in the country if enforced, would be valued at over N1trillion, urging the National insurance Commission (NAICOM) to take a bold step immediately.

The Managing Director of Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc, Samuel Ogbodu, who spoke to The Guardian over the weekend, said that a look at some estates in Lekki, Ikoyi and Victoria Island alone, shows that securing policies for them would amount to over N500 billion, and when you consider houses across the country, it will be over N1 trillion.

Ogbodu, also threw his weight behind the new recapitalization exercise announced by the commission, saying that the new capital regime, when concluded, would enable companies to do big-ticket businesses as against serving as agents to foreign insurers which is currently the norms.

Speaking at the Capital Market Association of Nigeria Quarterly Forum tagged: “Deepening insurance penetration through effective broker engagement”, in Lagos, over the weekend, he said that “the step would not only help to consolidate the sector with provision of more buoyant opportunities for large ticket transactions but would also position insurance companies in the sector as big players, instead of serving as agents to foreign insurance underwriters.”

According to him, insurance brokers would have more creative roles to play towards harnessing the benefits of the new capital base requirement, adding that the Nigerian insurance sector if well-positioned would take its rightful place in the country’s economy.

He said insurance companies at the end of the recapitalization program would be able to take up opportunities hitherto taken by foreign companies as he urged the NAICOM to implement the compulsory housing and transport insurance policies to deepen insurance penetration in the country.

The insurer stressed that NAICOM should be well-positioned to drive the implementation of the compulsory housing policy, which was valued at over one trillion naira. He said the various efforts aimed at boosting the insurance sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to surpass its present 0.1 percent level would be accelerated with the implementation of the new capital base.

He expressed optimism that insurance penetration in the country would surpass one percent with proper implementation of the new capital base as players would be forced to harness new grounds. He stressed the role of brokers in the sector, which he said the sector’s earnings were mainly due to the contributions of the brokers that stood at 80 percent.

“Without the brokers, there won’t be insurance. They contribute about 80 percent of the earnings. We place a very high premium on brokers,” he said.

The brokers help in product development, maintenance of the high vast network, enhanced negotiation, helps towards risk mitigation and help clients to stay updated on policies and regulatory developments, among others.

“The retail and commercial Insurance brokers are rightly positioned to take up the fresh challenges the new capital requirement would throw up, for the utilization of new opportunities to expand insurance penetration in Nigeria,” ogbodu noted.

Ogbodu assured stakeholders that Sunu Assurances Nigeria would surpass the new capital base of N10 billion, adding that “Sunu is positioned to take up the new challenges, having been rightly placed to meet up with the new capital requirement of N10 billion, even as the framework for the new policy was yet to be released.”

The Executive Director, Strategy and Performance, Karim Dione, debunked the negative appellation given to brokers, saying “a lot of them are doing the right thing.”He stressed that the recapitalization effort of the insurance sector, he said: “The movement to recapitalize, for the Sunu Group, makes sense. The enforcement of regulatory policies also makes sense.”

He said the players needed to have profitable businesses adding that the potential in Nigeria in terms of size, potential, and resources was enormous for the Sunu Group ready to meet the new capital base.“SUNU is here to stay because Nigeria is the real market in Africa in size, potential, resources and population,” Dione said.

He said the company’s fully paid-up capital presently stands at N7 billion against N10 billion required for general insurance, adding that the company would fully comply with the commission’s policy but needed more clarification from NAICOM on its shareholder’s funds or paid-up capital.

Mr Ladi Oyekan of YOA Insurance Brokers, while responding to some issues raised, said that ideal insurance penetration had not been attained based on the country’s penetration, but lamented low disposable income eminent in the country was affecting insurance penetration.

Mr Femi Ojeremi, Farble Insurance Brokers said that Nigerians “like putting something down and having something in return”, which does not support insurance.“Nigerians are wasteful in things that are irrelevant, many people have multiple phones and recharge them with an average of N60,000 annually but they cannot pay N5,000 insurance premium annually to protect or cover their lives,” Ojeremi said.

