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TACKLING POVERTY, HOUSING INVESTMENT IN FOCUS AS STAKEHOLDERS GATHER FOR AIHS 2018

How to tackle poverty through investment in housing will be the focus of discussion as housing sector stakeholders gather for the Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) next week. Expectation is that the stakeholders, coming from diverse backgrounds in the housing sector, will offer insights for profitable investment in housing which is grossly under supplied in Nigeria.

AIHS is currently the largest single real estate expo and exhibition in Nigeria, drawing participants and exhibitors from the West African sub-region and the continent at large. In the last 11 years, the Show has brought together over 50,000 housing sector stakeholders from both public and private sectors to point the way forward for the sector.

This year’s edition, which is the 12th in the series, anticipates about 15,000 participants and 250 exhibitors in various types of building materials. Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, will declare the Show open on Monday, July 16.

“How government could create a conducive environment and look into outstanding housing laws at the National Assembly which include Land Use Act, foreclosure laws and mortgage banking law, and how these would attract more investment in real estate will also be discussed”,

Festus Adebayo, the convener, said in an interview. “Our expectation is that once government plays that role, we can use housing to fight poverty, bearing in mind that at every construction site, jobs are created and many people are engaged including professionals, artisans and labourers.

Through this, wealth is created and the economy is better for it”, he added. Hope of home ownership, especially for civil servants, is increasingly becoming a remote possibility.

This is why this edition of the Show is not planned as a talk-show but a forum for exchanging ideas from leaders, and enabling people to acquaint themselves with the latest developments in the housing sector.

“This forum is also aimed to strategise for practical solution to housing problems in Nigeria. It will assist people to get building materials at discounted rates from manufacturers who will be exhibiting their products here,’’ he said.

About 26 speakers from different African countries and international organisations including the World Bank, African Union of Housing Finance, UN Habitat and India Federation for Housing are expected.

Also expected are the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola as the Chief Host, and FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita.

Some ministers expected from the African countries include the Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Ghana, Freda Prempeh and the country’s members of parliament who will also be in attendance.

Businessday

WHY REAL ESTATE IS INVESTMENT HAVEN, PROFESSIONAL DESTINATION

Despite the slowdown and challenging times which the real estate sector in Nigeria is passing through at the moment, investment analysts, players in the sector including portfolio and equity investors are agreed that of all the various investment asset class, real estate remains top in consideration.

For investors, especially the patient ones who have long term view of the market, real estate is a haven while, professionally, that is, in terms of a profession to pursue, it is a destination. This is the only investment asset whose value, especially land, never goes down even in a recessing economy.

Today, this sector represents 8 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP; its market value is estimated at N59 trillion and that, in turn, represents the value of investment opportunity open to investors in the sector. Again, at the moment, 81 per cent of global wealth is held as real estate.

Many students of Estate Management, for instance, have frequently, at one point or another, stopped to ask themselves what really is in real estate for them. But professionals and sundry practitioners assure those with mindset that there is a lot for them in that sector.

“Real estate encompasses the thing you are passionate  about; the thing you are good at, and the thing you can earn a living from”, explained Tayo Odunsi, CEO, Northcourt Real Estate , who spoke at a gathering of budding real estate professionals on ‘Why I love Real Estate’ in Lagos, recently.

“ real estate”, he added, “allows me to harness all my many interests into one career”. This means that even as a real estate professional, one can still do other things where one’s interest is strong such as technology, fine art, marketing, interior design and others.

This is because, back in the days, real estate was just a blend of construction, economics, law and accounting , but today, it goes beyond that. Real estate is now a blend of construction economics, law, finance, technology, design, marketing, and branding.

It is therefore, a professional destination, especially for students who have strong bias for technology. There is new technology in real estate which encompasses the Big Data; Internet of Things (IoT); Drone Technology; Articial Intelligence; Machine Learning; Visual Positioning System (VPS); Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Smart Cities.

Besides technology, real estate also incorporates art & design through which a professional can do interior design, graphics design or fine art. Marketing is also a professional aspect of real estate and so, a professional marketer can find a place in real estate market.

