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Former UN official wants high tax regime for vacant houses in cities

Mr Olusola Kayode, former Representative of Nigeria to UNIDO-France, has called for introduction of high tax regimes for vacant houses to check the proliferation of empty houses in urban centres.

Kayode made the call in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He expressed concern about the existence of empty houses in many neighbourhoods in major towns in the country whilst many people remained homeless or lived in squalor.

“There have been worrisome trends of empty houses in many neighbourhoods in Abuja in spite of the prevailing high housing deficit.

“When you look around there are so many houses locked up and here are people in satellite towns and slums looking for houses to live in.

“This, therefore, requires that policies stipulating punitive measures such as high tax regimes for vacant houses should be promulgated to check the proliferation of empty houses that tend to create artificial scarcity and high rental values.

“There should be punitive measures for people who lock up buildings and are not letting out; invariably that should be a deterrent to future practice.

“There should be legislation to that effect and erring people must be sanctioned,” Kayode said.

He further urged the Federal Government to embark on mass housing scheme in order to provide adequate accommodate for civil servants and people who were dislodged by the insurgency.

According to him, shelter is one of the most important things needed by man and when a human being is well-sheltered, any other thing can follow.

“Insurgency has ravaged this country in the last few years and there has been mass migration from places where people lived all their lives to new environment.

“How do we address the issue of housing them because presently most Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps are make-shift ones?

“The hygiene is poor and when people live in zones that are not habitable, the threat of diseases emerging becomes obvious.

“So government must use local materials to accelerate mass housing scheme because the cost of housing is prohibitive.

“It is not only a housing scheme for the IDPs but also for civil servants,” he added.

Ikenna Uwadileke

 

Engineers seek more private sector’s participation in housing delivery

Nigerian Engineers have expressed their concern over the inability of the  private sector to drive housing delivery in the country, instead, governments both at the federal and state levels taking the lead, a situation considered inappropriate.

Besides, the group urged government to look into how Ajaokuta Rolling Mill and others could be resuscitated so that the dream of local production of building materials, especially, steels be quickly realised.

Speaking on the backdrop of President Muhammadu Buhari’s three years in office and his comments on infrastructure drive by his administration, President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr Kunle Mokuolu, has called on the Federal and State governments to provide proper framework that would ensure better housing delivery for Nigerians.

Mokuolu, while assessing infrastructure growth under Buhari’s administration in the last three years, scored the government high on road and power infrastructure, but expressed reservations about the housing sector.

He was of the view that governments at the two tier, would succeed better in mass housing drive if more private sector participation is facilitated, stating that housing delivery in advanced countries fared better because they are been driving by the private sector.

“While one can commend government’s efforts on provision of road and power, my advice to the current administration is to create the enabling environment for private sector initiative in the housing sector.

“I am satisfied with level of road infrastructure delivery but I want government to pay more attention to Nigerian content in the delivery of this infrastructure.

“If we are spending our sovereign wealth fund, then, we should be spending it for the sole benefit of Nigerians and for building of intellectual capacity, because the most important thing is the intellectual capacity of those projects, and not solely the physical ones that somebody need to carry bags of cement, or load of sands.

“Although we need people to carry the cement, but firstly, we need people to design the different infrastructure that would be for our domestic use,’’ he said.

However, to the NSE President, housing should be off the hands of government, and should be totally privatised, with government duty-bound to provide the policy and laws that would back housing delivery. “With that, bridging housing deficit will be properly addressed and pursued”, said Makuolu, who enjoined government to concern itself with social housing for those who cannot pay rent because they were either out of job or had other financial handicap.

“Social housing should be handled by the local government with financial support from the federal and state governments, so that when such economically disadvantaged citizens found their financial footing, they could start to pay rent or buy homes.

“Federal government is to provide the framework to ease the delivery of housing. I am not really satisfied with the housing delivery, some things must be in place to achieve this”, he said.

Among those things that need to be in place is the local production of building materials, especially, producing of steel, which is the backbone of housing project.

Mokuolu said that Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill could substantially reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria, noting that steel accounted for about 25 per cent of the cost of construction of houses.

“We need to revitalise Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill. This is very important. Whatever it takes to produce steel in this country, government should just do it, because steel component was important in building high rise buildings as the nation’s population was growing geometrically. It’s high-rise buildings that’s capable of accommodating more people. High-rise buildings occupy less spaces or land, but take care of more population”.

On power, he commended government efforts in adopting measures to get eligible consumers for the excess of 2,000 megawatts of electricity not being utilised.

He said that it was good that government was also working on its distribution and exploring alternative sources of energy.

The NSE President lauded the success recorded in tackling insurgency, stating that inadequate security would had made nonsense of all infrastructure development of the government if not effectively tackled.

