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Eko Atlantic City ready October 2019

The phase six of the Eko Atlantic mixed development, Nigeria’s premium smart city rising out of Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Victoria Island, Lagos, will be ready by October 2019.
Babatunde Adejare, Lagos State commissioner for waterfront, infrastructure development, who disclosed this, Thursday, while speaking with journalists, said the flagship project designed to stand on 10 million square metres of land reclaimed from the ocean had six phases of implementation.

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According to Adejare, the phase one and two have already been completed with roads, potable water, fibre optics and advanced telecommunication facilities and over 10,000 trees planted within the city in recognition of the Lagos State government initiative to plant one million tress in the state.


‘’The new city emerging will change the aesthetic of the coastline and real estate market,” he added.
Adejare said work was progressing on the construction of nine jetties with shelter and shoreline protection and channelisation of four new ferry routes as part of efforts to boost water transportation in line with the multi-modal transport policy across the state.


According to Adejare, the projects, upon completion, will transform water transportation and thereby contribute to the vision of the present administration to reduce pressure on road infrastructure.
He said other jetties under construction include VIP Chalet, Badagry; Apa Waterfront, Baiyeku Waterfront, Offin Waterfront, Isalu-Ajido, Badagry; Liado Waterfront, Amuwo-Odofin; Ilashe-Ojo Waterfront, Ito Omu Waterfront, Epe, and Takwa Island.
“The jetties, which are at various stages of completion ranging from 90 percent to 6 percent, essentially involves the construction of modern concrete jetties with shelter and shoreline protection across the riverine areas of the state.


“The work done and on-going include construction of reinforced concrete jetty supported by 24 number of concrete piles, hydraulic sand filling to be paved using 60mm paving stone, chrome handrail with canopy over the jetty, fenced waiting area, street light, waiting shelter with concrete seats, toilets for male and female, soak-away, among others.”

PenCom assures contributors on access to mortgage financing

The National Pension Commission (PenCom), says it is in the process of developing a workable guideline to allow Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders access part of their pension contribution for mortgage financing.

Peter Aghahowa, the Head, Corporate Communications of PenCom said this in an interview with Housing News correspondent in Uyo on Friday.

Aghahowa said the commission was already making contacts with relevant stakeholders with a view to getting inputs before rolling out the guideline for the initiative.

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“Talking about the first one which is using pensions for mortgage, a guideline has been developed and in implementing the initiative, there are stakeholders that will be involved in the process.

“A draft guideline has been developed and we have also engaged stakeholders that will be involved in the process.

“Now, we are taking our time because we want to get it right, the process is ongoing, we intend to expose the guideline once the draft is ready, so that all stakeholders can have a look at it again and give us their feedback.

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

“So that we can go back, find tune it and come up with a final guideline that will be implemented,’’ he said.

Aghahowa said the commission had also produced guidelines for the take off of micro pension scheme aimed at integrating informal sector operators into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

“For the micro pension, it is also the same process, the guideline has been in the works and I am also happy to say that just last week, we released the draft guideline, which is on our website.

“Now that it is out, it has been exposed and we are engaging stakeholders, we expect feedback from relevant stakeholders including the press so that we can come back to find tune it and have it ready for implementation,” he said.

Aghahowa said that planned integration of informal sector operators into the CPS remained an initiative the commission holds so passionately, saying its successful implementation would result in further expansion of the nation’s pension system.

“You are aware that this is what the commission has been very passionate about because it is going to expand our coverage because most members of the society, especially those in informal sector who are engaged in business activities will be captured,’’ he said.

Africa needs $170bn annually to meet infrastructure requirement – AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says Africa needs about one hundred and seventy billion dollars annually to meet its infrastructure requirement.

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Prof. Vincent Nmehielle, Secretary General of the bank disclosed this at a media briefing to announce the bank annual meeting, on Thursday in Abidjan.

“ In 2016, the bank approved 7.8bn dollars to finance investment in African continent and in 2017; it was about 6.7 billion dollars.

“ If you look at the African economic outlook that was released in January, it is very clear that for Africa infrastructure needs to be fully met, it will require about 170 billion dollars yearly.

“This will help it to meet the infrastructure gap,’’ he said

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

He said that the bank only approved seven billion dollars for all aspects of the high five, adding that there was the need to diversify the sources of African development through promoting the private sector.

He noted that improving the private sector operation was the only way for African to meet its development potentials.

“That is the reason why, going forward, the bank has just instituted the African Investment Forum.

