How AIHS Can Take You and Your Company to the Next Level

Thinking of attending the Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) which comes up from 23rd to 26th July 2019? There are countless reasons why you should! Attending the show will not only help you and your career, but also the company you work for. The benefits include opportunities to network, collaborate, gain knowledge, develop skills and prepare for the future.

Networking is one of the biggest benefits of attending the Abuja International Housing show. Building relationships is easiest in person, and the show provides a great way to meet new people and catch up with those you already know. You have the opportunity to meet new customers or business partners and strengthen relationships with existing clients.

At the conference session, you can meet industry experts and leaders as well as professionals that face the same challenges as you. You might not realize it, but being around so many of your peers in a new environment can even renew your motivation. When you attend a huge event such as Abuja International Housing Show, which will host over 40,000 local and international visitors this year, the re-energizing effect is only magnified.

AIHS, the largest housing and construction show in Africa, offers the perfect environment for collaboration. Its visitors come from at least 20 countries, giving you the chance to meet people from diverse cultural backgrounds and view the industry from new perspectives. It’s crucial to take advantage of discussions with your contacts, because it gives you an opportunity to share your ideas and ask questions. You might even think of new ideas or encounter solutions you weren’t aware of.

By collaborating within your network and listening to industry experts, you can effectively develop your knowledge base. Try to find information about:

● New tools and equipment
● Current and upcoming technologies
● Useful techniques or processes
● Industry best practices and standards
● Changes within the industry
● Competitors’ strengths and weaknesses

You can then bring this information back to your company to improve your products, services or systems, and ultimately grow your business.

When you watch demonstrations, attend training sessions and visit exhibitor booths, you have the chance to sharpen your skills – or develop new ones! Make sure you take advantage of any training opportunities that are offered across the show floor.

This year, for example, AIHS will host a CEO Forum that will help industry stakeholders fashion out a better way to advance the industry as a team, including special conferences for the 3-day event. Informational sessions such as these help you strengthen your weakest areas and prepare to face future challenges.

Besides helping you and your company, the show can also help your career. You’ll be able to see the different paths that professionals – including you – can take in the industry. This will open you up to future possibilities and help you make educated decisions about your career path.

While attending the show offers many benefits, what you get out of it depends on what you make of it. If you attend as a passive observer, you might not make that many connections or retain much information. If you get actively involved and focus on what you can bring back to your company, attending the show will be a valuable experience.

By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja

Debit financing can address Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit if… — Former DMO DG

Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit can be addressed with debt financing, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, a former Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said. Dr Nwankwo, however, said the conclusion that public debt should be used to finance Nigeria’s massive infrastructure needs is a paradox because of the existing precarious public debt profile.

The former DMO DG, who was the Guest Speaker at the 3rd Just Friends Club of Nigeria(JFCN) Annual Lecture which held in Abuja, yesterday, contended that the resolution of that paradox lies in a creative unbundling of the concept of debt sustainability.

In the context of financing infrastructure for the structural transformation of the economy, he explained that distinction should be made between conventional debt sustainability, which is essentially static, and what one would identify as structural debt sustainability, which is based on a forward-looking view of the economy.

He noted that assessment of debt sustainability in the latter case should focus on whether and how, the additional debt would be effectively applied to the development of infrastructure, to pull the economy out of backwardness.

He said: “The secret is that it is feasible to articulate a bold plan for the transformation of the economy, the Transformation Plan, financed with new debt towards one that is more diversified, more competitive, more export-capable and less vulnerable to external shocks.

Specifically, the new debt will generate adequate output and cash-flow to cover its servicing and amortization and create surplus, while avoiding, by design, foreign exchange risk.

The net impact of the new debt on debt sustainability, therefore, is that by creating value added, it even helps to reduce the pre-programme debt burden, rather than exacerbate it.”


Nwankwo, who spoke on “Realism and Paradox in Financing Nigeria’s Huge Infrastructure Needs”, argued that such plan is a condition-precedent to effective debt financing of infrastructure.

“A robust macroeconomic model with detailed financial programming is perhaps the most important component of the plan documents; it will elicit the trajectory of transformation, breakthrough and self-sustaining growth that would result from the capital injection in big infrastructure development.

