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Photos: Nigeria Diaspora Mortgage and Property Conference Begins in London

The Nigeria Diaspora Mortgage and Property Conference/Exhibition organized by MBAN and NMRC with the support of FMBN,REDAN and FHF has commenced today Friday 17th May in London, United Kingdom.

The 2-day event which will continue tomorrow Saturday 18th is taking place at Crowne Plaza London – Battersea, Bridges Wharf.

The conference and exhibition titled; “Home Ownership and Property Investment in Nigeria Made Easy,” is well attended by Nigerians in the diaspora to learn about credible steps to buying homes and properties for investment income in Nigeria

 

Dr Chii Akporji
Dr Chii Akporji welcoming participants to the Nigeria Diaspora Mortgage and Property Conference/Exhibition.
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The organizers said: ‘’We the key stakeholders of the housing and property market in Nigeria are aware that there are so many sad stories of Nigerians in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe trying to buy property back home that they can return to for vacations or for rental income and of having been swindled out of their hard-earned remittances, by either unscrupulous agents or worse still, family members and friends.

‘’This Conference/Exhibition will mark the beginning of the end of such stories because this conference is sponsorship by credible stakeholders of the Nigerian housing market funded through a combination of public and private sector funding as well as international development finance institutions like the World Bank.”

Participants at today’s event were welcomed by Dr Chii Akporji, former Executive Ditector of NMRC.

The opening remarks was delivered by Adeniyi Akinlusi, President MBAN and MD/CEO TrustBond Mortgage Bank.

The President of REDAN, Rev Ugo Chime was also among the main guests at the event.

Others include Arch Ahmed Dangiwa, MD/CEO FMBN, and Shehu Osidi.

Mortgage approvals increased in April, latest data shows

There was a sharp increase in mortgage approvals in April as home owners continued to take advantage of low mortgage rates across much of the market, the latest data shows.

There were 65,781 mortgages approved during April 2019, up 2.7% compared to the same month in 2018, according to the mortgage monitor from residential chartered surveyors e.surv.

The report points out that while new activity in the wider housing market remains stagnant in many areas of the country, existing home owners are capitalising on a battle between High Street banks and other lenders which has seen interest rates fall so far this year.

This was also reflected in the rise in activity, with new approvals up 5.5% compared to March and the proportion of loans given to those with small deposits, usually first time buyers, reached 28.5%, up from the 26% recorded in March.

‘In many parts of London and the South East, the property market continues to move slowly. Yet this has not translated into the mortgage market with activity remaining strong. There has been a healthy increase in the proportion of loans going to first time buyers, showing that lenders are welcoming these customers,’ said Richard Sexton, director at e.surv.

‘Previously it may have been difficult for these borrowers to get their foot on the ladder, but lenders are now reaching out to these parts of the market,’ he added.

However, the data also shows that the proportion of mortgage approvals to large deposit borrowers fell in April, continuing the recent trend away from this part of the market. Indeed, less than a quarter of all loans, just 24.3%, were to these borrowers in April, lower than the 26.2% recorded in March 2019 and some way off the 2019 high of 28.1%, recorded in January.

There was a modest fall in mid-market activity, down from 47.8% to 47.2% month on month while on an absolute basis, the number of small deposit borrowers rose substantially, increasing from 17,205 to 18,748.

‘Large deposit borrowers once held a tight grip on the mortgage market but that has loosened in recent times. Yet the low rates available mean that there are still many current homeowners coming to the market for new loans,’ Sexton pointed out.

First time buyers, and others looking to purchase in Yorkshire benefited from the most favourable market conditions for small deposit borrowers. More than a third of the region’s mortgage approvals were to those with little equity or cash to spare at 36.6%. This is the fifth successive month that the region has been top.

Next was the North West where 35.1% of loans went to this part of the market and then the Midlands at 31.8%. By contrast, those looking to buy in London had a much tougher time, accounting for just 18.9% of approvals recorded in April.

The capital was the area of the country most dominated by large deposit borrowers, with 33% of all loans going to this market segment. This was ahead of the South East region at 28.1% this month. Behind that were Northern Ireland and the South and South Wales regions, both on 25.5%.

