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Affordable Housing: Tanzania to construct 30,000 affordable houses

The government of Tanzania is set to construct 30,000 affordable houses across the country as part of implementation of the election manifesto of the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, William Lukuvi confirmed the reports and said the houses will be constructed by state-owned National Housing Corporation (NHC).

“The intention of the government is to provide affordable housing for its people. Construction of the houses will go in tandem with the improvement of infrastructure in the areas, including roads, schools and health centers,” said Lukuvi.

Shortage of affordable housing

Tanzania still suffers from a shortage of good quality and affordable housing. Current housing deficit is estimated at three million housing units valued at US $180bn coupled with a 200 000 unit annual demand with a projected combined cost of US $12bn.

The country’s mortgage market is among the smallest in East African region, despite it recording an annual growth rate in mortgage loan balances of six percent between March 2017 and March 2018.

According to a 2018 Cost of Living study by Numbeo, a Dar es Salaam residents pay the largest chunk of  their earnings about 31% on house rents than on any other basic commodity that is needed to survive. The study also states that at least 27.6% of an average Tanzanian’s earnings is spent on rent – leaving the remaining 72.4% for other basic needs.

Source: Constructionreviewonline

Fannie Mae makes it official: Frater is CEO

Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTCQB), the largest provider of liquidity to the U.S. housing market, today announced that it has appointed Hugh R. Frater as Chief Executive Officer effective March 26. As CEO, Frater will set the overall enterprise vision and strategic direction of the company. In addition to his role as CEO, Frater remains on the Board of Directors. Frater previously served as Interim CEO.

“Following a six month nationwide search of qualified candidates, I am pleased to announce Hugh R. Frater as Fannie Mae CEO. Hugh’s deep understanding of the housing and the financial services industries, broad experience, and strong leadership skills make him an ideal choice to lead Fannie Mae,” said Jonathan Plutzik, Chair of Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors.

“Hugh’s contributions as Interim CEO over the last several months demonstrate his commitment to strengthening the company and delivering value to our customers and partners.

This appointment also provides continuity in Fannie Mae’s leadership team as we fulfill our mission to provide liquidity and support to the mortgage market.”

“I am honored with this opportunity to lead Fannie Mae and to play a part in the company’s important contributions to the housing finance system,” said Frater. “The Fannie Mae of today is customer focused, innovative, and committed to leading a housing finance system that is safe, sound, and sustainable for taxpayers and creditworthy borrowers of all income levels.

I look forward to continuing to work with this outstanding leadership team to deliver on Fannie Mae’s strategic priorities and transform the mortgage experience for our customers and partners.”

Frater served as Fannie Mae’s Interim CEO since October 16, 2018 and on Fannie Mae’s Board since 2016. He has held a number of executive and management roles throughout his career. Frater currently serves as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of VEREIT, Inc.

He previously led Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC, a national commercial real estate company providing comprehensive capital solutions and investment sales advisory and research services for multifamily and commercial properties.

He served as Chairman of Berkadia from April 2014 to December 2015 and he served as Chief Executive Officer of Berkadia from 2010 to April 2014. Earlier in his career, Frater was an Executive Vice President at PNC Financial Services, where he led the real estate division, and was a Founding Partner and Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc.

Source: National Mortgage News

MTR Gardens: New urban community where OPIC offers affordable luxury

When the moving construction machines of the Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC) arrived Isheri area of the state in August 2015, many did not believe in their ability to deliver what stand today as luxury homes, and also an urban community offering  strong value propositions.

This was because, Isheri,  a sleepy rural community, had huge environment challenges that devastated property values. The part of the community where MTR Gardens is sitting today was  a waterlogged waste land that posed a security risk being a hideout for miscreants.

The terrain was difficult to access, leading to a tough and  difficult  development process that involved different stages of reclamation, flood channelization and raft foundation  to ensure structural stability of the coming buildings.