As a course of study, Real Estate is broad and therefore exposes a learner to vast and varied disciplines. As an investment asset, it has many value chain from which people can earn a living. “Nigerians like investing in real estate; the sector is good because it can work across many value chain. But we have to continue to innovate; Nigerians should learn to develop its own brand of real estate for themselves and for buyers”, Olayinka Ogunsulire, CEO, Orange Island, advised at the gathering in Lagos.

In real estate business, there is need to imbibe culture of excellence which, Ogunsulire explained, gives a developer more money than he could get by doing it otherwise.

“to be excellent, you have to go extra mile and in delivering your product as a developer, you must consider buyers’ lifestyle”, she advised.

Gbenga Olaniyan, CEO, Estate Links Limited, who said he found himself in real estate by default and has remained in it because it is the best profession and gives a lot of money, agreed that there was also need for professionalism.

Integrity is yet another value that professionals must not compromise on and Modupe Anjous, CEO, Rydal Mews, insisted that this must be accompanied by attention by attention to detail, especially on documentation.

Though it is not easy out there, there is every need to remain focused and this was the advice of Rogba Orimalade, Chairman , Lagos state branch of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), who also advised on commitment and patience in any chosen career, including real estate business.

Businessday

Engineers call for integrity test on Otedola Bridge

Structural and civil engineers in the country have called for a test to be carried out on the Otedola Bridge in Lagos to ascertain the effect the recent fire incident has on it.

According to the engineers, a physical examination of the bridge will show if it requires attention and also help to forestall any danger it may pose to the commuting public.

A former Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos Branch, Mr Olatunde Jaiyesinmi, said if the fire affected the bridge, the authorities concerned should not ignore the effect it could have on it.

He said, “Fire is very powerful and the effect it may have on the bridge needs to be checked. When you subject anything to heat, especially something like that, if the concrete does not expand, it will transfer the heat to the reinforcement. When you heat reinforcement or iron, it becomes weak after a while and can be bent or broken.

“It depends again on the intensity of the heat and if it really happened on the bridge. The heat and even the explosion can create problems for the bridge. Sometime ago, there was fire on one of the bridges in Ijora and one of the pillars was affected. It will be good for an integrity test to be done on the Otedola Bridge; if there is asphalt on it, part of it may even melt away over time if it was affected.”

On June 28, a tanker laden with petrol exploded at the foot of the Otedola Bridge, a short link between Alausa, Ikeja and Berger area of Lagos.

The subsequent inferno consumed 54 private and commercial vehicles driving behind the tanker and claimed about 10 lives.

According to reports, a similar incident occurred on the same spot in 2010.

The immediate past President of the Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers, Mr Oreoluwa Fadayomi, said the first thing for the concerned stakeholders to do was to confirm if the explosion occurred on the bridge or after it.

Fadayomi stated, “It is the inspection that will lead to recommendations on what should be done if there is damage. There are two issues, one can bother on design and the other can be on mechanical or any other kind of damage resulting from the incident.

“If a building gets burnt, some of the elements may be affected, warranting a test to be carried out on it to check the strength; on the basis and intensity of the fire, there will be a need for a test to confirm whether the bridge is alright or needs any form of attention. But if there are no signs of damage, one may not have to worry; but with the gravity of the incident, a test may be necessary.”

He said a team of structural and highway engineers should inspect the bridge and see if there would be a need for more tests.

“And if there is a need for further tests, fine, if not, then the bridge should be left alone. If nothing happened to the bridge, then it should be left alone; but if the incident took place on the bridge, then we need to know the magnitude. The other aspect that bothers on design can also be determined by the examination,” he added.

According to a civil engineer, Robbie Owivry, a through test on the bridge should be done owing to the intensity of the fire.

“Having been subjected to such an enormous impact of heat waves emanating from the fire, the natural thing to do is to subject the bridge to an integrity test to ascertain its fitness,” Owivry, who is the immediate Past Chairman, Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, stated.

The Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Ademola Kuti, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, however, stated that a preliminary test had been carried out on the bridge.

“We have done a preliminary test on the bridge, people should await the outcome of that exercise, but there will be a further test on it. That will be a more comprehensive test. However, a contractor, Julius Berger, is also on the road,” he added.

The Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Lagos Chapter, Mr Segun Fadeyi, stated that last week, he led his executive team to the bridge and met a team from the Federal Ministry of Works, who gave an assurance that a comprehensive test as well as rehabilitation would be carried out.

“Julius Berger is working on the road because the place is sloppy and the trailer carrying that load was overloaded. The capacity of the engine was lower than the load it was carrying, which led to the accident; but as we were told, Julius Berger wants to reconstruct the place and may resurface the bridge,” he added.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

 

Built environment experts lament deplorable condition of Nigerian cities

—Say over 1000 Nigerian cities are environmentally distressed

Built environment experts have lamented the deplorable conditions of some Nigerian cities, saying over 1,000 of them are environmentally distressed owing to issues such as provision of inadequate infrastructure, lack of planning and disregard for environmental laws.

This is due to many factors ranging from absence of planning to lack of appropriate infrastructural facilities among others.

Lamenting the deplorable situation, the immediate past President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, NITP, Mr. Steve Onu, said health conditions of some of the urban centres in Nigeria were nothing to write home about.

According to Onu, the distressed nature of these cities is due to absence of planning, lack of sanitation, potable water, proper drainage, power supply and other facilities across the cities, insisting that most of the settlements were supposed to be planned with facilities.

He disclosed that people just built houses without approved layouts, necessary design, building approvals, and others, adding that some locations in the urban centres have no water supply and good drainage system. “Instead of addressing the electricity problem, the government allowed individuals to be importing generators thereby polluting the environment with noise and fumes. In some locations, boreholes are being drilled indiscriminately without any regard for the environment.”

While emphasising the need to improve the quality of living in both rural and urban centres where 100 per cent of Nigerians live, he warned that the nation cannot continue to create slums in the name of development. “Those who travel by road across this country should tell us whether the environmental state of Okene in Kogi State is what it should be if we are serious,” he queried.

He warned that before granting approvals to build residential estates by developers, government must ensure that they will guarantee the provision of these services. “Government should take the bull by the horn and ensure that settlements are planned with facilities. Instead of spending N1.3 trillion per annum to subsidize Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), this amount should be ploughed into housing to improve the quality of lives of residents of the existing urban settlements.

“By this, a lot of jobs would have been created, poverty would have been reduced and welfare of the people would have been enhanced,” he stated. Former President, National Association of Town Planning Consultants, ATOPCON, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, corroborated Onu, saying that the nation’s cities were environmentally sick, pointing out that there was no problem in creating new cities, but that the existing urban centres must be regenerated.

He explained that while it is costly to build new settlements, he said regeneration and renewal of old cities would cost less. “New settlements will cost more because you have to look for new land, build new infrastructure, provide workplaces and other amenities”, Ogunleye said.

In his response, former Managing Director, Lagos State Development and Property Company, LSDPC, Anthonio John-Bede, said there was need to create a minimum of 15 new cities that could accommodate one million people in 10 years, pointing out that the cities should have residential estates, industrial parks, technical parks, Agric parks, primary and secondary schools, post- secondary and university, general hospital green parks, sports centres among others.

“It should be created by the federal and state governments but driven by private sector and international investments,” he said. Vice-Chairman, Council of Registered Builders, CORBON, Samson Opaluwah, stated that a holistic approach should encompass a strategy to slow down the massive rural to urban migration, which has been the root cause of slums.

He pointed out that Nigerians would love to stay in their rural communities if opportunities and quality of infrastructure in the urban centres are extended to them. He said: “While I appreciate the need for urban renewal and reclamation of our city slums, a futuristic solution will be to reorder our priorities and make the rural communities liveable by our teeming population.

He noted that concentration of opportunities in the urban centres was the nectar that keeps attracting huge population to the nation’s cities and daily expansion of slums, adding that the elites were the beneficiaries and proponents of the concept.

