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Loans Housing Board disburses N1billion to public servants

The Federal Government Staff Loans Housing Board has disbursed over one billion Naira as renovation loan to 2,000 civil servants across the country, its Executive Secretary, Dr Hannatu Fika, has said.

Fika made this known in an interview with Housing News Correspondent yesterday in Abuja.

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

She said the renovation loan was being managed by the loans board on behalf of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2015 by the two agencies.

The Executive Secretary explained that the loan was initiated to help public servants who were the major contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF)

“The labour unions have continuously complained that they have not gained anything from their monthly NHF contribution.

“So the two agencies decided to come up with this product of renovation loan, knowing that the NHF contribution of public servants is nothing to write home about.

“However, as of today, we have received 22,000 applications and we are paying them in batches on first come first serve basis and it is a short term loan for a period of four years,” she said.

Fika urged those who had applied and were yet to be paid to remain hopeful as they would get their loan soon.

The executive secretary pointed out that the renovation loan scheme was backed by law to ensure its sustainability.

Fika also noted that the loan emanated from the call by labour unions for the transfer of the monthly National Housing Fund contributed by civil servants to the board.

“The labour themselves, have been the ones clamouring for the transfer of the monthly NHF contribution from FMBN to the Loans board.

“The board then felt that it will be desirable if certain percentage of that contribution is released by the FMBN so that we can legally manage it and give account to the bank,” she said.

Edo: National Housing Programme creates 3,000 jobs

The ongoing National Housing Programme ( NHP ) by the Federal Government in Benin, Edo, has generated over 3,000 employments and empowerment to Nigerians within the locality.

Mrs Ebemeata Ani-Otoibhi, the Team Leader, NHP, Edo, made this known on Tuesday in Benin while briefing newsmen after the inspection of the project.

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Ani-Otoibhi said that the ongoing project with about 12 different contractors has attained 80 per cent completion.

The newsmen reports that the inspection was part of the South-South Zone media inspection organised by the Ministry Power, Works and Housing.

The 64-unit housing project is located at Idumwen-Ehigie, along Benin-Auchi road in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the state.

“Since the inception of the project, more than 3,000 skilled and unskilled workers, including contractors, artisans, building materials suppliers, block moulders; food vendors and security guards have been employed.

“These people have impacted positively on the lives of the people and this is one of the objectives of the project.

“So, the objectives are to address and improve socio-economic conditions through employment generation, poverty alleviation and empowerment of people within the locality,’’ she said.

Ani-Otoibhi noted that the project, which started in March 2017, would finally be completed by June 2018.

She added that the project has also increased commercial activities in the state as well as enhancing development in the location.

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

“We have some security challenges arising from community issues but we have not experienced theft because we employed day and night security guard in the site.’’

The road contractor, Mr James Okafor said that the company has been able to clear the soil and would be filling the soil immediately after evacuation.

“The project has impacted on me positively because I have been able to foot my bills, take care of my family.

“The project has also helped me to settle some other financial challenges, which I was not able to do before the commencement of the project.

“More than 10 people are working under our company and we intend to employ more people. We have surveyors, engineers among others working with us.

Okafor noted that non mobilisation of fund was one of the challenges facing the company presently.

He appealed to the government to release more fund for the project as soon possible to enable them meet the deadline for the completion of the project.
“One thing is to award a project; the second thing is the supervision while thirdly is the completion of the project.

“The government should do the needful by following up the project and releasing money as and when due,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, a food vendor at the site, Mrs Regina Ibe commended the Federal Government for creating means of livelihood for some of them through the project.

“I make between N27, 000 to N35, 000 daily from this place. The money I generate has helped me to take care of my children education and I have also bought a land for my family to build our own house.

The newsmen reports that installation of 500KVA transformer and supply of electricity by Messrs Rosco Progenitors Synergies Ltd. is also on course.

The purpose of the media inspection is basically to access the level of progress made on the project in the South-South Zone and to access the level of infrastructure to complement the housing units.

Also, the media inspection was to access the economic impact made by the programme to the Growth of Domestic Product ( GDP ) in the country.

Retirees Receive Over N9bn Housing Fund From FMBN

The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Ahmed Dangiwa says more than N9 billion National Housing Fund (NHF), has so far been refunded to over 200, 000 retirees nationwide.

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The managing director said that every NHF contributed by civil servants was refundable with interest once they attained 60 years.

