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UN chief shocked, saddened by fatal building collapse in Nigeria

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, was “shocked and saddened” by the fatal collapse of a building in Nigeria, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

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“The secretary-general will be writing to the government of Nigeria to express his condolences,” Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson, said at a regular news conference.

On Wednesday, at least 12 pupils have been confirmed dead following the collapse of the three-storey building which housed a primary school in Lagos in southwestern Nigeria, according to a hospital source.
Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode said a thorough investigation would be launched into the incident.

The building, located in Ita-Faji area of Lagos, had collapsed, leaving several dead and others injured on Wednesday

CONFIRMED: Full Names Of The Survivors Of Lagos Island School Building Collapse

The victims, now in stable condition, comprise 22 females, 17 males and two persons whose gender was not listed.
At least 41 people have survived the building collapse involving Ohen Nursery and Primary School, Ita Faji, Lagos Island, Lagos, Housing News can confirm.

The list of survivors, obtained by Housing News on Wednesday evening, contains 41 names, five of whom are unnamed.

All of them are in stable condition.

The survivors comprise 22 females, 17 males and two persons whose gender was not listed.

Two teachers, three adults were clearly stated, while the 36 other victims are assumed to be children.

At least 12 persons, including schoolchildren, have been confirmed dead, but with rescue efforts still ongoing at the scene of the incident, the figures of both survors and the dead could yet rise.

THE LIST

Building collapse: Architect advocates diligent enforcement of building code

An Architect, Mr Amos Alao, has called for the enforcement of the Nigerian Building Code to avert the recurring building collapse in the country. Alao, the National Secretary, Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria (SLAN), made the call in an interview with Newsmen on Friday in Lagos. The landscape expert said it was necessary to go back to the drawing board in order to avert recurring building collapse in the country by enforcing the national building code.

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He said: “There have been so many perspectives to building collapse in Nigeria. Some have talked about the structural analysis, architecture or engineering failure, but little is said about the land on which the buildings are standing on. “We are yet to implement the Nigerian building Code which covers that if you are going to build a high rise building, it is supposed to have a certain percentage of soil volume or capacity to hold it. “A lot of things are wrong with the Nigerian construction industry, everybody has this fault, from the manufacturers, to the clients, the engineers and the marketers. “There is a Nigerian building code that needs to be implemented to overhaul the Nigerian construction industry; we need to start from the implementation and enforcement of the building code.

“The code contains what a building requires, for example escape routes, exit routes, all these parameters are stated in the building code.“ He said the building code should contain the provision of facilities a building requires so that in emergency cases, disaster managers could quickly rescue victims like in the recent building collapse in Lagos. “The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing should be charged with the responsibility of implementing and enforcing the Nigerian building code. “With the building code, the responsibility of every engineer will be clearly outlined in the construction of any building without cross-carpeting responsibilities,” the expert said. Alao, who also called for the vetting of building materials imported into the country,called for importers of fake building materials to be brought to book. “Following most building collapse in the country, engineers have always had the bulk of the blame for either structural designs or low quality materials, but it is high time we sanctioned the importers of inferior building materials.

“The engineer purchases iron rods from the market that does not fit the strength specification for the building because its quality was reduced by the marketers. “It is not the job of the engineer to check how strong the metal is, if he completely trusts the marketers. “In most building collapse, the client/owner of the building should be held responsible also, the engineers may complain about the quality of the building materials and the clients insist they go ahead. “When such buildings collapse, the professionals are always held responsible and the clients are nowhere to be found. Every developer is responsible for everybody on the site.” The expert also called on builders to adhere to the books when constructing a building and not cutting corners. “Nigeria can get building construction right with plenty of research, for instance, the oldest storey building in Badagry, we have others also at Calabar and the first suspended floor in Lokoja. “All of these buildings were erected by Nigerians with the input of the Whites, meaning that it is possible to have good quality buildings in Nigeria. “Why our buildings presently cannot stand the test of time is largely because of the materials used. For instance, the textbook says use clean water to mix cement, but here in Nigeria our water is not clean. “When we make use of unclean water to mix cement, we should not expect to get the same strength with cement mixed with clean water.” According to him, buildings are bound to collapse when most builders apply what is different from what they have read in the textbook.