Today, the Isheri story has changed and, according to Jide Odusolu, the OPIC managing director and special adviser to the Ogun State governor on property and investment, “what we are doing here, apart from creating homes, is also a form of economic expansion in which we are creating economic urban communities and resolving environment challenges”.


OPIC has been in existence for over 30 years, but in the last eight years, has been a veritable tool in the state government’s infrastructure development, economic expansion and internal revenue generation.

“Before this administration came on board, OPIC in over 30 years delivered a maximum of 200 housing units, all of them in Agbara. They also built about three kilometers of roads; but in the last eight years, OPIC   has delivered about 2000 housing units and also done over 40 kilometres network of  roads in our various estates”, Odusolu disclosed to journalists on tour of the facilities recently.

MTR Gardens, located on KM6 along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Way, is the corporation’s latest housing development. It is a 180-unit premium apartment-styled community comprising 150 units of 3-bedroom apartments and 30 units of 2-bedroom apartments in 25 and 3 blocks respectively.

The estate which targets upper middle class buyers boasts dedicated power supply, paved roads/walkways, portable water, packaged sewage plant, and sit-out areas. The rooms are very specious for both the 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom, each with ensuite maid-room and three parking spaces for each apartment. Recreational facilities include multi-purpose gym, swimming pool, basketball court and a neighbourhood mall to answer to the domestic needs of residents.

Apartments in this Garden which offers both investment and residential opportunities attract competitive market prices. Buyers and investors have the option of buying fully completed apartments or shells in which case they have to do the finishing by themselves. But there is price differential.

Whereas a completed 3-bedroom apartment sells for N32 million, the shell variant goes for N24 million. As for 2-bedroom, a completed apartment sells for N18.5 million while the shell goes for N14 million.

Buyers also have the option of paying outright or going through mortgage facilities provided by Gateway Mortgage Bank, Homebase Mortgage Bank and Trustbond Mortgage Bank Plc at 18 percent interest rate repayable in 15 years .

The managing director informed that  MTR Gardens, which is designed to have  the same scale of what  obtains in 1004  Estate in Lagos without the stress and pressure there, is the first of a three-phased development, disclosing that the second phase promises 600 apartments.

“The third phase of this project is going to be a commercial city with office building and shopping mall; the concept of what we are doing is to recreate this area in such a way that it is not just enough to live in Ogun, but to also work and thrive in the state. We want to make people start seeing this place as home where they can live, work and play”, he said.

Odusolu, whose eight-year stint in OPIC shall be elapsing in May this year, says it is gratifying for him to have been a part of the journey that made the transformation that Ogun has seen within this period.

Source: Chuka Uroko

Insurance as buffer to Refin Homes affordable housing for middle-class income earners

A strong partnership with insurance companies to protect consumers in the area of repayment default, loss of employment and death will be a buffer to Refin Home’s quest to provide affordable housing to middle class income earners across the country.

Refin Homes Limited, a relatively new player in the real estate market has come with a unique model that target to provide affordable housing to everyone in such a flexible manner that will not only guarantee quality, but also provide opportunity irrespective of your income level.

The company was established with the aim of bridging the housing gap in Nigeria. “Our key focus is providing affordable housing for middle-class income earners without compromising quality because we are the community builders, set to establish, develop, strengthen and increase economic activities within identified localities, promoters of the company said.

With over 41 years experience, drawn from across banking, mortgage and housing development, the key actors have seen the gap in the market and are committed to lifting the housing sector.

At a stakeholders interactive session with the theme ‘Creating the Future’ organised by Refin Homes held in Lagos, experts in the sector called for collaboration between government and private sector to bridge the country’s housing gap.

Olatunde Macaulay, managing director of the company said Refin Homes came into the real estate market to focus on providing alternative housing solutions that add value to lives, especially the under-served middle to lower end spectrum.

He said, “For over 10 years, a 17 million housing deficit has been bandied around. The government cannot handle this deficit alone. There has to be a public/private partnership and other private institutions such as ours, must help the government in reducing this huge housing deficit as soon as possible” he added.

