World Bank Partnership: 171 projects completed in Akwa-Ibom

The Government of Akwa Ibom State, in partnership with World Bank, has through the Community and Social Development Programme (AKSG-CSDP), completed the construction of 171 micro-projects in the state, with 56 others still on-going.

The projects worth N686, 903, 711, 31.00, include 13 health centres, 12 school blocks 30 (24-unit each) open market stalls, 39 motorised boreholes, 24 electricity extension, five culverts/drainages, several VIP toilets, town halls/civic centres, viewing centre, among others, spread across 89 rural communities in the state.

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Ekong Sampson, the state Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning, made this known on Thursday while inspecting some completed projects in Eyulor Community in Urueofong-Ooruko Local Government Area.

Sampson said Akwa Ibom State Government has used the CSDP micro projects scheme to give voice and dignity to the poor and vulnerable at the grassroots, as it had significantly reduced poverty, enhanced the standard of living of rural people, created employment through the various social infrastructures in the 89 benefitting communities.

He lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel’s value and commitment to serving his people, as demonstrated in his fulfillment of all conditions by the World Bank , including payment of counterpart funds, which enabled the state’s CSDP to come on board the scheme on time and to make great strides.

Sampson affirmed that the strides so far recorded in the AKSG-CSDP was indicative of efforts made by the Governor Emmanuel-led administration towards the actualisation of its five-point agenda of Wealth Creation, Job Creation, Political and Economic Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation and Infrastructure expansion and consolidation.

He maintained that measuring by significant increase of access of the poor and vulnerable to improved healthcare services, potable water, electricity, as well as reduction in pupils per class ratio and average distances to schools among many other Key Performance Indicators(KPIs)  the Akwa Ibom State Government, through its collaboration with World Bank under the CSDP, has performed creditably well.

Ishmael Akpan, the General Manager of the AKSG-CSDP, in his remarks, applauded the state government for its promptness in taking advantage of the partnership in the interest of the rural dwellers in the state.

He said Akwa Ibom was one of the first states to come on board the programme in 2015 and as at October 2018, has recorded 171 completed projects, being the highest number on the scheme, while still having 56 projects  at different stages of completion.

Creation of protected areas to benefit African countries – UN

Jaime Cavelier, senior environmental specialist with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) said that the protected areas can develop sustainable tourism that can be a major source of revenue generation for the countries.

“The protected areas are capable of improving the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) hence helped in improving the lives of populations,”

He said that the countries must begin to be strategic regarding their expenditures since donor funding is getting limited with time.

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Cavelier said that the creation of conservancies has proven very useful as it helps offer communities socio – economic benefits and has reduced human – wildlife conflicts.

He said that with proper management, the revenue accrued from the protected areas can help support other sectors such as health, education and infrastructure.

Cavelier revealed that GEF has donated $131 million to help 19 countries in Africa and Asia to address problems associated with poaching that threatens the survival of wildlife globally.

He said that part of the amount will be used to train wildlife rangers to help preserve pangolin and rhinos that are threatened with extinction due to demand for their products by illegal traders in wildlife products.

“It is important that governments allocate additional funds to help save the wildlife from extinction,” he added.

He further said that UN agency has also allocated $1.2 billion in recent years towards the conservation of biodiversity and a further 500,000 million towards climate change and land degradation through small grants projects.

The official said that GEF is in the process of integrating the programs on conservation of biodiversity, climate change and land degradation that has been running independently for a long time.

He said that the approach will forge a joint effort to help arrest environmental degradation that has been continuing despite interventions put in place by UN programmes and other development agencies.

Cavelier stressed the need for countries to mainstream fisheries and tourism as part of the productive sectors in line with SDGs.

Source: Environews


Africa and Middle East to spend more on smart cities by 2022

The amount spent by smart cities on technology is set to double in the coming four years within the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

The total spending is anticipated to increase from $1.3bn to $2.7bn during the review period, according to a recent report released by KPMG.

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The report, titled ‘The Rise of Smart Cities – Digital Transformation in the Public Sector’. Dr Samer Abdallah, Head of Digital Transformation at KPMG Saudi Arabia, announced that the leaders in smart city development are Riyadh and Dubai.

