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Court nullifies NIA’s claim of ARCON being disbanded

By Kingsley Adegboye
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has nullified the claim by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, that the Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria ARCON, the regulatory body of architecture profession in the country, has been dissolved and therefore has no power to sanction erring members of NIA.

The case commenced by originating summons filed on January 19, 2017, and brought pursuant to Section 2 and 12 (3) of Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria Act 2004 Order 3 Rules 6 and 7 of the Federal High Court Rules 2009.

The plaintiffs led by the immediate past president of NIA, include Arc. Tonye Braide, Arc. Abimbola Ajayi, Arc. David Majekodunmi and Arc. Dike Emmanuel had sought the following- Whether ARCON who are the defendants, having been dissolved, has power to perform any duty or exercise any statutory powers under the Architects’ Registration Act 2004. Whether the powers of the Architects’ Investigating Panel, AIP, are limited to allegation of misbehaviour in the capacity of an architect. Whether the plaintiffs’ fundamental rights to fair hearing are likely to be breached by the defendants. Meanwhile, the defendants, through their counsel had sought the court to determine whether ARCON can be dissolved or has in fact been dissolved by the circular dated 16th July 2015 issued by the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government. They also wanted the court to determine whether ARCON has the statutory power to invite any erring architect to appear before the Architects’ Investigating Panel. ARCON equally sought the court to determine whether the invitation extended to the plaintiffs severally to appear before the Architects’ Investigating Panel constituted a breach of the plaintiffs’ fundamental right to fair hearing. Responding to issue one, ARCON submitted that the Federal Government circular of 16th July 2015 did not and could not dissolve its council because none of the council members was appointed by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who was said to have given the order of dissolution. They also contended that the president could not validly dissolve a body not constituted by him, citing paragraph 5 first schedule, to the enabling Act, Architects’ Registration ACT Act 2004. It therefore submitted that, unlike most government Parastatals, Departments and Agencies, the composition of ARCON was spelt out, and as a result, ARCON was not dissolved or in any way affected by the circular. On issue two, it noted that ARCON has the statutory power to invite any erring architect to appear before the AIP , pointing out that the panel only conducts preliminary investigation whenever there is an allegation that a registered architect has misbehaved in his or her capacity as an architect or should for any other reason, be the subject of proceedings before the Architects’ Disciplinary Tribunal. The defendant insisted that it acted within the statutory powers in inviting the plaintiffs to appear before AIP, where ample opportunity would be given to defend themselves in respect of any allegation against them. On allegation of breaching the fundamental right of the plaintiffs to fair hearing, ARCON’s lawyer said the invitation does not in anyway constitute that, as in the event that a prima facie case is established against them and the matter goes to the Architects’ Disciplinary Tribunal as provided by their ACT. In his ruling, the Judge said that from the totality of all processes filed in the suit, the plaintiffs did not show or present to the court sufficient evidence that the contested circular of the Federal Government affected ARCON in its statutory functions in any way. According to the Judge, careful examination of the said circular does not capture ARCON and therefore, it is without doubt to say that the relief sought by the plaintiffs in this application did not succeed on the grounds that the defendants according to part C of Companies and Allied Matter Act 2004, CAMA, are professionals, which regulate the affairs of all its registered members. “And by Section of the Architects’ Registration Act, members or composition of ARCON were not appointed by the president of Nigeria and therefore, that circular cannot dissolve them. Subsequently, if the circular of 16th July 2015 did not affect the defendants, then, any action taken by them cannot be seen as ultra vires or void. “I, therefore, uphold the submission of the defendants’ counsel and hold that the Federal Government of Nigeria circular dated July 16, 2015 did not dissolve the defendants, as they were not appointed by the government of Nigeria. This originating summons is dismissed for lack of merit,” the Judge ruled. Trouble started in 2015 between the former NIA exco members and ARCON following the latter’s decision to conduct examinations on professional practice for individual architects desirous of registering with ARCON, a position NIA frowned at and held that, it was against the Act establishing its regulatory body. While the controversy lasted, NIA said it learnt about a circular dated 16th July 2015, issued by the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government dissolving ARCON. According to NIA, it wrote to the Minister for Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola to seek clarification on ARCON’s status.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

Responding to its enquiry, NIA said one Architect Sani Gidado, a Director/HOD Architectural Services noted that the matter was being attended to and also advised NIA to avoid any further statements or correspondence on the matter until the Minister completed action on the matter.