Source: GuardianNg

 

NIESV Strategises for Better Service Delivery, Proposes Stiffer Sanction for Unethical Practices

Ahead of its 50th anniversary billed for September, the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has announced plans to diversify the profession and improve on strategies for service delivery.

The institution also pledged to nurture the future generation of estate surveyors that would be capable of providing their services in the years ahead.

NIESV President, Sir Rowland Abonta who stated this at the unveiling of the institutions Golden Jubilee anniversary logo at the weekend in Abuja, observed that the estate surveyors and valuers have made immense contribution to the Nigerian built environment in the last 50 years, especially in valuation of all the assets in the public and the private sectors as well as in facility management.

According to him, NIESV was involved in the valuation of technical assets, plants and equipment of NNPC, valuation of buildings and other assets of federal and state governments as well as management of the assets of the federation.

Abonta noted that members of the profession have contributed in housing development and policy formulation. ‘’The profession has made history in diverse ways facility management, valuation, asset management, acquisition and payment of compensations. We are also bringing in new members into the profession through this golden jubilee program.’’

He said the problem of quacks in the profession has remained a major challenge, adding that the institution is proving a window through which those who are quacks could be trained in order to regulate them.‘’We are collaborating with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the issue of quackery is addressed,” he added.

Meanwhile, the institution is proposing stiffer sanction in form of fees penalty and publication of the names of erring members who flout the standing rule in national dailies and all its platforms. This followed widespread concerns as the trend keeps increasing among practitioners in cities like Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja thereby demeaning the reputation of the profession in the eye of the public.

According to the profession’s practice guide, it is an offense for practicing members to display multiple boards on properties for lease/rent but standing punishment in that regard in the rulebook hasn’t been effective as members disobey the regulation unabatedly.

At a forum organized by the faculty of estate agency, a business division of NIESV, senior officials of the profession hinged the ineffectiveness of the regulation on stifling times vis-à-vis the influx of more informal agents into the property market, indiscipline and poor enforcement among others.

Speaking at the forum, a past President of the Nigerian Chapter of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), Joseph Akhigbe declared that defaulter should be penalized with well-enforced sanctions and cases of a misdemeanor be reported through the right channels.

He stated that where multiple agents are commissioned to act on behalf of the principal with regard to the sale/letting of property, estate surveyors should be willing to collaborate with their colleague who are already working on behalf of the same client and come up with a single board displaying information pertinent to the sale of the property as well as contact details of both firms.

Akhigbe maintained that it was important for members to display professionalism in the discharge of their duties and ingrained in the consciousness of members of the society that they shouldn’t be treated as charlatans.

“There must be a collective effort on our part as members of this institution to practice self-discipline in our various activities, begin to adhere to set rules and regulations and employ best practices in the discharge of our duties, take the necessary action by reporting misdemeanor among colleagues and take appropriate action to sanction erring members. What builds your business is referrals, a satisfied customer would refer you to another”, he explained.

In his submissions, past Vice President, (Africa) International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), Chief Kola Akomolede attributed the persistence of the issue on staff of most of the real estate firms whose management set targets for them to fulfill, activities of aggressive young practitioners and failures to report such cases to the national body of NIESV as well as lack of strict sanctions for defaulters. He stressed that the institution should henceforth publish the names of those who are cut in the act.

Corroborating Akomolede, a fellow of the institution, Mr. Chudi Ubosi said unless discipline and enforcement of sanctions that is just, fast and widely circulated is executed, the unprofessional conduct would continue.

Source: Guardianng

As virtual office demand rises, outlook for commercial properties remains bleak

Notwithstanding permutations by some industry gurus that the sector will perform better this year, the outlook for the commercial properties still remains bleak.

