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Community tackles Okorocha over planned demolition of ancestral market

Indigenes of Umuoma, Ogbe Ahiara and Ahiazu in Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State have cautioned Governor Rochas Okorocha to rescind his plan to demolish their ancestral market.

They said that the market is a veritable symbol for them and a major source of livelihood.

In a peaceful protest to register their opposition, the aggrieved villagers said the demolition of the market, known as Afor Ogbe, would bring poverty to the people.

The protesters, who sang solidarity songs holding palm fronds, carried placards with inscriptions such as “Afor Ogbe is our heritage, we do not want any interference from government”, “Demolition of Afor Ogbe will only bring poverty to our people”, “Government of Imo State leave Afor Ogbe alone”, among others.

The irate villagers vowed to resist the demolition.

Speaking during the protest, Chairman of Aladimma Umuoma, Chief Emmanuel Egbutu, told Southern City News that the people were opposed to the market demolition because it is a major source of livelihood, adding that it is also one of the symbols of the village.

According to Egbutu, when the stories of government’s intention to demolish the market filtered into the ears of the indigenes, they waited patiently to hear directly from the government but all to no avail.

“They had also falsely claimed to have secured the blessing of the traditional ruler of the Ogbe community, HRH Eze Pat Ihuoma which eventually turned out to be a ruse.

“Demolition of the market will adversely affect our people economically and if the market requires renovation, let the government allow us to effect the repairs by ourselves because we have the resources to do this. If they want to build a new market in our area, we will provide land for them but let them leave our ancestral market for us,” he said.

Other indigenes, Onyekwere Nze, Celestine Agbiogwu and Mrs Nkem Nwosu who variously corroborated the views of Egbutu warned the state government to drop the planned market demolition.

They stressed that doing otherwise would impose avoidable hardship on those whose means of livelihood depend on it.

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Prof. Nnamdi Obiareri, said he was not aware of the development.

Also, the Commissioner of Non-Formal Sector, Mrs. Joy Mbawuike, made the same claim that she was not aware of the demolition exercise.

Gibson Achonu


Lagos promises 14,187 housing units in 24 months

Lagos State Government has said that it will deliver 14,187 housing units across the state in the next two years through joint venture partnership.

The Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, stated this at the ongoing 2018 ministerial press briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.

He said by this initiative, the state intends to provide 20,000 housing units over a period of four years spanning 2017-2020.

“This initiative is implemented through a joint venture arrangement between the state and the private investor/joint venture partner. Under this initiative, the state provides land, the documentation in terms of permits, approvals, registration of documents and stamping as its own contribution while the joint venture partner provides funds and construction expertise as its contribution,” he said.

According to him, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)/Project Company is made up of both parties and that the shareholding would be based on the value of the equity contribution of the parties.

Besides, the Lagos State Government yesterday commenced the urban regeneration of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja Government Reserved Areas (GRAs), with the unveiling of 45 new road construction equipment and commissioning of newly-interlocked road in Lekki.

The equipment, which include three road printers and three giant wheel leaders, among others, were unveiled after a public demonstration to the media and government functionaries to complete the construction of interlocked road in Joseph Hotounu Street, Lekki.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling, represented by Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, said the new equipment were procured in line with efforts to reposition the Lagos State Public Works Corporation for the urban regeneration programme aimed at addressing environmental and infrastructural challenges in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja GRAs.

Ambode said the equipment would be immediately deployed across the state for the urban renewal initiative, saying that they would go a long way in ensuring the regeneration of the entire Lagos landscape.

Also, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the paving stone machines and road printers were acquired to basically construct roads that would last longer considering the state of the Lagos environment being waterlogged.

Gbenga Salau


A former President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Engr. Emeka Ezeh has called on the Government to put in place a governance structure mechanism to prevent the activities of fraudsters in the real estate sector.

Engr. Ezeh made the call in an interview with Housing TV in Abuja.