“Given the Saudi government’s move to embrace digital transformation in alignment with Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020, information technology (IT) spending in the kingdom is slated to grow by at least 14 per cent each year,” Abdallah stated.

Smart city spending across the world is expected to expand from $81bn in 2018 to $158bn by 2022, Abdallah revealed using statistics from the International Data Corporation.

“As Saudi Arabia makes great strides to build a sophisticated digital infrastructure under its Vision 2030, cloud computing will be a catalyst for digital transformation,” Abdallah said at the “Race to the Cloud: Present and the future of cloud platforms in fuelling Artificial Intelligence’ presentation.

Source: globalconstructionreview

Burundi And Tanzania Get $322 Million AfDB Loan

In a bid to boost regional integration and trade in East Africa, the African Development Bank Group has approved US$322m in loans to Burundi and Tanzania, mostly for road upgrades.

A major component of the package is paving a 260km gravel road linking Kabingo, Kasulu and Manyovu in Tanzania.

The package also includes: A 45km road improvement project between Rumonge-Gitaza in southwest Burundi;A one stop border post between Tanzania and Burundi at Manyovu/Mugina Border; New health centres, schools and community water sources; and rehabilitation of other rural and urban roads.

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“The project will fundamentally enhance the mobility of goods and services for the people in Burundi and Tanzania”,said Gabriel Negatu, director general of the bank’s East Africa Regional Development & Business Delivery Office.

“The improved transport will bring additional benefits for the two neighbouring countries, including empowering women and youth for whom new market centres will be opened and other economic activities will increase.”

The projects are aimed at strengthening links between the Port of Dar es Salaam to markets in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Road upgrades are due to be completed in 2023.

The project coincides with the bank’s ten year strategy , running from 2013 to 2022, focusing on “assisting its regional member countries achieve more inclusive and greener growth” and “including integrating Africa and improving the lives of the people of Africa”.

Source: globalconstructionreview


How To Access Family Homes Funds Loan – Adewole

As more developers, embrace the Federal Government initiative of providing affordable housing to low-income earners through the Family Homes Funds, the question on the lips of developers is how can they access financing from Family Homes Funds.

To answer the question, the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds, Mr Femi Adewole, shed more light on how financing can be assessed, he opened up during the question and answer time, after he presented his paper at the ongoing National Workshop of the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria, in Abuja.

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He said, ‘’we are currently providing capital for developers, whether private or public, but the key requirements are these; we only finance developers, who are building homes that fall within our target cost indicators, and they are challenging, that means that more slots exist for the one bedroom houses.

In terms of transfer cost; transfer cost been the price to the occupier, of no more than N2.5 to 3million . The two-bed being 4, to N4.5million, and the three-bed being N5.5 to N6million’’.

Speaking further he said ‘’we are basically financing 100% of the construction cost, and 15% advance payment to get you started, and in some cases we are also giving you an off take guarantee to de-risk the project for you. So it’s an extremely attractive package, because the intent is to bring supply at the level of the market for mortgage origination’’.

On the documents required by Family Homes Fund, he said,

‘’at this stage we are only looking for 3 or 4 sets of documents, number one, we need a very brief information on who you are, because you need to know who you are giving money to, how they are organized and how they handle money. And of course their experience and track record.

The second set is about the technical information, obviously your typical drawings, architecture, civil and all of that.

The third information that we need is the financial appraisal and assessment, and to make that easy for you, we have developed a fairly simple template, which we will e-mail to you and you can fill, and it basically tells you what is happening with regards to the cash flow and the viability of the project.

The fourth document is some statements around your marketing strategy, we want to understand what your strategy and your plan is for linking the production of the houses, to the buyers, that is an area that is of interest to us. So it’s basically as simple as that’’.

He added that interested developers can check the Family Homes Fund website to see the guidelines to developers for accessing financing from the Family Homes Funds.

Source: Affa Dickson Acho

REDAN Throws Weight Behind Family Homes Fund

Against the backdrop of the widening housing gap in the country,and new Initiatives supported by the federal government to address the housing shortfall, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, (REDAN), has reiterated its support for Family Homes Fund, one of such new initiatives.

The support came from the President of REDAN, Rev Ugochukwu Chime, during an interview at the National Workshop of the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN),in Abuja.

