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NHP: Contractors seek release of budgeted N35bn

Dearth of funds may hinder full implementation of various on-going housing projects in 33 states of the federation under the National Housing

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

Except the necessary machinery is put in place, attempts by the Federal Government to build affordable housing units in all the states of the federation under its National Housing Programme (NHP) may become another white elephant project.

Despite the readiness of real estate developers, who are government contractors for the project, the latest threat to the initiative is fund, which is not coming as at and when due to accelerate the completion of the housing construction process.

The contractors, who spoke at different times in their various locations, called on the Federal Government to hasten the processes of fund disbursement to enable them complete the works at their various sites as scheduled. New Telegraph’s findings revealed that stages of work in most of the sites were very impressive. In some locations, developers have achieved between 70 and 80 per cent completion of the project, while in almost all the sites, excuses from the contractors have been lack of funds.


The contractors, Mathias Orove and Jude Opute, at Calabar and Uyo project sites respectively during a media tour of the project, told this newspaper that untimely disbursement of funds was hindering the progress of the project.

They appealed to government to release more funds in order to accelerate construction work of the housing units. The team leader of the project in Enugu State, Veronica Enesi, also stated that the project in the state had lifted many of the people of the state from poverty level.

She explained that the site had some set back from the beginning, but having overcome the challenges, the project was gaining considerable speed and would be completed soon. Both the team leaders and the contractors called on the Federal government to hasten the process of funds disbursements, so that the projects could be completed as scheduled.

NHP

Initiated in 2016, and projected to cost about N35.4 billion, NHP was conceived to address the housing needs of workers, and provide economic empowerment for local communities where the projects are located.

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One commendable step taken by the government in prosecuting the national housing programme is not just the fact that it has mustered the political will to partly address the housing deficit in the country, but the emphasis placed on the promotion or local contents to empower the people who live around the host communities.

As a matter of policy, government made it mandatory that all the building materials and every other needs of the projects must be 100 per cent indigenous.

 

That is to say that the local community hosting the project must be given priority attention. This newspaper observed that in six locations of the project visited: Enugu, Ebonyi, Calabar, Uyo, Benin, and Asaba, local content policies of the government were been complied with.

The contractors, building materials, the suppliers, both skilled and unskilled labourers are indigenous people who have attested to the economic empowerment capability of the project. The building designs are the same in all these locations. The project, which consists of two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, three-bedroom semi detached bungalows, three-storey condominium blocks of 24 mixed units are at various stages of completion.

Govt’s reactions

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that the Federal Government was considering an upward review of contractors’ mobilisation fees to 50 per cent from its current status of 15 per cent. Fashola told some members of the Association of Indigenous Construction Contractors of Nigeria (AICCON), who paid him a courtesy visit recently, that there was already an executive bill at the National Assembly to address the mobilisation issue.

“There is a bill from the executive before the National Assembly to review the 15 per cent mobilisation fee payable to contractors requesting the NASS for an upward review to 50 per cent,” he said.

 

The Federal Controller of Housing in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Mrs Ikuo Uzodinma, noted that the project was gaining more speed. She said the project, which started effectively in the state, had empowered a lot of artisans and other people in the community. The Federal Controller of Housing in the ministry, Olusola Idowu, who represented the ministry at one of the project sites in Ezzamgbo, Ebonyi State, said that NHP was one of the initiatives of government designed to accommodate and empower Nigerians.

Growing investor confidence validates analysts’ positive outlook forecast for real estate in 2018

Activities in the Nigerian real estate sector, as seen in the first quarter of this year, have validated analysts’ prediction at the beginning of the year of a positive outlook for the sector.

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The African Property Investment (API) Events had predicted that, given the macroeconomic indicators released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pointing to a 5 percent GDP growth across 18 economies in sub-Saharan Africa, investment opportunities would increase in Nigeria, particularly in the real estate sector.


The sector has seen some level of investments, especially through joint venture arrangements with state governments, and this cuts across major cities in Nigeria. Apart from this being a demonstration of confidence in the economy, the investors are also responding to the relative improvement in the macro-economic environment.