Source: Property Wire

Housing Cooperatives Worldwide

Housing cooperatives exist on all continents in many different formats. Some housing coops are resident-owned while others are rented. You can find out more about cooperative housing in different countries by entering the name of a country in the search function below. You can also click on any country on the interactive map.

Cooperative Housing International is also collaborating with Urbamonde to share best practices in community-led housing via the CoHabitat Network . Collaborative housing groups and their support actors can enter details on development, financing, management and more in the CoHabitat digital platform. There are hundreds of examples of collaborative housing on the platform to inspire and inform you.

Abuja Clubs Demolition, Arrest of Prostitutes Were Due To City Violations – FCDA

The Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA) through its agencies, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Department of Development Control (DDC), Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), and Social Development Secretariat have stated the demolition of nightclubs – notably Caramelo Lounge – and the arrest of multiple ladies were as a result of city violations on the part of the victims.

The authorities made this known on Thursday while honouring the invitation of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at their office in Abuja to defend their actions.

The FCT Authority was petitioned at NHRC by a coalition of civil societies led by Amnesty International.

According to the Civil Societies Representative, Miss Ossai, they decided to petition FCTA because of what they described as cases of unlawful arrests and detention, sexual abuse and physical violence, gender discrimination and violation of fundamental human rights.

In his reaction, Umar Shuaibu, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Coordinator stood in firm defence of their actions because of the contravention of FCT land use regulations by the affected clubs.

Umar said that in spite of serving quit notice and contravention letters to the operators of the club since 2016, they failed to revert activities on the plot located at N0 630, TOS Benson Crescent, Utako District Abuja.

He noted that the plot was originally approved for building of a clinic to provide healthcare services for residents of the territory.

He said activities of the club contravened the provisions of Clause no. 10 of Certificate of Occupancy and Clause 10 of the conveyance letter of building plan.

Umar said there were complaints of noise pollution, insecurity and social disturbances written to AMMC by those in the neighbourhood and DSS on the negative impacts from the premises.

“The issue assumed a critical relevance not only because change of use is inimical to provisions of the Abuja Master Plan, but it has equally generated externalities.

“This culminates into noise pollution, on-street parking, insecurity, social vices and many others.

“These nuisances compromise the safety, comfort and convenience of the residents of the residential precinct”, he said.

He noted that For the purpose of clarity, the land use provision designated to accommodate lounge/night club activities is within a hotel plot.

“As most of us are already aware, we have night clubs operating in hotels like Hilton, Sheraton and other notable hotels within the city, who have abided by the law and run their clubs in a sound-proof room”, he said.

Also speaking on the issue of rape and abuse, Hajia Tani Umar, the Acting Head of Social Development Secretariat stated that there were no issues of such.

‘’I was with the task force team that went for the arrests, and I can assure that nobody was molested or sexually abused. I also made sure that the ladies were not only handed to the police but ordered their bail once someone came to surety them,’’ she said.

She also stated that the ladies who were arrested also violated city laws that regulate against prostitution, indecent dressing, crime and drugs.

‘’Some of the ladies confessed to prostitution, and some were even married women. We arrested a total of 72 persons including a male. Some of the ladies even came from rich homes, and some were students. Abuja is not a free zone for prostitution, drug and crime. This is why we are enforcing the laws that guide against such behaviours.’’

She added that the ladies have been taken to the city’s rehabilitation centre in Lugbe, where they would be rehabilitated, trained in skills and will be handed starter packs in whatever training they got in order to begin a new life where they can survive without resorting to prostitution, crime and drug.

The hearing was then moved into a closed door session by the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojokwu.

In his closing remarks, Ojukwu stated that in line with the complaints that were made against the city authorities, especially gender discrimination and human right violations, it is important that in the future, the authorities should try to mainstream human rights into governance.

By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja

2,300 artisans get N115m grants from Delta govt

Delta State government has commenced the disbursement of grants-in-aid to artisans in the state as working capital to boost their businesses.

Okowa The grants totalling N115 million is being disbursed to over 2,300 artisans across the 25 local government areas of the state, Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, DSMSMEDA, Mrs Shimite Bello, has said.