“The major variable is security, so I am appealing to Nigerians to be more law abiding and obey the laws of the country and seek appropriate legal ways of addressing grievances,’’ he said.

Tunde Alao

Without Reforms, Land Assets Are Dead Capital – Mabogunje

Former Chairman, Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform, Prof Akin Mabogunje has revealed that without land reforms, land assets are dead capital adding that the survey process could be accelerated with sophisticated technology.

He stated this in Abuja during a four-day national stakeholders dialogue on land reform in Nigeria, organised by the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) with the theme, “Land Reform: Creating Strategic Pathway to National Economic Development and Wealth Creation”.

The housing expert maintained that though it took United States 35 years to complete their land reform that with the advent of technology, that Nigeria’s land reform could be achieved easily. He pointed out that the land use act of 1978 empowered governors as custodians of lands in their states which increased rural land manipulation.

Mabogunje who was also the former board chairman of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) disclosed that the bonanza from oil may not be sustainable even in the medium term as some states are already feeling the impact of sharp drop in the price of oil.

He regretted that land reform is the greatest problem standing in the way of rapid economic development in Africa saying that many African countries are optimistic that land rationalisation would promote rapid economic development.

In his address, the Professor of Land Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Ezekiel Olukayode Idowu noted that its possible for Nigeria to become one of the top twenty economies in the world through proper use of land resources.

He tasked individual’s, groups and states on the need to use their powers in ensuring efficient utilisation of the country’s land resources, thereby engendering the prosperity of Nigeria.

On his part, the chairman, presidential technical committee on land reform, Prof. Peter Adeniyi pointed out that based on the committee’s findings that not more than 3 percent of the nation’s land has been properly surveyed and registered adding that land administration is largely opaque and centralised.

He stated that programmes on critical issues of governance such as agriculture, housing, infrastructure development, urban and rural planning, poverty reduction, internal security and among others cannot be achieved at local, state and federal government levels without fundamental overhaul of land governance system in the country.

CHIKA OKEKE

ALL IS SET FOR AFRICA’S BIGGEST HOUSING EXPO!!!

The Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) has become one of the largest housing conferences within the real estate fields of Affordable Housing, Mortgage Banking, Property Development, Construction Finance, and Infrastructure Development. We are committed to ensuring safe, decent and affordable housing for all Nigerians.

The yearly AIHS has also proven to be a true forum where policy makers, academics as well as practitioners from all around the world exchange their knowledge and experiences and thereby built a ‘Abuja International Housing Show Community’. Through this forum, we have discussed and shared our research and experiences in order to be able to draw a more accurate picture of Nigeria’s housing needs and affordable housing realities, thus improving the diagnosing capabilities of current problems and improvement opportunities.

Our confirmed special guests, speakers and panelists for the 12th Abuja International Housing Show include:

– Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON

– Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN

– Hon Freda Prempeh, Deputy Minister of Works/Housing Ghana

– Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor of Edo State

– Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello, Executive Governor of Niger State.

– Mallam Mohammodu Bello, FCT Minister

– Dr. Xing Quan Zhang, Senior Advisor at UN-HABITAT

– Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu Chairman Urban Shelter Limited

– Agnes Tokunbo-Martins, Director OFISD CBN

– Abubakar Suleiman, MD Sterling Bank Plcc

– Ahmed Dangiwa, MD/CEO Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria

– Femi Adewole, MD Shelter Afrique

–  Kecia Rust, ED & Founder Center For Affordable Housing

– Simon Walley World Bank

– Debra Erb – Overseas Private Investment Corporation

– Kehinde Ogundimu, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company

– Emmanuel Akinwunmi, African Development Bank

– Rev Surv. Ugo Chime, fnis, fniob, Redan Nigeria

AIHS2018: CEO FORUM REGISTRATION For Seat Reservation in CEO FORUM at the 12th Abuja International Housing Show, Click Here

AIHS2018: INT’L FINANCE CONFERENCE REGISTRATION For Seat Reservation in the International Finance Conference at the 12th Abuja International Housing Show, Click Here:

On behalf of my colleagues and our major sponsors, I look forward to welcoming YOU (financiers, regulators, investors, developers, syndicators and other affordable housing professionals to the 12th Abuja International Housing Show.

By Kunle Faleti – Ambassador Plenipotentiary Abuja International Housing Show

Bola Ige’s son, 44 others make ARCON’s board

Muyiwa, the son of the late Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, has been sworn in with 44 others into the board of the Architects Registration Council (ARCON).

The Osun State nominee is followed by Isah Alidu (Borno), Adekoyejo Jolaosho (Ogun), Dipo Ajayi (Ekiti), among others.

At the inauguration of the board in Abuja, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), tasked the members of the reconstituted council to fulfil President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to the people.