Scores injured, trapped as building collapses in Ibadan

A building collapsed in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Friday leaving some people injured and some others trapped.

The structure, which was a three-storey building under construction suddenly collapsed and threw residents of Shogoye Bus Stop area, Bode community in the city into panic.

The building was said to have collapsed around 5:54 pm while bricklayers and other artisans on site were rounding off for the day’s work.

Nobody was confirmed dead as at press time last night but rescue efforts were ongoing.

Four of those who were trapped in the rubble were already rescued by men of the state fire service and volunteer rescuers.
Housing News learnt that some of trapped victims were making telephone distress calls from under the rubble. But when calls were made to one of the numbers few minutes after, an eyewitness said there was no response.

The incident led to traffic gridlock in the area as motorists from Idi Arere and Oja ‘ba and those from Molete end of the city could not move freely.

As usual, crowd of sympathizers swarmed the scene, blocking the road.

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Among those rescued are 42-year-old Olalekan Dauda, Tunde, Toheeb Gbadamosi and Rilwan Oladepo. Dauda said he was working with other artisans on the third floor when the building collapsed. He said he just heard a sudden blast and later found that he and others in the building were trapped in the rubble.

Gbadamosi, 19, said: “Today is my first time of working at this place. I just came around in order to raise some money for my upkeep because things were difficult. I thank God that I came out of the rubble alive”.

One of the firefighters who spoke in confidence, said: “We responded promptly to the emergency as we got to the scene about 35 minutes after the alert.

“We are trying our best to rescue the victims but the challenge we are facing is getting the right equipment to lift the concrete wreckage. Another challenge is the time of the day; it will soon get dark but that will not deter us from doing our best.”

Collapsed Lagos building: State govt must accept blame, persecute those responsible – NGO

A Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, Center for Children’s Health Education, Organization and Protection, CEE-HOPE, has blamed the Lagos Government for the loss of lives in a building which collapsed in Lagos.

Housing news reported that at least 50 children were rescued from the debris by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as other security agencies.

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Reacting, the group in a statement received and signed by CEE- HOPE’s Executive Director, Betty Abah said the incident was avoidable and took place due to the high level of lawlessness in the country.

The group further urged the Lagos government to persecute and punish those responsible for the incident.

The statement reads: “On the heel of yesterday’s school building collapse incidence on Lagos Island, we commiserate with families who have lost precious children and other family members.

“According to media reports, about 18 persons, mostly children, have lost their lives while 41 were rescued with several of them sustaining various degrees of injuries including some life-threatening ones. These casualties, these heart-wrenching pains are clearly avoidable– a result of the pervasive
lawlessness in our society.


“We, therefore, ask for a speedy investigation and the consequent dispensing of the most stringent punishment for violators of building codes and regulations that led to this avoidable loss of lives.

“A society is only taken seriously when there is adherent to set rules and regulations especially when it concerns the safety of the most vulnerable, in this case, children. People are encouraged to commit a crime when there is no adequate punishment from authorities to serve as deterrence.

“Over the years, Lagos has remained the epicenter of collapsed buildings in
Nigeria owing to the use of sub-standard building materials or persons retaining old, decrepit and defective structures in spite of official evacuation warnings, and with all the attendant deaths of innocent persons (building site workers, tenants etc) yet there has never been any clear stand by the government to punish the defaulters other than stimulated media trials that fizzle with time.

“We, therefore, have no hesitation in laying the blame for this tragedy partly at the feet of the Lagos State Government which has the constitutional mandate to secure lives and property of all Lagosians including school children aspiring to change their fortunes by acquiring an education but has been largely negligent. The well-publicized albeit reactive emergency responses we have seen are not enough and clearly, cannot bring back the precious dead.

“These violators (including the property owner who reportedly defied a quit order from the relevant authorities since 2014), the school authorities and other collaborators must not be spared. Justice must be served without fear or favor. Enough of these recurrent mass murders in Lagos State.”

