Nigeria, World Bank explore measures to make north climate-resilient

The World Bank, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, commissioned a study on “Household Vulnerability to Climate Change”, developed a “Multi-Sector Investment Framework (MSIF)” as well as an

“Assessment and Analysis of Economic Cost of Land Degradation and Hotspot Mapping” for a range of sectors in the arid and semi-arid areas of Nigeria.

Climate change, according to a broad scientific consensus, is a challenge that is likely to happen more quickly than what was expected some years ago. Human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests for agricultural and other purposes, are said to have intensified the natural greenhouse effect, thereby leading to global warming.

In arid and semi-arid (dryland) parts of Nigeria, extreme weather events such as drought, desertification and heat waves are said to be occurring in greater frequencies and intensities. This apparently influenced the initiative, in respect of which a two-day (November 27 to 28) validation workshop held in Abuja.

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Dr Amos Abu of the World Bank Nigeria Country Office said: “It is a joint World Bank and Federal Government effort and we are into it because it is one of the priority areas that have been identified by the government and, as a good partner, we are working with them to having clarity as it pertains to the cost of environmental degradation in Nigeria. This will help inform policies, it will also help in better targeting and also prioritisation and sequencing.

“Because the primary focus of the World Bank is to eliminate extreme poverty while boosting shared prosperity, the need to know where the poor live and their vulnerabilities to changing environment and extreme weather events cannot be over-emphasised if we are actually to addressing their concerns and situation.

Therefore, we are very happy to be partnering with the Federal Government in carrying out these three important studies, respectively dealing with mapping of housing vulnerabilities in arid and semi-arid parts of Nigeria, the multi-sector investment framework for addressing climate change issues and for building communal resilience and sector resilience, as well as costing and mapping of degraded hotspots in Nigeria.

“These are really study diagnostics that will help inform policy in a very practical and poignant manner, and thus we also see that it will help in sequencing, and also give a sense of priority and then gross our attention to what will happen in a do-nothing scenario. So, this is a decision support tool that these new studies have thrown up and we are going to take it further.”

Prof. Olukayode Oladipo, who produced two of the reports, said: “The report is to help and guide the World Bank in identifying critical areas of intervention that can make the arid and semi-arid regions of northern Nigeria to be more climate resilient and sustainably developed by looking at how vulnerable the region is to climate change and climate variability, and which particular areas within the region is extremely vulnerable not only in terms of the climatic elements, but in terms of the socio-economic dimensions the people are living and surviving under increasingly threatening climatic conditions.

“The other aspect is how degraded is the area in terms of loss of biodiversity, erosion, deforestation, and what is it costing if we do nothing and allow the spate of degradation to continue. By having this particular information now, the World Bank will now look and identify immediate areas of need that can reduce the rate of degradation, increase the resilience of the people to changes in climatic conditions, and enable them to make a living in a more sustainable manner from the area, rather than continuously complaining that the area is arid or semi-arid and that it is not working, is not the best.

“So, in short, it is an information-gathering and data-generating system to enable the World Bank to look at the potential areas of investment that the World Bank can support and bring about positive development in the concerned areas or regions.”

The goal of the “Household Vulnerability to Climate Change in Arid and Semi-Arid Northern Nigeria” report, according to Prof. Oladipo, is to carry out vulnerability mapping to underpin development of a pragmatic framework for climate resilient development activities in the agriculture and forest sectors, taking into consideration activities in water resources, irrigation and energy to ensure an integrated approach to building landscape resilience.

The “Multi-Sector Investment Framework (MSIF) for Climate Resilience in Nigeria”, he added, stresses that massive investment is required to build the country’s resilience to climate risks and to safeguard its natural capital in the light of increasing climatic variability that is expected to affect the area.

Mamoud Bello Abubakar, who prepared “Assessment and Analysis of Economic Cost of Land Degradation and Hotspot Mapping in Arid and Semi-Arid Region in Nigeria”, disclosed that the study assessed and analysed the extent of land degradation hotspot, drives (causes) and its economic cost.

“It also analysed the determinants of land degradation and sustainable land management in the six states of northern Nigeria (Borno and Sokoto in the Semi-Arid Zone, Adamawa and Kano in the Sub-Humid Zone, and Niger and Kogi in the Humid Zone),” he added.



