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Successful Women Who Play Big in Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector

Hajia Bola Shagaya is the 10th wealthiest woman in Africa according to Forbes.
As a businesswoman, she is most notable for her interest in real estate.
She is the founder of Bolmus Group international – a diversified Nigerian conglomerate with interests in oil, real estate, banking, communications, and photography.
The real estate development arm of the group builds and owns dozens of luxurious residential properties in some of the nation’s highbrow areas.
In recognition of her leadership qualities and immense contribution to economic growth, she was twice awarded the National Productivity Order of Merit award and Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman, one of the richest African women, and one of the richest black women in the world. In 2014, she temporarily unseated Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world. She is a business tycoon involved in the fashion,oil and printing industries.
She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion As of 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after NgoziOkonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.


Dr. Hannatu Fika is the Executive Secretary of Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) and a winner of life time achievement award at the 2017 National Housing Awards (NHA) for her participation in the development of housing in Nigeria.
The issue of affordable housing has been at the bottom of her heart for years especially provision of houses for Federal Public Servants and this passion has continued to drive her at the Staff Housing Loans Board.

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Agnes Olatokunbo Martins [CISA, CISM, CRISC, FCA, FCCA] graduated with a Bachelors degree in Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Lagos in 1983, she joined the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1990. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration also from the University of Lagos. In 2001, Mrs Martins proceeded to London South Bank University, United Kingdom to study Advanced Information Technology specialising in Object Oriented Analysis and Design and graduating with a Distinction.
She obtained a second Bachelors degree in Applied Accounting with First Class Honours from the Oxford Brookes University, also in the United Kingdom. She is the first female president of Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Lagos Chapter.
She is currently the Director Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria. She represents the Central Bank of Nigeria on the of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC)

Sa’adiya Aliyu has had a varied career in a number of roles, bringing her charasteric drive and inter-personal skills to every position she has occupied. Prior to starting work, she received a Bsc in Economics from Brunei University, following that up with an Msc in Finance and development from the School of African Studies (SOAS) in London.
In 2009, Sa’adiya joined Urban Shelter Limited as a senior Manager to the Chairman Office. In a role requiring a deft hand and a steady touch, she streamlined the operations of the Chairman’s office, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Her ambition for Urban Shelter includes affordable housing- for which she has a particular passion- and she seeks to provide innovative means for the delivery and payment of these structures.

Udo Maryanne Okonjo has a keen interest in Inspired Leadership, Business growth and Real Estate as a tool for growing Gross National Wealth. Her background includes a solid track record in Corporate & Commercial Law at Masters Level and Partnership at leading law firms, along with Business and Brand Development, Strategic Marketing, Complex Stakeholder Negotiations, Ethics and Governance.
A trusted real estate advisor, and wealth strategist to the top 1% of Nigerian Executive and Corporate Investors, she is popularly referred to as an Igniter, Mentor and Influencer among emerging entrepreneurs and professionals.
She regularly key notes on real estate trends, creating wealth through real estate and entrepreneurship, bridging the investment gap for women and millennials amongst other topics. Her strongest passion is raising Purpose driven, Prominent and Profitable leaders through transformational personal and professional development. She is the founder of Inspired Women of Worth, and Curator/Facilitator of the Go Mega Business Growth Series, Trailblazer Mastermind for SMEs along with the Ignite the Champion Within (an Inspiration, High Performance, Leadership and Entrepreneurship Series).



Isoken Omo is the current Executive Chairman of the Edo Development and Property Authority (EDPA). Isoken also has experience as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ACCOUTRE Investment and Development Company Ltd. An MBA holder from the University of Hull, United Kingdom. Isoken possesses a highly relevant, award-winning career spanning over 20 years in Finance and Investment Advisory and Real Estate, covering various sectors and global regions. She brings a deep knowledge in creating Real Estate program solutions to broaden AIDC’s offering.

Prior to becoming CEO of AIDC, Isoken served as Head, Real Estate, Construction & Cement Sectors, Mainstreet Bank, Regional Head – Corporate Banking (North Central Region), Afribank Nigeria Plc where she won the best Region for Good Business Initiative Deal. She also headed the Infrastructure/Construction arm of Afribank Nigeria Plc.

At London Borough of Hillingdon, Civic Centre, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK she worked as a Housing Advisor for 1 year after which she moved on to work as a Housing Tenancy Relations Co-ordinator/ Project Co-ordinator, Strategy and Policy for 6 years with London Borough of Southwark, UK. She also worked at Bamet Consult in Beckton London, as a Property Portfolio Consultancy/Mortgage Adviser. She is a member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers

Olajumoke Adenowo, founder of AD Consulting, is a Nigerian Architect, Speaker, Radio Host, Philantropist and Author. CNN has described her as “Africa’s Starchitect”. She has been featured in the World’s foremost Architectural Journal; Architectural Record and has spoken on several platforms including the Global Women’s Forum and Harvard Business School (African Business Club). Olajumoke also hosts a Syndicated Radio show on Leadership called “Voice of Change”.