The economic environment has remained low, operating at far below par, according to the estate firm, Messrs Ubosi Eleh and Company in its 110-page special annual publication titled: ‘The Nigeria Real Estate Report.’ “It will require much more than optimism to impact and cause rents to rise, or even translate to higher demand for office space,” the documents revealed.“

For the commercial properties, the take-up rates will remain very low with landlords continuing to throw in sweeteners to attract and keep tenants. Tenants and prospective tenants will continue to drive hard bargains and have upper hands in negotiations.

“As the government begins a new term, there is always a renewed hope and optimism amongst Nigerians, and this usually gives a boost to businesses and the economy.

We believe that this year will not be different. The optimism will not, however, impact commercial rents,” the report said. With businesses still struggling to recover lost ground nearly two years the country exited recession, the document said that may investors will shelve plans for the commencement of new commercial office developments.
The report noted that the class A commercial developments have continued to suffer an oversupply. Average rents for the Class A developments still oscillate between $550-$700 per square meter.

These are developments, in which original projections were in the range of $1,000 -$1,200 per square meter.Similarly, the projections for virtual offices indicate that the lessons from the economic recession and the uncertainties of the economy will continue to drive and increase demand for it, including co-share spaces. Space is driven by expatriates coming into Nigeria to start businesses and Nigerian startups.

Meanwhile, the report has described as rather an unusual Nigeria’s drop out of Africa’s top 10 investment destinations in 2018. The firm outlined how certain factors including politics, macro-economy, micro-economy, and the budget affected the real estate outlook in the preceding year. A principal partner of the firm, Emeka Eleh, said the development was unusual because it was the first time it would happen and also for the fact that the country remained the largest economy in Africa and the most populous.

Eleh believes that the size and potential of the country’s consumer market should have made Nigeria the preferred investment destination on the continent in 2018 but wondered why it was not so. In all, the report posted a largely underperforming economy in 2018 despite the bounce back in the oil market,” the year was tough at various levels for different firms and sectors of the economy. A further contraction in the construction and real estate industries showed that business confidence remained low even after a rally in oil prices”.

The aftermath effects of the elections were also not sparing as the firm in the report, observed that “ less government spending after the election is likely to weigh economic activity in 2019 as revenue at the state level in particular, continued to underperform and borrowing conditions proved more challenging”.

The firm observed that “ little progress was made in diversifying the economy away from its reliance on oil revenue during President Muhammadu Buhari’s four years in office and that restrictions imposed on access to foreign currency also added to the already challenging business environment”.Eleh attributed the investor’s reduced appetite for investing in the country more to risk than return factors. Accordingly, the report maintained that “ global risk consultancy firm, Control Risks, in its latest risk-reward index report identifies Nigeria as offering investors the highest returns on the continent, second only to that of Ethiopia”. On the flip side, the country’s risk rating was the second-highest in the continent, surpassed only by that of Zimbabwe.

The report identified policy inconsistency as the first major risk investors worry about when investing in Nigeria: “ One is never sure if a major policy initiated by one government will be sustained the next government or even reversed by the same government. This risk manifests easily as political risk and is easily evident as election approaches. Capital inflows into Nigeria tend to slow down as election approaches and picks up post-election once investors become certain of the direction of government policies in a new administration”.

The report identifies respect or certainty of contracts in the country as another risk investors are concerned about: “ Oftentimes, the government has entered into contracts with investors only for the government to turn around and seek to change the terms of such contracts without the consent of the companies or persons it entered into the contracts with”.

The terms of the contract, Eleh noted are not only violated, even third parties that invested in the projects are also affected adversely and this he reiterated is even worse for contracts inherited by successive administrations. Corruption, according to the report is another major risk faced by investors doing business in Nigeria: “ There are instances where investors have been asked to bribe certain government officials that are in charge of approving projects that they have already invested significant amounts of money into before such projects will be allowed to progress to the next stage”.