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In addition to the 3,500 housing units it is developing in Life Camp, Abuja, Brains and Hammer, an Abuja-based real estate development firm, recently sealed pact with Lagos State government to develop 750 housing units in the state’s upcoming Jubilee Estate in Iganmu.


This is a significant development in a state with over 3 million housing demand-supply gap, more so as the units come in various house-types that may be affordable to various segments of the society.
According to the authorities of the company, the 750 units will comprise 132-tower units and 618 units to be delivered in phases. The Phase 1 of the project comprises 129 units made up of 12 units of 2-bedrooms, 24 units of 4-bedrooms terrace and 93 other units. There are also twin towers made up of 132 units, comprising 60 units of 1A-bedroom, 24 units of two 1B-bedroom, and 24 units of 3-bedroom maisonette.
Land prices have gone up, which Damola Akindolire, executive director at Alpha Mead Development Company, estimates at 10 percent in the upcoming locations such Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, where investors are taking position to tap from the opportunities that will come with developments at the Free Trade Zone.
“We are considering doing a development there because that axis will soon explode”, affirmed Gbenga Olaniyan, CEO, Estate Links, insisting that increasing number of interests in doing developments reflects investors’ confidence in the economy and, more importantly, serves as a mark of willingness of government to address housing challenge.


In Ogun State, more than ever before, investors are showing interest in the New Makun City, prompting the Ogun State Investment Corporation’s (OPIC) efforts at creating a housing hub along the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.
The new housing hub, according to officials of the corporation, is aimed at assisting the state government to create a mega city footprint by providing housing units in the new city housing project at the Shagamu interchange and the MTR Garden Estates at Isheri end of the expressway.
The partnership that will deliver about 3,000 housing units in the next few years under the Port Harcourt mega city initiative is part of the rising investor-interest that has seen the Rivers State government partnering with private real estate developers.
Expectation is that these developments will see more Nigerians, especially city dwellers, having access to homes, leading to improvement in the country’s gross domestic product.

CHUKA UROKO

WORKERS BERATE GOV’T ON HOUSING

A cross-section of Nigerian Workers have scored the Government low in the area of affordable housing for their welfare.
A number of them spoke to our Correspondent at the 2018 Workers Day Celebration held at Eagle Square Abuja.

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According to Mrs Virginia Nwoha, a Staff of the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, “the way the government has treated the workers in the area of housing is too bad. As a Federal Staff, when we retire, when we write concerning the deducted mortgage fund, we will not see anything.”
A Staff of the National Industrial Court, Comr. Adebayo Babatunde pleaded with the Government to consider the plight of workers in the area of housing.


He said” That’s what we are pleading for them to consider the workers. Even in the salary we are receiving is not enough for us, talk less of the housing allowance. They keep on talking about increment for some years now, till now there is nothing like that. We are appealing to the government to consider the workers.”


A labour leader who works with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Comr. Titus Okoro lamented the loss the system has suffered due to housing challenges of the workers.
Comr. Okoro said “we have Civil Servants who live very far from where they work and it does not do well for productivity. You can imagine someone who comes from Keffi or Niger State, it dampens morale and reduces productivity. The Government need to up their game in the area of housing.”

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA
In a reaction, a representative at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) who preferred to remain anonymous said the FMBN is better ready than before to help in assisting Nigerian workers in home ownership through their various products like re-innovation loan, co-operative loan and National Housing fund loan.


He further said that the FMBN felicitates with all Nigerian workers and assures them of a better relationship.
Also in a statement released in Abuja on Workers Day, the President of Housing Development Advocacy Network, Barr. Festus Adebayo called on the Executive and the National Assembly to do more other than ordinary promises in the area of housing for Nigerian workers.
Barr. Adebayo noted that it is regrettable that a good number of Nigerian workers after working for 20-25 years could not boast of owning a home.


He called on other stakeholders in the housing/construction industry to bury personal interest and work sincerely together for the interest of providing affordable housing for Nigerian workers.
The 2018 Workers Day has as its theme “The role of Labour and Workers in National Development: Dare to struggle and we dare to win”, drew workers from both the public and private sectors.

LASG To Partner With Building Professionals On Rising Housing Deficit

The Lagos State Government has sought collaboration with building professionals to tackle rising housing deficit in the state.

