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Sheikh Mohammed: Why The Word Impossible is ‘Void’ in The UAE

Dubai ruler issues message of optimism on the occasion of the 48th UAE National Day

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The word “impossible” has become void in the UAE after the achievements of the country and its progress in recent years, according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

In a statement to Nation Shield magazine on the occasion of the 48th UAE National Day, he said: “We will continue to deliver the future for our generations to come. The occasion we are celebrating today is teeming with a myriad of lessons that we have learned from our founding fathers, who instilled in us an ambition and will to cope with the changes in the world and to utilise our full potential.”

He highlighted the UAE’s strategy to take advantage of the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, saying the country has positioned itself as a “model for interactive cities”, using artificial intelligence to achieve sustainability and accelerate the transition to a knowledge-based economy.

“From an early stage, we realised the importance of space sciences and made it clear that those who won’t establish their foothold in space would find it hard on earth. And out of this perspective we have established relevant legislation to groom Emirati cadres capable of delivering the future,” he added.

Sheikh Mohammed said the national economy had made “great strides” thanks to the UAE’s resilient and flexible legislation, adding that the country has also strengthened women’s empowerment as part of efforts to achieve gender equality.

He also referenced Expo 2020 Dubai, saying: “We will seize the opportunity to showcase to the entire world our best potential across all fronts. We will show to the whole world that our country has become a role model for development and progress. We will spare no efforts to advancing our country and will never hesitate to transfer our experience and knowledge to our brothers and friends.”

Sheikh Mohammed’s message in full:

“Today, the accomplishments of 48 years lay before us, as we remember with all gratitude our Founding Father, the symbol of our union, the founder of our renaissance, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his life companion, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, as well as the rest of the Founding Fathers.

“With their memory, we see a vision that led to the birth of our nation, and an ambition which laid the foundations for a country strengthened by its sons and daughters and its Armed Forces and security services. A nation which champions sustainable development, and embodies the values of unity, loyalty and cohesion.

“The UAE ‘model’ has shifted from one condition to another, and from age to another, and we have established progress and opened up our aspirations to wider horizons, and for our future generations the best opportunities.

“As Emiratis bask in pride and satisfaction with the achievements and successes of their country, I am sure that they also carry a full sense of responsibility for preserving, developing and growing those achievements.

“The Spirit of the Union that runs through us, have rendered the word ‘impossible’ void in our dictionary, and with that, we have turned making achievements to a way of life, and made progress a part of our plans and actions.

“We will continue to deliver the future for our generations to come. The occasion we are celebrating today is teeming with a myriad of lessons that we have learned from our Founding Fathers, who instilled in us an ambition and will to cope with the changes in the world and to utilise our full potential.

“As the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) falls on us, we have launched an ambitious strategy that positions the UAE as a model for interactive cities, using Artificial Intelligence to achieve sustainability and accelerate our transition to a knowledge-based economy.

“From an early stage, we realised the importance of space sciences and made it clear that those who won’t establish their foothold in space would find it hard on earth. And out of this perspective we have established relevant legislation to groom Emirati cadres capable of delivering the future. We’ve managed to manufacture the first entirely Emirati-made satellite and celebrated our sons’ launch to the International Space Station. And now our young Emiratis are in the final stages of launching Probe Hope next year.

“We have many future plans, which cannot be listed in full here. I suffice here to highlight our clean energy efforts through our trendsetting initiatives, such as Masdar. The UAE leads in its sustainability efforts and use of various forms of renewable energy. The UAE Energy Strategy 2050 targets an energy mix combining renewable, clean energy sources and nuclear power to meet the Emirates’ economic requirements and environmental goals.

“As we celebrate today the 48th anniversary of our Union, we launch substantial future-oriented plans and initiatives underpinned by a robust research infrastructure represented in our AI Labs and Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

“As to our national economy, we have made great strides thanks to our resilient and flexible legislation, and public-private partnerships transparency and accountability. Despite the global economic slowdown, our non-oil trade is growing and our ecommerce is advancing as well at an annual average rate of 23 percent. Our national economy enjoys an advanced ranking at the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019, published by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development.