She is the Nigerian Vice Chairman/CEO, MGSL, Nigeria. Dr Mrs Virgy Anohu is Nigeria’s leading Mortgage Banker and a very senior veteran pan-African Banker with top strategic management experiences from Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, First City Monument Bank, Guardian Express Bank and now Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Guaranty Savings and Loans Limited.
Dr. Anohu is on the board of Premium Pension Limited, a pension fund Administrator licensed under the Pension Reform Act 2004.
Dr. Mrs Anohu, an Aluminus of the Prestigious Harvard Business School Boston is a prolific writer, and has authored many works.


Arc. Eucharia Alozie is the Head, Public Private Partnership (PPP) at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. She is an Architect and a Town Planner at the Ministry.
She has a Master Degree in Architecture and Urban& Regional Planning at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.


Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu, is a trained architect and expert in naval logistics before becoming the first woman to attain the rank of a Rear Admiral in the history of the Nigerian Navy.
Prior to joining the Navy, Itunu’s dream was to join the Nigerian Army, however, when she applied, she was told there was no place for women in its engineering corps.
Sad at the turn of events, Itunu applied to join the Nigerian Navy when she was told that she would be accepted irrespective of her gender. Before she joined the navy, she worked in an architect office for two years after she graduated from the university before she took her professional exams.
She was among the first set of architects to be enlisted into the Nigerian Navy and it is on record that Hotonu was the first female military officer to serve as a Directing Staff(that is an instructor) at the famous Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji and also the first female military officer to attend the then National War College, now National Defence College, where she won the Commander-in-chief’s prize as well as the Commandant’s prize for the best research.

In the quantity surveying profession, Mrs. Mercy Torkwase Iyortyer is a woman of many firsts. She was the first female Quantity Surveyor in the Northern Region of Nigeria, the first female chairperson of a chapter in NIQS (FCT Chapter), the Pioneer and Founding Chairperson of the Women Association of Quantity Surveyors (WAQSN), the first woman to represent the institute on the Council of the African Association of Quantity Surveyors, and first woman to be elected into the position of the Deputy President of the NIQS unopposed. Recently, she capped it all as the first female President after 46 years of the Institute’s existence.
Mrs. Mercy Torkwase Iyortyer was born into the renowned family of Mr. Timothy Yuwa (MON) from Benue State, Nigeria. She demonstrated hard work, intelligence and commitment from her early years in life starting from primary school; when she was chosen to tutor lower classes even as a student herself.
Her outstanding performance in Girls’ High School, Gindiri, Plateau State resulted in her coming out with a Division 1 and many other academic awards. Her leadership skills were harnessed as she was selected Class Captain, House Prefect, and President of Fellowship of Christian Students and eventually became the Head Girl of the school.
She also actively participated in various extracurricular activities such as hockey, volley Ball, netball, track and field events and drama in her secondary school days.
Mrs. Iyortyer moved onto the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and graduated in 1979 with a B.Sc in Quantity Surveying (Second Class Upper Division) despite the fact she gave birth to her first child during her final examination period.
Iyortyer then proceeded to University College London (UCL), UK in 1983 where she obtained an M.Sc in Architecture (Building Economics and Management). She continually strived for self-development and obtained a Certificate in International Project Management (IPMA) in 2005 and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from Pan Africa University, Lagos Business School in 2010.

Chinwe is based in Lagos, Nigeria and is responsible for the delivery of a full spectrum of real estate services across West Africa. She has over 14 years experience and was previously head of the JLL French International Desk. she holds a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Ifeoma is a professional with over 20 years experience in start up operations across human capital management, business development, business strategy, turnaround plans, process mapping and business re-engineering.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Management from Middlesex University Business School (UK).
She is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development(M.C.I.P.D) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Managers.
Ifeoma has a sound knowledge of real estate investment strategies and fund generation, with experience spanning developing sales, marketing communications and budget plans to implementing sound corporate governance structure for large corporates, SMEs in Nigeria and the UK. She is the Executive Director, Business Development at Brains and Hammers Limited.


LADY MARIA-GORETTI OMEGO A seasoned banker with over twenty years experience. She holds a First Degree in Accounting from Loyola University, Chicago, United States of America and a Masters Degree in Management from the Imo State University Owerri, she is equally a Doctorate Degree candidate of the prestigious Madonna University Nigeria. She has since the formation of Mayfresh been its Managing Director and Chief Executive. She is a Member of the Nigeria Institute of Management.


Olusola David-Borha, also known as Sola, B.Sc (Econs), MBA has been the Chief Executive of Africa Regions at The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited since January 1, 2017. Mrs. David-Borha served as the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC until January 19, 2017 and also served as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Corporate & Investment Banking.

She served as the Chief Executive Officer and Acting Managing Director at IBTC Chartered Bank plc and Executive Director of Corporate and Investment Banking (excluding South Africa). She was responsible for overseeing the Corporate Finance and Corporate Banking Departments, Project and Structure Finance Departments, Asset Management and Private Banking. She also supervises Treasury and Financial Services and is also responsible for the Bank’s correspondent banking relationships.


Rose Ada Okwechime has been the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Abbey Building Society PLC since 1992. Mrs. Okwechime served in the Banking industry for over 24 years including time at the Bank of England. She serves as a Director of Abbey Building Society PLC. She served as Vice Chairperson of United Bank for Africa Plc since 2013. She has been a Non-Executive Director of United Bank for Africa Plc since July 2012. She served as a Director of United Bank for Africa Plc from August 1, 2005 to May 2010. She served as a Non-Executive Director of Standard Trust Bank Plc. She has at least 8 notable awards to her credit in recognition of her achievements and contributions to womanhood. Mrs. Okwechime holds a Masters degree in Banking and Finance.