The target beneficiaries, according to Bello, include members of Welders Association, Fashion Designers Association, Barbers Association as well as Hair Dressers Association. While Barbers Association and Hair Dressers Associations have 750 target beneficiaries each, Welders and Fashion Designers Associations have 300 and 500 target beneficiaries respectively.

Future Leaders Connect: Shaping clear path towards building global network Speaking on the development, DSMSMEDA boss noted that of the 2,300 target beneficiaries, over 1,700 of them had received their packages from the disbursement that began a week ago.

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According to her, the remaining beneficiaries would be attended to in the next few days, saying: “You will recall that this administration, in the past three and a half years, has been doing a lot of empowerment programmes.

“Recently, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa decided to extend the empowerment programme to artisans in the state.

READ ALSO:  SONS HOLDS WORKSHOP TO CHECKMATE BUILDING COLLAPSE

Currently, he is doing what we call ‘Grant-In-Aid’ to artisans, which include Welders Association, Fashion Designers Association, Hair Dressers Association, and Barbers Association.

“You will also recall that we have been taking care of different groups in the state, particularly transporters and butchers associations.

Last week, we started dealing with the welders association, fashion designers, barbers association and hairdressers. “This is the second group of beneficiaries that the state government is giving Grant-In-Aid. The first group was the farmers association who was given grants a few months ago. For this empowerment, the state governor has graciously approved the sum of N115 million.”

Source: By Victor Young

Emefiele: CBN’ll drive Nigeria’s economy stronger

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has given assurance that the apex bank would strongly support the Federal Government in its diversification drive to wards making the economy stronger and widening the scope for productive engagements of millions of Nigerians. Emefiele, however, predicted that Nigeria might slide into serious economic quagmire following her uncontrolled astronomical population growth. He urged Federal Government to attach premium to palm oil production, saying its price is higher than crude oil’s price.

The CBN governor spoke, yesterday, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for screening for his reappointment for a second term. He hinted that the price of barrel of palm oil in the international market was higher than that of crude oil now which would have been fetching the country huge foreign exchange earnings, if not that it had been abandoned since the 1970s when the oil boom occurred in Nigeria. He said: “Aside from the Anchor Borrowers Programme, we are also looking at special programmes targeted at wholesale growth of agricultural sector in Nigeria.

“For some of you who are very good in doing calculations, go and check today: the price of a barrel of palm oil is more than the price of a barrel of crude oil. So, what happened to our country? “There are countries when they have the opportunities in agriculture and also have opportunities in the crude sector, they didn’t let their guards down. But unfortunately, we did and that is what we are paying for today. So that when there are some external shocks in the crude oil market, we sneeze it, but we only smile when the market is good.

emefiele

“We will grow that market back again. And after that, we will go into cocoa in the South-West area to be sure that what we are doing permeates all the nooks and crannies of this country. Because we think we owe Nigerians this. “We just came back from the IMF/World Bank programme in April. And in the World Bank’s/IMF’s World Economic Outlook, Nigeria is positioned as a country whose population will grow and rise to over 425 million people by the year 2050. That will present Nigeria as a country with the third largest population in the world after China and India and indeed surpassing the United States of America in population.

“I worry and I do think that we all should worry that a lot of work needs to be done to make sure that we are able to put in place policies that will make life good for these 425 million people when we are the third largest population in the world.” On efforts to generate employment, Emefiele said: “So, we from the CBN from the monetary policy side, have come to realisation that using the instrumentality of the Anchor Borrowers Programme where access to credit is being provided to our masses all over the country, that it will be a way to generate employment and boost economic activity amongst our rural population.

“I visited one of the Asian countries recently and happy with what I saw, but I came out of the country sad. Sad because I could see the level of development that this country has achieved over the last 50 years. And I cast my mind back and look at my country Nigeria that what have we achieved? “This is what gives me the push that at my age of 57, I saw this country when it was good.

That I am looking at the country today, I don’t want to say it is bad, but I want to say that we have a lot of work to do, because the country has, no doubt, receded somewhat. “So from our side in the monetary policy, we will do everything possible to ensure that with the mandate that is bestowed on us, we will push this country forward.”