“The Forum is a platform where the bank is trying to bring lots of investors to look at projects to finance across the African region, particularly private sector projects.

“We also have some government arrangement that will do PPP arrangement to leverage on the resources that the bank has for the continent,’’ he said

He said that the Forum would be launched in South Africa on the 7th to 9th of November which would attract a number of international financing organizations.

On the funding of the High five priority projects of the bank, he said that the bank had earmarked 9.99 billion dollars for the implementation of the projects.

Housing News reports that the high five projects include, Light up Africa , Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.

Commenting on the Annual Meeting, he said that the meeting would focus on review of the Bank accounts by the Board of Directors adding that some resolutions would equally be passed at the meeting.

“There will decisions on the direction of the bank and concrete decision would made on strategic projects of the bank,’’ he said

By Edith Ike- Eboh

CBN Seals $2.5bn Currency Swap with China’s Central Bank

Obinna Chima

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has signed a $2.5 billion bilateral currency swap with the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC).

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Confirming the swap, which has taken two years to negotiate, a statement released Thursday by CBN spokesman Mr. Isaac Okorafor said the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, led CBN officials while PBoC Governor, Dr. Yi Gang, led the Chinese team at the official signing ceremony in Beijing on Friday, April 27.


Governor Emefiele of the CBN and Governor Yi of the People’s Bank of China signing the currency swap agreement between both countries.

The transaction which is valued at Renminbi (RMB) 16 billion, or the equivalent of about $2.5bn, is aimed at providing adequate local currency liquidity to Nigerian and Chinese industrialists and other businesses, thereby reducing the difficulties encountered in the search for third currencies, said the statement.
Among other benefits, this agreement will provide naira liquidity to Chinese businesses and provide RMB liquidity to Nigerian businesses respectively, thereby improving the speed, convenience and volume of transactions between the two countries.

It will also assist both countries in their foreign exchange reserves management, enhance financial stability and promote broader economic cooperation between the two countries.

News on the swap comes at a time Nigeria’s foreign reserves have inched up to $48 billion on higher oil prices, giving the country leverage in its negotiations with the Chinese central bank.

Jigawa constructs 90 houses for teachers in hard-to-reach areas

Irked by the attitudes of some primary school teachers who reject their postings to hard-to-reach areas, Jigawa State government has constructed 90 houses to ease their suffering.

Governor Badaru Abubakar, who dropped the hint while fielding questions from newsmen, yesterday, said his administration inherited this problem of rejecting posting to hard-to-reach areas by some school teachers, describing the situation as disgraceful and a violation of civil service rules.

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He explained that those rejecting the posting were mainly sons and daughters of government officials, who mostly were favoured in giving offers of employment, warning that this must stop. He contended that the condition was part of the requirements contained in their letters of employment.

“You will work anywhere you find yourself in the course of work. To that effect, the present government deemed it necessary to implement measures aimed at curtailing the posting rejection to the areas,” the governor said. He added that apart from the houses, additional incentives would be given to the teachers posted there to further motivate them.

REAL ESTATE AGENT ARRESTED FOR IMPERSONATING EFCC CHAIRMAN, MAGU

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested one Felix Idowu, a real estate agent and a graduate of political science, for impersonating Ibrahim Magu, the anti-graft agency’s Acting Chairman.

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Idowu had in the assumed capacity swindled unsuspecting victims of their hard earned income.
The suspect upon arrest was found with documents which had the signature of the EFCC boss forged.


Prior to his arrest, the EFCC received intelligence report that the suspect while posing as an operative of the EFCC requested for money in order ‘to kill’ a petition purportedly written against the complainant.
The EFCC swung into action by asking the complainant to play along while setting booby-trap for the suspect. In the process, Idowu was asked to liaise with the complainant’s personal assistant, who was an EFCC operative undercover.

While interacting with the operative undercover, the suspect was lured to Exclusive Stores, Abuja, where he was arrested on Monday, April 30.


Upon search in his Lexus EX 350 car, a lot of documents were recovered including letter of investigation activities on a fake EFCC letter-head paper with ‘Ref No: CTGI/6/vol.1’ and a letter of petition written to EFCC with ‘EFCC stamp received’ bearing Magu’s forged signature.

The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

LAGOS EARMARKS 109 DISTRESSED BUILDINGS FOR DEMOLITION

The Lagos State Government on Monday disclosed that it had identified 109 structurally defective buildings across the state, which would be demolished to prevent loss of life and property in the state.
The state government also disclosed that of the 149 buildings earmarked for demolition, 40 had already been removed while 38 others would be brought down this year to ensure safety of lives and property.