Work begins on Zimbabwe’s new Parliament building

Construction work on Zimbabwe’s new parliament building has been kick-started by President Mnangagwa at a foundation stone laying ceremony carried out recently.

The project is being funded by a grant from the Chinese government that will aid the cash strapped country realise its dream of replacing its current august house that was constructed in the colonial era with a seating capacity of 100 but which currently accommodates over 200 lawmakers. The new building will be able to accomodate over 650.

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The new project is located on Mt Hampten about 18 kilometers north west of the capital Harare. It is  envisaged that the building will become the nucleus around which a smart city will emerge offering housing, hotels and shopping amenities.

According to an artists impression the building has a circular layout with an outer perimeter that will have offices and an inner core that will accomodate the main floor of the house. It will cover a floor area of about 33 thousand square metres

Some estimates put the construction of the new parliament building at US$46 million that will be funded by a grant from the Chinese government which had been a heavy supporter of the previous regime of Robert Mugabe and appears to be continuing this trend. The project was first mooted when the former president visited China in 2014,but its construction was hampered by a lack of infrastructure such as roads and water to enable construction work to start.

The construction work is being carried out by the Shanghai Construction Group  which is one of the twenty largest construction companies in the world. It has had several operations on the continent of Africa ranging from housing, hotel construction as well as mining.  The construction of Zimbabwe’s parliament building is expected to take 32 months.

Cape Town To Host 2018 Architectural Open Studios

The 2018 edition of the Architectural Open Studios is set to begin in Cape Town, South Africa. The event which will have architects from all over the world attending, will take place on 3 and 4 December 2018.

Now in its sixth year, this event invites people inside the innovative architectural studios responsible for the buildings shaping the city, giving visitors the opportunity to meet the architects behind the projects and to see the diverse creative spaces in which design takes place.

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One of the most popular events on the design calendar, in this year’s event will focus on two main hubs: CBD and East City. The participating studios will open after hours and guests will be able to chat to architects about their work and process of design.

Each studio will offer their own curated display of work, including current and future projects, presentations, architectural models and animations. Studios that are walking distance are grouped together, meaning visitors can visit several locations in one night.

Popular with professionals, students and general public alike, Open Studios is a joint initiative by the South African Institute for Architecture (SAIA) and the Cape Institute for Architecture (CIFA).

Unesco begin search for ”World Capitals of Architecture”

UN heritage organisation Unesco and the International Union of Architects (UIA) are launching an initiative to create a list of cities, dubbed the “World Capitals of Architecture”, in an effort to confront three challenges: mass urbanisation, climate change and the preservation of architectural heritage.

The two bodies aim to counteract these problems by “developing opportunities through the mobilisation of local and national governments, the media and communities”.

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The city chosen as the world capitals will host events for architects, urban planners and experts from other sectors.

Ernesto Ottone, Unesco assistant director general for culture, said: “The aim is to create new synergies between culture and architecture in an increasingly urban world, in which cities are hubs for ideas, trade, culture, science and social development in particular.

“Through this initiative, our ambition is to ensure that these cities are also perceived as open and creative spaces for exchange, invention and innovation.”

Thomas Vonier, UIA president, said: “We want to highlight how architects, with the help of local governments and communities, can play a key role in identifying solutions that benefit communities.

“Connecting culture and architecture is essential to create inclusive, productive and sustainable cities and communities for all.”

10 Richest Cities In The World

In 2017, Hong Kong overtook New York as the world’s richst city. That’s according to a new research from which found that Asia is creating more ultra -high-net -worth -individuals — defined as those worth $30 million or more — at a faster pace than any other region in the world.

Hong Kong now has 10,010 residents worth $30 million or more, a 31 percent increase from the previous year. New York, meanwhile, recorded a 7 percent increase and hosts 8,865 UHNW individuals. Tokyo ranks third with 6,785.