Dangiwa made this known in an event in abuja

The theme of the summit was: “Attracting Foreign and Local Investors, for Housing Construction and Acceptable Business Models for Infrastructure Development and Equity Plan Scheme for Mortgage Financing In Nigeria’’.

Dangiwa, represented by Mr Oladapo Fakeye, said that the summit was critical to bridging housing deficit in Nigeria, as it would generate solutions for the development of Nigeria’s housing sector.

He called on government to prioritise housing for low income earners as many Nigerians could not afford to own a house.

“High poverty rate of 70 per cent has hindered many Nigerians from owning their own houses,’’ he said.

Also speaking, the Governor of Bauchi State, Alh. Abdullahi Abubakar, said that Nigeria needed 700 million houses before 2050.

According to him, the UN projects that population growth will increase to 400 million by 2050.

He noted that Bauchi had a backlog of 600 housing units as many housing projects were abandoned for about 15 years.

The governor said that the abandoned houses had been completed and would be allocated in May.

Abubakar also said that the state plans to address the unemployment challenge through housing.

In his remarks, Mr Oguntuase Kingsley, the Commandant Housing, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said that housing was one of the most fundamental human needs after food.
Oguntuase noted that many public servants could not afford a house because their salaries were very small.

“You and I know that our salary is low, cost of living has made things very difficult.

“With all these traditional responsibilities on our shoulders, in terms of taking care of extended family, this makes it impossible for us to afford houses,’’ he said.

He called on the government to encourage private developers by making access to land easy for them, adding that it would go a long way in tackling the housing deficit in the country.

He said that shelter was a major challenge in Abuja and as private developers, their aim was to address the challenge by providing low income houses.

“The aim is to enable them synergise and harness with our foreign technical partners, to see how we can solve a major challenge in Abuja.

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

“We have come to realise that a lot of people work and after retirement they cannot afford a house.

Built environment professionals renew call for affordable housing with local materials

By Kingsley Adegboye

Built environment professionals comprising builders, developers, engineers, architects and others who gathered at the grand opening of Royal Ceramics’ Centre called “Royal Experience Centre” in Lekki, Lagos last week, have renewed call for affordable housing with the use of local building materials, taking into consideration abundant natural resources of the country.

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

The stakeholders who commended West African Ceramics Ltd, leading manufacturers of ceramics tiles in Nigeria for its consistency in producing quality tiles that can match the standards of their foreign counterparts, and for opening of the Lekki mega showroom, agreed that the outlet will service the housing needs of Lekki residents particularly in terms of interior finishing. The theme of the forum was Experience the Art of Finishing in S’Tile. In his keynote address, the President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria, REDAN, Ugochukwu Chime, emphasised the need for use of local building materials in the country if affordable housing is to be truly achieved, adding that the cost of building is a significant component of housing provision as it constitutes approximately 56 per cent of the total cost of the project. According to REDAN boss, “any effort to reduce cost is a tonic to availability and affordability of home ownership to Nigerians. “Given the generally low income level among off-takers for housing products, we are therefore extremely keen on how cost of houses can be brought to minimal level, hence our interest in taking advantage of any opportunity, including uptake of new and emerging technologies to reduce the cost of construction.

“It is on this premise that we find this effort of Royal Ceramics cardinal and imperative. This is because from our foray to their factory in 2016, we found out that most of the raw materials used are locally sourced. This has assisted in reducing the cost of their products without reducing the quality. And with their very high quality products, they have demonstrated their contribution to not only national economic growth but helped to reduce cost of housing.” Corroborating his counterparts in a paper presentation entitled: Engineering Affordable Housing with Local Products, President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, Adekunle Mokuolu said that to make affordable housing possible, favourable legislation that would make land available and affordable should be put in place by the Federal Government while there should be provision of efficient low interest mortgages, efficient and cost effective primary infrastructure, enforcing the local content policy and executive order 5, empowerment of would-be home owners, rejuvenating moribund industries and solving the Ajaokuta Steel project equation. According to the NSE president: “Everyone has the right to a decent shelter and improved well-being. However, the housing deficit will continue to grow except deliberate and commensurate measures are taken to tackle it head- on. The first step is to tackle the high cost of building by either subsidising the cost of building materials or crashing it.

