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FCT residents to pay for infrastructure, Govt admits reality

FCT Minister Malam Bello Muhammad has said that residents of the territory may have to pay for infrastructure as government could no longer continue to fund it.

Muhammad said this while on a inspection tour of ongoing road projects by the FCT, being executed by Gilmort Engineering Ltd. on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, tremendous amounts are needed for the provision of infrastructure in many of the districts of the FCT.

According to him, while it was possible in the past to develop the FCT, the reality now is that to develop each plot now requires tremendous amount of resources.

“I think it is just a matter of time, we will have no option but to ensure that every plot has to pay for itself.

” If you look at it on a plot to plot basis the cost of infrastructure for a plot is so high and if you look at what people pay to government it is so negligible,” he said.

According to him, 30 years ago when Abuja was created and people were encouraged to come in, it made a lot of sense for government to provide infrastructure.

Muhammad said this was because infrastructure had not matched the level of development, adding that this had to be so because government could no longer fund infrastructure, while allocating plot for free.

According to him, this is something that requires “all of us to really sit down as stakeholders and not just the FCT administration”.

He stated that if residents of FCT craved for first class infrastructure, they have to be willing to pay for it.

“That is why the development of the city without given due cognisance to funding and providing for infrastructure does not help the city.

” That is why you see that the city has so many districts with 100 per cent houses without infrastructure,” he said.

He commended the contractor for doing a good job based on the level of work on ground.

Mr Ben Simon, Chief Engineer, Gilmor Engineering Ltd said the company is determined to complete the project in 20 months.

He said that Phase I Guzape District HD has been completed and the company was working hard to ensure the completion of Phase II.

The minister visited Guzape and Jahi districts of the FCT.

NMRC Commences Skill Acquisition Programme for IDP’s on Housing Construction

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company in fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility, commenced its Vocational Skills Acquisition Programme earlier today at the New Kuchingoro IDP Camp, Kaura District, Abuja.

The 2 months vocational training programme which is coordinated by the Industrial Training Fund is focused on skill acquisition in the area of Masonry (Block making/ laying), Plumbing, Electrical Installation.

In a welcome address, the Executive Director, NMRC, Dr. Chii Akporji stated that the role of NMRC was to promote mortgage by releasing money to banks to give out mortgage. She noted that lack of skill is a major challenge facing housing in Nigeria. She cited that some incidences of building collapse can be traced to the lack of building skills.

The Executive Director disclosed that the goal of the training programme is to eventually build a network of NMRC artisans. She added that the platform will  serve as a channel for job placement for the artisans. She explained that the inaugural set of trainees will not be less than 45 while the consequent ones will be more than the present number.

NMRC and some beneficiaries

Speaking at the commencement of the training programme, the Director General, ITF, Sir Joseph N. Ari represented by the Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund, Usman M.Y Dadi thanked NMRC for bringing the ITF onboard to coordinate the programme.

According to him, the Industrial Training Fund is the only medium of government for job and wealth creation. He highlighted current efforts of ITF, noting that through the Women Skills Empowerment Programme, ITF has trained 30 women in Event Management and bakery. He added that the organization has employed the use of 6 mobile workshops.

Worthy of note, the Area Manager mentioned that ITF also undertakes training in the Construction industry to ensure the industry is free of building collapse. He added that ITF through this has trained many artisans.

Representing the Trainees, the IDP Camp Chairman, Philemon Emmanuel thanked NMRC for bringing the Skill Acquisition programme to the Camp.

Giving the Closing Remarks, The Camp Coordinator, Programme Trainees/Beneficiaries, Lynette Johnson thanked the NMRC for the programme adding that it was much needed to ensure creation of jobs for the members of the IDP Camp.

COPEN Group inaugurates fifth housing estate in Enugu

COPEN Group, a consortium of God fearing professionals on Monday in Enugu inaugurated its fifth housing estate aimed at reducing the housing deficit in Enugu State.