He said the President needed men and women of good character to build a nation of the citizens’ dream.

The minister said some names were earlier sent but were discovered to be unqualified during the screening.

Fashola noted that the council was expected to determine the standard of education and experience necessary to be a practising architect in the country.

He said: “I want you to consider your appointment as a call to national service, especially as a participation or contribution of your quota to help President Buhari build Nigeria.”

The minister said the National Housing Programme was at various stages of completion in 34 states.

According to him, the revised National Building Code has been approved to help the country address its housing deficit, reduce building collapse and enable the nation to achieve the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reducing climate change.

Fashola said the code was passed after consultations with states’ commissioners for housing and other relevant stakeholders.

He added: “I’m glad to inform you that we have passed the Revised National Building to help the built industry. “We, therefore, urge you to ensure buildings are utilised, constructed and designed in such a way that public health and safety are not compromised.”

Ige hailed the Federal Government for his appointment. He said it would enable him contribute his quota to the challenge of building collapse in the country.

Olugbenga Adanikin

FG announces new national building code

The Federal Government yesterday announced a new national building code that will regulate construction with the aim of improving on measures to safeguard lives and property in the country.

Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the announcement at the ministry’s headquaters in Abuja while inaugurating members of the Architect Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON).He noted that the event was apt, as it came on June 12, a date he described as significant in the nation’s democracy.

Fashola said that given the number of deaths and the risk associated with wrong plans for buildings and other construction projects in the country, it had become imperative for government to adopt deliberate measures to check the avoidable loss of life and property, hence the new code.

“We have come up with the new code because government is aware of the fact that most deaths and injuries caused during building collapse are results of unacceptable ways of building. You can find out that in most cases safety measures are not considered in erecting most of the failed structures,” he said.The council, according to the minister, was set up to determine the standard of educational qualification of members and regulate the activities of architects in the building and construction industry.

He urged the new members to consider their appointment as a call to national service.He said the government remained committed to both infrastructural development and renewal.

Fashola reminded the new ARCON members that they were serving at a time the government initiated a national housing programme, which is second in the history of the country after the Shehu Shagari era, hence the need for extra commitment.According to the minister, houses will now be designed in such a way that public safety cannot be compromised.

Msugh Ityokura

Zim to host housing finance workshop

The African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF), a member-based association of 61 mortgage banks, building societies, housing corporations and other organisations involved in the mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing on the African continent, will next week conduct a two and half day’s workshop at a local hotel in Harare.

The workshop, running under the theme: “Lending to borrowers with informal income” will be co-hosted by AUHF’s local members CABS and the Zimbabwe Association for Housing Finance (ZAHF).

Other organisations that are part of the two day workshop include Centre for Affordable Housing Finance (CAHF), HDFC India, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), as well as the Housing and Development Finance Consultants (HDFC) in Africa.

According to Ambrose Matika, executive secretary with the Zimbabwe Association for Housing Finance, the workshop will have a practical focus, targeted at improving operations and capacities within institutions.

The workshops are intended to enable, members that are involved in the funding of houses, to respond to the challenges and opportunities within the context of their businesses and supporting better engagement between the public and private sectors.
“The targeted audience is personnel in operations of housing finance institutions, commercial banks, and implementation/development departments in the construction sector.

“The programmes will also be made open to housing and housing finance practitioners who are government officials in land, housing, and finance departments.”

AUHF says the main objective of this two and half days’ workshop is to capacitate, equip and finance the participants with concepts, principles and tools for underwriting informal income households, so they can partake in the housing finance market.
The participants will be exposed to case studies and best practises of methodologies used to underwrite and lend to households earning informal incomes in some African countries and India.

The two day event will also go through an overview of Zimbabwe’s economic climate including identifying investment opportunities.

The conference will also sort to understand the makeup of informal income earners and their sources of income as well as explore suitable products for informal income earners.

Property Reporter

NIESV decry use of quacks in estate surveying and valuing

Mr. Rowland Abonta, the National President of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), at the weekend, decried  the penchant of most Nigerians to deal with quacks than dealing with professionals in the sector.

Mr. Rowland Abonta, the National President of NIESV, made the observation while inaugurating the Corporate Affairs Committee for the 2018/2019 year in line with the provision of the institution’s constitution.

He said  quacks are misrepresenting professionals in the industry by doing what they are not trained to do, adding that most building collapse are attributable to patronage of quacks.

“We are determined to occupy our public space and make sure that non-professionals will have no room to be around our professional areas of practice that is part of the assignment of this Committee today”

He charged the institution’s newly constituted Corporate Affairs Committee arm to devote efforts towards dissuading Nigerians from dealing with quacks in the real estate sector.