He said the theme, “Create The Future” is a strategic platform that calls the attention of all Nigerians on the need to plan ahead today by putting in place modalities that ensure a solid roof over their heads. “The future is not somewhere distant, the future is now, and we want to sit with Nigerians to plan based on your desires and capacity to give you the home of your dreams” Macaulay added.

Kazeem Owolabi, the COO and co-founder of the firm also speaking at the event, advocated for efforts to be directed more at providing affordable housing for the middle and lower classes of the society.

He said it was unacceptable that Nigerians work so hard and yet, many of them cannot even think of owning their own homes.

Owolabi believes that in the long term, the Nigerian economy becomes the biggest beneficiary of a system that makes it easy for people to own quality and affordable homes.

CBN crashes interest rate to 13.5%

Businessmen in Nigeria can heave a sigh of relief as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reduced the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 14% to 13.5%, the first reduction since 2016.

Announcing the slight drop in interest rate at a media briefing after the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said the reduction would also manage investor sentiments in terms of capital inflows.

The committee, which holds a meeting once in three months, first set the benchmark interest rate at 14% in July 2016 to combat inflation and improve investor attitudes towards bringing in new capital. The country was in a recession at that time.

Simply put, the monetary policy rate is the baseline interest rate in an economy.

Every other interest rate used within an economy is built on the MPR.

At its January meeting, the committee had said that the chances of loosening were remote although it said tightening would “result in the loss of the gains so far achieved.”

Source: SunNewsOnline

Millions Fear Losing Their Homes Across Africa – Survey

Cape Town — Tens of millions of urban dwellers in Sub-Saharan Africa live in fear of losing their homes against their will, a new study says.

The study, which its authors describe as “ground-breaking”, shows that in 18 countries surveyed, nearly 32 million adults in urban areas are “insecure in their rights to their home and land.”

Projected across all of Sub-Saharan Africa, “that means there could be more than 60 million adults living in urban areas… who are tenure insecure,” the study adds, and if the trend continues, the insecurity could afflict more than 210 million by 2050.

Measuring security of tenure is one of the indicators used to assess progress in attaining the first of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is the eradication of poverty.

The study was carried out by Prindex, an initiative launched by two think tanks – the Global Land Alliance and the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) – with support from the Omidyar Network. It also covered countries in South-East Asia, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East and, in Europe, the United Kingdom.

Surveyed on their expectations for the next five years, one in four adults across 33 countries said they were likely or very likely to lose their homes.

Anna Locke of the ODI said the survey showed for the first time “that every morning, hundreds of millions of people around the world wake up fearing they might lose their home. This should make us reconsider how we think about development.”

The findings were “alarming”, added Malcolm Childress of the Global Land Alliance: “People who are insecure in their homes often struggle to plan for their future, invest money or get an education.”

Locke said a finding that women felt less secure than men in event of divorce or death of their partner was “particularly striking – it shows there is a long way to go in meeting the aspiration of equal economic rights for women worldwide.”

The survey showed that although in general Sub-Saharan Africans perceive they have less security of tenure than do people living in other parts of the world, there was one particularly surprising exception. Of the 33 nations surveyed, Rwanda did best, with only eight percent of urban dwellers feeling their tenure threatened – fewer than in the United Kingdom.

Burkina Faso and Liberia did worst, with 44 percent and 43 percent of adults respectively fearing losing their homes. In Burkina Faso, respondents cited their biggest fears as being government seizures of their property, family disputes, company seizures and problems with local and customary authorities. Family disputes ranked high among the worries of Liberians as well.also.

The percentage of people feeling at risk in their homes in other countries surveyed, ranging from those feeling most insecure to least insecure:

  • Benin 34 percent, Nambia 32 percent, Cameroon 31 percent;
  • Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Niger 28 percent, Zambia 27 percent, Ghana and Uganda 26 percent;
  • Madagascar 25 percent, Mozambique 24 percent, Nigeria 22 percent, Malawi, Senegal and Tanzania 21 percent.