It will demonstrate how exchange rate risk will be neutralized,” he said. He explained that the design of infrastructure development will mainstream the real sector and its objectives – diversification, encouragement of small and medium enterprises, export drive, etc.

According to him, it will specify the major channels or sources of stimulus for the economy derivable from a plausible transformation plan that supports massive debt-financed infrastructure investment.

The former DMO boss explained that in spite of the country’s problematic debt profile, a plan-based, project-tied, output-driven, and commercially-modelled and private-sector-managed debt programme remains a “robust option (arguably the most robust option) for financing Nigeria’s infrastructure development.

“It is a solution that can be intelligently structured to produce a transformed and self-sustaining economy without worsening debt sustainability,” he added. According to him, a major issue which has to be addressed while using debt financing for infrastructure is the impact of exchange rate risk since substantial portion of the debt is obligated in foreign currency.

Nwankwo also pointed out that infrastructure development investment must be undertaken, not in the hope of, but in conjunction with, real sector development; hence, the imperative of planning.

Source: Dailytrustng



‘Loom Money Nigeria’ is a fraudulent scheme, SEC warns

The Securities and Exchange Commission has warned Nigerians against fraudsters currently running an online investment scheme tagged “Loom Money Nigeria.’’

Acting Director-General of the commission, Ms Mary Uduk gave the warning at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

A statement by SEC’s Head of Media, Mrs Efe Ebelo, said that Uduk, who was represented by acting Executive Commissioner, Operations of SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde, said Loom Money Nigeria had taken over the social media.

She said that the scheme targeted young people, luring them to participate in a pyramid model of the Ponzi.

The director-general disclosed that the fraudsters carried out their illegitimate activities via social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.

She added that they lured young Nigerians to invest as low as N1,000 and N13,000 and to get as much as eight times the value of the investment in 48 hours.

Uduk said that the venture was a Ponzi scheme, where returns would be paid from other people invested funds, adding that it had no tangible business model.

“We are aware of the activities of an online investment scheme tagged ‘Loom Money Nigeria’.

“The platform has embarked on an aggressive online media campaign on Facebook and WhatsApp.

“They lure the investing public to participate by joining various Loom WhatsApp groups to invest as low as N1,000 and N13,000 and get as much as eight times the value of the investment in 48 hours.

“Unlike MMM that had a website and the promoter known, the people promoting Loom are not yet known and this pyramid scheme operates through closed groups mainly on Facebook and WhatsApp.

“If it were a local Ponzi scheme with known offices, it would be very easy for the Commission to seal their offices and freeze their accounts.

“We therefore wish to notify the investing public that the operation of this investment scheme has no tangible business model hence it’s a Ponzi scheme, where returns are paid from other people’s invested sum.

“Also, its operation is not registered by the Commission,” she said.

Uduk, therefore, advised the public to distance themselves from the scheme, adding that anyone that subscribed to the illegal activity did so at his own risk.

She assured that an inter-agency committee, Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee, was working on the issue, and that the commission was also collaborating with security agencies to track them down.

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.

Loom Pyramid Scheme is not new to the world. Last month, Daily Mail UK reported that the scheme has resurfaced online all over the world, with different names such as ‘loom circle’, ‘fractal mandala’ and ‘blessing loom.’

In Nigeria, its central name is Loom Money Nigeria with individuals creating their own WhatsApp groups such as Jack Loom, Catherine Loom, among others.


Rwanda: Kigali Ranked Africa’s 2nd Most Popular Conference Destination

Kigali has been ranked the second most popular destination in Africa for international meetings and events by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Cape Town in South Africa is ranked first in Africa.

Last year, Kigali was ranked third behind Cape Town and Marrakesh in Morocco.

ICCA represents the world’s leading suppliers in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events.

The rankings, which were released by the ICCA, are based on the number of association meetings taking place regularly (annually, biannually), rotating between at least three different countries and with at least 50 participants.