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The state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, gave the figure yesterday at a ministerial news conference he addressed at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa.
He addressed the conference recently alongside the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule, and the ministry Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas, among others.

At the conference, the commissioner warned that the state government would not hesitate to pull down any distressed structure identified in the state to avoid the loss of lives and property.
According to Ogunleye, some of the structures were distressed while others were illegally built on setbacks, drainage channels and incompatible uses which resulted in public complaints and disaffection.
He said: “It gives me satisfaction to report that during the year under review, the state recorded a significant reduction in building collapse. This was achieved through collaboration with stakeholders as well as intensive Post-Construction Audit of buildings by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).
“In a systematic approach to curtail occurrences of building collapse, 149 distressed buildings were identified at different locations out of which 40 of such have been removed, while the next phase of 38 of the structurally defective structures have been earmarked for removal. Others would follow suit to safeguard lives and property.”

He gave details about the distressed buildings were discovered, noting that the state government embarked on intensive audit through the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory, and in the process, visited the 57 local governments and local council development areas of the state to inspect both on-going construction sites and completed buildings suspected to be distressed.

Consequently, according to the commissioner, 1,842 sites were visited; 1,392 Test Advice Notices were served and information on buildings identified as distressed were forwarded to LASBCA,” Ogunleye added.

On compensation, the commissioner noted that it was indeed instructive that as part of the inclusive governance model of the present administration, both property owners with Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and other documents, as well as those without such but with prove of ownership, have been compensated and still being considered.

He explained that the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode “has been benevolent in dealing with owners and developers whose structures were affected by the construction of roads and other forms of infrastructure development.

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

“There have been instances where the government even approved compensation for people whose only proof of ownership were pictures taken in front of the structures because the Governor does not want to subject the people to inconveniences as a result of the removal of their structures for public projects.”

He said following detailed inventory, enumeration, evaluation exercises and analysis of submitted documents, work had reached advanced stage to compensate house owners whose structures were demolished for construction of Orile/Badagry road expansion, Agric-Ishawo Road in Ikorodu, Epe Road expansion project, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Free Trade Zone Resettlement Land and Adiyan Waterworks Phase II, among others.

Northcourt Firm Chief Identifies Five Parties To Affordable Housing

Poised to change the perception of Nigerians towards housing affordability, Tayo Odunsi, Managing Director of Northcourt Real Estate firm, has authored a book ‘Affordable’ in which he highlighted the roles of five salient parties to ensuring a sustainable housing affordability.

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At a prelaunch briefing with journalists in Lagos, the housing expert streamlined these pentagonal parties to include: the government, private sector, community, professionals in the built environment and private individuals, who all play interrelated but distinct roles in ensuring that housing is made affordable.

Advising that everyone should have a housing career, he noted that the problem is that everybody is striving for home ownership at the same time, thereby creating a clog and an increased demand, which brings about increase in price.


“If there is a sustainable perspective towards home ownership in the country, the housing deficit will reduce; the demand will be sustainable and responsible and the prices will also come down.

“A pentagon is made of five similar but distinct straight and connected lines, just like an affordable housing system. This pentagonal distinction of the affordable housing players is essential because each player like the lines of the pentagon is distinct yet they have the direct responsibility for affordable housing to be delivered and to be sustainable.”


According to Odunsi, what each participants needs to do or do differently, in order for sustainable housing to be achieved varies quite significantly. Each player, he said, may act independently, even when some or all the other essential players are yet to get on board.

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He said the magnitude of input of each participant also differs across locations and scenarios; they are also similar but different, just like a pentagon, are the five essential participants in delivering sustainable affordable housing; adding that as people read the book, based on where they stand, they will be able to view affordable housing differently and truly begin to act on it.

He alluded to some of the developed countries where government reduces the setback laws and put in stringent health and safety requirements to mitigate emergencies so that people can develop on land intensively.

“One thing I did was to work on the language of the book, making it very simple. While sharing principles, I deliberately tried to work on my language so that if you open it, one or two things will catch you and you will continue reading. That is a way of trying to engage people.

“So, even if you have never read it after that day, there would be one or two messages. With every sense of humility, a lot of truths have been shared in this book. It is an applied research work. For me, the reason why I have done this is because I believe I am fulfilling a purpose.”

The CEO disclosed that sustainable is used as the watchword because the housing is made affordable today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, which is why the community is included.