Other reasons for tenure insecurity cited: government seizures in Malawi, Rwanda and Senegal; family disputes in Ghana; concern at owners or renters asking people to leave in Madagascar and Rwanda; and death of a household member in Nigeria, Ghana and Niger.

Source: Prindex

Construction of Nairobi’s tallest estate in Kenya begins

Construction works on Nairobi’s tallest estate in Kenya has commenced after Chinese billionaire Zeyun Yang launched the development.

“This iconic project is bound to change the Nairobi skyline as it will be the first project of its magnitude in East and Central Africa; that will give its residence access to the beautiful panoramic views of Nairobi,”  said Zeyun Yang.

The River Estate

The high-rise apartment project dubbed ‘The River Estate’ is located next to Ngara Girls High School. It is has a total of 2,720 high-rise apartment units and features eight apartment blocks each 34 floors high, with 340 homes per block.

The development will have a capacity to house 2720 families, creating local demand for other amenities. It will consist of 3 types of houses including 3-bedroom apartments, 2-bedroom apartments and 1-bedroom apartments.

The River Estate will be constructed by  Edermann Properties owned by the Chinese billionaire Zeyun Yang. It will gift the Kenyan capital its tallest homes beating 22-storey Le’mac Towers, Nairobi’s residential tower.

The US $70m project is being financed jointly by the national and county governments, in line with the government’s affordable housing agenda. Developers have invited prospective buyers to book their units whose prices range between US $60000 for a one-bedroom unit and US $84000 for a two-bedroom house.

“Booking fee is US $2,976 per unit which is non- refundable; deposit 10%, and balance 90% on completion,” said Edermann Properties.

Additionally, Edermann Properties has pledged to put up a bridge from the estate to Grogan road across Nairobi River to ease movement of people into and out of the 2.3-hectare gated community.

 

The proposed project will contribute to significant positive impacts in the area during its construction and operation phases. It help in creation of employment opportunities, optimal use of land, incorporation of collective waste management practices, increase in revenue to the proponent, national and the county governments among others.

About Edermann Properties

Edermann Properties, has been operating in Kenya since 2003, and has built about 4,000 homes and warehouses in Nairobi and Mombasa including; Great Wall Apartments on Mombasa Road, Seefar Apartments on Mbagathi Way, Metro Fair View Towers Pangani, and Windsor View Apartments among others.

Source: Kenneth Mwenda

FHF partners 14 states and others to provide affordable housing

Prepared to tackle housing deficit head-on, the Managing Director of Family Homes Fund (FHF) Limited, Mr. Femi Adewole, said the fund has initiated working relationship with 14 state governments, over 20 developers, four commercial banks and three mortgage banks to enhance home ownership among Nigerians.

Speaking with New Telegraph in Lagos, Adewole said the Fund expected at least 5,000 housing units across five states in the first phase.

He added that more state governments have reached out to the company and that more projects were expected to take off before the end of first quarter of 2019, resulting in additional 6,000 homes across all regions in the country.

The Fund targets 500,000 new homes for Nigerians in five years. Adewole also said that the Fund had concluded arrangement to launch a financing system that would assist low-income group to access finance/mortgages with ease and in a shorter time for home ownership.

On how to ensure that low-income earners have access to housing units, he said: “We are very conscious of the difficulty faced by the low-income group in accessing finance for home purchasing. Consequently, he said FHF will soon launch a financing system that will assist them to access mortgages with ease and in a shorter time.

“We also have a series of checks between all partners in the system, which are conducted on buyers to ensure that they are in the low-income group,” he said.

“Buyers are also required to sign an undertaking to show that they are first-time home buyers, which will be verified before purchase.” In ensuring that buyers get access to financing, the FHF boss said banks need to give competitive interest rates to ensure that low-income group is not side-lined.