Last year, Kigali hosted 26 association meetings. The association meetings organised by Rwanda included several high-level conferences such the 4th Gender Summit that was held in March, the Mo Ibrahim Governance Weekend, the GSMA Mobile 360 Series Africa, the meeting of the African Society of Human Genetics, the Africa Smart Grid Forum, and the International Conference on Family Planning.

Rwanda is currently hosting over 4,000 delegates who are attending the Transform Africa Summit 2019, as well as the Africa Public Relations Association Annual General Meeting.

Reacting to the new ICCA rankings, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Convention Bureau, Nelly Mukazayire said the country is aiming at even better rankings.

“We believe that identifying and working with our local associations will help Rwanda perform better in ICCA rankings in the years to come. Rwanda recorded 38,745 delegates in 2018, up from 28,308 delegates in 2017. Tourism is the country’s largest foreign exchange earner and MICE is playing a significant role in its growth, bringing in 20 per cent of all tourism revenues. MICE tourism contributed $56 million in 2018, and this year, we intend to increase it to $88 million,” Mukazayire said.

Commenting on the ICCA report, the Rwanda Development Board deputy chief executive Emmanuel Hategeka said that the ranking is proof that Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) strategy is generating value to Rwanda.

“Rwanda has been able to establish itself as a safe, secure MICE destination of choice due to the presence of world-class MICE venues, accommodation facilities, connectivity options and ease of service due to RCB support,” he said.

Rwanda is a preferred MICE destination due to its simplified visa regime that allows citizens of any country in the world to get a visa on arrival in addition to its easy accessibility due to several flight options offering connectivity to Kigali and the rest of Africa, including through the national carrier Rwandair.

The presence of range of world-class venues such as the Kigali Convention Centre, the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, and Intare Conference Arena, as well as soon-to-be opened Kigali Arena are key drivers of MICE tourism in Kigali.

Source: Allafrica

Chinese have illegally annexed 485 hectares of our land, Ogun communities cry out

Igbesa and Ejila communities in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Areas of Ogun have called on President Mohammadu Buhari and Governor Ibikunle Amosun to save them from the Chinese encroaching on their lands.


The community leaders and land owners told the News Agency of Nigeria during a visit to the communities that over 485 hectares of farmland had so far been destroyed by the Chinese.


The leaders said that all efforts to caution the Chinese investors not to exceed the area marked for the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone had failed.

Chairman, Land Owners Committee of Igbesaland, Mr. Solomon Ajose, told NAN that they had no issues with the Chinese investors until 2017 when they began to seek for more lands.

Ajose said that when the community leaders approached the Chinese on their actions, they threatened to deal with them, while referring to the 1977 acquisition.

“This issue started in 2017, when one of us, Kabiru Ajayi, together with Manager of Ogun-Guangdong, Daniel Sheu, came to say that government had acquired our lands and we told them that our lands were not acquired.

“They were making reference to 1977 Acquisition and we told them that the 1977 acquisition did not extend to Igbesa, it ended at OPIC in Agbara area.

“These people are still laying claim to that 1977 acquisition and Igbesa is not mentioned in the gazette. Truly, Ogun State Government came here through a former Deputy Governor, Badru, who negotiated with the community.

“What the community gave them was 250 hectares for the establishment of Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and that record is currently in Bureau of Lands.”


Ajose added: “They went further to a community called Ejila comprising of 12 villages, in that area one of the sons called Commissioner Akinremi, negotiated with the community who gave them 400 hectares.

“Those were the parcels of land given to the Ogun State Government and that was what they now gave to Ogun-Guangdong for the establishment of their company.

“But in 2018, some persons from the community, in connivance with the management of the Ogun-Guangdong, came in with bulldozers and cleared all our cash crops, food crops and any other thing that brought us income.

“The communities of Ejila and Igbesa are majorly farmers, we live on farming, we train our children through school from proceeds of farming, and our parents were farmers.

“Our only hope of survival has been cut off, dashed; we are in a bad situation in Igbesa here. Money is not coming in and you are not ready to go into robbery and other crimes,’’ Ajose said.

He said that though the community was not against the government of Ogun acquiring lands for public ventures, it should be done the right way and that the communities should be shareholders in such business ventures.