Property prices to fall as Brexit uncertainty freezes market

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which analyses government’s finances, has predicted that house prices will fall by 0.3 per cent in 2019.

It’s a sharp contrast to its five-year forecast made in October 2018, which saw house prices rise by more than three per cent in the last three months of the year.

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Experts have blamed the lagging property market on a dragged out Brexit and lack of affordability.

In the report published on the same day as the Spring Statement, the OBR said: “Indicators of housing market activity and price expectations have deteriorated significantly since our October forecast and are consistent with a further fall in house price inflation.”

Over the past four months, house price growth has “slowed significantly” reaching 2.7 per cent down from 4.6 per cent the year before.

Now, it expects growth to slip below zero for the first time since 2012, and far below the record rate of seven per cent recorded in 2016.

The damning forecasts come as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) published its monthly market survey and warned that more than three quarters of the 300 surveryors who gave feedback believed Brexit was holding back the market.

It believes that drawn out uncertainty is putting off buyers and sellers who would rather wait for the outcome of the negotiations.

The group also found that activity in general has seriously slowed down, with new buyer enquiries and agreed sales falling for the sixth month in a row.

Hew Edgar of Rics said it was clear from the survey that the “wearisome state of British politics that has arisen from Brexit” is taking its toll on housing.

‘Nigeria real estate funds can solve housing problems’

Funds domiciled in the real estate sector in Nigeria could be what is needed to address the housing shortage in the country. Following a research by FSDH Merchant Bank, that there are limited real estate firms in the country, it is believed that the three now listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is enough to fix the housing problem in the country.

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The research explained that REFs have not gained much popularity in terms of the numbers available and their size relative to the size of the economy. It explained that there were only three REFs listed on the NSE, which are Union Homes Real Estate Investment Trust, Skye Shelter Fund and UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust.The report observed that there was a significant shortage of affordable housing in the country estimated at about 20 millions.

“This means that Nigeria needs to build between close to 20 million housing units to ensure that Nigerians have this basic human need,” it added. In monetary terms, Nigeria might require between N170trillion and N200 trillion to bridge the housing gap if each unit costs N10million. It said: “Given the rising population in the country, the housing shortage keeps increasing.

‘’Meanwhile, the developments in the real estate sector of the economy, which is where activities that will close the housing shortage will take place, have not been impressive with economic activities in the real estate sector consistently contracting since Q1 201.6.” The report suggested that investors in the retail and high-networth segment could create wealth in real estate through regularly investing in a Real Estate Fund (REF) without investing directly in the brick and mortar.

Explaining REF, the report noted that it is an investment vehicle that pools resource to invest in real estate; therefore, allowing individual investors to partake in the benefits of the underlying properties. The report further explained that REFs are traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), just like stocks/shares and could be purchased through stockbrokers, just like other stocks/shares.

The report added that every REF must have a fund manager that manages the fund to ensure the best return to shareholders and a good example of real estate working for the investors. It said: “The holder of a REF will earn a share of the income from the real estate investment through dividends without actually having to buy, manage or finance any housing projects. It is required to distribute at least 90 per cent of their taxable income as dividend. As a result, it provides constant income for shareholders.”

Despite setbacks, Nigeria’s real estate investors to expect windfall in 2019

Recent statistics have shown that the Nigerian real estate sector has been suffering setbacks. Out of the ₦15 trillion worth of credit facilities (bank loans) that were given to the private sector in Q4 2018, real estate only got ₦622 billion. This represents just 4% of the total loans/credit.

A quick analysis of the 2018 selected banking sector indicators’ report, as released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), revealed that the total bank credit for the real estate sector declined by 12% between Q3 and Q4 2018. During the third quarter, the real estate sector got ₦710 billion, while the corresponding value in Q4 declined to ₦622 billion.
Bank credit falls for the 4th consecutive quarter
Although the sector received ₦622 billion worth of loans in Q4, the amount represented the third consecutive quarter decline in the amount of bank loans allocated to the sector. In 2018, for instance, credit allocated to real estate decreased from ₦784.2 billion in first quarter, to ₦622.7 billion in the last quarter.