The Family Homes Fund Limited is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as founding shareholders with aim to address the country’s housing deficit.

The Fund is structured as a Real Estate Investment Trust and is being professionally managed to catalyse funds from the private sector, pension funds, insurance funds, multilateral agencies and impact investors. In 2018, he disclosed that housing units were completed in Luvu-Madaki, Masaka, Nasarawa State, through FHF.

On challenges facing the Fund, Adewole stated that one of the challenges was to ensure that homes being delivered are affordable.

He said: “This implies that our costs should be competitive, and the major cost component is land. This highlights the importance of our partnerships with the state governments.

When the state governments give us land, the total cost of production is reduced by a great degree.” Another challenge, he said was about getting developers to key into the vision of affordable housing and it delivery as scheduled.

“We have been fortunate so far to work with developers who understand this and are committed towards growth in the affordable housing space. We also assign independent project managers who ensure these projects are delivered in good time and are of good quality,” the FHF boss said.

On high cost of building materials, Adewole said he would work with developers who have a huge capacity to develop higher quantum of housing units, so that they could work with economies of scale, thereby reducing material cost per unit. Besides, Adewole said the Fund has developed a working relationship with manufacturers focused on long term, which would enable developers purchase materials at cost-effective rates.

“This is also in line with our focus on local content; which ensures we work with local materials that we can obtain at fair rates,” he said. Family Homes Fund is the largest affordable housing focused fund in Sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging on significant capital (in excess of N1 trillion by 2023) to facilitate access to affordable housing for millions of Nigerians on the low to medium income bracket.

Source: Dayo Ayoyemi

Hedging necessary for N8.23trln pension fund

The  Plain vanilla derivatives are seen to protect pension funds, which stood at N8.23 trillion as at second quarter (Q2) 2018, revenue flows and prices among others, and help to push financial stability.

Plain vanilla is the most basic or standard version of a financial instrument, usually options, bonds, futures and swaps. Derivatives are primarily risked management instruments that enable participants to price and transfer (“hedge”) financial risks such as market/price risk, foreign exchange risk, and interest rate risk.

The size of pension Assets Under Management (AUM) stood at N7.89 trillion as at December 2017. Fixed Income accounts for 85.05 percent of the fund, equity 10.33 percent, and other assets account for 10.18 percent according to a presentation by Bola Onadele Koko, managing director/CEO, FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange.

Top three Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) account for 53.97 percent of the fund, top five PFAs 66.64 percent, and top 10 PFAs account for 88.0 percent.

According to Koko, inflation risk on held to maturity assets, as well as market risk on trading assets remains a challenge to preventing standard of living risk of contributors at their retirement.

However, he said exchange-traded derivatives market will go a long way in helping PFAs diversify and hedge pension portfolios, as well as create a fair basis for performance monitoring and benchmarking.

“What we are preaching now is plain vanilla derivatives to protect your pension, to protect your price, Nigeria can protect its revenue flow in future by buying futures or put options, come two years’ time, so the understanding of this product is not only for business, even Nigeria today can create system stability by having these products’, said Koko, said.

Koko spoke on ‘The Need for Derivatives in the Nigerian Financial Market and FMDQ’s Product Roll Out in 2019’ at a financial markets workshop organised by the Financial Market Dealers Association (FMDA) especially the Swap and derivative workgroup of the association, in Lagos.

He said the most liquid product in FMDQ market today is the treasury bills trading, adding that the FMDQ will by third quarter of 2019 launch the treasury bills features, while the interest rate features would be introduced into the market by 2020.

Samuel Ocheho, president of FMDA, said the level of adoption of hedging in Nigeria is still very low as most people don’t understand why they need to hedge.

“I understand the reason is cost. God also come to play. Nobody thinks about how to plan, hedging gives you a better way of planning”.