According to him, the land was not meant for commercial purposes and that is the business agreement between Ogun and the China firm, then the community should gain from public establishment like hospitals and tertiary institutions.

He said: “The 1,210 hectares the Chinese are encroaching into was not given to them. So far, no deliberations, consultations or compensation has been paid to the real land owners and we are not requesting for their compensation.

“Let them remain in the one given to them. Whereas the land given to Ogun-Guangdong is still lying fallow at Ejila, they are here to take what we use for farming.

“Leave our 485 hectares of land for farming to us. We appeal to President Buhari and Ogun government to caution these Chinese people because they are using policemen to harass us,’’ he said.

Mr. Adebayo Akinola, a Food Technologist, who had 21 acres of land and 10 acres of cassava plantation already destroyed by the Chinese, said that it was worth over N10m.

Akinola told NAN that the Chinese approached him with a token of less than N50,000, but he declined; only to be told that there were bulldozers on the land, destroying his cassava.

“We procured 21 acres sometime in 1990 in order to have an extension of a school where I am the administrator. In 2011, the family that sold the land to us started bringing up issues when the Chinese came and they wanted land.

“We went to court and the judgment was in our favour, that the land belonged to us. Then in 2016, the Chinese approached us that they wanted to buy the land for hotels and create roads from their factory to the main road, we declined that we did not want to sell.

“Only for us to hear in 2018 that they said they were the owners of the land. Currently, they have pulled down the fence. I had 10 acres of land where I planted cassava worth about N15m. Now the land has been cleared.

“We have court judgment on this land. I am still trying to get over the loss because we have put in so much and this is a threat to food sufficiency in the country. It is a threat to climate change too, how can you clear all the forest in this area?

“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to retrieve our lands from these Chinese people.

“When we reported the case to the Igbesa Police Division, they said we should not fight because the case was beyond them.”

He said that his farm workers were now out of jobs and he was confused as to how to care for them.

Mrs. Gbonke Dalamu, a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, explained that she was jobless before family members contributed money for her to set up a block company in the area.

Dalamu said: “Some years ago, my family members contributed money for me because there was no job after I graduated to start a small business, so my husband and I came here to sell cement and mould blocks.

“In February 2018, the Chinese people came here and said that they wanted to see my husband. After the meeting, they told my husband that they had something to offer him to forfeit the land and my husband said ‘No.’

“So, they requested to have another discussion and my husband told them to come to his house in Lagos, My husband called the other land owners he could reach to be present at the meeting.

“There was one Mr. Kabiru that represented the Chinese and he was angry with my husband that he wanted to see only my husband, why did he call others and my husband said whatever you have to say you should say it in front of everyone.

“Kabiru left without saying anything. Only for my husband to get threat messages from one Mr. Daniel, who we believe is the head of the Guangdong firm here.

“In the text, he said, since you have refused to cooperate, it is in your eyes that we will demolish everything in your land. Only for us to get a call that the Chinese had started to fence the whole area and they destroyed all we had on the land,’’ she said.

Another land owner identified as Brother Seun, who had a poultry farm in the affected area, only came after being called to see bulldozers demolishing his fence and gate as Correspondents of NAN went round the area.

A retired Headmistress, Mrs. Kudirat Awoleye, told NAN correspondents that her coconut, kolanut, palm-trees and cocoa plantations which she inherited from her parents had been destroyed.

Awoleye said when she tried to stop them, she was whisked away by policemen and efforts were made by the community leaders to release her.

“For now, I do not have anything to leave for my children any more. I have nothing, I am retired, what can I do apart from farming?’’ she said.

When NAN visited the community which had a bad access road with repairs going on in some areas, it was calm, with no major economic activities noticed.

Also, it was observed that in the Ejila area, the Chinese investors had dug a motte (A mound forming the site of a castle or camp) to cut off residents from their lands and properties, but the owners of the land had filled a part of the motte to enable residents to access their villages.

When NAN visited the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone office, the Chinese investors refused its correspondents entry into their premises.

A Police officer guarding the premises, called one Mr Sebastian, who was said to be acting for Mr. Daniel Sheu, the company’s manager. who was said to be out of town.