Opaluwah corroborated John-Bede, stating that development of cluster-grid of 80-100-kilometre radius was recommended for the rapid development of Nigeria, adding that it should be an independent cluster with housing, local relevant small scale industries, a school and a health centre around farming communities could be crystallised in every 80km radius nationwide.

According to him, these small self-sustaining communities could then be networked and supported by the states and the Federal Government, adding that housing in these communities should be tailored to the locally available building materials and that labour be sourced locally.

He advised that housing as important as it is, must be situated in the context of national development to be given a priority of place, adding that it should be used as an economic enabler which when continuously pursued, would lift Nigeria out of underdevelopment.

Former Managing Director, Federal Housing Authority, FHA, Prof. Mustapha Zubai, said there was necessity to, in practical terms, see housing and urban development as two sides of the same coin.

He said: “We are acting as though it is not our concern and are hardly paying any attention to the unplanned and uncontrolled urbanisation taking place in virtually all our towns and cities, with attendant consequences on the virtual collapse in the provision of urban infrastructure especially water and electricity supply, waste management and urban mobility.”

He noted that Nigerians were sadly building brand new housing estates that are simply adding to the already endemic slums in virtually all our cities. Another equally plausible scenario, he said, was that the cheapest houses the nation could produce might be too expensive for the army of poor people inhabiting the cities, estimating that at least 60 per cent of the estimated Nigerian population of 198 million are poor.

The professor said: “Our governments have, over the years, by omission or commission, managed to turn our cities and towns into breeding ground of the poor. I strongly believe that time has come for our esteemed housing experts to engage our urban development experts in a constructive dialogue with the support and constructive participation of the Federal Government, represented by our Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.”

The basis for the dialogue, he said, would be the cardinal National Housing and Urban Development Policies, 2012; the New Urban Agenda which Nigeria was a signatory to; and Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

Kingsley Adegboye

SOLIGNUM AND THE ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW REAFFIRMS BOND

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Solignum Wood Preservative Company, Sir Obinna Etele has reaffirmed his Company’s bond with the Abuja International Housing Show by donating a car gift for the show.

The event which took place at Fesadeb communication media group today was well attended by members of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Staff of Solignum and Fesadeb Media Group and other personalities to witness the handover ceremony of the car donation toward the promotion of the show.

The CEO of  Solignum Wood Preservative Company said that “the event today will go down in history like a marriage between a giant in the building industry and an advocacy group , Fesadeb Communications”

He added that Solignum is a product that has been in Nigeria for over 52 years  and it is used by all individuals and thanked Fesadeb Communication for flying the flag of Solignum.

The Managing Director of Fesadeb Communications and Organiser of the Abuja International Housing Show, Barr. Festus Adebayo expressed his gratitude and stated that “ We remain committed to promoting housing in Nigeria and to promoting the activities of the Professionals in the housing sector”

He also added that they have over the years acted as bridge between professional bodies, the builder and the Engineers.

The President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Builder Nduka Kenneth represented by the FCT Chairman of NIOB, congratulated both parties for promoting and projecting the building and construction sector and urged them to keep the good work.

Edet Richmoore

Making affordable housing a reality

How Kenya can achieve the low-cost housing dream

IN SUMMARY
Plans are underway for the approval of idle land tax as a way of discouraging speculative land purchase.
These measures undertaken by the government will provide strategically located land for the housing project.
The targeted market for the affordable housing project are working Kenyans in the middle to low-income categories.

The government’s Big Four economic blue-print intends to deliver 1 million affordable homes in the next five years.Out of this, 800,000 units are bedsitters, one-, two- and three- bedroom, costing between Sh800,000 and Sh3 million.

The remaining 200,000 units are social housing, which involves the development of slums (1-2 room units costing Sh600,000 to Sh1 million). The project is expected to be implemented on 7,000 acres of land in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Eldoret.

To deliver affordable homes to Kenyans, the government is eyeing partnerships with private developers by making public land for development available and undertaking land swaps, which involves the transfer of public land to private developers in exchange for more suitable land for development, but of equal value.