While Asia is catching up in terms of wealth creation, the U.S. remains the world’s leading region for the super rich:  America stands at 79,595, which is more than the combined total of the next five largest UHNW countries. And as the chart below shows, five of the top 10 UHNW cities are in America: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

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Here are the top 10 richest cities in the world, as measured by the number of residents worth $30 million or more:

10. Osaka

2017 UHNW population: 2,730
Year-on-year change in population: +11.7 percent

9. Washington DC

2017 UHNW population: 2,735
Year-on-year change in population: +7.7 percent

8. San Francisco

2017 UHNW population: 2,820
Year-on-year change in population: +10.6 percent

7. Chicago

2017 UHNW population: 3,255
Year-on-year change in population: +7.1 percent

6. London

2017 UHNW population: 3,830
Year-on-year change in population: +10.1 percent

This $25 million Miami mansion is owned by a Bacardi heiress

5. Paris

2017 UHNW population: 3,950
Year-on-year change in population: +17.3 percent

4. Los Angeles

2017 UHNW population: 5,250
Year-on-year change in population: +8.6 percent

3. Tokyo

2017 UHNW population: 6,785
Year-on-year change in population: +11.9 percent

2. New York

2017 UHNW population: 8,865
Year-on-year change in population: +7 percent

1. Hong Kong

2017 UHNW population: 10,010
Year-on-year change in population: +31 percent

NMRC appoints new Chairman,MD

In view of recent board and management updates, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC), has appointed Charles Adeyemi Candide-Johnson SAN, and Mr Kehinde Ogundimu, as substantive Chairman and the Managing Director with effect from 1st December 2018. Mr Johnson takes over from Charles C. Okeahalam, PhD, who retired with effect from November 30. Also, the company’s Executive director in charge of policy, Strategy and Partnerships in the person of Dr. Mrs Chika Akporji, retired effective 30th November 2018. While, Mrs Anino Emuwa, Non-Executive Director, stepped down from the company’s board.

Until His appointment as Chairman, Mr Johnson was a non-executive Director, at NMRC, and a senior partner at Strachan Partners – a leading commercial law firm based in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria and substantial practice across the nation. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1984 and conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in September 2003.
He received an LL.M Degree from the University of London in 1985 and between 1984 and 1990 was Counsel in the leading chambers of Jon. B. Majiyagbe SAN, in Kano, Nigeria. He moved to Lagos in 1990 to establish the Lagos practice of that firm and in 1994 led the founding of Strachan Partners.

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Appointed as notary public for Nigeria in 1988 and in 1996 a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of England, Yemi is an approved tutor-examiner for the Institute. He is an honorary fellow at the Centre for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitration Association.

The new Managing Director, Mr Kehinde Ogundimu, was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Acting Managing Director, prior to his appointment as the substantive Managing Director. Ogundimu holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Ibadan and obtained an MBA from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years work experience in financial services (secondary mortgage and diversified banking), energy and public accounting.

Mr Ogundimu started his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers and subsequently worked in various capacities at Chevron Nigeria Ltd and in the Washington DC region at Pepco Energy Services, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and finally at Capital One Bank, where he was the Head of Debt, Derivatives and Securitization before joining NMRC.

“Mr. Ogundimu is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holder.
“He has attended several executive management programs in leading educational institutions including Harvard Business School and Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria,” the release further read.

The Company’s new Chairman and Managing Director, both come with wealth of experience acquired over the years, and are expected to oversee the affairs of the company, with a clear mandate to grow the primary and secondary mortgage markets and promote home ownership in Nigeria.

They are both proponents of the value chain approach to tackling the challenges facing a market comprising multi-faceted and complex operators, systems and processes along a supply and demand continuum.
The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company was conceived as a major institutional and financing intervention for the country’s housing sector, with the mandate of providing liquidity to mortgage lenders.

Source:Affa Dickson Acho

AFC Invests $142 Million In Hydro-Electric Power Station

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), one of the leading infrastructure development finance institutions in Africa, has announced to invest in the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), located 65KM north of Yaounde in Cameroon

The US$1.37bn power generation project will consist of a 420MW hydro-electric power station as well as a 50KM transmission line. The financing structure will take a 76:24 debt to equity ratio, with AFC providing US$56.94mn in debt and an additional 18-year interest rate swaps of up to US$85.41mn. Construction is expected to commence by the end of 2018.

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Other lenders participating in the investment consortium include the International Finance Corporation, European Investment Bank, Proparco, Société Générale and Standard Chartered.

Electricité de France International has a 40 per cent stake in NHPC, with InfraVentures, the World Bank’s infrastructure project development fund and the government of Cameroon each holding 30 per cent stakes.

This investment into Cameroon’s power sector comes following consistent growth in the demand for electricity across the country for both domestic and industrial use. For example, during the 2012 – 2016 period, demand grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.6 per cent, from 4.2TWh to 5.7TWh in the grid to which Nachtigal will connect. Currently, demand in the grid to which Nachtigal will be connected is expected to more than double from 5.7TWh in 2016 to above 13TWh by 2030.