‘Mortgage market records 82 per cent growth’

The mortgage finance market recorded 82 per cent growth between 2010 and 2016, the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) President, Mr. Akinniyi Akinlusi, has said.

He made this known during a chat with The Nation. Akinlusi said while the size of the mortgage market in 2010 was N284.1billion, it grew to N348.1 billion in 2012, and by 2016, hit N518.76 billion, about 82 percent growth.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

The MBAN chief noted that mortgage transactions, though low, were gradually picking up. He based this on the fact that in 39 years, from 1960 and 2009, mortgage transactions were less than 100,000, compared to the 181,519 deals recorded six years – between 2010-2016.

“We had less than 100, 000 mortgage transactions for 39 years; and in just six years, we had 181, 519 mortgage transactions. This is a significant growth that tells you that this industry is moving now and it is upbeat,” Akinlusi said.
He explained that from microeconomics, mortgage debt to gross domestic product (GDP) is less than one per cent, adding that less than five per cent of the 13.7million housing units were financed with mortgages.

He blamed this low figure on the challenges in the industry, such as titling. The dearth of titled properties, he further explained, is an albatross for mortgages.

“Mortgages are not created in vacuum. So there must be titles. If there are no titles for the land there cannot be title for the house on it. So, it affects both the supply and demand sides of the housing market,” Akinlusi said.

He listed the problem of foreclosure as a challenge for the industry, adding that where there is a default in mortgage payment, recovery of same becomes difficult because of the cumbersome court process.

Akinlusi also blamed the tenor period for mortgages as a hinderance for its steady growth.

“Mortgage business is a marathon and not a 100- meter dash. There are mortgages with duration of 20 years whereas the funds available in the market are short-term funds. So, we cannot be using funds of 30 or 90 days for mortgages. This will be a recipe for disaster,” he explained.
The MPR rate, which he said, is 14 percent makes the market interest rate to hover around 20 and 24 percent, meaning that apart from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, whose interest is at six percent, others are double digits and this affects mortgage affordability.

Borno govt to give out free houses to families who adopt Boko Haram victims

THE Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima has said that the state government would give out free houses to those who are willing to adopt 3 or 4 children whom their parents were killed by Boko Haram in the state.
The Governor also said that the government will also place the famines on stipends to help them cater for their needs and that of the adopted children.

He revealed that available record shows that a total of $9.6 billion damages where done in the North-East by Boko Haram since it started its attacks.

Addressing journalists after a Special Town Hall Meeting for the Military and Security Agencies organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture, in Maiduguri, Shettima said the education of those children affected by Boko Haram is also a priority for the state government.

According to him “this is a city of 3 million people, apart from Lagos, Kano and probably Ibadan, this is about the 4th most populous city in this country.

“In all modesty, we have accomplished a lot in all facets, be it education, housing, agriculture, industrialization,” I think we can hold our head high.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

“There are some estates that we are building across the state, we are going to allocate those estates for free for anybody who is willing to adopt 3 or 4 of the Boko Haram victims, we will put you on a stipend, we know things are very tough in the country, but we want the kids to grow up, this culture of orphanage is alien to the African set up.”

Furthermore, the Governor said “as for the recovery and peacebuilding movement of the World Bank, conducted in partnership with the European Union, and the Presidency, the destruction inflicted on the Northeast by Boko Haram amounts to about $9.6 billion, out of it, Boron alone accounts for about $6 billion of the destruction.
“A total number of 958, 357 units of houses were destroyed in the state making up to 30 percent of the total number of houses in the state, about 5600 classrooms in 510 primary schools, in 34 secondary schools and 2 tertiary institutions of learning were destroyed, so the statistics are very depressing, but one thing I believe is that where there is a will, there is always a way.”

He, therefore, said, “as terrible as the tragedy that has befallen our land, it also provides us with a bigger opportunity to re-engineer our society to be a better place, and especially for us in the north, most of us are firth generation graduates of our respective families.”

“Most of us if not all of us are products of the public schools’ system, we can send our own wards to the choicest private schools and allow the children of the poor to wallow in poverty and illiteracy, and expect to reap the dividend peace, no.

Shettima said that some of the classrooms constructed in the state will be air-conditioned, digital teaching aids, all the students will get tablets especially the SS3 and SS2 students.

“We are building about 34 mega schools, and our target is principally the orphans of Boko Haram, we want to avoid a scenario where they will start having some entitlement syndrome or a sense of alienation from the General community.