The state Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made the call when he received officials of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) and Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) on Monday.

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NIQS and NICE delegations were led by their Lagos State Chairmen, Mr Dele Mafimidiwo and Mr Tokunbo Ajanaku, respectively.

Receiving NIQS executives, Lawal said that the housing deficit in the state had hit three million.

He remarked that the old conventional ways of funding housing projects had become inadequate, hence the need for the expertise of the surveyors.

According to him, the population of Lagos is increasing on daily basis, calling for new ways for faster housing delivery in line with modern technological advancement.

“There is the need for us to be more innovative to fund the demand for affordable housing,’’ the commissioner said.

He said that 5008 housing units in 12 estates were currently under construction across the state.

Lawal added that over 500 housing units have been allotted under the government’s Rent-to-Own Housing Scheme.

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

Earlier, Mafimidiwo commended the ongoing massive housing projects and other infrastructural projects across the state.

He called for increased engagement of NIQS members in the execution of government projects.

While receiving NICE members, the commissioner sought the support of the engineers to boost the capacity of artisans in the built environment under the state government’s “Master Craftsman Project”.

The project, he said, targets to train 5,000 artisans in five years.

Lawal called for more research into locally-produced building materials to cut cost and reduce influx of foreign engineers.

“We are trying to do a lot to ensure Lagosians are proud home owners.

“Government budget alone cannot fund the projects to bridge our housing deficit and urban infrastructure deficit,’’ he said.

Responding, Ajanaku called for the use of alternative building materials to construct houses throughout the year, irrespective of the season.

He pledged the support of the institution in this direction.

The chairman, however, urged the state government to engage more indigenous civil engineers in its projects.

Kenya to set up mortgage refinancing company to meet housing demand

Kenya is to set up a mortgage refinancing company to help to meet the government’s aim of providing 500,000 houses in five years as well as make it easier for banks to access long-term finance for home loans, the Treasury said.

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The East African country has an estimated 200,000 annual housing shortfall, which is expected to rise to 300,000 by 2020. President Uhuru Kenyatta has said provision of affordable housing is one of his four key priority areas in his second term.

“Housing finance in Kenya remains below its potential,” the Treasury said in a document outlining the creation of the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC), to be owned by the state, commercial banks and financial co-operatives.

KMRC is expected to be licensed by the central bank in February next year, with initial debt financing of $160 million from the World Bank for lending on to financial institutions.
Once it starts operations, the company will raise debt from markets, including mortgage-backed bonds, to lend to banks and financial co-operatives using their mortgage loan contracts with customers as security.

Kenya had just 24,458 mortgage loans valued at $2 billion or 3.15 percent of GDP in 2015, compared with about 30 percent of GDP worth of outstanding mortgages in South Africa.

Lenders, among them KCB Group which has the biggest share of the mortgages, usually shy away from writing housing loans mainly due to lack of long-term deposits in the industry to match them.

The Treasury, which will follow Nigeria, Tanzania and Malaysia in establishing a mortgage refinancing company, hopes KMRC will help to tackle this problem through provision of long term funding to banks.

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

High interest rates have also been blamed for keeping mortgages out of the reach of many people.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri. Editing by Jane Merriman

Real estate is engine room of a nation’s economy – Aliyu

Musa Dangoggo Aliyu was the former Managing Director of Urban Shelter Ltd and current Chairman of Abuja-based real estate development company,Rural Homes Group Ltd. In this interview, Aliyu expounds on some housing development challenges in Nigeria.

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The Homes Group is developing the Karmo District Market, what is the state of the project?
Karmo Market is presently about 58% completed, the structural works is at completion stage, infrastructures work is ongoing while commissioning of the project is slated for December this year 2018, insha Allah. We are also presently reconstructing the access road and major drainages to the estate as part of our corporate social responsibility.
However, the only impediment is finance; we have gotten two banks, a commercial and a mortgage bank. We have been talking for over a year, we are at the final stage but the issue of legal title is still delaying. The loan we are seeking is lower than what we are targeting. We asked for N2bn but the bank said they are giving us N500m and in tranches, that’s fine but they should give us in time.