“In Nigeria, we do not want to lose revenue. One way to ensure that our oil price remains high is by creating a hedge product for the oil price”, Ocheho added.

Responding to why adoption of derivatives is low in Nigeria, Koko said, “we have to follow the evolution of the market. There are some basic elements of the market that are needed before you get to the derivative stage. People need appreciation of market risk factors – volatility.

“We need to have a repo market that is supported with collateral management and then the corporate, buying side, the corporate institutions buying foreign exchange must have that appreciation because they are the ones that will demand these products. Pension funds must understand the impact of interest rate that was 17 today and suddenly become 11. The regulators must be comfortable and must carry everybody along, all the stakeholders. Nigeria is getting to that point”.

He noted that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) brought naira settled OTC FX futures, which now everybody is able to hedge and plan.

“The CBN sells 12 month dollar naira today. If you want to buy February 2020 and know that that is the rate that will apply, can’t you see that the market is no longer nervous”.

Speaking further to journalists at the event, Koko said, “the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who is the regulator of FMDQ is doing a lot on the derivative market. The CBN is supporting FMDQ, the PENCOM will support. When we start the market we will go to PENCOM to say for the stability of people’s pension, let this product be in place then the manager will know when to buy and when to sell”.

Source: Hope Ashike

How residents grapple with challenges of communal living in serviced estates

Apart from income, people also put into consideration the availability and functional infrastructure such as good roads and drainage, waste management, security, serenity and attractiveness of environment as well as adequate supply of power and water when deciding where to live.

Gated estates are generally upscale residential communities designed for affluent individuals. They provide a lot of benefits to the residents that live within them, but services are not free lunch.

Every gated estate has a central management authority, an outsourced facilities managing firm or Home Owners Association that maintains the facilities and ensures residents enjoy them to the fullest.

Olumide Akinyemi, project manager at Global Limited, posited that why high profile individuals reside in gated communities goes beyond comfortable access to facilities and amenities, but issues of security, privacy, and exclusivity of the amenities are of concern to them.

A report by AfrAsia Bank, an institution authorized and regulated by Bank of Mauritius, titled ‘2018 Wealth Report’  affirms  that an increasing number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) prefer to live in gated communities and estates.

The institute cites security, facility, quality  and design of houses, views, scenery  and wildlife as well as price growth potentials as factors influencing the decisions of HNWIs to inhabit gated communities.

But these upscale communities, as attractive as they seem, are not without challenges of varying degrees for residents, landlords, estate developers and facilities managers who provide and manage facilities and services used by the residents.

Most of these estates are serviced, meaning that services are provided and paid for by the residents either collectively or individually. The payments are made in form of service charge which has become a major feature of most estates and a source of contention. In most cases they pose challenges.

“The private estates or residential housing requires the services of facilities managers because a lot of the people who live there are middle income professionals who live there hoping to leverage economy of scale to get the kind of services they need”, explained chief executive of a frontline facilities management and services firm, who pleaded to be anonymous.

 

The economic downturn in the country is, however, making it difficult for some of these residents to meet their obligations in terms of rents and service charge payments, leading to serious frictions between residents and landlords or residents and service providers as the case may be.

“Many of  these mid-come professionals who worked in oil and gas companies or banks have lost their jobs, the income of some of them has reduced and they are therefore struggling to pay their service charge. Even many of them are defaulting in paying their rents”, the chief executive revealed.

In some cases, however, frictions arise not from loss of job or income, but from rising costs which has in turn jerked up service charge in many estates.  “Rising cost of maintenance has increased   sharply  to between 30 percent and 40 percent”, according to Mojisola Akingbade, an estate manager, who expressed fear that sooner than later, cost of maintaining a building might outstrip the rents.

Our  findings  on four key facilities including  power, water, sewage disposal and security in three gated estates in Lagos namely Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi; Cable Point Estate in Lekki Phase I and 1004 Estate in Victoria Island reveal near-common experiences by residents.