ALSO READ: Boko Haram: We will never forsake families of those killed ―Shettima

“So, we want to bring in students from the neighbourhood, mix them with the victims of Boko Haram, give them a sense of belonging”, he added.

We are committed to power sector recovery programme —Fashola

THE Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the implementation of the Power Sector Recovery Programme.

He gave the assurance at an Engagement Workshop on the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) for Civil Society Organisations organised by the Ministry of Power Works and Housing in conjunction with the Power Sector Communications Team (PSRP) in Abuja.

He said the PSRP would serve as means to solving the seeming intractable challenges in the nation’s Power Sector, stressing that this was encapsulated in the government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) where Power forms one of the five major pillars.

He said the intention behind the PSRP was “to bring it to street level so that in whatever area of the country you are, if you come across this document, you will be able to read it, understand it and make sense out of it and ultimately use it to measure what we are doing”

Fashola added that the document, when finalised, would be translated into the three major Nigerian languages for a start.

He further urged Nigerians to desist from putting their country down in comparison with other countries of the world, describing Nigeria as a great country in both population and potentiality for economic and industrial development.

He maintained that Nigeria had the potential to compete favourably with other developed and emerging economies if the citizenry collectively resolved to tackle her identifiable challenges.

Fashola explained that the power that any country needed was not only a function of its population but also a function of the level of its development and industrialisation.
While giving explanations on the quantum of power available in South Africa and the report that Germany was exporting power, he said the power need of a country, was dependent. on the nature of its economy.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

He noted that South Africa, whose economy largely edon mining consumes a lot of power adding that with the Federal Government now paying attention to real growth through economic diversification as seen in the development of mining and others, the nation’s Power Sector was being prepared to support such growth.

“We have left mining. We are now in oil and gas. Dr. Fayemi in the Ministry of Mines and Steel is just trying to reset back. We are trying to support their mining power demands whenever they are ready,” he said.

He recommended that all Nigerians read the Power Sector Reform Act to have a better understanding of issues in the sector, saying: “If you don’t understand what we are saying and why we are saying it, it will be difficult to really appreciate where we even make progress.”

By: Adetola Bademosi – Abuja

Developer, Foreign Investors Parley To Boost Nigeria’s Construction Industry

Lagos – If the latest rapprochement between a Nigerian developer, Homework Development and Property Limited and some foreign investors is anything to by, the nation’s construction industry will soon receive a significant boost.
The lift, Housing News learnt, may either be in enhanced direct foreign investment or through third party.
This came to the fore recently in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America (USA), when a Lagos based real estate company, Homework Development and Property Limited launched campaigns towards increasing the confidence level in Nigeria’s real estate sector and ultimately encouraging more foreign investments into the sector.
The feat, it was learnt, became necessary to also correct wrong perception of the nation’s real estate industry among would be foreign players.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

At the event, Homework also showcased its affordable products as well as the recent positive developments in the real estate industry in Nigeria.
The programme, which was the outcome of a recent conference organized by the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) in Atlanta, was said to witness the presence of several hundreds of physicians and other professionals.

Reflecting on the conference, Arc. Jide Adekola, Director of Homework Development and Properties Limited, said it (the conference) provided a platform that helped to change the perception that foreign investors would not get value for their money or might get scammed in Nigeria; adding that it also created the awareness that there are professionals in the sector who are able to provide quality products in due time.

“The change in perception, which we have created, would in no small measure boost businesses and increase the volume of foreign direct investments that can engender increase in gross domestic product of the country. ANPA members, who have benefited from the unswerving services of the company, specifically requested that Homework should participate in the conference in order to take the Nigerian success story to the outside world.

 

“The event has exposed Homework to ANPA’s publications; increased networking and sales leads; the needs of customers and the property market; increased the trust of foreign investors in the Nigerian real estate market as well as boosted awareness that there is a unique selling point in the company’s products which are delivered by professional architects.”

Adekola explained that Nigeria’s real estate sector, which is inundated with issues of trust, lack of finance and presence of charlatanism, can be saved if government subsidises the cost of land for credible developers who have the capacity to provide affordable housing.

Furthermore, he noted that Homework would also take part in the annual conference organised by the National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America and other subdivisions within the United States. This, he remarked, would enable the company reach out to other professional associations and more Nigerians in the globe.

“Homework is also planning to hold similar exhibition and talks in Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries with large population of Nigerians.”