He also made clarifications on the exchange rate policy of the government which he said is not multiple as being alleged. His words: “A couple of people have raised issues that we have multiple exchange rates. And we have said we do not have multiple exchange rates.

emefiele

When you talk of multiple exchange rates, you talk about divergence in exchange rate. Substantially today, our rates have converged around N360 to $1. “…So, you will find multiple windows because the rates at which foreign exchange is traded through all these windows are substantially the same. So, there is no multiple exchange rates, but I will admit there is multiple windows and it is for a good reason.”

The CBN Governor said that Nigeria would be the third largest populated country in the world by 2050 with projected population of 425 million people from her present 200 million population.

READ ALSO: RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES NOW

He asserted that such rapid population growth rate must be met with development-driven monetary and economic policies devoid of sabotage in anyway, to be able to escape the predicted doom. He said: “The road ahead for Nigeria is still rough and very tough. But I want to appeal to all Nigerians that a time comes in the history of a country where you have to learn to respect the policies and laws of a country. “Part of the problem that we have seen in Nigeria is lack of respect for the policies of this country. Nigeria is very good at putting in place policies that are sound and workable.

“But implementation has always been almost zero. And it is arising because we see sabotage activities. We see people when policies are made, where they pick up the pieces of paper about the policy, what they think about is how do we circumvent this policy?

“The CBN, if given this mandate, will push very hard to ensure that those who seek to undermine the policies of Nigeria without respecting the laws of this country will be brought to book under any circumstances. And that is why I said please pray for us because the road ahead is still rough.” In his remarks, Chairman of the senate committee, Senator Rafiu Adebayo, commended Emefiele’s effort in stabilising the economy through various initiatives, and urged him to put in more effort in ensuring that some economic challenges currently bedevilling the country were tackled. The Senate had, on May 9, read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari requesting the confirmation of the CBN governor for a second term.

Source: By Chukwu David

How Nigeria can avert a looming tsunami of poverty

Nigeria is a much more important country than most people in the U.S. probably realize. With more than 190 million people, it’s Africa’s largest country by far (Ethiopia, the second-largest, has a little more than half as many).

And with a fertility rate of about 5.5 children per woman, among the world’s highest, Nigeria is only going to grow in importance — by the century’s end, the country is projected to have almost 800 million people, almost twice as many as the U.S. by then.

But as things stand, this African giant is failing to create the prosperity that will sustain that future population. Its oil-dependent economy has struggled after oil prices plunged five years ago.

The number of Nigerians in extreme poverty — generally defined as living on less than $1.90 a day — is estimated to be increasing by six every second.

Meanwhile, the country’s economic institutions are failing, with rising unemployment and debt levels.

In the long run, Nigeria needs to wean itself from dependence on oil by spending energy revenues on education, health and infrastructure.

But that plan might take decades to bear fruit in the best of circumstances. In the short run, Nigeria needs jobs.

One of the best ways to create those jobs would be to increase international trade, promote higher levels of inward investment which Nigeria is capable of to boost economic activity in a country of natural entrepreneurs.

And the quickest way to boost trade would be to join the African Continental Free Trade Area, the planned free trade zone of the African Union (an organization dedicated to forging closer cooperation between African states).

The AfCFTA now includes 52 countries and more than $2 trillion of economic activity.
Entering that agreement, which would eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of goods, would open up plenty of new markets for Nigerian-made products.

But Nigeria’s where those in government or in the business community live in denial. For instance leaders of Nigeria’s manufacturers group see the AfCFTA as more of a threat than an opportunity.

Frank Jacobs, former president of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria, recently declared that “when they open our borders for all manner of products to come into this country, most of our industries will be out of business.”

nigeria

The Nigeria Labor Congress, an umbrella organization of trade unions, called the AfCFTA an “extremely dangerous and radioactive neo-liberal policy initiative.”

As a result of this political opposition, Nigeria has balked at joining the agreement.
There is some justification for reluctance. Though the current accord is mainly about reducing tariffs between African member states, the AU plans to follow it up with a push for a customs union and a single currency.