The Group Managing Director, Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, said that the company had been involved in providing affordable housing to residents of the state in partnership with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

Chime, who is also the National President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, said that the development of the estates were not without their challenges which could have undermined their realisation.

He said that the company was able to inaugurate the various projects due to God’s favour and the goodwill of their partners.

“COPEN has been involved in various capacities in the conceptualization, planning, design, financial intermediation, supervision, construction and management of estates development for organizations and governments across the country,” he said.

Chime named some of the estates completed so far by the group as Bethel Estate, Goshen Estate, Jubilee Estate and Elim Estate.

“The patronage and interest we got from the development of the development of Bethel Estate confirmed that Enugu is considerable yearning for effective and affordable housing,” he said.

Chime said that as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility, “we shall give free three to six months artisanal training to 23 youths of Amaechi Uwani Community.

“This is to ensure that their skill-set is in tandem with current use of the land. This is a policy I am introducing as National President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria.

“It is called 20 for 1 policy: Train a youth for every 20 housing units you build,” he said.

Chime appealed to the state government to further reduce the transaction cost and time for title perfection which he said was solely borne by property owners.

He appealed to the state government to provide infrastructure to the boundary of estates in Enugu in line with National Housing Policy Document.

Lagos State, Echostone Limited To Develop 20,000 Housing Units

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a real estate developer, Echostone Limited, to build 20,000 housing units in the state within four years.

Speaking while signing the partnership agreement, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, the state Commissioner for Housing, said Lagos State would provide the land as its equity contribution, while Echostone would finance the project.

“This partnership is in line with the state governments Lagos Affordable Public Housing (LAPH) initiative, and it is aimed at constructing 20,000 housing units over a period of four years, towards reducing the housing deficit.

“To this end, the state has identified land in various locations across the state; the land is the state government’s equity while the private investor will contribute funding and technical expertise,” he said.

He said that Echostone will commence with the provision of 2000 housing units in three locations.

“The company is expected to start with 2000 housing units in three locations within the state, namely, Idale in Badagry, Ayobo in Alimosho and Imota in Ikorodu.

“An initial total of 2000 housing units are expected to be delivered in these three locations ” he said.
Mr Anthony Rachia, representing Echostone, said that the objective of the company was to construct houses on a large scale, and to create jobs.

“Our objective is to help bridge the housing deficit in Nigeria and also help generate employment by building houses in large scale and also creating jobs.

” We have the technology to construct quality houses faster, and by the time we commence construction in February, 2018, we would create 6000 jobs,” he said.

The Lagos State had earlier partnered with two mortgage financing companies in its efforts to boost the housing sector in the state.

The companies are Brains and Hammers Nigeria Limited and Multipurpose Infrastructure Development Company Limited.

‘Investors should pay attention to property maintenance’

The Business Development Manager, Provast Limited, Mr. Segun Olabode, says investors in real estate should place emphasis on efficient management and maintenance of their existing stock of properties so as to enjoy maximum returns on their investments.

Olabode, who is an estate surveyor and valuer as well as a facility manager, spoke at a master class for members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State Branch, recently.


He said there was also a need for an effective safety management system to be in place.

Olabode stated, “The objective of a safety management system is to provide a structured management approach to control safety risks in operations. Effective safety management must take into account the specific structures and processes related to safety.
“The SMS is a comprehensive and integrated system that ensures that all work at the facility or site is conducted safely and should be fully documented, accessible and comprehensible to those that need to use it.”

According to him, property owners, organisations and investors prefer outsourcing the management of their facilities and structures so as to get better returns on investments.

Gemade accuses FG of withholding N100billion appropriated for housing

The Chairman Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Barnabas Gemade, has revealed that the sum of N100 billion appropriated in the 2017 Budget as intervention fund, to support mortgage activities in the country has not been released to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

This is even as the year will elapse in few weeks’ time, and the National Assembly has commenced deliberations on the 2018 Budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gemade, who made the disclosure while the committee was on oversight function at the FMBN, urged the Bank to liaise with the supervisory Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing, and the Ministry of Finance, to ensure that the fund so appropriated is released to it for the purpose.