Investiture of Bldr Kenneth Nduka as the 20th President of NIOB to hold on 9th of February 2018

The investiture ceremony of the Nigeria Institute of Building comes up on 9th February 2018 at the International Conference Centre Abuja .
The chairman of the investiture planning committee and the third vice president, Nigeria Institute of Building, Bldr Anderton Ewa says preparation is in top gear for the investiture of the institute’s 20th president.
The event, will parade an array of dignitaries from all areas of Nigeria’s economy.
Speaking with Housing News in Abuja, the chairman of the investiture planning committee said part of activities for the day is the recognition and honor of individuals and organizations who have distinguished themselves and have contributed immensely to the construction industry in Nigeria. The institute will give out 16 award plaques in different categories, which includes;
Arc Harcourt B Adukeh will be honored with the EXCELLENCE AWARD in recognition of his Leadership roles for organizational consistency and professional commitment for safe and good quality standards in building projects delivery.


Former Minister of Housing, Ms. Amal Pepple will receive the GOLD AWARD in recognition of her dedication and unassuming labor of Love, Loyalty, Commitment and good conduct towards the growth of the nation.
Chief Osita Izunaso former Chairman, House Committee on Housing at the Nigeria House of Reps and Senate will receive a MERIT AWARD.
Engr. Emmanuel Mbaka will receive the MERIT AWARDS in recognition of his commitment to the promotion of efficient housing delivery through the engagement of professionals for mortgage financing and project monitoring.
Bldr (Prof) Martin Dada, Bldr(Hon) Bala Bawa Ka’oje, Bldr (Prof) Akin Akindoyeni, Bldr(Dr) Micah Ekwutosi Obiegbu, Bldr Aliyu A Ova DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD in recognition of their loyal, dedicated and committed services for the development and growth of the Institute and the Building profession.
Bar. Festus Adebayo, the leading promoter of housing development advocacy in Nigeria will be honored with the DISTINGUISHED MERIT AWARDS in recognition of his visionary media efforts at promoting excellence in the activities of the building profession and the built environment.
The Executive Governors of Nassarawa and Anambra States will also receive awards at the 20th Investiture ceremony of the Nigeria Institute of Building
The incoming president, Bldr Kenneth Nnabuife studied Building Technology at Yaba College of Technology Lagos and has served Nigeria Construction Industry for over thirty years . He is a fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Building and other foreign professional Bodies related to housing. He is happily married with children.

GET CERTIFICATES OF BUILDING COMPLETION BEFORE OCCUPATION, OYO TELLS DEVELOPERS

As part of efforts at checking and guarding against building collapse, the Oyo State government has directed both private and public estate developers to obtain certificate of completion for their properties before put them up for occupation.
The government explained that the move was part of proactive measures to forestall building collapse which is now rampant in the state and other states in Nigeria, pointing out that obtaining the certificate will be the last stage of approval to be given to developers in the state.


“The certificate will confirm compliance of the structure with requirements stipulated in the building plan,” said Waheed Gbadamosi, director-general, Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control (BP-PDC), who gave the directive in Ibadan, the state capital, recently.

Gbadamosi stated that the state’s planning laws required developers to obtain certificate of compliance for every stage of their construction which would show whether they complied or deviated from the approval given to them.

“It is imperative for the people of the state to comply with the necessary planning laws and building instructions so as to avert any danger. This will also ascertain the quality assurance of the construction”, he said, stressing that, at least, a copy of the Approved Plan with all approval stamps must always be on the site during construction.

Read More: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

He informed that contravention or demolition notice would be served on such properties without approval on sites, warning that failure of developers to obtain the certificate of completion before occupying the building would lead to monetary fine by the BPPDC.

THE 12TH Abuja International Housing Show

THE 12TH Abuja International Housing Show IS A MUST ATTEND TO GET YOUR FIX OF EVERYTHING AFFORDABLE HOUSING; MORTGAGE BANKING; BUILDING MATERIALS; HOUSING FINANCE STRATEGY AND SOCIAL HOUSING POLICY IMPLEMENTATION.