Though residents have their comfort and enjoy serenity, attractive landscape, tight security, and clean environment with slight variations in terms of power and water, service charge payments remain a major issue the service providers have to contend with.

In terms of security, a visit to these estates shows that they are well secured for habitation. A domestic staff who has been working in 1004 Estate for six years, told us that tight security in the estate was a major selling point.

The staff, who did not want to be named, explained that a significant number of occupants of the estate are foreigners (particularly Chinese and Indians) and a major reason for this, according to him, is because the environment is safe.

“About 90 percent of the residents are Chinese and Indians. The estate appeals to them because they are confident that their lives and valuables are secured; you cannot enter here anyhow; there are protocols. You cannot find these foreigners in non-gated areas where there are often cases of armed robbery. Things like that scare them,” he said

Talking about the service charge for security, he said residents are billed and payments are remitted to the Home Owners and Residents Association (HORA) office.  Efforts to get the amount paid by residents were fruitless as the HORA office was reluctant to provide such information.

A visit to Cable Point Estate, Lekki Phase I gave a similar picture of 1004 estate as regards security. One of the estate residents, who introduced himself simply as Biodun, told us that the estate management office does not joke with security.

“This is how we operate here. It is mandatory for everyone to sign-in before they get access into the estate. You cannot find people wandering aimlessly here”, Biodun said.

At Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, it is the same trend. Fortune Olakunle, who works in one of the hotels within the estate, told us that visitors were scrutinized before gaining access. “There are guards stationed at the gate, both armed and unarmed. A car search is conducted before motorists are allowed in.

“Non-residents are required to call their hosts before being allowed into the estate. This is why there are no known recorded cases of armed robbery or violent crimes within the estate”, Olakunle said.

Power is supplied to the sampled estates by Eko Distribution Company, but reliance on public power supply varies among the estates. At 1004, it was gathered that the estate has a central generating plant beside Civic Centre that supplies power to the estate.

“Before, the estate relied on public electricity, but not anymore. If public electricity goes off, within the next 20 seconds, the power plant picks up”, a resident in the estate disclosed.
Asked about the service charge for power, the resident who pleaded anonymity explained that apartments were metered to individual residents and payment is commensurate with consumption.

The same thing applies to Cable Point estate. The resident explained that although the estate gets power from public sources, it is not dependent on them because of frequent outages associated with public power.  “You know the country we live in. Power is epileptic. The estate has its own plant that serves residents. The plant runs 24 hours in the absence of public power supply”, he said.

Checks at other areas around Cable Point estate revealed that residents were not impressed with the power situation. Emmanuel Nweke, a resident at Lai Yusuf Crescent adjacent Cable Point, said “sometimes we live two days without power. They also give us three straight days without interruption, but this is rare. We are not happy.”

Unlike 1004 and Cable Point, it was gathered that Osborne has no central generating plant that serves residents in case of power interruption. “Majority of residents complement public power with generators and inverters”, a resident confirmed.

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“There is nothing like crazy bills. All buildings have prepaid meteres. For instance, in my office, we pay huge sums to get certain units of light that can sustain us a month. You know that prepaid meter is a not a friend of heavy gadgets”, the resident added.

Water is another critical facility in these estates.  It was gathered at 1004 estate that there is a central water plant that serves residents. John explained that the tanks are cleaned twice in a month. “External tankers are called to supply the estate whenever the tanks are cleaned. Each cluster has its reservoir to serve residents during this period”, he added.

This  also applies for Cable Point Estate. The resident revealed that water in Lekki is  generally bad, but the estate has its own treatment plant that serves residents with potable water supply. According to him, the plant is routinely purified.

In Osborne foreshore, all houses in the estates have their own personal boreholes and water treatment plants. The water is safe for human consumption and residents enjoy  portable water.

In the three estates, the central management authority collectively handles Waste Management. It was gathered that the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) visits the estates to evacuate dirt at least once in a week.

Source: Israel Odubola

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