This latter step would be a bad idea. As Europe discovered so disastrously in the financial crisis, a currency union can exacerbate local recessions, since it makes it impossible for countries with weak economies to depreciate their currencies and become more competitive.

A monetary union without fiscal integration makes sovereign-debt crises like the one in Greece much more likely and damaging. Africa should avoid making the same mistakes that Europe made.

And Nigeria, especially, should be wary of a currency union — its natural resource exports tend to push up the value of its currency, the naira, making non-oil exports less competitive, meaning the country needs to push its currency down in order to restore balance.

But signing on to the AfCFTA wouldn’t oblige Nigeria to adopt the later stages of the AU plan. For now, the priority should be opening the country to trade. Nigeria now is highly protectionist. Its list of prohibited or restricted imports is long, including items such as carpets, shoes, handbags and most types of furniture.

The government also makes a large number of imports, such as textiles and clothing, ineligible for foreign exchange at the central bank’s official window, making it harder to import these items.

READ ALSO: 1M TONS PER ANNUM STEEL FIRMS SHUT DOWN IN NIGERIA

In her book “The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment Is Reshaping Africa,” McKinsey & Co. researcher Irene Yuan Sun argues that these import restrictions have damaged Nigeria’s manufacturing sector.

The obstacles to importing textiles have made it difficult for Nigeria to develop a competitive clothing-export industry of the type now growing in Ethiopia.

And the impediments to importing labor-intensive manufactured goods like furniture, shoes and carpets, though it has shielded Nigeria’s manufacturers in the short term, has had the long-term effect of preventing them from learning how to compete in international markets.

nigeria

This is a drag on growth. Labor-intensive manufacturing is still almost certainly the best and quickest path for nations to escape mass poverty. Journalist Joe Studwell argues in “How Asia Works” that exporting raises productivity and encourages the import and adoption of advanced foreign technology.

And Harvard University economist Dani Rodrik argues that promoting exports helps countries to discover what they’re good at doing, allowing them to invest with confidence and to establish a stable niche in the global economy.

Maintaining an insular, protectionist stance is often tempting for a country as large as Nigeria, whose manufacturers are always clamoring for the prize of a captive domestic market. What makes Nigeria’s case worse is the current government’s obvious disdain for private enterprise.
But the government’s approach merely provides a crutch that ultimately preserves industrial weakness. Instead of hiding behind trade barriers and statist policies, Nigeria should focus on aggressively promoting manufactured exports and the private capital that drives this.

Gaining access to nearby African markets would be one step toward doing that. Courting foreign-direct investment, depreciating the currency and pushing companies to export are other important steps.

From whichever you look at it, Nigeria must now quickly end its scandalous petrol subsidy and free badly needed capital for the social investment the country needs to mitigate rising social tension that is fueled by poverty.

And in the long run, investments in education, health and infrastructure will make Nigeria an attractive platform for labor-intensive manufacturing. This is the giant African country’s best hope for escaping a looming tsunami of poverty.

Source: By Noah Smith, Bloomberg

RCCG Minister Commits Suicide in Abuja Over Accommodation

Michael Arowosaiye, a Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) gospel singer has reportedly commited suicide on Tuesday, May 14th 2019, around 4pm at his residence, Sunnyvale Estate Abuja.

Michael also recently ministered in his church during a youth praise event before he commited suicide.

RCCG

According to a friend of the deceased, he said Michael hanged himself with a belt.

READ ALSO: ARCHBISHOP VOWS TO HANDLE HOUSING CRISIS

It was also gathered that the deceased Michael entered into depression because he has not been able to pay for his house rent, that was why he took the decision of hanging himself.

Source: Gistreel

Here’s how higher regulatory costs are impeding housing affordability

Despite recent declines in mortgage interest rates, housing affordability continues to be a key concern for homebuyers. And, rising cost burdens mean a larger share of household budgets are spent on rent.

For example, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, in early 2012 a typical family could afford 77.5% of all new and existing homes that were sold. Today, that share stands near a 10-year low at 61.4%. The percentage would be even lower if not for a recent uptick in income growth.