Ruby Okoro has a BSc (Hons) in International Relations with a Second Class (Upper), a Masters Degree (MSc) in Public Administration as well as International Certification in Credit, Risk Management, Investment and Mortgage Banking.  She has a wealth of financial experience and expertise in Retail, Commercial, Investment and Mortgage Banking with over 25 years of local and International experience with notable Banks and Other Financial Institutions such as Citibank (Nigeria), FCMB (Nigeria) Bank of Montreal (Canada) as well as Mortgage Alliance Company also in Canada. She is a Licensed Mortgage and Investment Specialist in Canada and a registered member of several professional bodies such as the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) Canada, Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) Canada, Investment Specialist (ISC) Canada and Nigerian Institute of Corporate Administration.

She is currently the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Delta Trust Mortgage Bank Ltd as well as the current Deputy- President South-East of the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN).


Jumoke Akinwunmi is a Co-Founder, Managing Director, and Director of Alitheia Capital. She was previously the Principal at the firm. Ms. Akinwunmi served as Managing Director at Avante Property Asset Management Services. Ms. Akinwunmi led the development/promotion of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) on the NSE.
She also established a Research and Analysis Unit focused on the Nigeria real estate sector, providing real estate business information services for private, professionals and institutional investors while providing business development and incubation services for professionals and investors.
She was instrumental in establishing the first facilities management company with a specialization in retail space management. Prior to Avante, Ms. Akinwunmi spent eight years at Shell Trustees Nigeria Ltd., where she was responsible for managing the real estate development projects, a portfolio of residential assets in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Her understanding of the real estate sector and her excellent project management skills contributed to the growth of the portfolio. In addition, she advised on the incubation of Provast Limited. She worked as architect and project manager on several developments at James Cubitt Architects and Adeniyi Coker Architects.
She is an architect and real estate professional. She is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Nigeria and the University of Dundee, Scotland.


Tosin is a Solicitor with a great commercial mind, excellent analytical skills and vast transactional experience that spans across construction, real estate, finance, capital markets and corporate commercial.
She is a key member of DETAIL’s real estate and construction practice and actively engaged in recent regulatory efforts at financing real estate projects via the capital market. She has recently advised on UPDC’s 30B REIT transaction, the setting up of a <1.3B Private Real Estate Co-ownership scheme, the recapitalization of Intercontinental Homes PLC and the setting up of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company.
She is a member of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of Nigeria.


Chii Akporji is the Executive Director, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)
She Coordinated the set up and operationalization of the NMRC, a mortgage refinance set up under a PPP framework to address the key constraint of access to long term finance in the primary and secondary mortgage markets in Nigeria to the growth of home ownership in Nigeria.
Prior to her current position at the NMRC, Dr. Akporji had served as Senior Advisor/Chief of Staff to the former Nigerian Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy. Before her return to Nigeria, she had a successful 13 year career at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington DC, where she worked on City Development Strategies (CDS) and Slum Upgrading (SU) programmes of several cities and municipal governments like Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Manilla, Durban and Cairo.

She has been actively involved in the design, development and implementation of development communications, advocacy and knowledge management programs in support of a number of Bank operations in education, health, trust fund partnerships and urban and regional development programmes.


Adenike Fasanya-Osilaja is a Chicago, Illinois based Mortgage Professional, Industry Trainer, Consultant, and Public Speaker.
She has owned and operated Marvel Ventures Mortgage, Inc.(, since 2000, and my MV Professional Solutions Inc. ( since 2009. With a background in Law, Banking and Finance, she holds licenses and certifications in Islamic Finance, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA/HUD,and is a National Association of Mortgage Professionals Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC), the top certification in her industry. Adenike is a real estate finance columnist with the National Mirror Nigeria Newspaper, who hosted her own radio show for several years, and is an expert contributor on several U.S radio shows.
Adenike is most passionate about training on Affordable housing, Mortgage Education, Standardization, Compliance and Quality Control. She consults on Real Estate/Mortgage Finance Company Set-Up, Product Development, Underwriting, Processes and Procedures, Competence, Compliance and Quality Control. She has presented and facilitated for the NMRC/CBN, REUnite 2015, The ETAC Chicago Community Program, CBN Financial, and at multiple other real estate finance events.



Medinah Olufolake Huthman holds a BSc. (Economics) majoring in
Accounting & Financial Management from the University of Buckingham, England.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Her working career started at Eko Hotels Ltd. Having completed her youth service year she was employed and held various management posts culminating as the Financial Controller.She left that establishment to set up two startup companies. She is the Managing Director of Hexcel Ventures Ltd, a procurement and logistics company. She is also the Executive Director, Operations of Hydraform Engineering Nigeria Ltd.