He said “first and foremost, there is a need for governance structure on how real estate development should be managed. Government needs to come with a regulation on how that should happen. “

Engr. Ezeh who was also a former Director of the Bureau of Public Procurement also called on the Department of Development Control to set up a Unit to monitor real estate development.

He added that “if somebody puts up advert that he has an estate being developed, they are all over the place, everywhere, and am sure that people in development control have access to some of these things, all they need to do is to set up a department to monitor real estate development”

He further stated that “when they run into such advertisements, they have a responsibility to reach out to the owners of such addresses, please can we see the approval for these development and if there is no such approval that shuts off that scheme by the person and in the process the customers will not be swindled. There will be a sense of sanity and order for the real estate sector.”

He noted that there is a need for development control to ensure that those who advertise estates are properly approved with necessary papers, vision for infrastructure like water, electricity, good access roads among others.

Engr. Ezeh advised the consumers to always carry out due diligence before parting with their money to estate developers.

He said” until there is a responsibility on the part of the would be tenant on how they approach them, educate them on what to expect of the developers, if someone comes to you making an offer, you need to do a bit of due diligence check on the developer himself by insisting on getting his details and evidence of government approval of that estate.”


The former NSE boss added that “there is so much expectation of government in our whole psyche. It’s a good thing to look up to the government but people are forgetting their personal responsibility. There is a need for the people to be a bit cautious in dealing with people. It’s expected that due diligence will be carried out before parting with your money. You have your responsibility as a customer to find out how these are”

On the state of the roads in the rainy season, he said the pressure on the roads due to the collapse of the rail infrastructure is responsible for their present state.

According to him, roads are not permanent structures and are meant to be rehabilitated after some time, noting that he supports the call to change the budget year from May to May to take advantage of the dry season in repairing the roads.

Adeleke Samuel, Housing TV

Nigeria Requires $363bn to Tackle Housing Deficit

The federal government will have to cough out a huge sum of $363 billion (about N111. 08 trillion) to meet the current housing deficit in the country.

This revelation was made Tuesday by a former Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Prof. Charles Inyangate, at a workshop to mark the World Facilities Management Day in Abuja.

Citing a report by the Centre for African Housing Finance released in October 2015, Inyangate, who delivered the keynote address: ‘Enabling Positive Experiences in an Evolving Economy’, said that amount is required to fix the country’s housing deficit, which ranges between 17-23 million units.

The current housing stock in Nigeria is estimated at 21 million units while the estimated demand is between 38 million and 44 million units.

He said a crisis is looming given the prevailing housing deficit, in view of Nigeria’s demography, which is considered the fastest growing in the world.

He added that over the next 30 years, according to a report by the National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan (NIMP), $95 billion private sector funding will be required to develop Nigeria’s infrastructure towards the provision of paved roads and electricity.

Inyangate tasked facilities managers to intensify their approach in facility management, saying it is the only means to achieve sustainable and effective development of Nigerian cities.

“Facilities managers are expected to be value creators within their respective organisations. They have a role to play in the building and redesigning process. If government can’t do alone, there is an urgent need for a proactive Public Private Partnership to address Nigeria’s economic challenges. The competence skill set needed to function in Facilities Management are multi-dimensional, it is appropriate that all facilities managers ensure they are well equipped with the competencies,” he said.

At the workshop, Senator Ahmad Abubakar (Bauchi South) revealed that there was a Facility Management Bill before the National Assembly.

He said the bill when passed will enhance and ensure legal framework, localisation of processes and practices of facility management in the country.

He said the Bill had already passed the second reading and public hearing stages.

Olawale Ajimotokan

Reforms: FG commences titling of lands

As part of measures to increase access to land and addressing the rising cases of illegal land grabbing, the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reforms has said that it has commenced titling of lands across the country.

The representative of the Chairman of the Presidential Technical Committee on land Reform, Mrs Gloria Agu-Nwafor, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening of a three-day workshop on the United Nations Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forest.

At the meeting organised by the Global Convergence on Land, Water and Seed West Africa; the Centre for Environmental Education and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), she said they had commenced titling of land in Kano and Akure, Ondo State.