What are the components of the market?
The market is sitting on a 10 hectare land with different kind of shops ranging from 4 or 9, 18, or 36square meter open shops which we call farmers market. It has over 2,800 shops, warehouses, cold rooms, meat shops and the segmented market, including the textile (okrika). There are enough parking spaces for 1,200 vehicles with adequate road networks.
This market will be one of the best in Abuja. There is provision for police station, fire service also and utility office for managers of the market including two banks. We are almost roofing some parts and we’re using bricks for the building structure.

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

What is the level of patronage?
We have sold up to 50% of the market, the favored ones like 4, 9 sqm. We have sold out completely, the bigger ones people don’t take them immediately until the last minute because it’s the rich who can afford them. The smaller ones are available through instalment payment.

What are the hurdles facing developers in accessing housing finance?
It includes high bank interest rates, ineffective mortgage facilities, volatility of the market in terms of purchasing power of subscribers. This affects reasonable estimates on loan repayment period. Also, high level of bureaucracy i.e. passing policies can help the industry, in implementation of said policies assuming it is passed in getting relevant approvals from government agencies.

You have mentioned finance as a challenge, what about securing land?
Yes, especially in Abuja, you either secure allocation or you buy, like this 10 hectares you have to have N2 billion cash if you are to buy, so another option is to enter into agreement with the owners, because I’m not giving them money now, I will double their price or give them houses later, like a barter. It is better because it is a win-win situation for both of us.

How true is the claim that Nigerian banks are supporting the real estate sector?
Even the big banks that I have worked with before are not forthcoming with loans because of what they describe as long gestation period. When we take loan we don’t start to pay immediately, it’s a loan for three years, and to complete a project, you need a moratorium of one year before we start to pay back. Real estate is the engine room of a nation’s economy.
Once the construction industry is working, the benefit for the value chain is enormous, the one constructing the nails, roofing sheets, blocks, cement, granite etc. not to talk of labourers and technicians. So, if government refuse to do something about this, our banks nowadays are not banks, so when they tell you they are giving loans, yes, they are wary, they are giving loans to oil companies that can pay them within three to six months, we call that trading and at the end of the day the money is taken out of the country.

What other sources are then open for developers?
The only way is through increasing your equity or otherwise you resort to using depositors’ funds and with this you have to be very prudent, and plough back the money into the project.

What of offshore funds?
Yes, the only impediment is the bank guarantee, because they don’t know you they would want your bank to give guarantee, and here our banks are also shying away, even with your collateral they will say its dollars so they’re not interested or they will agree and then drag their feet.

Expert Tasks FG, Estate Developers On Affordability Analysis

A value chain expert, Dr Joshua Egbagbe, has urged the Federal Government and estate developers to conduct an off-takers’ affordability analysis before embarking on any housing construction.
Egbagbe, who is also the Chairman, Value Chain Project Consultants Ltd., gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday.

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He said the advice became necessary to achieve affordable housing in Nigeria.
Egbagbe noted that housing deficit lingered in the country, after all said and done, due to lack of off-takers affordability paradigm shift which he said was critical in bridging the deficit.
He also said the analysis would enable the housing developers to know the indices of both formal and informal workers in Nigeria, to arrive at their wants and income.


“Through the off-takers affordability paradigm shift, which is the off-takers analysis, the government and developers would be able to know the number and kind of houses to build and who needs intervention.
“With the analysis, no developer will build any house that will be wasted or unoccupied because he is building to a targeted, affordability group.
“In the housing sector, the policies don’t seem to take the people who need the houses (off-takers) into considerations.
“Off-takers should be put at the very centre of housing policies, planning and decision- making processes.
“Right now in Nigeria, there is a big mismatch between the houses that are being built and the individual affordability, otherwise called pocket capacity,’’ he said.
He, however, proposed a paradigm shift which he said would put the off-takers in the centre of planning and policy of housing.


“In every aspect of the value chain of housing, if you do not understand the challenges the off-takers are going through, you will not be able to achieve affordable housing.
“And there will be a dichotomy or discordance between the house and affordability.’’
The expert noted that some workers might not be able to afford six per cent mortgage interest of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) under the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme.
According to him, while FMBN fund is at six per cent, the cheapest in Nigeria, the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) is refinancing with about 16 per cent to 18 per cent interest rate.