The government is also exploring the establishment of a land bank; a taskforce has been formed to set aside land from excess land holdings by corporations and parastatals, including East African Portland Cement, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Kenya Prisons and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Plans are underway for the approval of idle land tax as a way of discouraging speculative land purchase. The team also aims to unlock land that is suitable for affordable housing projects.

These measures undertaken by the government will provide strategically located land for the housing project.

But experts aver that it is infrastructure that will be a game-changer in the attainment of affordable housing. Real estate is mainly about location, says Mr Daniel Kamau, the CEO of Fusion Capital, a private equity firm focused on real estate investment and fund management. It operates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and the United Kingdom.

“By providing infrastructure such as good roads, power connections, water and sewer lines, the government will make it cost-efficient for the private sector to cut on development costs,” he said.

He noted that the move would make underdeveloped locations more desirable.

Mr Kamau explained that traditionally, and particularly in real estate, infrastructure is always followed by developments and not the other way round, which has been the case in Kenya, especially in satellite cities/gated communities.

The targeted market for the affordable housing project are working Kenyans in the middle to low-income categories.

“These are populations that are concerned with the availability of good, affordable schools, adequate security – such as a place being served by a police post – and accessibility to public transport. It is, therefore, imperative that the government provide this,” added Mr Kamau.

FINAL COSTS

He noted that provision of infrastructure by the government will go a long way in ensuring that developers deliver units at affordable rates since they will most likely not run into additional costs and transfer them to the end buyer.

Another governance aspect that will drive the attainment of affordable housing is reducing the time taken to gain approvals.

Returns on real estate investment are time-sensitive and the turnaround time is critical from planning to the sale of the property. Real estate investment involves several statutory approvals and the process of getting projects fully approved has been slow and frustrating to most developers, said Mr Kamau.

There is no systematic way of getting approvals such as the change of user on titles, the National Environment Management Authority approvals, county government approvals, building plan approvals and title transfer process.

How Kenya can achieve the low-cost housing dream

It normally takes three months for construction-related approvals in the counties. However, since 2016, Kiambu County reduced the time taken for building approvals to 3 days after digitising the system.

Known as the Electronic Development Application Management System, the application has increased efficiency and transparency since all construction-related applications are now done electronically through a customised online portal.

The Web-based system, which was developed in partnership with the World Bank, has speeded up approval time and it enhances the planning and inspection of workflow.

“Before the introduction of the system, it took months for an approval to go through, with documents sometimes disappearing. But since the system came into being, it normally takes two to three days,” said Mr Kamau.

The applications supported by the Web-based management information system include physical planning proposals, architectural building proposals, and associated civil and structural engineering designs.

Others include applications for change of use, sub-division, regularisation for change of use and sub-division, extension of lease and use applications.

Architects and planners submit building proposals for evaluation and approval online while payments are made through an automated revenue-collection system, further cutting on time and increasing efficiency.

If duplicated in other counties, the system would support the affordable housing pillar as it will reduce the time taken to deliver housing projects, which has a cost to it, he noted.

“Delays in the approvals end up increasing the cost of the project. These costs are pushed to the final buyer,” Mr Kamau noted.

The CEO noted that the government can set times for statutory approvals. He further said the government must support the private sector by committing to timelines while managing approvals.
He said Kenya can learn from Kigali, Rwanda, on how to efficiently manage construction approvals.

SUPPORTIVE GOVERNMENTS

“They have a one-stop centre where you get all your approvals done within a very short period. Supportive governments, both at the county and national level, ensure investors remain committed,” said Mr Kamau.

In Rwanda, Fusion Capital has invested in Kigali Heights, a mixed-use commercial development that features office space and retail. Still on governance, corruption in the government is seen as a possible impediment to the achievement of the “Big Four” agenda, and more so, affordable housing.

“In an economic class, they teach us that there are only four factors of production; land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship. But it appears that in some of our African countries, corruption is a factor of production,” Mr Kamau observed.