Sebastine requested that NAN write a letter which would be considered before they would grant permission for interview on the matter.

Source: Punchng

No Law Prevents State Govts from Generating Power – Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has said there is nothing in the power sector regulations or law that prohibits state governments from generating, transmitting and distributing their own electricity.


Fashola who stated this at the Punuka Annual Lecture series held in Lagos, said that contrary to widely held beliefs, state governments can establish their own power stations, generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas not covered by the national grid within that state and establish their own electricity to promote and manage their own power stations.

The minister therefore called on state and local governments to pay attention to communities within their territories with limited access to grid power to improve energy access for them via off-grid solutions. “They are clearly not areas covered by the grid and therefore constitute a viable area of intervention by a state government to contract their own power supply without reference to the Federal Government,” said Fashola.


The former Lagos State governor took a swipe at calls for review of the 2013 privatisation exercise, saying those calling for review had to be more specific on what they want as the sector is essentially in private hands. “The reality before privatisation is that the Ministry of Power had over 50,000 staff, owned trucks, employed electricians who went out to repair faults, the Ministry controlled power stations like Jebba, Kainji, Shiroro, Egbin to mention a few and the Ministry employed all of those who worked in Distribution. “All that is gone, since November 2013.


From over 50,000 staff, the Ministry now has a staff strength of 729 people. There are no electricians, fitters, repair vehicles or distribution staff in our ministry anymore and we do not supply, repair or replace distribution transformers or meters.

All of these are now the work of the DisCos, under contract with BPE and under licence by NERC as a matter of Law,” Fashola said. Speaking on the topic: Developing an Effective and stable regulatory framework for Nigeria’s Electricity Sector, Lessons Learnt from the United Kingdom,  guest speaker at the event,  Jonathan Cohen, stressed the need for a unified and holistic approach which he said is key in making a long-term electricity reform.


While he admitted that Nigeria’s power sector has made remarkable progress in the last 9 – 10 years, he however, said much more still needed to be done. Regarding the privatisation of the sector, Cohen stated that privatisation only works when market signals are robust enough to attract investment and expertise of new sector entrants at scale; a condition that seems to be missing in Nigeria’s situation.

“Foreign direct investment into Nigeria’s power sector has not been significant to date,” he said. The energy expert stated that the privatization of the GENCOs and DISCOs were largely financed with debt from Nigerian banks, with most of the equity from Nigerian sponsors, adding that other factors such as cash shortfalls in the sector, low DISCO payments, insufficient gas supply to power the existing and expected generation and a weak electricity transmission grid have continued to affect the transition of the sector.

Source: Vanguardng


SON Warns Against Substandard Building Materials

The director general Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Osita Aboloma has appealed to property developers and building contractors to resist the temptations of using substandard building materials as it leads to loss of lives and property.

The DG made the plea in his welcome remarks at the Sensitization on “Save The Nation, Shun Substandard Products” held in Kaduna , yesterday. “If you don’t use good materials, your building will not last as expected. We will tell you the sand to purchase, gravel and others in this sensitization. “For whichever reason you decide to purchase substandard materials to build, you are digging your grave. “As a contractor handling projects and you use substandard products you are digging graves of others.

But remember that what goes around comes around_” he said. Speaking further, he stressed that building materials important to the socioeconomic wellbeing of the country,  hence SON is  serious about protection of lives and property of Nigerians. “This time around wears dwelling solely on building materials.

We are telling you this and why you should purchase standard building materials. “Try to communicate message to others not here so that together we can carry Nigeria to higher standards,” he said.

Represented by the Regional Coordinator North West, Adamu Abba (Galajen Bauchi), he said that the sensitisation is in series as part of efforts of the DG to ensure safety of life and property of Nigerians. “We have done building collapses which entails all the processes leading to building collapse, that is why we organised this one to further sensitize people on the right building materials which will save lives and property and help our economy,” he added.

In her remarks, one Mrs. Jennifer Gbishe-Igoh said that people make mistakes because of lack of information. Gbishe-Igoh who is the Grassroots Mobilisation Consultant of Tij Miracle said that,  “if you are not informed, you will be deformed, that is why SON is doing this sensitisation programmes all over the country.