In the 20 years, Medinah has worked in the procurement and built industry. She has over seen the following :
Provide Hydraform machines and accessories to several States to help them achieve their mass housing objectives. Such States include Ogun, Yobe, Rivers, Anambra,Kebbi,Borno, Ekiti, Kwara, Ondo, Delta, Enugu, Jigawa, Ebonyi, FCT etc
Provide same services to private estate developers throughout the Federation
Provide consultancy and supervisory services to State Governments and private individuals to develop some 1,500 houses in various estates throughout the Federation Develop a 144 3 bedroom housing estate in Kuje under PPP Scheme of Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing
Develop an estate of 200 houses with a private developer
Acts as technical partners in projects.

Hydraform is a member of REDAN (Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria) As a member, she has been privileged to serve as Auditor and Financial Secretary. She has also served on several Committees of REDAN. As regards her experience in the built industry, she considers herself a work in progress and takes opportunities to continuously educate herself by attending seminars and training courses. She also serves on the board of other corporate bodies.


Flora Anne is a Presenter, Producer and Broadcaster. She hosts the popular Housing Development Programme on African Independent Television (AIT ) and on the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA24). An Indigene of Edo State with a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism.
This successful media Practitioner advocates for the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians through her weekly TV Programme. She is a motivational speaker, script writer and a go-getter.

She is the Acting Director of the Pension Commission (PENCOM) of Nigeria. She was a facility Manager with her background in History prior to becoming the acting DG, she is presently acting pending the confirmation of the DG Designate by the Senate. She is renowned in the real estate sector as an advocate of the policy to allow pension usage by husband and wife as a down payment for home purchase.

Engr. Becky Damilola Oke is a Managing Director at Bstan Construction Limited with head office in Lagos.
She heads a Company that is an indigenous and professional construction infrastructure development outfit with world class expertise in Real Estate Development and Global Reinvestments.


Salima Makama is the Managing Director of Shelterplus Nigeria Limited, a comprehensive real estate firm, headquartered in Abuja with branches in Niger State, providing comprehensive commercial and residential real estate services for individuals and Organisations. Shelterplus has undertaken numerous construction projects and specialist works for both private and public sector clients, chief amongst which are the construction of office complexes, school compounds and staff residential estates for several government agencies. Due to their qualifications and experience in the real estate industry, Shelterplus has put together a combination of resources; human, financial and technical, required to effectively initiate, plan and execute construction projects while adhering to time, scope, quality and cost constraints.



She is a Lawyer and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008 and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Ewuwuni also holds a Master of Laws degree (LL.M) in Construction Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK, Nigeria Branch (MCIArb), a Certified Negotiator (Programme on Negotiation, Harvard Law School) and a member of the Society of Construction Law for Africa. She is also a Member, Panel of Neutrals, Cross River State MultiDoor Court House; Member, Panel of Neutrals, Bayelsa State MultiDoor Court House; Member, Panel of Neutrals, Delta State MultiDoor Court House.

Ewuwuni is passionate about her profession and, as the Lead Counsel in the law firm of ONNOGHEN-THEOPHILUS (a full service law chambers which specialises in Construction Law), she has wide experience in negotiating, drafting, executing and interpreting both domestic and international construction contracts.

She is the author of the first Nigerian book on Construction Law titled “Construction Law in Nigeria” and is a leading legal authority on the sector.


Hajia Binta Ibrahim currently serves as the Financial Secretary of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN).  Her Association aims to effectively represent the members to achieve their corporate objectives and to effectively carry on their business as agents of development by ensuring public appreciation of the importance of REDAN and efforts it is making to meet the housing needs of Nigerians. The Association also aims to ensure balanced national legislative, regulatory and fiscal policy to provide the enabling framework and environment for effective housing delivery.


Rahimatu Amina-Aliyu is the Executive Director, Loans and Mortgage Services at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). Hajia Rahimatu Aminu-Aliyu is a versatile Legal practitioner with specialty in Finance, Property and International Law. She is an articulate and persuasive negotiator with track record of resolving complex disputes and securing long term funding. Her career goal is to ensure that development is inclusive and sustainable.

Rahimatu Aminu-Aliyu is a widely travelled person with interest in community development; she is an honest and inspirational leader, a strategic thinker with impeccable organizational ability, skilful in oral and written communication, and a responsible and compassionate team player.



Umar Zubaida is the Group Head, Corporate Communications at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). She is part of an Organization that provide long-term credit facilities to mortgage institutions in Nigeria and also mobilizing both domestic and offshore funds into the housing sector.


She is a former chairman of Real estate Developers Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter. She has developed over 200 unit of houses and at present embarking gigantic housing project along Zuba axis of Abuja.she was recently elected as vice president of REDAN.

Many feared dead as seven-storey building collapses in Port Harcourt

A 7 story building under construction has collapsed in Port-Harcourt,the Rivers State Capital.

The building located at nos 18 Benjamin Opara Street,GRA phase 3,collapsed his evening.

Eye witnesses say that an unspecified nos of people are currently trapped in the collapsed building,while rescue efforts are ongoing to search for survivors.

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The eyewitness said at least 11 people have been rescued from the debris at the scene of the incident. The cause of the collapse is not yet known.


Technology can free planners to plan and boost the housing market say digital experts

The planning profession in the UK needs to take bolder steps to embrace digital technology to help boost the sector and get more homes built more quickly, it is claimed.

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and digital planning pioneers Future Cities Catapult (FCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build awareness amongst RTPI’s 25,000 members.