It is widely understood that a lack of inventory – particularly a dearth of new construction at affordable price points – is the primary cause of today’s housing challenges.

While ongoing (skilled) labor shortages and building material price volatility (made worse by tariffs) are slowing projects and raising construction costs, a fundamental limiting factor on development are the regulatory rules connected to single-family construction and apartment development.

The number of rules associated with developing land and building homes and apartments are immense in scope and involve all layers of government. Too often, these rules are examined in isolation, thus missing the “death by a thousand cuts” process that layers higher costs on the total construction process, holding back supply and contributing to the affordability crisis.

housing a

In recent years, the National Association of Home Builders’ economics team undertook two detailed surveys of builders and developers to determine the aggregate effect of regulatory burdens on housing, with the second study co-authored with the National Multi Housing Council.

In 2016, NAHB published a study of the single-family sector that found, on average, approximately 24% of the final price of a single-family home was due to regulatory burdens imposed by all levels of government.

The results were revealing in terms of where these costs arise. Three-fifths of the total impact was due to higher costs associated with finished lots. For example, delays related to land development raise housing costs (recall that most land developed for housing is purchased using debt, which means higher interest expense with time).

In fact, the survey found that the typical lot is subject to a 6.6-month delay. However, in some tightly regulated markets, delays can exceed five years.

There are also costs for applying for zoning or subdivision approval, as well as for land that must be purchased but is required to be left unbuilt. The final estimates found that at the development stage, these costs add 14.6% to the final price of a typical new single-family home, with the top quartile of homes increasing by 18.8%.

Regulatory costs are also added during the construction phase. These costs include elements like permit, hook-up, impact and other fees associated to the builder. And building code requirements further add to the tally, depending on the jurisdiction. These construction-phase rules add, on average, 9.7% to the final price of a new single-family home.

READ ALSO: BUY TO LET MORTGAGES

It is not just the level of these burdens that matter, but also the recent trends in cost growth.

In a 2011 survey, NAHB estimated that regulatory burdens added a little more than $65,000 to the price of a typical new home. With respect to the 2016 survey, this average total climbed to almost $85,000.

For local policymakers who wonder where the newly built entry-level housing stock is, this number should give them pause. Excessive regulations often prevent the construction of sorely needed housing at lower price points. Moreover, the 29.8% growth in these regulatory burdens during this five-year period far outpaced the 2011-2016 measures of inflation (6.1%), material pricing (10.3%) and GDP growth (14.9%).

Of course, regulatory cost burdens are not limited to the single-family housing sector. To address this segment of the housing stock, NAHB partnered with the NMHC to conduct a similar survey for apartment development. Again, the results were striking. According to the study, 32.1% of total development costs associated with typical apartment construction are due to regulatory costs.

housing a

These burdens came from rules that reflect fees and zoning approval expenses, delay effects, unused land, construction and other impact fees, inclusionary zoning requirements, and fees for required capital expenditures.

The survey did not tally costs associated with local opposition to adding apartment units in an area. In fact, 85% of the developers surveyed reported additional costs due to such NIMBYism-based opposition.

These recent studies of regulatory costs associated with home and apartment construction illustrate the challenge of increasing the production of quality, affordable housing –particularly in highly regulated markets and metro areas with large population and job growth.

Moreover, the estimates quantify and reinforce the conventional wisdom that if we as a nation want to ease housing affordability barriers, communities should begin by reducing the regulatory burdens associated with developing land and building homes. Communities that fail to do so will find that younger households will continue to vote with their feet and find markets where housing is more affordable.

Source: By Robert Dietz, Housing Wire

Cooperative Housing in the Spotlight

Part 1: Panel Discussion – Cooperative Housing Through Partnerships

Members of Cooperative Housing International will provide examples of best practices in cooperative housing that demonstrate innovation and successful ways of leveraging partnerships. Whether completed or underway, these case studies will show the potential of adaptation to meet the needs and opportunities in other regions and jurisdictions. A second session on housing cooperatives in France will follow at 11:15.

Time: June 5th, 2019, 9:30 to 12:45

Location: 7 Rue Saint-Polycarpe, 69001 Lyon

Room: Conditions des Soies

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