Expert highlights stakeholders’ roles in affordable housing

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

The Chief Executive Officer, Northcourt, a real estate investment and research firm, Mr. Tayo Odunsi, has said that for the concept of affordable housing to be effective in the country, all stakeholders must be involved and be genuinely interested in the process.

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

According to Odunsi, the stakeholders are the government, the private sector, professionals, the community and individuals.

Speaking ahead of the launch of his book on affordable housing, he said a lot of the properties people call affordable were merely those priced lower than the market value but were not necessarily affordable.

He explained, “Affordable housing has long been considered as the solution to meeting the housing demand in the developing world and indeed Nigeria. A lot of people look up to the government and developers for affordable housing and this makes many developers to engage in unwholesome practices.

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“Every stakeholder has a role to play to make affordable housing a reality. The government has a strong role to play as the holder of land; the private sector must also change the mind-set of profit to a social mind-set; while the professionals have a role to play in enlightening their clients and promoting housing career.

“The community, on the other hand, has a part to play by ensuring that houses within the domain remain affordable; while the individual is actually the most important stakeholder because he determines what is affordable to him.”

Odunsi said the book, ‘Affordable: Thinking critically and differently about affordable housing’, which will be launched on May 1, would change people’s perception about housing.

According to him, the book has 41 ideas on affordability and the roles of each stakeholder.

“I believe that this book will serve as a potent tool in the hands of the government, the private sector, professionals, communities and individuals. When everyone aims for homeownership, there will be a problem, but when we have sustainable demand/supply, the prices of houses will crash. These are some of the things the book talks about,” he stated.

Odunsi said the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, delegates from Ogun State and officials of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, among others would attend the book launch.

‘Land of Honey’ city development broaches new housing deal

A comprehensive new plan unveiled last week to reverse the growing decline in the nation’s housing stock in the Federal Capital Territory, is promising an ambitious new deal for a fresh town project within the Gude district of Abuja.

The scope of the scheme is massive and has the capacity to deliver between 15,000 and 20,000 housing units in different phases over a five-year period.

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Christened Land of Honey City Development (LoH), the promoters and developers, Kohath Housing Corporation (Kohath), has proposed the new town as an innovative and sustainable city solution focused on the live, work and play concept. Kohath is one of the leading players in the municipality development space in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The LoH design is incorporated around a proposed district light rail that required the LoH design to take into consideration the significance of access to requisite services and public transportation in building new communities.


The design provides access to an array of retail outlets, schools, and other services within walking distance, as research shows that living in well-designed, walkable, transit-oriented communities near public transportation can result in a range of significant commercial and health benefits.

The LoH development currently has an asset portfolio of over 900 hectares covered by a bankable certificate of occupancy that is conservatively valued at $180 million, making Kohath one of Nigeria’s largest developers of quality affordable housing.

Kohath’s development strategy will in the long run involve the deployment of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s sponsored Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies Certification process in building innovative, sustainable, “green” communities as part of Kohath’s Green Development Strategy for improved health, long-term economic and environmental benefits for residents.

Kohath’s transaction structure also includes offtake arrangements for up to 10,000 affordable housing units with the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Scheme (FISH) through the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board.

As a means of driving and sustaining the scheme, the company has entered into a collaboration agreement with the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC), Nigeria’s leading mortgage underwriter.

The partnership agreement will see NMRC and Kohath collaborate towards the provision of project structuring and mortgage advisory for the delivery of a first of its kind city development (located in the Gude district of Abuja).

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

NMRC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, said that the collaboration presents a huge opportunity to make a difference in home ownership in the Nation’s capital due to challenges that the LoH development will help to resolve.

These challenges include but are not limited to proliferation of dead assets due to titling constraints, access to mortgage loans and the delivery of sustainable, planned, qualitative and affordable housing.

Mr. Ogundimu further noted that the partnership with Kohath presents a huge opportunity for NMRC to support the Federal Government’s housing programmes in providing affordable housing backed by affordable mortgages.