Bua group
5-year low of bank credit to real estate sector
The latest dip in the bank’s credit/loans to the sector is not a new trend. In Q1 2015, credit allocated to the private sector was ₦615 billion, which fell to ₦548.2 billion in Q2 of the same year. By Q4 2015, bank credit to real estate stood at ₦692.2 billion.

Comparing the value of loan in Q4 2015 with that of Q4 2018 shows a 10% decline. In other words, it reveals an all-time low since 2015. This suggests that the cyclical growth movements in the real estate sector can be traced to the decline in banks’ credit available to investors.

Agricultural sector receives much more credit facilities than real estate
The agricultural sector has benefited the most from credit facilities given to private investors. For instance, during the last quarter of 2018, the agricultural sector received the highest bank’s credit of ₦3.5 trillion.

Similarly, the Oil and Gas and Manufacturing sectors are ranked second and third respectively, as their total credits stood at ₦2.2 trillion and ₦1.4 trillion for the period under review. However, the Education and Mining sectors got the lowest credit allocations.

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Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector is growing nonetheless
Without a doubt, the real estate sector has continued to be one of the most important sectors in the Nigerian economy. Figures have shown that the sector contributed immensely to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP). For instance, in 2018, it contributed ₦1.26 trillion to the country’s national income. Moreover, the sector grew by 38% between the first and last quarter of 2018.

However, the percentage contribution of real estate to GDP declined to 6.41% in 2018 from 6.85% in 2017. Notwithstanding, the real estate sector is engulfed with big potentials.

What analysts say
In developed climes, the mortgage sub-sector plays an important role in stimulating the real estate sector. But while there have been several mortgage schemes and initiatives in Nigeria , the impact has remained somewhat unfelt.

In the meantime, investment analysts have expressed different views on the outlook of the real estate sector. Executive Director and Co-founder of Pertinence Limited, an investment firm, Mr. Sunday Olorunsheyi, said earlier in January:

“it will be difficult to project the fortunes of the real estate sector, owing to factors such as lack of clear and consistent policies from regulators and a high degree of uncertainty, especially due to the general elections.”

On the other hand, the Chief Executive Officer of Lifepage Group, an investment holding firm, Oladipupo Clement, scored the industry high.

“More landed properties were sold and bought in 2018 than apartments and houses, due to high capital requirement and cost of fund.

Despite uncertainties, such as a decline in oil prices, political instability, inflation and the rising cost of funding, the real estate sector will still thrive.”

Windfall for investors and the growth potentials
If you ask me, I would say the Nigerian real estate sector is what you may want to invest in. Investors in the real estate sector are likely to smile to the banks soon, as they get returns on their investments.

Generally, Nigeria’s real estate sector was sluggish in 2018 because of the lull in the nation’s economy. Real estate experts will likely experience better performance this year because of improvements in the economy, and the anticipated political and economic stability in the country after the just concluded general elections.

There was excess liquidity in the economy during the election period. Recall that the President recently expressed concerns over the huge amount of foreign currency flooding the country, intended to influence the general elections.

As the general elections wound up, the movements of both foreign and domestic currencies for electioneering processes will likely spread and drive patronage in the residential and commercial angles of the real estate sector. Eventually, what this does sometimes is to pressure the price of estate properties to increase, which implies higher revenue for investors.

Similarly, 2019 will spark the beginning of new governments in some states across the federation. These states will have either consolidated or new policies, which may drive economic activities uniquely away from past administrations. Again, contracts and appointment lobbying will also form a block on its own. All these interplays are likely to redistribute income in some ways, and the real estate sector is likely to benefit in no small measure.
How the economy reacts- Growth in the real estate sector in Nigeria will have impact on the economy significantly, from the jobs it creates to revenue generation.


Specifically, the real estate’s multiplier effect in terms of job creation is significant. Also, real estate activity stimulates the economy indirectly through the value-added impacts of the purchase of goods and services that stem from real estate-related businesses and transactions.