The issue of poor remuneration for professional services is another great challenge for us. People are reluctant to pay for services when rendered until when they get their hands burnt patronizing quacks before they return back to us. We want to call on Nigerians to always insist on dealing with professionals particularly in the real estate sector.

The 42 member Committee has Monday Ahiwe, the National Publicity Secretary of the institution as Chairman, and Kelechi Agu as Secretary.

According to Abonta, the committee will serve as the image maker of the institution with responsibility of dishing out proper information designed to put the institution in public domain, as well as leading in public enlightenment on what Estate Surveyors and valuers stand for in the country.

NIESV is the highest decision making body for all practicing Estate Surveyors and Valuers across the country.

Abonta, who gave the hint at the institution’s 2018 /2019 Council Year Meeting, held in Abuja, also noted that the best approach to solving the housing gap in the country is for government to regulate housing, adding ‘ government should have minimal participation in housing, and there should be consistency in policy and programme of housing in Nigeria’.

Responding, the Monday Ahiwe, the Chairman assured that shall work hard to improve service delivery.

He urged private developers to always endeavour to identify relevant professionals whenever they want to embark on building construction to reduce incidences of building collapse.

According to him, only the professionals can deliver a proper job because there are regulated and monitored among themselves.

“The best way to get the best service is to engage professionals because they have their integrity to protect” he added.

Chidi Ugwu

 

Family Homes Fund to create 1.5 million jobs

The Family Homes Fund Limited, a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority as founding shareholders, will address the country’s housing deficit and also create about 1.5 million jobs in the process, stakeholders in the initiative have said.

They are of the opinion that combined efforts of government ministries and agencies, and the private sector will address the country’s housing deficit, adding that new partnerships and initiatives supported by the federal and state governments would help provide the over 17 million new homes needed over the next 15 years.

The Fund, according to a statement by its management, is structured as a Real Estate Investment Trust and will be professionally managed to catalyse funds from the private sector, pension funds, insurance funds, multilateral agencies and impact investors.

It added that it would be the largest affordable housing focused fund in sub-Sahara Africa leveraging its significant capital expected to hit N1tn by 2023 to facilitate access to affordable housing for millions of Nigerians on low and medium incomes.

The statement read in part, “Through strategic partnerships with various players in the sector and some of the world’s main Development Finance Institutions, the FHF has an ambitious commitment to facilitate the supply of 500,000 homes by 2023.

“The key priority for the Fund is to take advantage of the opportunity a large-scale house building programme offers to create jobs. With a projected cumulative spend of up to N1tn by 2023 in various inputs into the house building process, including doors, windows, tiles, roofing materials, blocks, paving stones and paint, among others. There is opportunity to incubate large numbers of small-scale industries creating significant employment.”

It added that the FHF aimed to also catalyse the creation of new jobs through the investments it would make, alongside investments by other players in the housing sector, with a projected impact on families, especially women, who often carry the biggest burden in poor households, and young people.

The FHF said, “At a national level, this potential effectively harnessed could generate up to 1.5 per cent increase to the GDP by 2023. The FHF’s approach to creating jobs will be driven by policy, partnerships and 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 FHF aims to create or support up to 1,500,000 jobs by 2023, making a real difference in the quality of life of their families and the economy.”

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

 

Quantity surveyors seek speedy passage of safety bill

Towards checking incessant building collapse across the country, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has called on the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the safety and health bill.

The bill will take care and control all activities in the construction site as it concerns the quality materials use at site as well as personnel.

This according to its President, Obafemi Onashile, would also cover all aspects of safety and quality in building and construction work for the public, private and government.

The NIQS President spoke at the third Quantity Surveyors job fair held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

He said, the institute sponsored the bill, stressing that, when it is passed into law, it would mitigate the reoccurring building collapse across the country.

“Building collapse can be checked and controlled if government will enact a law on safety and health in building and construction work,” he said.

“That is the only way building collapse can be checked and controlled. We have put up a proposal on safety and health to the National Assembly on the need to enact law that check incessant building collapse across the country.

“We have packaged the proposal and if the bill is pass into law it will cover all aspect of safety and quality in building and construction work for the public, private and government”

He noted that the job fair was organised to bring together prospective employers and employees together to create a platform for the purpose of employment opportunities.

The NIQS President, added that the job fair in PortHarcourt was the third in the series, noting that it is stress free and cost effective for employers to employ competent and qualified quantity surveyors through the platform

He said that about 200 job seekers and 30 employers attended the job fair.

Earlier, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, represented by his Special Adviser on projects, Alagbo George Kelly, said the State government saved N10billion from various projects through prudent and effective costing.

He said through effective cost analysis projects that would have cost huge sums of money are delivered at less cost.

Ann Godwin

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