This he said is in consideration of the fact that, of all the challenges currently facing our nation today, very few are more urgent than the deficit of decent housing.
The Executive Chairman Kohath Housing Corporation, Mr. Teni Eleoramo on his part noted that the LoH development and Kohath’s partnership with NMRC could best be described as a value innovation that has been in incubation since 2011.

Eleoramo in his statement noted that the project had successfully weathered the storm of title and legal challenges, survived the arduous business environment of Nigeria and is now ready to deliver its mandate of providing qualitative and affordable housing to Nigerians.

He further stated that While LoH’s building types include a handful of single-family homes, and a large majority of affordable housing development portfolios, LoH also features multifamily apartment homes for mid-income families with supportive services that caters to lifestyle, transform lives and strengthen communities.

The acting CEO of NMRC, Mr Kehinde Ogundimu in his closing statement noted that the Federal Capital Territory Abuja is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. He further noted that according to available statistics, the minimum annual salary required to purchase a median priced home is more than $30,000 and this price range excludes many hard-working people – from Doctors, Teachers and Public servants – from being able to rent or even own a two-bedroom apartment for their families.


Housing and economic analyst have all noted that without a stable and affordable home, low-income families in Nigeria have little hope of a better livelihood as the availability of housing plays a key role in determining whether they can find well-paying jobs, send their children to school, get quality health services, and access to reliable utilities.

NMRC is a is a CBN-licensed mortgage liquidity facility with the core mandate of developing the primary and secondary mortgage markets. NMRC raises long-term funds from the capital market for mortgage refinancing and by extension promotes affordable housing development and home ownership in Nigeria.

NMRC was incorporated on June 24, 2013 and obtained its final license to operate as a non-deposit taking financial institution from the CBN on February 18, 2015.

Kohath is a wholly owned Nigerian company with business activities in real estate development, mining, agriculture, energy and trading. KIG’s strategic focus includes their aim to positively contribute to the gross domestic product of the countries where they carry out our business operation and derive maximum value for stakeholders.

NNPC invested N100bn in real estate to reduce deficits –Latford

The decision of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to invest a whooping sum of N100 billions in real estate will go a long way in reducing housing deficits in the country.

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Speaking on the huge investment, Mr. Johnson Latford, an independent real estate marketer said that with Nigeria’s current population at 198 million people with urban population growing at an average annual growth rate of about 6.5 per cent, the deficits in accommodation is also increasing.

Chairman of Nigeria Population Commission (NPC), Mr Eze Duruiheoma, revealed this recently in New York, while delivering Nigeria’s statement on Sustainable Cities, Human Mobility and International Migration at the 51st Session of Commission on Population and Development.

Duruiheoma had said that Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globally with an estimated population of over 198 million. “The recent World Population Prospects predicts that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world.

Over the last 50 years, Nigeria’s urban population has grown at an average annual growth rate of more than 6.5 per cent without commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure. It grew substantially from 17.3 in 1967 to 49.4 per cent in 2017. In addition, the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects report, predicts that by 2050, most of the population – 70 per cent – will be residing in cities.

NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ventures, Babatunde Adeniran, while disclosing the plan for the maiden edition of NNPC Properties Ltd (NPL) at a Festival in Abuja, said the plan would be honed through commercial opportunities adding that the company has already commenced the recovery of the corporation’s landed properties.

According to him, NNPC Properties Ltd had shifted from the initial lease administration of collecting rents from tenants of the NNPC Properties to “exploring all commercial opportunities available in the real estate market to efficiently position itself as one of the key players of repute that fits the NNPC brand”.

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

He said the current aggressive commercial drive by the NPL is yielding results as the company had recovered a number of the corporation’s landed property which had been lying idle across the country. He listed some of the recovered property to include: a 92-hectre parcel of land on Chevron Drive, Lekki, Lagos; Royal Grove Estate, Port-Harcourt, and others in Abuja and Kaduna.

He lauded the subsidiary for developing the Third Party Home Ownership Scheme for staff with competitive interest rates from reliable banks and affordable deals from credible developers. Managing Director of the NNPC Properties Ltd, Danny Sokari-George stated that the company was determined to deliver quality and affordable houses with the best funding options and cautioned staff member against frivolous spending to be able to acquire house with ease.

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