At the same time, Eneo Cameroon SA, the country’s main electricity company, and off-taker to the NHP, has delivered significant operational improvements. This has consequently meant liquidity support for NHPC is stronger than it was for the Kribi Power Development Corporation IPP, which attracted a similar group of lenders.

As is the case with all projects Africa Finance Corporation participates in, the decision to go forward with the Nachtigal hydro project was based on its potential to drive economic development while also considering its wider impact. The NHPC will be the cornerstone of Cameroon’s low carbon development plan and was selected because it was ranked as the best future hydro project to be developed in the LCDP. AFC, the sponsors and lenders will develop the project in compliance with national and international best practices in terms of environmental and social management and infrastructure building.

Samaila Zubairu, president and CEO to AFC, commented, “Cameroon is a textbook example of a nation that has, in recent years, demonstrated a deep-rooted commitment to surmount its power deficit challenges by successfully creating a highly investible sector.”

“Moreover, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) having raised Cameroon’s economic growth outlook to 4.2 per cent from 2017’s 3.2 per cent, we will be investing in the country’s essential infrastructure that will help unlock further economic growth in the years to come, and for the people of Cameroon reach their developmental aspirations.”


Mortgage Underwriting Approval Process

The mortgage underwriting approval process often feels like an exceptionally long dental appointment. You’ve dutifully gathered the mountain of documentation required to obtain a mortgage. You’ll hand them over to your loan officer or a mortgage processor. Either way, your documents will be reviewed for thoroughness, completeness, and accuracy.

And almost everyone messes something up. They forget to check some box, omit a statement or miss a signature. Usually, your missing documents or signatures will be requested along with clarification on anything that’s not crystal clear about your documents.

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Here’s what to expect out of the process.

Your Choice of a Lender 

The underwriting process can vary a great deal depending on your loan officer and lender. The mortgage lender and loan officer you choose, the type of loan you need, and the general level of detail you’ve put into gathering your documents will play a large part in determining your personal level of underwriting discomfort.”

Your file will be passed on to a corporate mortgage processor in a centralized location that is typically nowhere near you, at least if you are with a large bank or lending institution.

Smaller lenders and independent mortgage brokers usually staff cohesive in-house teams. This results in more efficient operations and everyone is under one roof.

Even so, there are many good reasons to use a big bank. The giants can generally afford to take more chances than the small ones, and that’s great if you find yourself in a gray zone for approval. They also typically offer a wider variety of niche mortgage products for things like renovation and construction financing. But you’ll have to give up a little something in the way of efficiency in exchange for these advantages.

The Effect of “Turn Time”

All mortgage lenders have a “turn time,” the time from submission to underwriter review and the lender’s decision. The turn time can be affected by a number of factors big and small

Ask your loan officer what He/she expects your turn time will be and consider that factor in your ultimate choice of a lender. Keep in mind that purchase turn times should always be less than refinance turn times. Home buyers have hard deadlines they must meet so they get underwriting dibs.

Under normal circumstances, your purchase application should be underwritten within 72 hours of underwriting submission and within one week after you provide your fully completed documentation to your loan officer.

Approved, Denied, or Suspended 

The underwriter will typically issue one of three dispositions to your application: approved, denied, or suspended.

If it’s approved, underwriting will typically assign conditions you’ll have to meet for full approval. This might be clarification regarding a late payment, a large deposit, or a past life transgression. It could simply be a missed signature here or there.

If it’s suspended—which is not completely unusual—the issue of underwriting becomes more confused and needs clarification. These delays are typically employment- or income-related, but occasionally an asset verification question can also lead to a suspension. In this case, you’ll get two conditions: one to clear the suspense and the standard conditions needed for full approval.

Finally, if you’re denied, you’ll want to find out exactly why. Not all loans that start as denials end up that way. Many times a denial just requires you to rethink your loan product or your down payment. You might have to clear up a mistake in your application or on your credit report.

Approved With Conditions

The status of the vast majority of loan applications is “approved with conditions,” aka “conditional approval.” In this case, the underwriter simply wants clarification and additional documents, mostly to protect himself and his employer. He wants the closed loan to be as sound and risk-free as possible.