According to her, the importance of land titling in Nigeria is very important as it would ease transfer of land ownership to next of kin in case of death, facilitate land leasing for agricultural purpose and also help in the payment of compensation, in case of government or investors taking over the land.

“The committee has been using Systematic land Titling and Registration through which they have been able to rake in several land for Certificate of Ownership. The committee has been pushing the establishment of National Land Commission and the commission who will help in the monitoring of land titles in the country,” Agu-Nwafor said.

The Focal Person for the Convergence on Land, Water and Seed Struggle for West Africa and Nigeria, Mr Raymond Enoch, said that the use of the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible governance on Land (VGGT) for Fisheries and Forestry would enhance agricultural production, food security and responsible use of land for fisheries and forest resources.

He said that the UN Voluntary Guidelines is an advocacy tool that could be utilized by CSOs to enable government treat land responsibly and reduce land grab.

Enoch who disclosed that there are about 79 land deals going on in Nigeria, lamented that the actual owners of the land are being short-changed under the promises that the land was being used for investment.

The Representative of the FAO-Global, Mr Calzabini Eldorado, said that CSOs need to increase dialogue on governance of tenure to improve access to land for the local community

Also, the Food and Agricultural Coordinator at Action Aid Nigeria, Azubike Nwokoye, lamented that the government that should be the protectors are the facilitators of land grab and also violating the UN voluntary guidelines on protecting the right of land owners.

Abbas Jimoh


Leading Pan-African finance institution, Shelter Afrique, UN Habitat and the African Union of Housing Finance will lead a host of major players in the real estate sector at the 12th Abuja International Housing Show.

The Largest housing show/ construction expo on the continent will hold at the International Conference Centre Abuja between 16 and 19 July this year.

The Show’s Director of Media, Flora Anne, who also is the anchor of Housing TV on AIT told Housing News that some of the new collaborators are the African Association of Interior Designers, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Nigerian Housing Finance Programme, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Building, Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria, Housing Development Advocacy Network and the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council.

Others expected at the Show are Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, OPIC Investment USA, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and over 300 Exhibitors from 10 Countries.

The Guest Speakers for the housing finance section of the 12th Abuja Housing Show are drawn from the World Bank, African Union of Housing Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, Shelter Afrique Kenya, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, UN Habitat, OPIC Investment USA, Mortgage Warehouse Funding Limited among others.

The Director said it is time to have a policy dialogue on the way forward with all stakeholders, professional bodies, policy makers in Nigeria.

She  noted further that “an important component of Abuja International Housing Show’s strategic plan is its public policy education and advocacy goal which is to support efforts to promote policies- both legislative and regulatory-aimed at improving housing opportunities for those in need. The Show engages every level of an Organization as well as our experience to develop and promote national, state and local policies aimed at narrowing the housing affordability gap of affordable homes for low income persons and stabilize communities. We will work with other stakeholders, practitioners and advocates to advance our goal.”

Flora added that the Show continues to occupy a unique position of being able to directly communicate a stakeholder’s perspective with three decades experience (the promoters) developing, financing and managing affordable housing.

This year’s event has as its theme- Driving Growth and sustainability in Nigeria Housing and Mortgage Markets-improving structures and policies for impact.

The Housing Show that has now taken international dimension is being organized by Housing Development Programme on AIT with the collaboration of Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, African Union of Housing Finance, Nigeria Housing Finance Programme, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, National Assembly Committee on Housing and Africa Association of Design Architects.

The Show will witness over 350 exhibitors with over 15,000 participants.

Adeleke Samuel, Housing News

Rising Incomes in 2018 Boosting Home Affordability in U.S.

According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index released this week, strong U.S. wage growth more than offset an increase in mortgage interest rates to boost nationwide housing affordability in the first quarter of 2018.

In all, 61.6 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $71,900. This is up from the 59.6 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the fourth quarter.