“We have made great strides as well at the level of political empowerment with 337,738 having participated in the latest parliamentary elections. We have strengthened women’s empowerment as part of our efforts to achieve gender equality, with Emirati women fulfilling their responsibilities at all levels.

“With our Year of Tolerance drawing to a close this month, tolerance will continue to be an integral part of our social fabric, beliefs and values. We will continue our role in strengthening human fraternity between the followers of different faiths and religions.

Housing Deficit

“We will maintain our ranking as the world’s largest donor of official development aid, relative to our gross national income.

“As we are getting fully geared for EXPO 2020 Dubai next year, we will seize the opportunity to showcase to the entire world our best potential across all fronts. We will show to the whole world that our country has become a role model for development and progress. We will spare no efforts to advancing our country and will never hesitate to transfer our experience and knowledge to our brothers and friends.

“On our National Day, I extend my greetings to my brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. And I assure all UAE people that our achievements in 2020 will outpace those made in 2019 and will bring us closer to achieving the ambitious goals of the UAE Vision 2021.”

Source: arabianbusiness

Finance Bill: Bank Customers to Present Evidence of Tax Payment

If signed into law, the finance bill passed by the Nigerian Senate states that customers must come to banks with evidence of tax payment –

Banks will require what is called Tax Identification Number (TIN) from anyone who intends to open accounts with them –

President Muhammadu Buhari presented the bill to the National Assembly in October

In the financial bill recently passed by the National Assembly, all bank customers must come with evidence of tax payment.

The bill was submitted to lawmakers alongside the 2020 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari. The aim is to enhance financial operations in Nigeria and checkmate issues related to tax, The Nation reports. The bill states that banks will require Tax Identification Number (TIN) from anyone who intends to open accounts with them while pre-existing customers will also have to provide the TIN before carrying out transactions. The TIN, which is a unique identifier for an individual or a firm for tax payment, is prepared by the tax office and issued for proper identification and verification.

Application for the TIN is free and should not be more than 48 hours after a request is submitted. Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the bill to increase the tax on goods among others had been passed by the Nigerian Senate when they passed the Finance Bill. It was gathered that President Buhari in October presented the bill to the National Assembly. The bill seeks to increase the value-added tax from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent. If signed into law, Nigerians will pay more for specific goods and services that attract VAT.

Source: Legitng

Architects Flay 30-Year Life Span for Buildings

The Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) has frowned at the low life span and quality of buildings across the country, which in most cases lasts between 20 to 30 years.

The new president of the institute, Sunny Echono who stated this at the weekend noted that a building that is designed and constructed with good materials should last for 100years. Echono lamented that Nigeria can’t keep replacing buildings every 30years, adding that the country has not been able to judiciously utilise its own land resources.

He pledged that the institute would adjust to the changing needs of the younger generation by deploying technology for training of members. He promised to project the important role that Architects play in every society, galvanize and activate all resources within the economy and channel them properly towards national development.

He said: “Architect are the ones that provides the infrastructure like the hotel’s, hospitals, schools and offices which we work, any program aimed at sustainable development we will be at the cutting edge, we will lead that program because we are not talking about energy efficiency only, we are taking about local contents, use of local materials, sustainable materials.”

“We need to also mold and change the altitude of Nigerians because Nigerians like to defend spaces, they want to say this is my plot, this is my building but we are looking forward to promoting the ideal of multiple complexes like having blocks and flats for mass housing, so with the limited space we can accommodate more people because we have one of the population growth rate in the world currently in the region of 3.2 percent per annum.”

Source: Guardianng

‘We’ve Demolished over 3,000 Illegal Structures in Abuja’

Mukhtar Galadima is the Director, FCT Development Control Department. In this interview he explains the functions of the department, its challenges and what they are doing to restore the Abuja Master Plan.


There is this misconception that your department is synonymous with demolition, what actually is the role of the FCT Development Control Department?

First, let me disabuse the minds of those who have this misconception. Statutorily, the department is responsible for granting development permits and ensuring that it is being implemented as approved, and ensure that all the components and context of the Abuja Master Plan is being followed. People are more concerned about demolition because it touches their interest. Anyone that doesn’t want to go contrary to the provisions of the Abuja Master Plan will try to ensure compliance, if you fail that is when we apply sanctions.