It sets out the opportunities of using digital technology, or PlanTech, to enhance their impact and digitise more monotonous tasks, freeing planners to plan.

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The RTPI and FCC have also been meeting with the Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, to explore how digital technology can help fix the broken housing market.

The MOU sets out how the RTPI and FCC will work together to raise awareness of digital tools and approaches in planning, through signposting, guidance, conferences and outreach, including a joint PlanTech conference in 2019 and a new PlanTech award as part of the RTPI annual planning awards.

They will also utilise the RTPIs extensive partnerships with academia, industry and professionals to research, analyse and communicate the key opportunities for PlanTech and embed PlanTech into academic and CPD courses to ensure that new and existing planners are well placed to lead on this agenda.

‘Now more than ever we need planners to be strategic and creative to address the challenges and opportunities the country faces. In our ongoing campaign for the planning function to be better resourced and valued, we must also look at what planners can do themselves to make their job more satisfying and game changing,’ said Victoria Hills, RTPI chief executive.

‘Digital technology, already used by many of our members, has huge potential for the profession. This partnership with Futures Catapult will boost our expertise and vision to drive it forwards,’ she added.

According to Stefan Webb, director of digital planning at FCC, research and development has suggested that a digitally transformed planning system has the potential to radically change the way that planners do their work.

‘In particular we are excited about the opportunities to remove many of the dull and monotonous tasks that take up planners time, and free planners to plan. This new partnership with RTPI will allow the pioneering work Future Cities Catapult have been doing to bridge the digital divide between town planners and digital technologies, to be scaled to RTPI planners in the UK and its network globally,’ he explained.

Source: PropertyWire

What to consider when leasing a property

When leasing a property it is always advantageous to approach the issue in a structured way. There are different items that you need to consider, depending on whether or not it is a commercial property. The initial terms in most leases of commercial properties range from three to five years.

While this gives you security, regarding the term of the lease, it also means that if you enter into a bad agreement or lease the wrong property, you might find it difficult to get out of the transaction for some years. It is advisable to consider the lease before you sign.

It is important you ensure that you are dealing with the right person who has the authority to make the lease.

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If it is a sublease, it might be prudent to request for a copy of the initial lease to be sure that the person leasing has the right to do so and you are not paying for more than the term remaining on the lease.

While this might seem basic, many have been burnt by failing to consider this in the light of the general rule that a person cannot give what he or she does not have the authority to give.

Once you have the assurance that you are dealing with the right person, you can proceed to schedule an inspection of the property. Real estate agents and valuers manage many commercial properties, which makes it more assuring to engage them as professionals who have a brand name to protect. During your preliminary inspection, you should take note of critical issues such as parking, water, garbage collection, general security of the building, among others.

While carrying out the inspection, make sure that you ask about the person responsible for the repairs of damaged parts of the property. Most property leases are done on a “as it is” basis, but if you specifically point out property damages and other concerns, you are likely to receive the assurances of the landlord to repair such damages. This is also a good time for you to confirm if you could alter the property to your taste and the process for securing the property owner’s approval. Depending on the nature of the repairs, you might be able to get a rent discount for a certain period.

During your period of inspecting the property, do take out time to look beyond the building into its environment. Ask the agent or owner for details on the general attitude of the neighbours and the neighbourhood. Is it a neat and decent environment that will attract quality people to your business? The garbage collection practices of that area should be looked upon. Are there smell or noise challenges? Does the building have adequate parking onsite and around it? Are you comfortable with the nature of businesses in the area? Sources of unusual noise or smell should be discreetly investigated.

In some instances, some properties cannot be altered without government approval. You must be very careful in assuming that because a property is in an area that is turning commercial that all the properties there were approved for commercial usage. If the property is zoned for residential purposes, it might pose a problem if you intend to change the use to commercial. In most places, the change of use process is time consuming and costly. This could lead to cost overruns and delays in construction timeline.

In addition to the above issues, you should read the lease carefully or better still, get a legal practitioner to read the lease agreement. There are a couple of tripping points in some lease agreements that an observant reader should be cautious. Be sure that the commencement date reflects the period that you are in possession of the property, and not the period when the owner is still carrying out renovations and repairs. If your lease commences before you gain full access or use of the property, you are losing money because you have paid for an unused term.

It is noteworthy that the right to sublet is not automatic. It should be clearly spelt out in the agreement. After the expiration of the initial term, there should be an option for you to renew the agreement and it is possible to lock in a fixed rental increase. If the option to renew is absent and the other party refuses to incorporate it, this might be a huge risk that you are taking by proceeding to renovate and refurbish the property. Furthermore, an arbitration clause should be included to enable the parties, in case of any dispute that might arise, to resolve as soon as possible.

Source: Abiodun Doherty

Judge declares Lagos property state’s most litigated

Justice Harrison has identified the twin three-storey buildings on Palm Avenue, Mushin directly opposite the Mushin Local Government Council Secretariat, containing 14 flats, a warehouse, offices and shops as the most litigated property in Lagos State.

Justice Harrison is about the 24th judge that is sitting on the case which is already on its way again to the Court of Appeal, having gonup to the Supreme Court and back.

Daily Trust investigation shows that no fewer than 24 justices and judges have so far sat on the case which was instituted in 1976 with suit No. ID/331/ 76 at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja.