Today, there is a national shortage of affordable rental homes for low income people, including civil service retirees, the elderly, people with disabilities, families with children, and other populations. The percentage of affordable and available rental homes to the number of households with extremely low incomes is very alarming. As a result, most families and individuals in this category pay more than half of their income on rent, leaving few resources to cover other basic needs, including food, healthcare, childcare, education, and savings. In addition, on any given night, more than 500,000 people are experiencing homelessness nationwide

The connection between affordable rental homes and infrastructure is clear: like roads and bridges, affordable homes are a long-term asset that helps communities and the lowest income families thrive. Targeted rental housing investments should be included in any infrastructure package.

Housing is fundamental to Nigeria’s national infrastructure and must be part of any infrastructure plan. Opportunity for Nigerians begins with affordable, well-designed homes in thriving communities – a must to promote equitable outcomes for working families and reach our full potential as a nation.

The promoters of Abuja international housing show strongly believe that affordable housing investment is an essential piece of Nigeria’s infrastructure strategy. When communities don’t have adequate affordable housing for their workforce, families suffer. Investment in affordable housing improves economic growth, promotes economic mobility and supports job creation and increased incomes. Any infrastructure package needs to include a robust affordable housing component to allow for increased economic impact.

Read More: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

It is for the above reasons that affordable rental & social housing will be on the fore front of discussions during the week long program. Never before has one event given you so many things you need to compete in one place.

Join us for a world class housing conference and exhibition. Hear engaging speakers, network with colleagues and see new innovations from building / construction industry leading vendors.

Fresh controversy rages over Lagos land use charge policy

Fresh widespread opposition may await the Lagos Government’s newly passed bill on land Use Charge policy, if indications emerging from the sector’s major players are anything to go by.The proposed law, which repealed the Land Use Charge Law 2001 and enacted Land Use Charge 2017 and For Connected Purposes, aimed at increasing the revenue generation base of the state by bringing more houses into its net.

The 27-section bill harmonised Land Rates Law, Neighbourhood Improvement Charge Law and Tenement Rates Law. The bill, if passed into law, will end all other rates on land except the Land Use Charge.Already passed by the Lagos State’s House of Assembly and awaiting the governor’s assent, the proposed law has stirred up the hornet’s nest following some provisions; stakeholders consider unfair to property owners.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

Titled: “A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Consolidation of Property and Land Based Charges and Make Provisions for the Levying and Collection of Land Use Charge in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes”,
Under the bill, “ the annual amount of the Land Use Charge payable for any Property shall be arrived at by multiplying the market value of the property by the applicable relief rate and annual charge rate, using the prescribed formular.“The land value and building value rates constituting the market value of the property shall be reviewed at least once every five years on the basis of information available to professional valuers, and may vary from area to area.

According to the bill, the Land Use Charge will be payable in respect of property that is not exempted under Section 12 of the law.Some of the properties exempted from the proposed law include property owned and occupied by a religious body and used exclusively as a place of worship or religious education.Also exempted are public cemeteries and burial grounds as well as property used as a registered educational institution certified by the commissioner to be non-profit making.

In addition, the proposed law exempts any property specifically exempted by the Executive Governor by notice published in the State Official Gazette and all palaces of recognised Obas and Chiefs in the state.However, the law made it clear that an exempted property shall become liable for Land Use Charge if the use of such property changes to one that does not qualify for exemption.

The repealed, law guiding the Land use charge (LUC) was introduced by the government of Governor Bola Tinubu and it generated serious criticisms and subsequently legal battles until the rates were reduced.Some of the critical issues were the formula the government used to arrive at the capital values of properties and non-involvement of registered estate surveyors in the process, who should determine the values, and/or arbitrary values ascribed to properties.

There were also concerns over usurpation of local council’s statutory right in collection of tenement rates and provision of amenities in the local council area.With state collecting all together, the decision on what should get to the local councils, as tenement rate has remained a big issue.

Specifically, real estate practitioners, especially valuers are querying its equitability and methods used for the classification of property, stressing that it was based on capital value, which is not applicable in other climes.For instance, a chartered estate surveyor and valuer, Chief Kola Akomolede, argued that one of the qualities of a good tax was that it should be equitable.He stressed in those interventions that the land use charge was not equitable at all and could discourage people from investing in property, which will further worsen the accommodation problem of the populace as a result of reduced supply.

Akomolede told The Guardian that it is wrong to pay an annual tax on the capital value instead of the annual value. “If you pay income tax, you pay it on annual income not on the entire income of several years you will live. Even in London, where we copied this laws, tenement rate or council tax is based on annual value not on the capital value.