“Continued job growth, rising wages and strong consumer confidence are fueling housing demand. In turn, this should lead to more buyers entering the housing market in the coming months,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “However, builders continue to face headwinds that could impact affordability, including chronic labor and lot shortages, rising prices for building materials and excessive regulations.”

“At the national level, median family income rose an impressive 5.7 percent to $71,900 in 2018 from $68,000 last year, and this wage growth helped to boost housing affordability,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “A growing economy, along with tight inventories and increasing household formations, will lift housing production in the year ahead. But we also expect mortgage rates to continue to rise, and this will place downward pressure on affordability.”

Average mortgage rates jumped by nearly 30 basis points in the first quarter to 4.34 percent from 4.06 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Of the 237 metropolitan areas recorded in the first quarter HOI, 167 markets registered a gain in affordability from the fourth quarter of 2017, 68 posted a loss and two were unchanged.

Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa., was the nation’s most affordable major housing market. There, 90.9 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $60,100. Meanwhile, Cumberland, Md.-W.Va., was rated the nation’s most affordable smaller market, with 98.5 percent of homes sold in the first quarter being affordable to families earning the median income of $55,500.

Rounding out the top five affordable major housing markets in respective order were Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.; Scranton-Wilkes Barre-Hazleton, Pa.; Toledo, Ohio; and Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.

Smaller markets joining Cumberland at the top of the list included Springfield, Ohio; Elmira, N.Y.; Wheeling, W.Va.-Ohio; and Fairbanks, Alaska, which also posted a fifth place tie with Binghamton, N.Y.

San Francisco, for the second straight quarter, was the nation’s least affordable major market. There, just 9.2 percent of the homes sold in the first quarter of 2018 were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $119,600.

Other major metros at the bottom of the affordability chart were located in California. In descending order, they included Los Angeles,-Long Beach-Glendale; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara; and San Diego-Carlsbad.

All five least affordable small housing markets were also in the Golden State. At the very bottom of the affordability chart was Salinas, where 10.7 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $69,100.


$1bn 30-year bond to support mortgage industry

Ghana’s maiden thirty-year bond will be channelled into reducing the country’s rising housing deficit.

This will also be achieved through the provision of mortgages and the completion of the government’s affordable housing unit projects.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Citi Business News after the issuance of Ghana’s sovereign bond.

The thirty-year bond, a maiden one to be issued by Ghana, attracted a billion dollars from investors.

The country is expected to pay back investors at a rate of 8.62 percent.

The Finance Minister, tells Citi Business News that the proceeds of the bonds will largely support the government infrastructural projects.

The thirty-year bond issue he says will support the mortgage industry.

“It’s basically an indication of trust that people would want to go that long with your country… usually when you are creating mortgages, you benchmark them against twenty to thirty-year paper. So now we are beginning to get a sense of such type of pricing, as we create instrument to support the mortgage industry,” he stated.

Currently, the country’s housing deficit is estimated at 1.7 million.

Some industry watchers believe the figure will escalate to 2 million by next year, 2019.

Already the works and housing ministry has ditched an earlier plan of establishing a housing bank to meet the mortgage needs of majority of citizens.

It is now seeking to do so via already established commercial banks involved in mortgages.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ofori Atta believes investments into other critical sectors, with the bond proceeds, should drive employment creation.

“A couple of the key issues that our government committed to tackle are infrastructure deficit and job creation. The momentum and tempo for rolling out the infrastructure needs and supporting our projects which will create jobs is what we are going to be focusing on, together with the implementing agencies and the other resources that find the resources to back them up.”

The Minister who admits to securing new bonds anytime the conditions permit however says his team is working to improve Ghana’s ratings to double B’s and triple B’s to get better rates the next time around.


Minister threatens to revoke 3 housing contracts

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, has threatened to revoke three contracts under the National Housing Programme in Damaturu, the state capital, over poor performance.

Mr Shehuri gave the threat on Monday in Damaturu during an inspection of the housing project.

He said the essence of the National Housing Programme being implemented in all the states across the country and the FCT was to deliver one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign promises.

The minister said the idea was to provide housing to Nigerians at affordable prices and also to create employment for the teeming youths in the country.