Probably, the most talked-about risk for investors’ loss of confidence in Nigeria is insecurity:” The North East is now an area most foreign investors cannot visit because of being killed or kidnapped. Foreign and local investors also face similar risks in other parts of the country especially in the oil and gas-rich South-South and the industrious South East.

The report acknowledges that although there were other risks such as navigating an opaque bureaucracy in many states of the federation, poor manpower, capacity, failed infrastructure, and power supply, these latter risks were within the control of the investors and usually provided for in the business plan.

The report concluded that a major consequence of these risks was that investors were compelled to restrict their activities to just a few areas they can operate safely. Not surprising, it maintains that about 70per cent of investment inflows into the country are directed to companies in Lagos or around Lagos, leading to over-concentration of investment inflows into the country or in the Lagos area.

Source: The guardian

Inside Abuja’s Newest ‘Container’ Office Structure

The sight of steel containers in major cities across Nigeria housing shops, offices, workshops and the like is not something new, however, seeing a complete building fabricated from these containers is what is novel to the building industry in Nigeria.

Driving on the Kubwa Expressway, opposite Gwarimpa Housing Estate, in the Federal Capital territory (FCT), Abuja, one will notice 40-foot of such containers.

A few months ago, not too many passers-by could tell what the heap of containers overlooking the expressway were actually meant for. Many people felt the shipping containers were a sign of some form of gigantic construction work about to begin.  However, as time went by, it became clear that Abuja would soon be bedecked with a rare kind of architecture.

Daily Trust visited the site and discovered that what is being constructed is a full office complex built from the containers; which is going to add to the growing number of such containers in Abuja being used mostly as shops, offices and in a few cases, residences.

The construction on the Kubwa Expressway can arguably be the first full building to be constructed from containers. The office block consists of a dozen shipping containers that have been fitted together with extensive steel reinforcement. The edifice features large glass windows, woodwork, rooftop terrace and a stairway. While it may not look like most normal concrete buildings from the outside, the white walls, tiled floors, panes and industrial finishes inside give it a modern touch.

The second storey is accessed through a staircase, while access in between offices is made possible through door openings. The engineer overseeing the project, Marco Di Canto, said the building would be the main Abuja office of A.G Ferrero Limited civil and building contractors. Di Canto said one of the reasons the company was building an office with containers was to experiment something different and innovative.

He said, “Secondly, what pushed us is the speed that you can achieve with this type of construction and the fact that they are movable. Even though it is three floors, in case of any future development, it can easily be transferred. “This is the first time we are doing a full building; all done with containers.

We had done warehouses and small offices, but this is the first time we are doing a complete building that will serve as office; with containers.” Di Canto further said the project kicked off once approval was gotten from the regulators. Daily Trust reports that container homes have become an exciting proposition at a time the cost of concrete-based building materials have continued to increase.

Building experts say containers are the strongest structures available – stronger than wood, concrete and even steel and that they are resistant to natural disasters and the general belief is that container homes are cheaper to build than conventional housing.

Di Canto, therefore, said, “I would say that the price is within reasonable budget. It is not extremely expensive, but while you may think it is cheap, actually it is not that cheap at the same time; but it is not outrageous. “The minus is that at the end of the day you have to stick on the shape of containers.

The design may be a bit complicated. You are not free to take any dimension like you do with blocks, but at the end of the day, if someone likes the style; that is even the beauty of it.” An engineer with a leading Nigeria-based project developer, said construction cost using containers depended on final specification and finishing; which he said could be between N2m and N8.5m.

Source: dailytrust

Planners Bemoan Lack of Master Plan in Cities, Set Agenda for Physical Development

Toward the emergence of an orderly development, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Lagos Chapter has urged the new administration in Lagos to key into its ‘change the city’ project and consider implementation of Lagos state regional master plan as well as preparation of the Kosofe Model City Plan among other initiatives for growth.

The institute advised the government to enforce the physical planning regulation and allied law passed by the Lagos House of Assembly, which involves private practitioners in the monitoring of development and the need to recruit town planners into the management of physical planning and urban development of Lagos state.