What are these permits that you mentioned?

We have the building plan, the setting out, telecom mast, and stage by stage development approvals;

What is the level of compliance?

To a large extent, the level of compliance, if I can put a percentage, I can say there is 85% compliance. But you see a city, just like every organism, as you are developing you are seeing changes, so our agency’s responsibility is to look at, predict and manage these changes. So also the city’s development, you cannot escape this dynamism.

The approval fees you charge, what are they are like?

These fees are subject to locations and availability of infrastructure as well. The fees that someone in Kuje pays will not be the same as the one paid by someone in Maitama. Secondly it depends on the volume of development that you are putting up, so also the land use. So, it is not just being subjective, no, there are certain standards and criteria that we follow in charging these fees.

What are the sanctions for people who flout the rules?

We have a number of sanctions, sometimes we seal your premises, sometimes we recommend to the Minister for the withdrawal of your title, and ultimately where we feel that what you are doing is injurious to the society we remove such a structure.

 How many properties have you demolished?’

I cannot count, but it is beyond the range of 3,000.

Despite the 85% compliance that you mentioned?

Some of these are shanties, illegal structures, some are at excavation stage, at DPC. All the same, in case where you have the preponderance of land racketeers carving out plots on their own without recourse to the FCT Administration we go and remove such.

What about local chiefs who allocate plots illegally?

We do same, there is no exception. All lands in the FCT belong to the federal government of Nigeria so anyone that buys or sell land outside the confines of the authority is illegal and any structure put on such land is considered illegal so we must remove such structures.

Do you have adequate manpower to do the work?

Recently, they were some employments made, so now we are training such new officers, they include architects, town planners, and builders. Now, it is up to us to mentor them and train them on the job.

As a professional town planner, is the development of Abuja in strict compliance of the Master Plan?

Yes, firstly, the Abuja Master Plan is one of the most celebrated planning document in the world. And to a certain extent, the level of implementation, particularly in Phase 1, is commendable. But plans are subject to changes, the time the plan was prepared the economy of Nigeria was buoyant so some of the prescriptions of the plan now cannot be implemented due to paucity of funds. And certain techniques and technology were not available then so in certain areas it could not be utilized but now with technology you could do so many things.

And the prediction of population in the city, that it will accommodate 3.1 million, is in the past now with the realities on the ground, you can see socio-economic factors chasing people way and them coming to Abuja. So all these factors have direct or indirect influence on the Abuja Master Plan. Consequently, you have pressures on the FCT which is relatively a peaceful area in Nigeria, everyone wants to come to Abuja.

How do you then see Abuja in the next 20, 30 years in terms of physical development?

If we should have the kind of administrators that we have now, in subsequent years to come Abuja’s dream will be realized. Why do I say so? Because one, the administration insists on following the tenets of the Abuja Master Plan even as it admits that there could be changes, fundamental changes that are due to circumstances of the time. Master Plans by their nature are time bound, after it lapses, it is expected to be reviewed. And the Abuja Master Plan has made such provision adequately. There have been pockets of reviews. Some reviews are being made. But to have it celebrated that Abuja Master Plan is being reviewed, no. I remember that during the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo people were invited to come and participate, just preparatory towards the review, after that there were some reports that were made and were supposed to be incorporated. This administration is also working towards that, last year or early this year some efforts were made to get the stakeholders to sit down, look, and review it in view of the current realities.

What are the challenges being faced by your department?

Just like any other organization, there are challenges, they could be internal or external. Like the problem of influx of people, then the issue of indiscipline among Nigerians, these are challenges. Then the issue of non-resettlement of the indigenous communities, if that had been done, most of these problems we are seeing will not be there. Then we have challenge with even the implementation of the Master Plan, all of us are not saints, we are not perfect, but in every society there are the good and bad ones. So all these are challenges.

Source: Dailytrustng

FG to Partner Architects on SDG Policy Framework

The Federal Government is ready to partner with the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), on how to strengthen the policy framework for the development of the country. Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, disclosed this at the 59th annual general meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) with the theme: “2030 & Nigerian Architecture: Goals, Gaps and Gains.”