A breakdown of the figure shows that apart from the 10 high court judges that sat on the matter, six justices of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division and seven justices of the Supreme Court finally decided the case as far back as April 16, 1996 which allowed the appeal filed by the owner of the property – late Frederick Oluyole Bamgboye.

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The judgment debtor – Abeke Olusoga (deceased) – purchased the land from the Isiba family while the judgment creditor – late Fredrick Oluyole Bamgboye purchased it from the Alago-Asalu family. The Supreme Court held that the judgment creditor had always been in possession of the land since the 1950s.

The Supreme Court in its judgment prohibited both the judgment debtor and its privies – the Isiba family – from further trespass on the land. The judgment debtor however claims to have handed over the land to the Isiba family after the SC final judgment.

Justices of the apex court that sat on the panel that finally delivered the unanimous verdict include Muhammad Lawal Uwais, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) as he then was, Salihu Modibbo Alfa Belgore, (former CJN), Michael Ekundayo Ogundare (JSC), Uthman Mohammad (JSC), Sylvester Umaru Onu (JSC), Yekini Olayiwola Adio (JSC) and Anthony Ikechukwu Iguh (JSC).

After the apex court’s 1996 decision was executed in 2003, the judgment debtor went back with the aid of thugs and policemen led by one Adetunji Adebimpe and took possession of the property. The judgment creditor again went back to court and got order for possession, (based on the subsisting apex court judgment) which was again executed on March 6, 2015.

The court sheriff spray-painted the court order number and date of eviction on various parts of the building. Which reads: “ID/331/76 POSSESSION TAKEN TODAY 23/06/15 BY COURT ORDER.

Based on this development, the Isiba family sued the judgment creditors – Bamgboye family before the Lagos High Court in a bid to re-litigate the case, but Justice Adefowope-Okojie now of the Court of Appeal re-affirmed the apex court verdict and threw out the case because it had been finally settled by the SC and ordered Isiba to pay N100, 000.

The case however took a dramatic turn when a Lagos based lawyer – Mr. Aina Chanbang was said to have concealed the names of the judgment creditors so as to grab the property.

The lawyer- the Olu of Agege, Oba Kamali Oyedeji Isiba, his brother Tubosun Isiba and one Ligali Isiba, had approached the court through their lawyer, Mr. Ania Callastus Chanbang and concealed the true names of the persons they were suing (as persons unknown) even though they knew the true identity of the property owners.

Justice Harrison ruled in a 16-page judgment, delivered on Monday 15, January this year that “The Court agrees that this amounts to fraudulent concealment”.

Harrison, who had earlier given the monarch possession of the property, having discovered that the monarch and his lawyer fraudulently concealed the true names in their bid to obtain the court order, made a U-turn and wasted no time before setting aside her earlier judgment.

“The said order shall be set aside conditionally and rent shall be collected by official receiver of the High Court of Lagos State pending the final determination of the suit”, Justice Harrison said.

The court mentioned that this is the third time the monarch and members of his family attempted to grab the land since 1996 when the Supreme Court delivered final judgment on the property and on each occasion, it took the order of court to sack the monarch from the property.

The Isibas, it was gathered have lost several cases in the Lagos High Court in the past over the same property, which judgments they refused to respect until they finally took over the property recently with a default judgment obtained against “persons unknown” while judgment in the subject matter of the case was still pending before Justice Cyril Nwapa, another Lagos State High Court judge.

Source: Nurudeen Oyewole

‘We’ve Plans For Valuable, Affordable Housing’

Alhaji Umar Abdullahi is the Managing Director of Brains and Hammers Limited, an Abuja-based company that won the Nigeria Customer Service Award for customer service excellence in real estate during the customer service week. In this interview with Senator Iroegbu, he speaks on plans for more affordable housing for Nigerians…

Your company recently won an award for excellence in customer service. What earned you the award?

Brains and Hammers is actually the first company that started a dedicated customer service department in real estate in Abuja and it is based on that the Nigeria Customer Service Award found us worthy of the award. We were nominated alongside other real estate companies and we emerged winner. I think it is a well deserved award considering the fact that we have dedicated enormous resources to develop the customer service department. Every of our customers has an account officer attached to them and is responsible for managing the project, from the foundation stage to completion of the project, after which the facility manager takes over.

I think they came and did their assessment and what they saw based on how we treat our customers and management of the whole relationship bagged us the award. Quality is our watchword here and in terms of selecting our staff, we make sure we hire skilled professionals and foremen. We don’t compromise on standard of materials and skills we use in our projects. We also train our staff locally and internationally, to be the best, both technical and supporting staff. Every year, we send our engineering and project management staff abroad for training, just to make sure that they get the highest skill available.

As the saying goes, ‘reward for hard work is more hard work’, what new projects are you working on?

We started operation in January 2011 and so far, we have executed three projects, Apo 1, Apo 2 and Life Camp. By next year, we should be rounding off all these projects. So far, we’ve built over 600 houses and our plan now is to build 750 houses. We’ve already acquired two hectares of land in the heart of Gwarinpa estate for about 87 units of building. We are also about to acquire another site for our Apo 3 project for about 137 housing units and then, we are in the process of signing an MoU with the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) for 15.5 hectares of land and we plan to build about 500 units. In total, we are talking about 750 houses, that’s our target and we’ve achieved over 600 in five years.