“How best can this be done other than taking full advantage of the enormous local materials available through intensive research and understanding how they could be used for developing decent low-cost housing? Affordable housing can be achieved, but not much will be done if the status quo remains unchanged. We can right the decades of wrongs today if we are determined. The best time to do so is now. Let us turn to local products both in human capital and natural resources.” Declaring open the Royal Experience Centre located along Lekki-Epe Expressway, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB, and chief host of the event, Kenneth Nduka, said the establishment of the experience centre will indeed serve as a unique distribution outlet of West African Ceramics Ltd to service the housing development requirements of the Lagos Megacity project of the proactive government of Lagos State. Nduka added that the centre will equally wet the appetite for high taste and good quality finishing by highbrow property developers and occupiers along the Victoria Island/Lekki axis and beyond. He stressed that the array of uses to which tiles are put in a building project ranges from the artistic, decorative, flooring, walling, roofing, ceiling and through to structural and even illuminations and signage. In all these uses, appropriate specification and proper application remain the essential yardstick for the attainment of the desired functions it will perform and the right purposes it will serve in a building. The General Manager, West African Ceramics Ltd, Mr. Bhaskar Rao said the Royal Experience Centre initiative is a response to support government’s efforts in resuscitating local production through effective distribution network to ensure that products are available at the right time, right place, and at the right price and the delivery of the products in a way that encourages consumers to cultivate and sustain the ‘Buy Nigeria’ behaviour.

Rao added that this is because they do not just buy products, but the collective experiences of product quality, affordability and reliability delivered, just as they also acquire product knowledge and application, unmatched customer services as well as all the functional attributes of the product.” According to him: “The mega experience centre serves beyond a showroom where tiles are displayed, but a hub designed to enlighten customers about the applications of various designs and types of tiles in a building project and to create an unprecedented shopping experience for customers obtainable overseas. The showroom is an initiative to strengthen dealer relationship and channel management in a way that consumers would experience tile shopping different from the norm obtainable in developed societies.

Addressing housing deficit in economy will catalyse productive sectors — REDAN

Though it is difficult to determine the exact figure representing Nigeria’s housing deficit, real estate developers association of Nigeria (REDAN) says addressing the deficit even at the current 17 million units estimate will catalyze the productive sectors of the economy.

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Building more houses to close the demand-supply gap would require an active manufacturing sector that will supply cement, roofing sheets, nails, iron, glasses for windows/doors, cladding materials; professional service providers, artisans, skilled and unskilled labour including bricklayers, carpenters, tilers and plumbers.

“Catalyzing this sector is imperative because the market is available”, said Ugochukwu Chime, REDAN president, who spoke at the opening of West African Ceramics Limited Royal Experience Centre in Lagos recently, insisting that effective demand needed to be enhanced and matched to off-taker affordability and supply.

Chime noted that Nigeria was yet to realize this potential and advised that the country should design an effective implementation guideline with the involvement of critical stakeholders in the value chain.

“Addressing the housing deficit will have a game-changing impact on our society and our communities”, he added, noting that globally, there is a strong consensus that the development of the housing sector is important for stimulating economic growth and job creation in any economy”, he said.

Cost of construction is a significant component of housing and, according to a national housing board (NAHB) 2017 survey report, the cost is as high as 56 percent. This cost is determined by land, finance and cost of funds, labour and building materials.

Others are infrastructure including primary and secondary, cost of land titling and registering property, and affordability gap. “We realise that to attain affordability for all classes of prospective homeowners, we must isolate and attenuate the cost of these input factors. And this WACL has devoted their energy and talent to doing over the years”, Chime stated.

He reasoned that any effort to reduce the cost of housing was a tonic to availability and affordability of home ownership to Nigerians, adding that given the generally low income level among off-takers for housing products, developers were keen on how cost of houses could be brought to minimal level.

Developers, he said, were interested in taking advantage of any opportunity, including uptake of new and emerging technologies to reduce the cost of construction and it was on that premise that we found Royal Ceramics’ efforts cardinal and imperative.

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

WACL’s production technology is one in which most of the raw materials used are locally sourced. This has assisted in reducing the cost of their products without reducing the quality. And with their very high quality products, they have demonstrated their contributions to not only national economic growth, but also helped to reduce cost of houses.

Expectation is that the new experience centre will help the discerning customers, developers, professionals in the built industry and project owners to choose their tiles and marble/granite.

The centre which is a multifaceted showroom and hub will give the feel of ‘finish in S’tile’, thereby giving due value for money to the owner. It will give the exact concept of how the design will align with the taste and aesthetics initially conceived by the homeowner.