“That aspect is what I don’t agree though I have not read the whole bill but that is how it was in the old law. I wrote an article criticising it and in several places I mentioned it and I still believe it is wrong. If you will recollect, this was subject to several litigations until they reduced the rate to make it very low, where as what they need to do is that they could have put the annual charge on the annual value of each property in which case if the rental income from the property is N5milion, they should base the charge on the N5 million and not on N100 million, which is the capital value of the property, that aspect is what I found very uncomfortable as far as I am concerned”, he added.

For a fellow of Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Prince Ahmed Adepoju, the non-involvement of estate surveyors and valuers in the process is a major lacuna, which has made it a nullity.According to him, “when the first law was passed, that was our major cross that the proper thing was not done. You cannot be asking people to pay for their property using this method because if you are talking about property market value, you are talking about the economy of the property itself.

“When you look at that, you will not know the basis they used to value the property. It is not a welcome law to us, because we were not consulted”, he noted.
In tacit acquiescence to Adepoju’s position, the chairman of the branch of Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Olurogba Orimalade, said it is a pity that the institution was not consulted before such bill was passed.According to him, ‘nothing has change either before or during the re-enactment of the law to change our position that the formula being used is what we don’t understand. ‘It beats our imagination. We don’t know how they come about this formula being used to levy people’.

He said: “ We did make our position known that there has to be clarity especially to the professionals that, it is their discipline and their training to be advising government on how the levy should be made. “ We only got notice of it some few days before the public hearing that was held at the state house of assembly. Be that it may, we stated our position and forwarded it to them. Our position still remains the same. We are calling on government to come and sit down with us from the look of it, at the end of the day, the professionals will be called to look at what government is trying to do in order to justify it are the valuers.

“If the valuers and institution itself were not involved or were not carried along properly in arriving at the formula, then I think it brings a lot of questions to be asked on the process. All over the world including the United kingdom, there is no law that has to do with land administrations and matters that you will not consult the RICS, that is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, it is not about the RICS calling government. That government could roll out something as fundamental as this without consulting us , is not proper.

“So as far as we are concerned, a lot of questions still need to be asked, the formula is a formula that we still don’t understand how government arrived at to levy people through the amalgamation of all the taxes. “Our position has been clear from day one, because you are bringing tenement rates, ground rates and all that under one roof, there are certain things by the laws of the land , that are made to be charged by local government, this is now being brought together under one roof. There is neigbhourhood charge, which formed part of the land use charge, which should be even separated from the land use charge.

For us, there are so many issues and areas, so it is not today, it has started, and our position is that we understand what government is trying to do.“ I think, it was only nice to tell them that before you venture into areas like this, they should consult properly the institution, that is a key stakeholders on this, it is just that we are brought in early to look at this”, he added. Another fellow of NIESV, Ben Oshadiya said consolidation of the levy would be good, if only they will give local governments their dues after consolidation.
According to him, they should allow the local council to function; they can only function when they give them part of the money they are consolidating.
“ Consolidation is good, no doubt because it will reduce multiplicity, the only thing is that there is a problem with the formula for the computation.They just look at the property and said this one will be able to generate so much, it is not correct in all cases. “ The issue is let them spend the money well, when people see the way they spent the money, and all organs of government are functioning well, nobody will oppose it but the formula for calculation should be equitable”, he added.

Oshadiya stressed that if the formula is what government should be able to defend, people will be ready to pay, while government should make judicious use of the tax to provide the requisite services.“It is no use paying land use charge, when you still pay your refuse, when you have to connect your water, when you have to construct the road leading to your home virtually by yourself or to do those things government should do for you.

“If they make sure that everything is okay, everybody will be wiling to cooperate with government. While people complain is that when development do not go round, there are many areas where there are no government impact, they have to spread the development”, he added.

By Bertram Nwannekanma

Borno LG Boss Rebuilds 151 Houses For Boko Haram Victims

Maiduguri – The caretaker chairman of Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State, Alhaji Modi Gubio has said the council under his watch was able to reconstruct about 151 residential houses hitherto destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in Gubio town at a total cost of N95 million.

He said, this is in addition to construction of eight mosques and clinics for the better use of its people, especially Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have since returned to their communities following degrading of insurgents by military troops.

Gubio stated this on Sunday in an interview in Maiduguri, the state capital.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

He said, having recognized that the emergence of Boko Haram sect was as a result of illiteracy, lack of education and poverty, he has personally offered himself out of his tight schedules to teach lessons for two hours each during school time to complement voluntary teaching services.

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