When corruption is allowed to penetrate the real estate sector, the cost is passed on to the buyer, he noted. “For developers like ourselves who adhere to non-bribery and or high ethical standards, we suffer delay or miss out on opportunities, which becomes a put-off to investors. The government has the capacity and machinery to decisively deal with cartels in real estate approval bodies or institutions,” Mr Kamau noted.

He said this would reduce the cost of development and speed up processes, and the final beneficiary is the Kenyan who wants a reasonably priced home.

In the last five years, Kenya’s GDP has been growing between 5 and 6 per cent every year. Mr Kamau says the affordable housing project can accelerate growth in key development sectors.

For instance, it is likely to provide employment, and push growth in the local manufacturing sector. “This will spur local manufacturing for economic growth, especially steel and cement,” he said.

MILLICENT MWOLOLO

 

 

We’ll make affordable housing available to Ondo residents, says Akeredolu

Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has said his administration will make housing affordable to the residents.

The governor said the decision arose from his electioneering promise to make living more comfortable for the people through functional education, food for the teeming population through agribusiness and decent accommodation through affordable housing, among others.

Akeredolu spoke yesterday at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Sunprime Estate at Abo Asakin community, opposite Akure Airport Junction, Oba-Ile, Akure.

The governor noted that the project, like many others waiting for inauguration, was the end-product of painstaking planning and the investment-friendly plans his administration had put in place.

Quoting the World Bank report that Nigeria was having an estimated deficit of 18 million housing units on an average family size of six persons, Akeredolu pledged that his administration would pursue its housing programmes to a logical conclusion.

He said: “Not less than 108 million Nigerians are homeless or not properly sheltered. This, by extension, means that about 60 per cent of our more than 180 million population is literally without accommodation.

“The implications of this are unplanned environment, littered dump sites, epidemics, uncompleted buildings, sub-standard buildings, unplanned towns and cities along with crimes, to mention just a few.”

Akeredolu pledged that his administration would address the housing challenges through institutionalised structures, mortgage financing and private sector funding.

He said: “With an ever-growing population of over three million people per annum, comprising largely of youths, the housing need is no doubt on the rise, hence the need to put on our thinking caps to surmount the challenge.

“Though the challenges have been enormous, our government has not been folding its arms helplessly to tackle this social menace. Shelter is very central to human existence, hence it is our administration’s commitment to do everything humanly practicable to continue to intervene in this critical sector.

“In Ondo State, we have adopted creative ways to tackle the housing deficits in view of the ever-increasing needs vis-à-vis the decreasing public funds to finance them, hence our decision to employ the time-tested option of Public Private Partnership (PPP).”

The Managing Director of Premium and Nelson Limited, Mr. Raph Alabi, a partner in the project, said the major aim of the Sunprime Estate was to meet the housing needs of the current and future generations.

According to him, Sunprime Estate is a proposed residential and commercial estate of 881 plots out of which 755 are for residential purpose.

Alabi said: “The proposed layout plan gives necessary specifications of how the estate should be developed, including the infrastructural facilities to create an environment with a degree of economy, beauty and convenience.”

Damisi Ojo

 

 

 

Housing as Means to an End: Family Homes Fund supports creation of 1.5 million new jobs

Through the combined effort of various market players including government ministries, its agencies and the private sector determined efforts are being made to address acute need for affordable housing in Nigeria. The challenge is a daunting one. But there are significant reasons for optimism that new partnerships and initiatives supported by the Federal and State Governments will help provide the over 17million new homes we need over the next 15 years.

The Family Homes Fund Limited is one of such new initiatives. The Fund is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority as founding shareholders.

The Fund will be the largest affordable housing focused fund in Sub-Saharan 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. Through strategic partnerships with various players in the sector and some of the world’s main Development Finance Institutions it has an ambitious commitment to facilitate supply of 500,000 homes by 2023.

However, leveraging its capital to support the supply of new homes for families on low to medium income is only a means to an end. The key priority for the Fund is to take advantage of the opportunity a large- scale house building programme offers to create jobs. Jobs which are sustainable and offer families security, improved quality of life and hope.