Pushing these agenda during a courtesy visit to the redeployed Permanent Secretary of the State’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the Chairman, Lagos Chapter of NITP, who led the executive members, Bisi Adedire said the ‘change the city project’, is envisaged to assist the government by providing policy supportive intervention mechanism into the governance process in Lagos state.

He disclosed that the initiative which is a holistic study, would cover urban development, service and infrastructure and would be engaged in all local government areas and LCDAs to identify areas of urgent attention and gradual governmental actions.

Mr. Adebisi observed that Kosofe local government is the only local area in the state that does not have a model city plan and there are uncertainties as to whether efforts are on, to develop a plan for the area.

“We believe that all local government areas in the state should have a functional model plan. When we consider the fact that a part of Ifako-Ijaiye local government area is linked to Ikeja local government area, the model city plan is needed for proper coordination of development within the area”.

He said it has been discovered that monitoring of development is ineffective as a result of the paucity of manpower in the ministry. He, therefore, proposed the involvement of private practitioners for monitoring and ensuring that developers comply with the planning permit granted while constructing.

“We would desire that the Land Use Plan Analysis Report (LUPAR) should be passed for commencement without delay. Furthermore, we would desire that as soon as the regulation is released, the ministry in conjunction with NITP should organize a retreat that would enlighten as well as train personnel on the implementation procedure of the regulation. The ministry should start making plans to deploy senior-level officers to MDAs relating to physical planning for effectiveness and efficiency and there should be enabling an environment for staff and ease of doing business”, he said.

Contributing, a member of the team, Kunle Osude charged the ministry to deploy technology and software apparatus like drones as well as concentrate on primary data gathering for it to achieve a lot. Specifically, Osude said there should be budget preparation in this regard while planners should be involved in the waterway transport system development.

On his part, Mr. Ayo Adediran stressed that the ministry should address the slow paste of getting building approval especially as it relates to the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) and look to the reactivation of the local planning authority rather than concentrating every process of planning at the city centre.

Responding, the permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr. Folusho Dipe, an architect, who led other officials of the ministry to welcome the team, explained that issue of physical planning and urban development is paramount to the present administration assuring that the government would work closely with the practitioners and ensure that the concerns raised are addressed.

On the Kosofe Model City Plan, he stated that the plan and that of Lagos Island Model City plan are on the pipeline. He advised the team to come up with a template for the involvement of private practitioners in the monitoring of development.

He maintained that the ministry would work with the institute in implementing the recommendations of the report of the committee set up on the Ita-faji accident.

“I want to assure you that as soon as the physical planning regulation and allied law in places, we will put necessary machineries in place for the implementation. Enabling environment for staff is a priority of this administration. The change the city project is a welcome development but you need to let us know more about the benefits/advantages. The ministry has in the past leveraged on NITP and not less than six past chairmen of the institute have their root in the ministry”, he said.

Meanwhile, a past president of the institute, Moses Ajayi has advised the federal government to create an enabling environment that would attract private sector development of ranches across in the country. He lamented that adopting the option of RUGA settlements was more of a ploy to ensure that there are Fulanis’ spread all over the country. Ajayi spoke during the kick-off of activities to mark 40th year anniversary of Molaj consultants, a town planning firm, in Lagos.

He warned that RUGA settlements should be optional for states while a more rational way out of the crisis is for the federal government to enable the private sector to set up ranches for the use of the herdsmen.

“States that have large agricultural lands and cattle population could have RUGA with the support of their state government. The herdsmen/ farmers’ debacle is a town-planning problem. The white men came into this country, knows that there are people that travel rearing cattle on clearly marked roots outside the city line. With time some groups started farming on the cattle root and at that point, it should occur to the government to change the alignment of the cattle root. Town planners opt to have called the attention of the government to the need to change the cattle root”, he stated.