He said the federal government would partner with the NIA where necessary to strengthen the framework for the successful realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

According to him, architects design building and ensure that their work and those of other professionals not only meet the clients brief but more importantly conform to architectural material specifications.

In his opening remarks, the President of NIA, Arc. Festus Adibe Njoku, said networking together will help to review the state of the nation’s 2030 SDG agenda implementation with specific emphasis on architecture.

Speaking also at the event, the former President of NIA, Arc. Sonny Echono, said that the adoption of the 2030 agenda was a landmark to a shared global vision towards sustainable development for all.

Source: dailytrustng

Minister Laments Building Materials Quality

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has challenged Nigerian builders to come up with  building construction innovation  that would not only stand the test of time but would also be suitable for the tropical weather conditions in  Nigeria.

Speaking at the investiture ceremony of the 20th President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) Kunle Awobodu on Thursday in Abuja, the minister, who was the chairman of the ceremony, lamented that the quality of building materials used in today’s buildings are not suitable for Nigerian weather conditions. He observed that for instance, the corrugated roofing sheets widely used in Nigeria easily becomes rusted due to the tropical sunshine. And when it rained, the pounding sound of the rains makes the noise inside the houses unbearable.

The minister also pointed out that there were bound to be adverse health implications in the quality of building materials used which have not yet been fully made known to Nigerians.

The Deputy Chairman House Committee on Urban Development and Regional Planning, Arc. Ibrahim Almustapha Aliyu, who represented the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the lawmakers would accelerate passage of the enabling Act for the enforcement of the National Building Code to address the building collapse crisis in the Nigerian built environment.

President of NIOB, Kunle Awobodu, said the new leadership of the Institute will prioritize safety of men and buildings above other interests while collaborating with all stakeholders for orderliness and professionalism in the built environment.

Source: Dailytrustng

Abuja Master Plan Not Fully Implemented – Minister

The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has said that if the Abuja Master Plan was implemented the way it was initially planned, it would have achieved a resilient city status by now. Resilient cities are cities that have the ability to absorb, recover and prepare for future shocks (economic, environmental, social and institutional).

She said, however, that the FCT administration have started a review of the comprehensive master plan since 2017 to enable a well-informed review.

The minister who spoke at the 2019 Town Planners week called on teamwork within departments in the FCTA to achieve a resilient city beyond 2020. Aliyu who was represented by the FCT Director Department of Urban and Regional planning, Hajiya Zaliha’u Ahmed, added that all developments causing flood as well as developments on the road corridors will be removed.

She said that by implementing the Abuja Master Plan to the letter, Abuja was going to achieve a resilient city. Declaring the conference open, the Chairman of the FCT chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) Garba Jibrin, said this year’s theme focuses on Abuja’s resilience beyond 2020. Jibrin explained that Abuja as a city in recent years has experienced a wide variety of shocks such as population inflow, explosions, natural and human disasters like the flood in Lokongoma, Kwali and Abuja Municipal and the earth tremor in Mpape area.

Source: Dailytrustng

Rwanda: Green City Project to Create 16,000 Jobs

A special Umuganda-community work with Green City Kigali project is slated for Saturday in Kinyinya sector where the model green city will be set up.

The project is expected to create approximately 16,000 jobs when fully developed, Rwanda Green Fund has revealed

The community work will be carried out in partnership with local communities living in and around the site in partnership with the German Development Cooperation through KfW Development Bank which promotes development programmes in Africa, Asia, Latin America and South-Eastern Europe.

This special Umuganda will serve as a platform for the community, local authorities and stakeholders to give their input into the development of the Green City Kigali and to ensure their concerns and needs are addressed.

“The project is expected to benefit 150,000 people and provide 30,000 housing units. It will also support the adoption of low carbon technologies,” reads the released statement, adding that it will be a flagship project on 600 hectares to create a new sustainable neighbourhood for low and middle-income residents.

It will integrate green building and design, efficient and renewable energy, recycling and inclusive living, homegrown solutions and local construction materials and Development of a model green city in Kigali is expected to support job creation, with a potential to create approximately 16,000 jobs when fully developed, Rwanda Green Fund has revealed. It is also expected to serve as a model for sustainable urban development that can be replicated across Rwanda and the wider region as a demonstration of Rwanda’s commitment to addressing climate change and rapid urbanization.