Housing, Jobs and Economic Development

With a projected cumulative spend of up to N1trillion by 2023 into various inputs into the housebuilding process including doors, windows, tiles, roofing materials, blocks, paving stones, paint etc. there is opportunity to incubate large numbers of SME small scale industries creating significant employment.

The Family Homes Fund aims to catalyse the creation of new jobs through the investments we make. Alongside investment by other players in the housing sector we have a real opportunity to achieve impact. Real positive impact on families, women who often carry the biggest burden in poor households and young people. At a national level, this potential effectively harnessed could generate up to 1.5% increase to the GDP by 2023.

How will we make this happen? The Family Homes Fund Limited’s approach to creating jobs will be driven by 3 priorities:

Policy – The Fund aims to support ongoing dialogue around development of a local contents framework for inputs into the housebuilding process. A long-term objective is to ensure that up to 80% of manufactured inputs are locally produced.

Partnerships – We can achieve much more collectively, than any single player can individually. The Fund aims to build strong partnerships with a broad church of institutions and agencies to maximize this opportunity. We will work with existing and new partners in the Building Materials Industry offering where appropriate guaranteed purchase commitments thus enabling critical access to capital for investment in new.

People – Through the Investments we make, The Fund will equip a new generation of young Nigerians with high-level skills in modern methods of construction and technologies.

Through a combination of these activities, the Family Homes Fund aims to create or support up to 1,500,000 jobs by 2023 making a real difference to the quality of life of their families and the economy.

Premium Times

Mortgage banker loses bid to stop arrest over Safe Tower estate project

Legal moves by the Chief Executive Officer of Safetrust Mortgage Bank, Mr. Akintayo Oloko at the Federal High Court, Lagos to frustrate his arrest and possible prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged scam on the multi-billion naira Safetowers Estate project, Lagos has hit the rock following the court’s judgment on Friday.

The judgment stemmed out of a fundamental human rights suit filed by Oloko against the Attorney General of the Federation, the EFCC, Mr. Ogunmefun and Currant Limited.

In the suit filed at Federal High Court, Lagos, the developers represented by the Chief Executive Officer of Safetrust, Mr. Akintayo Oloko, Safetrust Mortgage Bank, and Macbosh Properties Limited and Mortgage sought among other reliefs, a mandatory order compelling the respondents to return forthwith the title deed of the Safetowers Estate registered as N0 37/37/2444 at the Lagos Lands, covered by Survey Plan N0 BAS258/2013/130-116(3)/LA owned by 3rd applicant, Macbosh Properties Limited but allegedly seized by the respondents.

They also wanted an order compelling the respondents to jointly and severally tender written and public apology to the applicant as well as payment of N500 million as general and exemplary damages for illegal arrest, detention, harassment and deprivation of personal freedom and liberty.

The motion was supported by 14-paragraph affidavit deposed to the first applicant, Akintayo Oloko, written addresses, 11 paged memorandum of Understanding between Macbosh properties Limited and Kunle Ogunmefun in 2014, non disclosure agreement between parties and other correspondences between parties, including terms of settlement.

The applicants submitted that parties have due to various misunderstanding and events that transpired in the course of the transaction, already agreed to terminate the agreement as contained in the memorandum of understanding on the condition that the developer repay the amount invested by the investor together with the interest that has accrued on the said sum at the rate of 16 percent.

In urging the court to dismiss the applicants’ originating motion with substantial cost, it was the submission of the 3rd and 4th respondents that the officers of the EFCC did not act outside the provisions of the EFCC Act, when they investigated the applicants based on the 3rd respondent’s petition dated June 20, 2017, arrested and seized the title deed of the Safetower estate located at Ikate, Lekki Peninsula Scheme.

In its judgment, Justice Muslim Sule Hassan dismissed the originating motion filed by Oloko for being unmeritious.

The judge held that by combined sections 6, 7, 8, 13, 41 and 46, the EFCC is empowered to investigate and person for fraud and did not need a court order to do so.