Ajayi who is the founder of the firm decried lack of master plans to guide the growth of the majority of the Nigerian cities blaming it on the failure of urban governance and lawlessness on the part of the government.

He urged the public to become more proactive in planning matters to achieve liveable cities in the face of increasing urbanization. “The public doesn’t believe that the city is their own and should get involved in its management and development. In short, the public has allowed autocracy to be the order of the day in our town”, he said.

Speaking on the celebration, he explained that the anniversary’s activities which include, essay competition among tertiary institutions, roundtable discussion on ‘sustainability of consultancy firm’ and awards to corporate clients/associates as well as thanksgiving service was necessary to appreciate God for surviving the years, despite the turbulence of the Nigerian business environment.

On his part, a professor of town planning from the University of Lagos, Leke Oduwaye who is one of the two professors produced by the firm, observed that as long as the herdsmen are out to do business, setting up of private ranches for their activities is the best way to go.

Oduwaye said, “Private ranches would be better managed unlike when it has public interest. Anything that is agricultural based, there should be a subsidy if it can’t sustain itself. If they are subsidized there would be efficiency and there would be a way that the government could get its revenue back”.He stated that it’s unfortunate that despite the provision in law that involves the public both in plan-making and development control, Nigeria public have been complacent.

Source: GuardianNg

TOPREC, NITP warn professionals against unethical practices

In the light of recent challenges confronting the built environment and the country at large, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria and the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, have cautioned professionals against the abuse of office and ethical values.

The President, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof Layi Egunjobi, said it had become necessary for stakeholders to observe ethical principles both in the private and public sectors for them to be able to face certain challenges confronting the country.

He noted that a score of doubts, dilemmas, dubious loyalties and conflicting incentives might cloud the application of ethical conduct.

According to him, this can result to the rise of misbehaviour, failures or unfulfilled public expectations that feed more demanding public reactions to various planning problem such as building collapse, environmental degradation and slum development among others.

Egunjobi and others spoke at the institute’s Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme with the theme, ‘Mastering ethical conduct in town planning practice.’

“The role of ethics becomes more central and should penetrate more deeply both into the profession, practice and professionals for better service delivery in some challenging circumstances. We should become even stauncher supporters of our code of ethics, and even more determined to work to achieve its broad implementation,” he said.

The President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Lekwa Ezutah, said town planners could only raise the quality of lives of people through creating and maintaining liveable environments by disciplined practice in line with ethics of the profession.

He noted that in recent years, greed and impatience had driven so many professionals to abuse ethics and code of conduct for pecuniary gratifications.

He added, “These are perpetrated through reckless use of stamps and seals, abuse of land use plans through uncoordinated changes; bastardisation of plans; building plan approvals without recourse to master plans, where they exist; supplanting in bidding for consultancy services; poor performance of duties, including non-attendance of lectures by our colleagues in academics, thus impartation of knowledge and other innumerable acts which are inconsistent with established rules of operation.

“Due to these acts against ethics, members are priced low and they rub negatively on us through projection of bad image of our noble profession to the public.

“Non-adherence to ethics would sweep the carpet from under our feet and take food from our table. I therefore call for caution in the practice of the planning profession to enable us hold our heads high, in terms of integrity before the government and the Nigerian public at large. We must bequeath a worthwhile legacy to posterity.”

Ezutah said the profession of town planning could no longer be business as usual for defaulters of professional ethics.

“The professional ethics and disciplinary committee will no longer stop at barking but will bite defaulters hard to serve as deterrents to misconduct,” he said.

The Managing Director, MOA Planners Limited, Moses Ogunleye, stated that as a profession, town planning and its practitioners should be distinctive in conduct and exemplary in character.

“In other words, they should stand for and be known for something. Practitioners of the profession can only be respected when what they stand for edifies objectivity, honesty, probity, incorruptibility and integrity,” he added.

The Chairman of the 21st MCPDP Committee, Prof Smart Uchegbu, said it became necessary to address ethical issues due to challenges in the profession.