The centre’s design and interior configuration will assist to bring product information, including sample, availability, brand and delivery closer to the end-users. Being a one-stop shop solution for everything tiles, wall, flooring, roofing and allied products, this novel approach will help in upscaling WACL products’ market share and reach.

CHUKA UROKO

Food vendor at federal housing site sells N38,000 daily

A vendor, Mrs. Regina Ibe, who sells food at the National Housing Programme (NHP) project site at Idomwen-Ehigie in Uhumwode Local Government of Edo State, yesterday said she made N35,000 daily.

She said since the beginning of the project in March 2017, her business had attracted patronage from workers.

Ibe said as a result, she was able to buy a plot.

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Speaking during an inspection of the NHP in Southsouth and Southeast states, she hailed the Federal Government for creating jobs and empowering people through the programme.

Ibe said she bought the plot at N250, 000 and supported her family.

She said: “Since the Federal Government opened this place, I have been selling well. I make a profit of N38,000 and sometimes N35,000, depending on the market. I am really grateful to God. God will bless you people.”

Mrs. Pat Omorodion, a supplier of sharp sand, granites and other building materials, recalled how she supplied materials for the three-storey condominium as well as three-bedroom and two-bedroom flats at the site.

She attributed her increased earnings to the project, stressing that such project should be replicated in the state.

“This project has put food on our table. So, we appreciate it. You know we are handling the condominium, so they bought many granites. I say kudos to them.”

NHP’s National Team leader Mrs. Ebemeata Ani-Otoibhi said the project would be completed in June.

It includes eight three-bedrooms, 14 two-bedrooms and a condominium.

She said about 3,000 people were engaged, while there was full compliance with local content such that iron, windows, doors, burglary, among others, used for the construction were locally sourced and provided by Edo residents.

“In this state, the quality of materials and specifications is good. The bottom line is, everything we are using is made in Nigeria, from the cement to the door, they are all locally made,” Ani-Otoibhi said.

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

Local contractors, Messrs. Osahon Osazee and Gabriel Adesida, hailed the Federal Government and urged it to commence the second phase.

They appealed for timely release of funds to prevent it from being abandoned.

FCTA to complete Idu industrial park infrastructure

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has assured investors of its determination to ensure early completion of the Industrial Park phase 2 at Idu to make it ready for use by local and foreign investors.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello gave the assurance at the FCT Day of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs in Abuja recently.


The 245-hectare Park is expected to provide over 170 industrial plots of land for various categories of investors from manufacturing to retail marketing which will create thousands of jobs.
The discussions identified the uncompleted access road to the Park as a major hindrance to prospective investors.
The FCT Minister and the State Minister for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, agreed to work together to mobilise funding for the completion of the road.

UN-Habitat picks Minna, Suleja for $1.9m pilot Smart City project

The most comprehensive state urban redevelopment initiative to come on stream in recent years is underway in Niger State.
This followed the conclusion of preparatory activities signaling the commencement of the four-pronged Niger State Urban Support Programme (NSUSP).


The NSUSP is expected to deliver, by September 2019, the pioneer state-level urban development policy in the country as well as Integrated Development Plans for Minna, the state capital and Suleja, where plans for an adjacent new pilot Smart City are also to be developed.
The joint initiative is being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Government of South Korea, with a project development cost of $1,920,000, which is jointly shared between the Niger State government and UN-Habitat.
A statement from UN-Habitat said the pilot Smart City which is to be developed near Suleja along the proposed bypass between Minna-Suleja Road and Zuba, on Kaduna-Lokoja Road, will essentially ease the development pressure on the city.

NIN now mandatory for land allocation in FCT – Minister

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has made the National Identification Number (NIN) mandatory for land allocation within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This was made known by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muhammad Musa Bello when the Director General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Engr. Aliyu Aziz visited him in Abuja on Thursday.


The minister, according to a statement by NIMC, expressed the need for every land allocated to be matched to an individual through the NIN, in order to track and prevent multiple allocations of land and ensure fairness and equity in the allocation process.
He commended Engr. Aziz for the increase in enrollment figures and measures he has put in place to ensure safety of data of Nigerians and legal residents in the National Identity database (NIDB) while ensuring credibility and integrity of data collected by NIMC.
The minister also commended the ongoing harmonization efforts noting that it was a step in the right direction to check duplication of functions amongst data collecting agencies.