In dismissing the suit, the court further held that the EFCC was empowered to temporary take over property for investigation, examination and enquiry.

The judge, who had earlier struck out the first applicant (Attorney- General of the Federation), from the suit for not conforming with the rules of court and not disclosing course of action held that there was a petition against the applicants for obtaining money by false pretence.
According to the court, the EFCC acted within its powers and awarded the cost of N20, 000 in favour of each of the respondents.

He also said that the applicants cannot expect a judicial fiat to prevent the EFCC form doing its work neither should they rushed to court to be shielded from criminal investigation

The EFCC is statutorily empowered to conduct criminal investigation against fraud or criminal activities.

Safetower Estate located at Ikate, Lekki, Lagos promoted by Safetrust Mortgage Bank Limited and Macbosh Properties Limited ran into controversy following contractual disagreements between the developers and an investor.

Conceived in 2013 as a 3 blocks high rise building comprising 16 units of 3 bedroom apartments and 2 units of 5-bedroom Pent duplexes, the project was to be delivered within a construction time of 24 months.

The investor, Mr. Kunle Ogunmefun offered to purchase one block of the high-rise buildings for the sum of N710 million, prompting the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2014 with the developer with respect to construction and delivery of the property within the stipulated delivering period.

In line with the agreement, he made payments by installments, amounting to a total sum of N550 million.

But the situation changed for the worse leading to the involvement of the EFCC over allegations of criminal intent to defraud leveled against the developers by the investor.

Bertram Nwannekanma

‘Embrace technology for real estate investment’

Stakeholders in the real estate have said professionals should pay more attention to technology to boost investment in the industry.

According to them, the industry in other countries has embraced technology and is gradually phasing out the analogue system.

The stakeholders spoke at the second edition of ‘The Summit 2.0’ organised by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State Branch.

The programme, among other things, focused on how technology could help professionals in project finance, facility management, property taxation, mortgage and insurance valuation, agribusiness and Real Estate Investment Trust.

The Chief Executive Officer, Northcourt Real Estate Investment Company, Tayo Odunsi, said technology and real estate had become intertwined, with the advantage of a self-regulated and secure system.

According to him, in some countries, many banks and investors do not engage valuers for residential valuation anymore rather, they engage machines.

“Technology can save costs and increase efficiency, as it can allow for a quick and easy transfer of assets by cutting out intermediaries, who currently hold information that is not shared. It also encourages increased transparency and fraud prevention,” he said.

Odunsi stated that valuers could respond to global best practices in real estate by embracing technology as an enhancer and not a disruptor.

According to him, real estate professionals can enhance their clients’ experience with new reporting formats based on technology, and also reduce timescales through digitalisation.

The Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead Group, Femi Akintunde, said facility management had improved with the application of technology.

Giving an insight into the importance of technology tools in facility management, Akintunde said, “Business technology is the ever-increasing reliance on information technology by businesses of all types to handle and optimise business processes.”

The Chief Executive Officer, Private Property Nigeria, Olurotimi Bajomo, stated that professionals in real estate could employ strategies to ensure zero downtime and service efficiency, especially in facility management.

According to him, this can be done through the engagement of skilled professionals and specialists in providing critical risk management services and maintenance of critical infrastructure and operational systems.

“There should be development of operations and maintenance procedures necessary to maximise reliability and increase life expectancy of facilities and services, as well as shift from the traditional reactive and preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance based on condition-based monitoring,” he added.

The Lead Consultant at Awoyokun Consulting, Nnennaya Awoyokun, also spoke on the need for extensive research by professionals in the built environment.

She stated that research remained a game changer for those aiming to make a difference in their professions.

“Your informed opinion makes you stand out and at the same time opens you up to a different playing field. Information is the foundation of all the services we render. Why not build a strong research base,” she added.

The Chairman, Fairwood Property Development Limited, Stephen Mayaki, stated that estate surveyors were the most qualified professionals to lead and direct the property development process, adding that they should create practices that would endure and outlive them.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

 

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