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Unlike, some private entities, corporate social responsibility appears to be an integral part of your company’s business. What informed this?

We believe in adding value wherever we go, we impact any community where we find ourselves positively. Take this Apo site for instance, when we moved in here in 2010, it was all bush but since we moved in, we’ve constructed asphalt access road of 1.7 kilometres, drainages, culverts and street lights and these have impacted on the community by adding value to properties that were already existing and cost of other lands around here as well. Though it is the responsibility of government to fix the road for instance, we decided that we should do it to make them happy.

Affordable housing is a major challenge in the country. What provision do you have for low and middle income earners, considering that they are the worst hit by the gaping housing deficit in the country?

We have plans for affordable housing. We are presently about to seal a deal for acquisition of a 25 hectare land in Abuja where we will have bungalows and one-storey houses that will be in the range of N10 to N15 million.

How affordable would you say your projects are generally?

Pricing depends on location. The price of a property in Apo for instance would be different from the price of one inside Gwarinpa or Life Camp. The price of all property we sold four years ago for instance, have appreciated by about 80 to 100 per cent, so, it is also an avenue for those looking to invest in property because the return on investment is very encouraging. We always ensure that our properties are reasonably priced, to encourage people to buy. Already, some cooperative organisations and corporate bodies are approaching us for construction of their staff housing estates and we are in the process of completing one of such projects in Life Camp.

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Importation of construction materials is still very prevalent in the country. Is your company considering local production in the long term?

Our primary business now is construction; but what we are planning to do is to make some of our existing departments full-fledged subsidiaries.

In what way will your new projects be an improvement on previous models?

Every new project we do is usually an improvement on the last one, particularly in areas such as size of buildings, space between building, and improvement on the design. We improve based on feedback we get from our customers. In our latest project, we want to ensure that there is total improvement from the design, construction, facilities etc, to satisfy our customers. All our estates meet the standard of a mini city in a city, where we have facilities such as recreation parks, markets, water, security, hospitals, club house, sports arena, etc, for the comfort of residents.

Buhari `Bricks’ 50% complete

President Muhammadu Buhari `Bricks’, affordable 550 units of houses located in Zuba, Abuja currently under construction at a cost N9 billion are 50 per cent completed. The pilot project essentially entailed houses for all categories of Nigerians, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin, the Managing Director of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has said. Al-Amin, who inspected the Zuba pilot scheme construction site, said the the project was 50 per cent completed.

He explained that none of the houses would be sold above N5 million and those interested should go through government mortgaging system, especially the FHA mortgaging. “Initially, if you are paying for a house through mortgage system in the country, you will pay 30 per cent equity but government has wiped away the equity to zero equity for houses below N5 million.

“The project started three and half months ago, it is a mixture of one, two and three bedroom flats and a total of 550 units are to be produced and every side is at different stage of construction. “We have the money in our account, government has approved and given out the money and we are releasing it according to the details of public procurement act.

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“This is not the only place in Abuja that we are doing this, we have opened Kwali, in the next two weeks, and we are opening phase two of Lugbe housing estate for low income earners in Abuja. He said that another aspect of the project was that the FHA had to know the level of income of off-takers, with a view to ascertain the kind of flat their income could enable them to obtain.

He further said that the authority decided to use affordable building materials to give the houses value and utility deserved. According to him, locally produced materials are also being used in the housing construction. Al-Amin noted that the sustainability of the mass housing scheme was very important, adding that in order for off-takers to access the houses, the authority had gone far to mobilise the off-takers.

“For Zuba social housing scheme, we are targeting communities around that area and spare parts dealers and other Nigerians who cannot stay in the heart of Abuja but stay in Zuba. “Those are the people we have profiled. “We have FHA mortgage bank which is willing to create mortgages for them, the demand for that estate is high. Speaking on the poor state of the access road, he said that the estate had a direct road from Lokoja express way.

He added that FHA had awarded the contract for road infrastructure but asked the contractor to stop because of the raining season. Al-Amin further explained that the Zuba project was meant to be a pilot project of “President Muhammadu Buhari Bricks“ which essentially entailed having houses for all categories of Nigerians. NAN reports that the board members also inspected the FHA first phase of commercial housing estate which include luxury houses and duplexes in Apo, Guzape District, and Abuja.

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According to him, the commercial housing estate which is 90 per cent completed is meant for higher income earners in Abuja. Al-Amin noted that the authority had two types of housing productions: commercial and social housing in Abuja while in the remaining parts of the country it had commercial houses in each state capital.

He added that in other locations in states, the authority had social housing which could be let out as site and services. “We want to ensure that every sector of the country is covered and every Nigerian, irrespective of status, has option to take. This is based on the United Nations New Urban Agenda which emphasises housing inclusiveness.


Sukuk, others suitable for real estate funding 

A report on the real estate sector has highlighted asset-backed bonds and sukuk, among others, as suitable sources of funds for housing delivery in Nigeria.

The report, which was launched by the University of Lagos Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development in partnership with the African Research Universities Alliance, stated that real estate investment trust and portfolios could also be used to fund housing delivery.