In May this year, Eudes Kayumba, Deputy Team Leader of the Green City Pilot project told The New Times that engineers have estimated the cost of the project at between $4 billion and $5 billion. Among the clean technologies expected to be integrated include electric vehicles, electric bicycle and motorcycle lanes, sustainable waste treatment, biogas plants, urban forests etc and will ensure that developers will not relocate any residents as a way of inclusive urbanization.

The implementation of the project is expected to start in 2020.

Source: allafrica

Abbey Mortgage Bank Receives N2.37bn Investment Boost from VFD Group

…Private Placement of 2.26bn shares at N1.05kobo per share

The shareholders of Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc at the company’s annual general meeting held on Monday July 15 resolved among others to raise additional capital of N2.37billion by way of Private Placement of the company’s ordinary shares.

The shareholders resolved that subject to obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals, the Private Placement shall be by way of sale of 2,261,538,462 ordinary shares of the Company at the rate of N1.05kobo per share to the VFD Group Plc, a financial services-focused proprietary investment company.

Private placement is a funding round of securities which are sold not through a public offering, but rather through a private offering, mostly to a small number of chosen investors.

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc is listed on the mainboard of the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the “Mortgage Carriers, Brokers” subsector of the Financial Services Sector.

Details of the resolutions at the meeting are at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The Private Placement formed part of the special resolutions at the meeting which held in Lagos.

Considering Abbey’s last closing price of 90kobo per share at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the private placement is priced at a premium. Though, the stock had reached a 52-week high of N1.17 kobo per share.

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc is a Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB) which operates under the supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The company’s business is providing banking services in personal savings and investments, cash management, specialized banking, deposit and funds management, children and school account services, real estate and mortgage services, amongst others.

It is also an accredited Primary Mortgage Bank for the National Housing Fund (NHF) and a subscriber to the recently created Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC).

The shareholders of Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc also resolved that subject to the approval of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (the NSE) the Placement shares shall be listed on the NSE upon conclusion of the Private Placement.

The directors of the company have been authorized to take all necessary steps required to give full effect to the Private Placement including all necessary filings at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

During the ordinary business at the meeting, the shareholders received the audited financial statements of the company for the year ended December 31 2018 together with the reports of the directors, auditors and audit committee.

The shareholders also resolved that the authorised share capital of the Company be increased from N3.5billion to N6billion by the creation of 5billion additional shares of 50kobo each, such shares ranking pari-passu with the existing shares of the Company.

Source: Businessdayng

Camey & Rocks Acquires Major Shares at Resort Savings & Loans

Camey & Rocks Business Consulting Limited has acquired the majority shares in Resort Savings & Loans Plc.

The current authorized share capital of the bank is 20 billion units of shares amounting to N10bn at N0.50k per share; the bank has over 13,000 shareholders.

At a briefing in Abuja recently, the Chief Executive Officer of Camey and Rocks, Mr. Peter Adejoh, said the Board and Management of Resort Savings & Loans Plc at its Board of Directors Meeting held on 24th October 2019 approved the acquisition of the 43.35 percent which makes the business consulting firm the majority shareholder in the mortgage bank.

He said the investment is aimed at taking the bank to the next level in mortgage banking services in Nigeria and beyond.

“The bank has executed a Share Purchase Agreement and the completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

“With this, we expect to deliver impressive returns to our shareholders and satisfy the expectations of customers and other stakeholders in the nearest future,” he said.

Adejoh stressed that Resort Savings and Loans was now poised to address the key challenges in the Nigerian housing sector, which are funding and pricing.

“When you look at the minimum wage today, it is a herculean task that will take a civil servant a very long time to put such money together to buy a house.

“However, with the optimization of the mortgage industry, the CBN over the years, and in recent times, has reviewed the minimum capitalization for mortgage banks. They’ve broken them into categories of state, regional and national. The reason for doing that is build capacity so they’ll be able to fund mortgages,” he explained. Source: Daily Trust

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