Source: Punch

Mixta Africa Woos Investors with Three Years’ Rental Income

Nigeria’s frontline real estate development firm, Mixta Africa has unveiled a new-gated community known as Beechwood Park, which guarantees three years of rental income to prospective investors.

The estate is strategically located to benefit from the ongoing upgrade and expansion of the Lekki – Epe expressway is accessible through the Beechwood Estate, and in close proximity to the exclusive Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate in Lagos.

Upon completion of Phase 1, the estate would have 120 housing units and similar to the existing Beechwood Estate which has a solid infrastructure that has lasted for almost 15 years. The new estate consists of serviced plots as well as two and three-bedroom bungalows.

Already, development has started on site and progress is being made daily. Infrastructures are also visible and would be upgraded as the company continues on the development process.

Specifically, a unique feature of the estate is the innovative idea of buy and get three years’ rent. The idea provides a unique opportunity for the savvy investor to earn immediate returns on investment. The scheme guarantees up to three years of rental income on the two-bedroom bungalow units.

“We only recently launched this scheme and it has so far been very well received especially by people looking to partner with credible real estate companies in order to earn good returns on their investments, according to the Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mixta Nigeria, Mrs. Funmi Akinwolemiwa. She disclosed that other benefits and attractions to the estate is the opportunity to live in a fully serviced estate with good infrastructure and around a growing community of people.

Considering the flooding experiences during the rainy season in that axis, and mitigate adopted against floods and erosion. Akinwolemiwa revealed that after over 20 years of experience developing housing in Nigeria, none of their estate’s flood till date. She said: “This won’t be any different. We have put in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure our estates maintain the standard we have always embraced.”

Source: guardianng

30 International Speakers set for Abuja Housing Show

Over 30 speakers from at least 15 countries will be speaking at this year’s Abuja International Housing Show, the organisers have said.

The annual event is also expected to host at least 30, 000 local and international participants and over 400 exhibitors.

According to organisers of the learning, networking and exhibition conference, this year’s show with the theme, ‘Driving sustainable housing finance models in the midst of global uncertainty’ will be unprecedented as elite sessions including the CEOs forum, housing finance conference, ‘Not Too Young To Own A Home’ and many more will take place to help drive affordable home ownership and innovation in the country’s housing and construction.

In a statement, the organising firm, Fesadeb Communications Limited, said international housing expert, Debra Erb of Overseas Private Investment Corporation, USA, would lead a strong delegation of international speakers and investors to the show scheduled between July 23 and 26, 2019.

“The speakers who are drawn from reputable institutions like mortgage banks, real estate companies, housing regulatory agencies, construction companies, and housing finance firms among others are from various countries including USA, UK, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, India, China, UAE, Ghana and Rwanda,” the firm said.

According to the firm, the speakers include the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of The Board, iBUILD Global Incorporated, USA, Lew Shulman; the Executive Director and founder of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa, Kecia Rust; the Founder and President, Business Development at EchoStone housing, Anders Lindquist; and the Chief Executive Officer of American Homebuilders of West Africa, Robert Hornsby.

Others are Principal at the Affordable Housing Institute, Olivia Caldwell; and Regional Manager, Affordable Housing Institute, Morocco, Mounia Tagma, among others.

It added, “There will also be prominent Nigerian speakers including a Director at Central Bank of Nigeria, Tokumbo Martins; the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mixta Africa, Deji Alli; the Managing Director of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, Kehinde Ogundimu; and Femi Adewole of Family Homes Funds and many more.

“They would all provide an insight into solving most of the critical problems bedevilling Nigeria’s housing sector and enable an atmosphere for networking and positive collaborations.

“Over 400 housing and construction companies are also set to showcase their innovations and products for a teeming market.”

The show according to the organisers had been able to help in the introduction of effective housing and construction tools and products to Nigeria, adding that this year’s edition would be declared open by the Vice- President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

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