Producers in marginal increase of cement prices in Lagos, Ogun, others

Another round of increase of cement prices have been carried out by cement and allied products manufacturers, which may worsen the plight of prospective homeowners.The recent move, according to industry watchers were carried out by Dangote Cement Plc, a leading producer of cement in the country and Lafarge cement as well as others under the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN).
The Housing News research shows that in locations such as; Ikeja, Ojokoro, Egbeda, and Ogba areas of Lagos State and Ibafo and Mowe axis in Ogun a bag of cement now sells between N2, 550, N 2, 600, N2, 650, and N2, 700 across all brands.As expected, the manufacturers of cement-based materials, such as blocks and concrete products like paving stones, have used the slight increase in the prices to hiked their products.

Speaking on the situation, a cement dealer, Mr. Sunday Ilesanmi attributed the increase to the hike in price effected from the factory for almost a month now. According to him, N50 has been added per bag, which has forced cement sellers to also jack up the price in order to maximise profit. Ilesanmi said, ”The customers selling cement for us told us that it has increased by N50 and so they added to the price at which the sell for us. It has been on for almost a month now. We used to sell at the rate of N2, 600 before but it is now N2, 700

“They told us that the increase is from the factory. Perhaps, the prices of the ingredients used in production have increased thereby giving room for the hike in price”.
“We used to buy 100-bags before at the rate of N260, 000 in addition to the cost of transportation. We gain like N100 per bag from it aside that we will pay for our store. This situation is applicable only to Dangote cement because it is the most popular brand in the industry that builders demand for”.

He stated that the price increase only affected a particular popular brand in the market stressing that there is the need to reverse the price to bring back hope for improved construction in the housing sector.“With the increase, we still sell, but sales have been very dull lately. I used to sell like 70 0r 80 bags per day before, now it is difficult to record 50-bag sales per day. The producers should put machinery in motion that would bring about fall in price to help us increase demands from our customers. It is in the olden days that cement was sold for N1, 400.00 when we had up to three or four brands but now the price of the only popular brand is not affordable to our customers”.

Another dealer in Lafarge cement, Atoyebi Jide revealed that the price per bag is lesser by N50.00 compared to the popular brand in the market, which has made customers to demand for such product. He lamented that the increase in demand for the Dangote brand has forced him to also deal in that brand.He said, “Government needs to make heavy investment in the cement production sector so that prices would not be too costly for Nigerians who intend to become proud home-owners”.

Responding to the hike in price, a major distributor of Dangote and Lafarge cement in Ibafo-Mowe axis, Mrs. Rose Aziegbe said that it was sold at N2500 two weeks ago before the sudden hike.She said her enquiries over the cause of the hike did not revealed any reason unlike last year, when the manufacturers blamed the increase on hike in diesel and gas.

The distributor said although it may appear as a marginal increase, it will indeed affect projects as many people had already made their budgets before the increase.
According to her, the increase has already manifested in reduced sales.Also a member of Ogun State Block and Concrete Makers/Cement Dealers (OSBCOMA), Obafemi -Owode Local council; Zone, Alhaji Afeez Taofeek said the increase in the price of cement started about three weeks.

He said as at March, the product was sold for N2, 500 but as at second week of April, the association learnt that Dangote and Lafarge have added N50 from the factory and subsequently the product is being sold for as high as N2, 600 at retail sales points.Giving detailed analysis of the trends for the year, he said their association was happy with the price, which was hitherto reduced last year it was selling N2, 700 per bag before it was slashed to even N2450 in some places.

He said: “The experience is quite alarming this year. We have seen so many instabilities in the prices of cement. This year alone, from January, we bought cement for N2, 200, N2, 450, even N2, 700. For the past six months, it was horrible, but from December to ending of March 2018, prices have remained constant at N2, 500.


But now as a result of the hike in prices sales of blocks sales have dropped because we are selling nine inch block at 230 now against N220, while six inch block goes from N160 to N170.“We learnt from the factory that the cost of production has caused the undulation of prices.

“If government can come out with policies that will reduce manufacturers’ difficulties in accessing their basic production necessities, it could caused a reduction in the prices”, he added.

Sources close to Dangote told Housing News Correspondent  that the manufacturers are facing increase in operational costs and security threat in some parts of the country, which affected their projected revenue.According to the sources, instead of retrenching staff, the companies have to adopt the slight increase to remain afloat. Housing News Correspondent could not reach the spokesperson for Lafarge Cement.

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