It’s Official: We are recruiting, NNPC confirms

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC) says it has opened its portal for recruitment of fresh graduates and experienced professionals into the system.

Mr Ndu Ughamadu, its Group General Manager, (Public Affairs Division), confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the portal for the recruitment was opened on Wednesday.

The recruitment portal address is https:/careers.nnpcgroup.com

“The portal was opened today and I have received hundreds of inquiries weather it is correct or not.

” We are going to recruit people from different engineering fields , especially fresh graduates and equally in the administrative areas,” he said

Ughamadu said that recruitment would be in three categories of fresh graduates, senior officers/ supervisory cadre and managerial cadre.

National development: Stakeholders emphasise need for infrastructure devt

Stakeholders who gathered at the just- concluded maiden edition of the Nigerian Infrastructure Development Awards, NIDA, held in Lagos, have emphasised the need for rapid infrastructural development across the country to ensure national development. The theme of the event organised by Prospers Strategy Limited was Solid Infrastructural Backbone as Catalyst for National Development. In his keynote address, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by the Director of Federal Highways, South-West, Engr. Funsho Adebiyi, said the Buhari administration has embarked on massive infrastructur development across the nation to ensure national development.

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Fashola added that the administration is equally playing the pivotal role in ensuring the allocation of resources to enable it deliver on its mandate at a time the country is earning much less revenue from oil, pointing out, however: “I will like to focus on the larger picture of the resolve to renew Nigeria’s ageing infrastructure, most of which were built over four decades ago.

“I speak of projects like the Kano-Maiduguri Highway, the Enugu-Port-Harcourt Road, the East-West Road, the Lagos-Ibadan Highway, the Benin-Okene-Lokoja Highway, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Loko-Oweto Bridge and others. I speak also of difficult projects that appeared to have defied every attempt to start them like the Bobo-Bonny Bridge, which has now commenced, and the Mambilla Hydro Power project which contract has been signed. “These projects and many others like our rail projects from Lagos to Kano, Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri, and Air and Sea ports at various stages of completion, will form the foundation for building our prosperity and national development. These foundations will be so strong that they will ensure that we are able, in the near and long terms, to deal with adverse economic seasons. “They will help to diversify Nigeria’s economy away from oil dependence, and open new opportunities of prosperity for Nigerians in sectors like tourism, agriculture, transport, logistics and manufacturing”, Fashola noted. The Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durojaye who was the chairman of the night, pointed out that infrastructure development is very critical to the development of the nation, stressing however, that it is one thing to have infrastructure, but it is another thing to develop it to the benefit of the nation. Durojaye therefore called on private and public sector players in infrastructure segment of the national economy to come together to take infrastructure development to global level, pointing out that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the quest for infrastructure development as obtainable globally.

Chief Executive Officer of Prospers Strategy Limited, organisers of the event, Mr. Lanre Alabi, while welcoming the audience, said the event, themed: Solid Infrastructural Backbone as Catalyst for National Development, is part of a broad programme to X-ray topical infrastructure issues facing the nation and boost the growth and development of infrastructure in Nigeria. According to Alabi: “It offers a unique platform for technocrats, innovators and administrators, companies and groups whose mandate and activities impact on the improvement and development of infrastructure in Nigeria.” Alabi informed that NIDA had identified corporate organisations, government agencies and individuals who had made huge and outstanding impact in the Nigerian infrastructural development sector over the years. “We have identified key personalities, top government officials, government agencies, private sector players and innovators who have played iconic and notable roles through strategic policy formulation, progarmme implementation, project execution in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria. “Our focus is to honour the best, boldest, creative and outstanding projects that have impacted the well-being of the people. Many infrastructural projects have projected the nation to the outside world and have birthed many other businesses. The presence of these high-impacting infrastructure investments cut across transportation, telecommunication, energy and power, oil and gas, aviation, agriculture, health, housing and entertainment. Fashola, Governors Willie Obiano (Anambra) and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) were among those honoured at the event for their contributions to infrastructure development.

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