Furthermore, he urged stakeholders including the Federal Government, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), to pay up their equity contribution and actualise the recapitalisation of the FMBN.

NSIA Plans Massive Investment In Infrastructure

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority on Wednesday said it was planning to invest massively in the Nigerian Infrastructure Debt Fund being managed by Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria.

The NSIA said this in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by its Communications Adviser, Mr. Titilope Olubiyi.

It, however, did not disclose the amount to be invested, but added that the investment was consistent with its mandate of playing a leading role in sustained economic development for the benefits of Nigeria.

The NIDF is a Nigerian domiciled close-ended fund. It is the first and only domestic currency listed infrastructure debt fund across Africa.

It is focused on mobilising domestic savings, particularly pension funds, life insurance companies, large corporates as well as family office groups for investing in economically critical and financially viable infrastructure assets.

The fund supports traditional infrastructure sectors, primarily transport, power, renewable energy, utilities, energy infrastructure, logistics and other public-private partnership type investments, with naira long-dated senior debt.

The statement said the NIDF was able to support these projects with long-term financing and in the process, would generate superior risk adjusted returns for its investors

Commenting on the investment, the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, NSIA, Uche Orji, said, “We are pleased to support the NIDF, as it is consistent with the NSIA’s strategy of enabling Nigeria pension fund participation in infrastructure, makes available long-term naira financing, and is led by a high-quality management team.

“We look forward to working with the NIDF team to ensure that the fund grows through further institutional investor participation and access to high-quality investments.”

The statement also quoted the Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham, Mr. Bolaji Balogun, to have said that the fund would direct institutional investments into productive infrastructure assets.

He said, “Mobilisation of domestic currency sources for funding infrastructure is critical for Nigeria, in order to meaningfully bridge the existing infrastructure deficit.

“The NIDF directs institutional investments into productive infrastructure assets, which have a positive development impact, through the multiplier effect on investments, economic growth and well-being of the population.

“The NIDF has the potential to mobilise a meaningful proportion of this requirement by channelling the growing pension and insurance assets as well as other long-term pools of capital into infrastructure investment and financing.”

Police contributes N10bn to national housing fund – IGP Idris

The Nigeria Police Force has revealed that it had contributed over N10 billion in remittances to the National Housing Fund since the inception of the scheme.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, made the disclosure at the inauguration of the Nigeria Police Mortgage Bank Cash Centre and ATM gallery in Abuja.
Idris said that the establishment of the bank became imperative to provide police officers with unhindered access to the National Housing Fund.

He also said that the bank had also provided officers with loans at lower interest rates than obtained in other commercial banks.

He promised to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of all police investments to enhance welfare of personnel.

“It is my earnest belief that the Nigeria Police Mortgage Bank is strategically positioned to drive our ambitious welfare agenda,”the police boss said.
He said that the force would continue to support and encourage synergy toward achieving the welfare objectives of the bank.

He said that the police management would consider ways of encouraging and engaging other police investments and Institutions in mobilising fund to support the bank.

The Chairman, Board of Directors of the bank, retired DIG Uba Ringim, said that the bank had successfully disbursed mortgage loans to over 500 police personnel.

Ringim said the bank had also processed over 400 National housing fund loans approval from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for personnel.
He further said that over 200 police officers were beneficiaries of other loan products with the lowest interest rates.

He said that the cash centre would avail the bank customers with the opportunity to walk in and access wide range of products and mortgage services.

The chairman said that the bank had obtained CBN approval for the deployment of three additional ATMs in Garki, Wuse and Dei-Dei, all in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Police Mortgage Bank commenced business in 2015 to provide personnel with affordable and quality housing.