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He said, ‘’Family homes fund is a welcome development that will cater to the yearnings for low income housing for years, we need a new paradigm to cater for the poor. And to ensure that the housing need of the poor is met’’.

He noted that apart from the provision of houses to low-income earners, it is an initiative that will create employment to many Nigerians.

‘’with the Family Homes Fund coming into place, we are now creating an opportunity for employment in the sites where those projects will be developed, they have a target of 500,000 housing units, in a year, that is, if you multiply by 8 people, that will give us 4million Nigerians who are gainfully employed, so the family homes fund and the N power projects, are a symbiotic relationship, and with that as a fulcrum, we will begin to look at other issues, like land use, and land administration’’.

On the challenges that such initiatives usually face, he said, ‘’I must say the man driving it is one who has had international exposure, Internally they have a very good mechanism, but like we all know, we need an established managerial component, you need to have the land administration processes streamlined, you need to have the transaction cost on land reduced, you need to have the transaction time on land reduced, also you need to have, some of the other parties, take some concessions, including the developers, and reduce the profit expectations, so that at the end of the day, we will meet the target of achieving housing for the poor.

So, Family Homes Fund, on its own cannot do it because, a chain is as strong as its weakest link, they cannot start the whole process and end it in the office, they need other stakeholders in the real estate value chain to come together, and that is what we have been doing as REDAN, because we understand that, we stand at the centre of it all’’.

Family Homes Fund is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority as founding shareholders. The Fund is the largest affordable housing-focused fund in Sub-Sahara Africa, leveraging its significant capital (in excess of N1trn by 2023) to facilitate access to affordable housing for millions of Nigerians on low to medium income groups.

Source: Affa Dickson Acho

Abuja International Housing Show:An International Brand With A Nigerian Touch

Global brands are all around us but the true winner is the Abuja International Housing Show, which in every sense of the word has given life to the phrase ”Think global, act local”.

Regarded as the largest built and construction exhibition in Africa, with about  400 exhibitors and over 15,000 participants, the Abuja International Housing Show, is a convergence of ‘who is who’, in construction, estate development, engineering, architecture, estate surveying, quantity surveying, estate management, finance, Interior decoration and design, furniture and building products, materials and services businesses from across world.

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It also pulls in high profile personalities including, governors, housing ministers, state commissioners, CEOs, and global body heads from over 10 countries’’.

As a global brand, the event has carved has carved for itself an international reputation in the course of finding lasting solutions to challenges of housing in Nigeria also become a credible platform where people network, promote their businesses and make housing available at affordable rates.The event is also an opportunity for prospective home owners to gain insights into how an occupant can become involved in the design process, including influencing house layout and fabric choices, and bringing individual needs into focus in future design developments.

It also allows prospective occupants to engage directly with the house-builder, which ultimately leads to increased demand for home grown products and services, not only that, It is has also become a credible platform where those thinking of how to become homeowners, see their dreams turn to reality.

The Abuja International Housing Show, helps to stimulate the building and construction industry, in terms of design-led housing solutions, and high quality home-grown materials and products.

A major highlight of the event is the showcase of innovative developments in the housing industry, paper presentations from experts and leading names in the industry.

Over the years, the Abuja housing show has garnered the support of its partners drawn from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, professional bodies among others.

The Abuja International Housing Show has been able to go beyond the boundaries of Nigeria, and establish itself as a international brand with a Nigerian touch.

Source:Affa Dickson Acho



AHCN calls on state governmets to develop political will in funding housing development

The National workshop of the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), began in Abuja today, with the theme: Tackling Housing Deficit and Affordability Challenge as a Channel for Driving Economic Recovery.

The workshop, which will hold from 28th to 30th November 2018, is being attended by public and private sector stakeholders, in the housing industry. Speaking at the workshop, the National President of the AHCN, Mohamed Baba Adamu, said the role of AHCN is to assist all the member associations in the area of housing development.

He said ‘’we usually source for funds for member associations to deliver on their mandate of providing shelter, and we assist them in positively engaging with their respective state governments, so that they are able to deliver affordable houses for Nigerians’’.

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On the challenges faced by most housing corporations, he said ‘’The major challenge we have is the issue of funding, nowadays most states are no longer funding housing corporations as the ought to, most state governments look at housing provision as a social service, and something that can be done only when they are able, so with the limited resources available to state governments, they find it difficult to fund housing development’’.