Quite frequently, the additional items aren’t requested to convince the underwriter, but rather to make sure the mortgage meets all the standards required by potential secondary investors who might end up buying the closed loan when everything is said and done.

Your Role in All This 

Your primary job during the time your loan is in underwriting is to move quickly on document requests, questions, and anything else that’s asked of you. No matter how ridiculous you think the document request might be.

Do not take the inquisition personally. This is just what underwriting does. Just handle the last few items and submit them so that you can hear the three best words in real estate—”clear to close”!


Reasons why your listing is turning buyers off

The best way to get potential buyers through the door and interested in your home is with a stellar online listing. Photos of the house and a description of the property are standard fare, but not all listings do what they’re supposed to do. In fact, some might actually do more harm than good.

In many ways, trying to sell your home is like applying for a job, and your online listing is the resume or cover letter. If it’s not polished, you’ll never even get to the next phase.

So, what are the parts of a listing that can turn buyers off? Below are some of the worst offenses.

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  1. Lackluster (or non-existent) description

It can be hard to sum up your home in a couple of paragraphs. However, if you want to attract buyers, you’ll need to paint an inviting picture of the property.

If it is a lakefront home, highlight the best parts of living on the lake; if it is an urban town, mention that you are within walking distance of top-rated restaurants.

Work with your real estate agent to pinpoint what buyers are looking for in your area, so you can mention it as early as possible in the listing description.

Also keep in mind that the online listing might initially show just a couple of lines of text, so make sure the most eye-catching information appears first.

  1. Too much (or the wrong type of) information

Colorful listing photos or descriptions are sure to entice, but you have to be objective. Your favourite aspects of the home might not have the same effect on buyers.



  1. Amateur photographs

Everyone thinks they can take quality pictures with their smartphones and save some money, but you only get one chance to impress potential buyers online

That’s why it’s important to feature high-quality photographs, shot by someone who has experience taking photos.


  1. Not staging your home

While many buyers like to think of a new house as a blank canvas for their own furniture and design tastes, leaving the rooms completely devoid of furniture and art in the listing photos can hurt you in the long run. Buyers like to see the potential of the home, so staging is highly recommended.


  1. Too many days on the market

Buyers look closely at the listing price and days on the market (DOM) because this information can help them determine whether the house is priced too low or too high—and how much they should offer if they’re interested.

Because every real estate market is different, there isn’t a hard and fast number of days it takes for a listing to be considered stale. However, most real estate agents agree that it takes about 30 days on the market for a listing to lose its lustre.

So how can you revive a stale listing? Additional marketing efforts like new photos or an added incentive may help. But the most effective way to generate more buzz about your property is with a price adjustment.

The best tactic, ultimately, is to price the house correctly the first time, so it doesn’t end up languishing on the market for a couple of weeks.

An overpriced home will force a seller to drop the price of their home numerous times to reach the ‘sweet spot’ where buyers become interested in the listing.


Aretha Franklin’s Historic Home Sold For $300k

The late, great Aretha Franklin was one of Detroit’s most celebrated residents. The Queen of Soul’s reign in the Motor City has come to an end, with word that the singer’s estate has sold off her property  in the city proper.

Her 5,600-square-foot brick home next to the Detroit Golf Club sold for $300,000 in October.

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Built in 1927, the historic mansion has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a backyard adjacent to the golf course. Franklin’s estate gave the new buyer—who reportedly has no connection with Franklin or her family—a sweet deal. The home is estimated to be worth more than $318,000.

The “Natural Woman” singer purchased the home in 1993 for an undisclosed amount. The property fell into foreclosure in 2008 due to unpaid taxes, an issue Franklin blamed on an accounting error at the time. The taxes were paid shortly thereafter and the home was saved.

While the Detroit home sold quickly, there’s still a home on the market owned by Franklin’s estate if you’re looking for your own piece of pedigreed property. On sale for $800,000, the five-bedroom home in the posh suburb of Bloomfield Township MI, was built in 1990.

At the time of her death, Franklin owned five Michigan properties and was worth an estimated $80 million. However, she died without a will in place and her estate was divided between her four sons.

“I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive,” Don Wilson, an attorney,told the Associated Press. “She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do one.’ She understood the need, It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to.”

Her heirs are making quick work of selling off the properties. And although the properties will acquire new owners, the city will always bear the indelible mark of Franklin’s achievements.



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