He urged the state controller of housing to ensure that non-performing contractors were reported and given adequate warning.

‘‘If any contractor is given a contract to build, it is a privilege and not a right and if such contractor fails to live up to the terms of the contract, please let us know.

‘‘Why will some contractors be at roof level, some have already completed while some others are still at foundation level even, after being warned once, twice and thrice?

‘‘If they are not ready to work, there are a lot of Nigerians that are looking for such opportunity.

‘‘The next time I come here, I want to see these houses at the same level with others, if it is not at the same pace, I will intervene and revoke the contract,” he said.

Earlier, Buhari Hyallaidati, the Supervision Team Leader, National Housing Programme in Damaturu, said nine out of the 20 contractors handling the projects had completed and handed over.

He said the nine contractors had completed and delivered 16 units of three-bedroom and 20 units of two bedroom semi-detached bungalows out of the 80 units of houses in the project.

Mr Hyallaidati said the remaining housing units in the project were at various stages of completion.

According to him, contractors that are still at foundation level have no excuse because payments have been made up to date.

The team leaders said the contractors handling infrastructure facilities, road network, electricity and water supply at the site had taken possessions of the projects.

He said the contractor in charge of electricity had achieved 56 per cent completion, adding that the water supply contractor had commenced geophysical survey.

He, however, said that the contractor in charge of road network had abandoned the site.


Prices and rents fall in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in first quarter of 2018

Average apartment and villa prices softened by around 1% in Dubai in the first quarter of 2018 with higher prices villas in particularly drawing few buyers, the latest analysis report shows.

Year on year villa prices are down by 6% and apartment prices are down by 9%, according to the report from real estate services firm Asteco.

It points out that large villas with high price points have generated limited interest from buyers, mainly due to the lower investment yields attached to this type of property and currently the main focus is on affordable units.

It also points out that although the term ‘affordability’ is often used very loosely in the context of Dubai’s real estate market, the majority of banks and developers stipulate a minimum monthly salary of AED15,000 in order to purchase property in the emirate.

Nevertheless, Asteco recorded a moderate increase in enquiries and transactions for high end residential units, suggesting that albeit at a conservative level, there is still appetite for this product.

‘However, despite the boost in luxury real estate launches and announcements, we believe developers will continue to focus on mid-market housing because,’ the report says, adding that there is a substantial supply gap in the market.

In the lettings market rents have fallen by 1% quarter on quarter and the report says that newly handed over, lower end buildings in areas with significant supply potential, have struggled with occupancy/takeup, particularly where rates and incentives were not aligned with the market.

The data shows that year on year rental declines have been consistent in each quarter over the past 12 months, averaging more or less a fall of 10% for both apartments and villas. In addition, incentives such as multiple cheques, rent free periods, and the absorption of utility, maintenance and/or agent fees have become the norm.

Asteco anticipates that approximately 30,000 residential units will be delivered in 2018. Past evidence has shown that the actual delivery rate is significantly lower, often due to delays, and so far only 3,650 properties or 12% have been handed over in the first quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, apartment sales prices remained broadly unchanged over the quarter for the majority of locations, with the exception of Marina Square down 5%, Reef Downtown down 6% and Sun and Sky Towers also down 6%.

The report suggests that they these locations have seen increased competition from new off-plan developments offered at attractive rates and favourable payment plans. Similarly, Al Reef was the only area recording a drop in villa sales prices at an average rate of 2%.

Apartment and villa rental rates declined on average by 3% and 2% quarter on quarter and 11% and 9% respectively year on year and vacancy rates increased across all residential unit types.

Approximately 1,600 residential units were delivered in the first quarter of 2018 in Abu Dhabi with the majority, more than 75%, located within the Investment Zones, including, but not limited to Yas Island, Al Reem Island and Al Raha Beach.

Whilst more than 7,300 units are earmarked for handover before the end of 2018, previous delivery patterns suggest a number of these are likely to be delayed and will spill over into 2019, the report adds.


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