While commenting at the workshop,the President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria(REDAN),Rev Ugochukwu Chime noted that state governments too must be carried along in order to boost housing development,he said,

”prior to now state governments have seen land as its own assets,but now with the dwindling oil resources,they are now looking at the fact that land could be an investment,either you leave the land the way it is or you get partners who can invest,build houses and help generate IGR, from ground rents,and other user charges,they now see that there is a mutual beneficial platform between the Federal government,state governments and other developers”

Speaking on the strides being made in the area of low income housing, the Managing Director of Family Homes Fund, Mr Femi Adewole, said

‘’So far so good we have made a lot of progress in terms of creating the supply of homes that are going to be affordable to people who earn low incomes, today we have about 3000 homes at various stages of completion, and by march next year we will have about 21,000 homes under construction.

That will be the largest housing programme so far in the nation, and to support that, we have launched our homes loan assistance programme which is designed to support households who are earning less than a N100,000 per month, to access home ownership’ ’he concluded.

With the support of Family Homes Funds,FMBN,FHA and Fesadeb Media Group,the three day workshop will among other things, help chart a new course towards sustainable housing delivery and address the housing challenge in all states of the federation.

The workshop will be a great avenue for housing stakeholders to connect and network with CEOs of states owned housing agencies, and other housing leaders who will provide guidance, information and inspiration to stakeholders on how they can solve the housing crisis and deliver great services for their clients and communities.

The workshop will give stakeholders the opportunity to know how housing affordability is being tackled by stakeholders in the hosing sector

Source:Affa Dickson Acho



Yuletide: FG to tackle high vehicular pressure on roads

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says the Federal Government has directed its contractors to commence road repairs to ensure hitch free movement during the Yuletide.

Fashola said this on Tuesday in Kaduna at the ongoing capacity building workshop organised by the ministry for its federal controllers of works.

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The theme of the workshop is; “Learning and Development for Greater Stature”.

He said the ministry had resolved to tackle the challenges of high vehicular pressure on the roads usually occasioned by the Yuletide.

“We have all our zonal directors back to their zones, nobody goes on leave until mid-January when the Christmas pressure is over.

“We have also met with all our contractors and have directed them to commence repairs of bad sections of roads where their construction work has not reached.

“They have agreed and have also sent us feedback of the equipment that will be available in 53 major transport corridors across the country.

“We will work with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to deploy their sector commanders, patrol men and vehicles to ease traffic during the season,’’ he said.

Fashola, therefore, called on drivers to be careful on the roads to ensure safety during the season and beyond.

Buhari set to commission Family Homes Funds Low Income Housing Project In Kano

In its quest to provide housing for the low and middle income earners in Nigeria, the Federal Government, through the Family Homes Funds is partnering with private developers to build houses in different locations of the federation.

Preceding the commissioning of the project by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Zarma led a taskforce team to Kano State to inspect one of the housing estates funded by the Family Homes Fund.

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Speaking during a tour of inspection of the project, the Hon Minster outlined categories of families that will occupy the houses, he said ‘’We are providing a mixture of all, housing for the poor, housing for people who can afford it and those who cannot afford it, because we have a provision for rent to own, so you can rent a house with the aim of owning it later, by contributing from your meagre resources’’.

Speaking further he said apart from providing shelter, the initiative is also providing employment.

‘’If you have gone round with us, you’ve seen a lot of activities going on, you’ve not seen any foreigner, that means there is employment for our people which is one thing that is unique with provision of housing, you’ve seen people selling pure water, you’ve seen people selling food, iron rods, you’ve seen sand you’ve seen granite and you’ve seen cement, all these are economic activities coming out of this single project’’.

Also speaking during the tour of inspection, the project developer,and Chairman of Country Wide Limited,a Family Homes Funds partner company, Ali Magashi, stated the number of houses the project has created and the number of houses ready. ‘’We have over a 1,500 people working everyday on site, by the time we finish this number goes to 10,000 people, and right now we have 121 houses that are ready’’.

The team which was led by the Minister of State II, Power, Works and Housing had representatives from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the military and Road safety corps, as well as the Managing Director of Family Homes Fund and the Senior Special Assistant to the president on infrastructure.

Source:Affa Dickson Acho

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