According to the mandate of the ARUA, the initiative recognises the fact that partnerships and networking have become an essential arrangement for universities throughout the world to leverage their resources for greater impact.

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“ARUA is a group that brings together universities committed to maintaining the very best research, teaching and learning experience, and is intended to develop local research excellence through collaboration to find solutions to the development problems in Africa,” it stated.

The research team lead, Basheer Oshodi, who is also the Group Head, Non-interest Banking, Sterling Bank Plc, said the report aimed to examine how the three real estate investment instruments could shape the housing industry as well as what ought to be done to attract the funds.

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He noted that the research study team consisted of seven members and the research work was carried out for two years.

The Research Director, Prof Timothy Nubi, who is also the founding Director of the Unilag Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, said he was excited about the launch of the research report.

He stated, “The University of Lagos was established for three main functions – teaching, research and community service – but for a long time, only teaching has been focused on.

“So, the launch of this report gives me great joy and we hope that this research trend will continue as it will help address other key issues in the society, such as the current unemployment rate in the economy.

“We hope that when more of this is done, there will be more data that can be relied on when policies are to be made. The vision of the Vice Chancellor of this university, Prof Toyin Ogundipe, is that 60 per cent of students who graduate from this school will set up their own businesses and not start hunting for jobs.”

Feyisayo Popoola

Lagos govt introduces new technology that constructs bungalow in 48 hours

In a bid to address its housing deficit of over two million, the Lagos State Government has introduced a new technology which ensures construction of a bungalow within 48 hours.

Mr Gbolahan Lawal, the Commissioner for Housing, said the technology was already being used in its housing estates at Idale in Badagry and Imota in Ikorodu to achieve the government’s target of delivering 2,000 houses.

“We want to see how to go into the manufacturing of homes, we make it seamless and produce about 100 units in a month. “We have three companies, one is already at site; it is going to take 48 hours to put up a bungalow. “They have the equipment and we have signed agreement with them.

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They are to produce 2,000 housing units and already they are in Idale in Badagry, from Idale they will move to Imota,’’ he told newsmen on Sunday. Lawal explained that some workers were also being trained in the technology and process of the construction. The commissioner said that the housing sector had the capacity to create several jobs and generate demands for products and accessories needed in homes and, therefore, should be given priority attention.

According to him, investment in the housing sector usually have a multiplier effect on the economy. Lawal added that various gadgets and accessories like tiles, electronics, water and electricity meters, mattresses, TV subscription and even various jobs like that of artisans are tied to construction of houses. “Government at all levels should pay more attention to housing.

The consumption aspect of housing is very important as it contributes greatly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation.’’ On the use of cheaper building materials, the commissioner said the ministry had experimented with the use of materials like clay some years back but that availability and speed of delivery was the reason it dropped the initiative.

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He explained that the state government was at the moment not exploring the use of bamboo, clay and wood to deliver cheap houses because the materials are not available in commercial quantities. Lawal disclosed that a new housing policy aimed at tackling the state’s housing deficit had been drafted. “It is taking us more than 14 months to design the housing policy.

“That policy will be like a framework, like what we are going to be following and it is not going to be like a knee jack response,’’ he told newsmen, describing the policy as a template or roadmap that will regulate the operations of the ministry. The commissioner said Lagos State was the first to create a full-fledged ministry of housing in 1999 during the administration of ex-Gov. Bola Tinubu because of the importance it accorded shelter for the people, adding that Abia recently followed suit.


Asbestos In Homes Is carcinogenic – LASG Warns

Prince Gbolahan Lawal, the Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State, has called on the member of the Public to shun asbestos as ceiling in homes, saying it could cause cancer.

Lawal emphasized on the need to educate Nigerians on the reason why they must not make use of asbestos in their homes or office building.

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“Few years ago, Lagos State Government stopped the use of asbestos for ceiling because of its carcinogenic effect; we now use PVCs (plastic) in our estates and buildings.

“Asbestos ceilings are carcinogenic, it causes cancer and if you have it in your house you should try and change it,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

Asbestos, according to NAN, has been reported to be “carcinogenic to humans,’’ based on its ability to cause mesothelioma and cancers of the lung, larynx (voice box) and ovaries.

This is according to a study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an intergovernmental agency and a part of the World Health Organization with its headquarters in Lyon, France.

Lawal said the state government was exploring other alternatives and innovations that would allow for the use of cheaper available local raw materials to bring down the cost of houses.

According to the commissioner, the state government was advancing its Green Building Initiative through its collaboration with Echostone an international eco-friendly construction firm, to develop its affordable homes initiative.

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He explained that the method ensured that a 40 per cent of carbon footprints were reduced in line with global climatic change initiatives.

According to Lawal, the partnership also ensured adoption of the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) programme that helps developers reduce their buildings’ energy and water consumption by 20 per cent while lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The commissioner revealed further that the state had also adopted eco-friendly water and sewage management system to improve the health and quality of lives of residents.

This, he noted, would reduce the use of generators and reliance on electricity to illuminate such houses during the day or hot weather.

“Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration is also in partnership with a German government institute (GZI) as well as the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on how to reduce water and energy consumption in our estates to achieve energy efficiency in the buildings.

Joshua Oyenigbehin

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