In his narrative, he stated that when many people moved into their houses, it was affordable, but later it becomes unaffordable for them to live in because of maintenance costs.

“This book debunks the myth of homeownership and myth of renting as being bad. So, we shouldn’t be looking at home ownership as the end to everything. In this part of the world, we believe that renting is such a bad thing. Meanwhile, a staggering statistics of people in the developed countries are renting.”

FG, Firms Partner On 5,000 Housing Units In Abuja

An indigenous company,Zvecan Consulting and Engineering Limited, and a Chinese consortium,Wengfu Group, have partnered with federal government to deliver 5, 000 housing units to meet the building and property deficit in Abuja, nation’s capital.

Housing News gathered that the first phase of the units would come alive before the end of this year.

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The companies entered a partnership with Federal government under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.

Managing Director of Zvecan Consulting, Mr. Nicholas Ogbedo, said the project would be financed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and would be located at Apo, Kubwa and Mpape districts in Abuja.

He also stated that the company, which had already commenced the construction of some of the housing units, had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) for the off-take of the apartments when completed.


He lamented that currently, a large population of low and middle-income earners live squatters/semi-planned settlements, commuting for hours daily to and from the city center daily with attendant stress on top of environmental hazards.

He noted that utilities, facilities, and basic amenities are very limited in these settlements where the low and middle-income earners live, despite the fact that the rent paid is comparatively very exorbitant.

He added: “The so-called ‘mass Housing Policy’ within the city that offered large acreage on development lease agreement terms have not yielded affordable mass housing stocks. Furthermore, the quality of infrastructure is very poor, costs are very high, quality of the little produced is nothing to talk about. Indeed the success of the policy has been limited.

“The real low-income earners have tremendous challenges in procuring loan; National Housing Fund (NHF) is the only single digit loan available in the market. Its conditionalities are many and liquidity base is very limited. To pay even the equity contribution, processing, Primary Mortgage Institution, PMI, and other charges are a herculean task.” One of the Chinese investors in the project, Mr. Zhang Wei, said China and Nigeria are very good partners in the project which is the reason why the summit was holding.

He stated that for the project to be successful, the Federal Government had to step in to provide key infrastructure, like constructing the roads to the site, noting that this would help the developers to reduce the price for the citizens and make the houses affordable.

He said: “China has been in this situation before and now they are almost in the fifth generation so they have enough experience to help the current situation in Nigeria and they have come to invest in the development of Nigeria.”

Also speaking Mr. Jin Changsheng, a Director in the Wengfu Group, said: “The company has executed project around China and we have won government recognition and the people are satisfied with all our concluded project.

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

“We have worked in so many countries and places like Angola and all the project was successful because their government played a vital role. For this project to work successful in Nigeria, the Government needs to come and assist the investors to make it affordable for the citizens.”

By Nicholas Uwerunonye

Housing: Kaduna State, Sterling Bank launch N5bn mortgage scheme

The Kaduna State Government and Sterling Bank have agreed to jointly fund a N5 billion mortgage scheme to allow more persons own homes in the state.

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The fund will provide mortgages at single-digit interest rate.

Representatives of the Kaduna State Government and Sterling Bank announced the new mortgage initiative at a press briefing in Kaduna on Wednesday.

Umma Aboki, the Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, who represented the state government at the occasion said that the state is facilitating investments in the provision of mass housing.

“To encourage more people to own homes, we also have to support the demand side through mortgage financing. I am happy to announce that Kaduna State is partnering with Sterling Bank to deliver an affordable, single-digit interest mortgage facility.”

Mr Aboki added that successful bidders in the sale of government houses programme can apply for the mortgage facility to help pay for the houses.

Commenting on the project, the Group Head of Non-Interest Banking of Sterling Bank, Garba Mohammed said that the bank has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kaduna State to provide the mortgages at 9.5 per cent per annum. He explained that the two parties will each contribute 50 per cent of the mortgage fund which is billed to reach N5 billion for onward lending to aspiring home owners.

Mr Mohammed disclosed that the single-digit interest rate on the mortgage product is achieved by Kaduna State sacrificing the interest on its own part of the deposit.

He said that 50 per cent of the mortgages will be used to support house purchases below N20 million, while home purchases valued up to N30 million will get 30 per cent of the funding. The balance of 20 per cent will support home purchases above N30 million up to a limit of N60 million.

The mortgages will require beneficiaries to make security deposits of between 15 to 30 per cent of the value of the houses they intend to purchase, but all mortgages must be liquidated within 10 years.

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