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Association Tells LASG To Decentralise Town Planning

The Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Lagos State Chapter, has called on the state government to decentralise town planning by involving local governments.

The ATOPCON President, Mr Olaide Afolabi, made the call in Lagos on Thursday.

Afolabi said that it had become necessary to have a more responsive planning system in the state.

He said that decentralisation was vital because of the increased rate of illegal erection of structures in the state.

Afolabi said that decentralisation of town planning process would discourage people from erecting such structures.

“We are working toward improved planning practice in Lagos State so that things will be done in an orderly manner, and there will be less illegal developments.

“We want the government to make planning easier and more transparent; a lot of people will benefit from this instead of having illegal developments and government chasing illegal developers with scarce resources.

“Let planning be decentralised and local governments be given the power to be involved in issuing planning permits,’’ he said.

Afolabi said that there were a number of challenges facing town planning in the state.

“There is always a gap between the regulator and the regulated.

“There is too much bureaucracy at the level of the government.

“We want a more responsive physical planning system in the state,” he said.

Afolabi expressed the optimism that decentralisation of town planning process would erase the bottlenecks associated with issuing planning permits.

He said that it was improper to delay issuance of planning permits for months and sometimes years after submission of applications.

“If one wants a development permit, there is no reason he should not get it within few weeks, but a lot of people take months or years to get it done and they accumulate debt because they borrowed for the project,” he added.

Lagos Arraigns Property Developer Over Alleged Fraud

Lagos – The Lagos State Government,has arraigned a property developer, David Olumide Aderinokun and a staff of the New Town Development Authority (NTDA), Balogun Adeniyi Abdul-Wakil before an Igbosere Magistrate Court over alleged conspiracy, forgery, stealing and property fraud on parcels of land in Lekki Peninsula estimated at 2678.068 square metres.

Aderinokun was arraigned separately on an eight-count charge bordering on the offence before Chief Magistrate Olufolake Oshin, and alongside Abdul-Wakil on another eight-count charge before the same court.
Aderinokun, trading under the name of Davade Properties, was alleged to have conspired with others now at large sometime in February 2016 to commit felony to wit stealing, forgery and obtaining money under false pretense.

The charge said Aderinokun criminally “converted a piece of land measuring approximately 1764.44 square metres situate at Plot 7B, Block CBD.1, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, property of Ocean Trust Limited for your own use and to the use of others, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 287 of the Criminal Law Cap C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.”

He was said to have forged a Deed of Assignment with file number DLS/GC/110323 with the intention of using same to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
Besides, Aderinokun was alleged to have fraudulently obtained N18million from one Mrs Jumoke Fola-Alade on the pretense that he was the owner of the said property contrary to and punishable under Section 314 of the Criminal Law Cap C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State.

In the other charge, Aderinokun and Abdul-Wakil were said to have conspired with others now at large to fraudulently convert a piece of land measuring approximately 913.628 square metres situated at Plot 44, Block 77, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1 in Eti Osa for their use.

The property in question, which was registered as Number 96 at page 96 in Volume 1993p, belonged to Mr Ben Adebisi Oyekunle and Mrs Bukola Taiwo Oyekunle.
In one of the counts, Aderinokun and Abdul-Wakil and others now at large were said to have “On or about the 3rd of March, 2012 at Lekki Area of Lagos State in the Lagos Magisterial District, possessed a fraudulent document (Deed of Assignment registered as No 91 at page 91 in Volume 2399) knowing fully well that the document was false and presented same at the Lagos State Land Registry, Alausa, Ikeja for registration and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 of the Criminal Law Cap C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.”

Abdul-Wakil was said to have used official information at his disposal to fraudulently convert the said land for his own use contrary to the law.

The defendants pleaded not guilty, while their lawyers – Stanley Imhanruor and Sunny Ogoh urged the court to grant them bail on liberal terms.

The lawyers based the bail application on the grounds that the defendants had no criminal records and were appearing in court for the first time, adding that the offences for which they were charged were bailable.

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