“Even if you are living in a mud house, it is a building and you need quality standard materials. “Before going round to rid Nigeria of substandard products, SON is informing you so that when they come for substandard products you won’t feign ignorance.

“Most people here the traders, as well as those that build houses. They are key stakeholders. I advise all Nigerians to watch out for what they are buying it is very important. Do not exchange quality for quantity,” she advised. SON Kaduna State Coordinator, Danlami E. Datti  said that the sensitization was to create awareness among building materials sellers and users.

“We are happy from the feedback that people are becoming aware from from the various sensitisation programmes from feedback we are getting, In few years from now, we won’t have building collapse and substandard products A participant, Hajiya Engineer Hadiza Adogi from the  Nigeria Institute of Civil Engineers,  said that there will be multiplier effect from the sensitization because what they have learnt, they will make sure it reaches others.

Engineer Abdul Audu, Kadpoly Lecturer and Kadpoly Consult said that the issue of standards and quality of products should not be left to SON alone. “Various building materials lack quality and I am making a call to everybody concerned that there should be quality. “Scrap metal refiners should be checked to ensure quality.

The problem we have with roofing today, you have a house roofed and first rains blows it off. SON should eliminate the lighter roofing sheets. “A lot of people also don’t use good wood to roof. Those days it is either you use Iroko or strong wood. It is important we accept it is our responsibility to ensure we have good quality.

We have a role to play  to ensure we live quality lives and the right thing is done,” he said. Another stakeholder and participant, Engineer Joshua Nyela from the Kaduna State Urban Property Development Authority (KASUPDA)  said that there is a department responsible for checking that all in the building plans and materials prescribed are adhered to. “I will advise the general public to always engage the right professionals for their jobs.

Not only substandard building materials cause building collapse, but wrong professionals,” he advised. He said that the agency marks houses not just because of faults or use of substandard products,  but those that lack  building permits. “The society is having misconception most times they see mark on construction projects and  they expect demolition,” he said.

On why several people don’t go to the authority bto get their buildings approved before they begin building, he said it is not usually lack of finances that hinders that, but the fear that it is expensive. “I am not sure such are expensive. Building permits for two bedroom is about 20 or 30 thousand Naira which is relatively cheap compared to other State like Nasarawa and others,” he said.

Source: Leadershipng

All Housing Schemes Ready for Applicants in Six Months —Ambode

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday assured that all housing schemes spread across the state would be ready for residents who applied under the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme within the next six months.

Ambode, who gave the assurance when he inspected the Igando Lagos HOMS project, said the 492 units scheme was in the final stages of completion and would be commissioned by his successor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“We are at the Lagos HOMS here in Igando where we have 492 units completed.

“What is left in this particular estate is just the sewage system and I believe strongly that as we leave, this particular project in the next few months, the whole place should be completed and should be ready for occupants to live in and also to be commissioned by the incoming governor,” he said.


Ambode said his administration carried out major interventions in the housing sector, adding that the benefits would become evident before the end of the year.

“I just want to implore Lagosians to note that we have done so much in the housing sector and a whole lot of those projects, in the next three to six months should actually come to fruition.

“Then, they will start to enjoy the benefit of all the things we have done in the housing sector,” he said.

Also speaking, Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, said that over 3,000 units were ready for sale in six housing estates, including Igbogbo, 360 units; Odo Onosa in Agbowa, Epe, 660 units; Amuwo Odofin 84 units; Igando 492 units; Egan 630 units and Sangotedo, 1,118 units.

Lawal said that what was left was to sort out the sewage and water systems in some of the estates.

“As the governor said, we have six estates: Igbogbo 360 Units, Odo Onosa in Agbowa, Epe Local Government has 660 units, we have Amuwo Odofin already completed and it is 84 units. This Igando estate has 492 units, 41 blocks in all.

“In all, we are looking at about 3,000 units because Sangotedo is about 1,118 units; it is just the sewage and water that is delaying it.

“I want to reiterate that Lagos State Housing is fired up and those people that applied, in the next three to six months, they will be living in their houses,” Lawal said.


U.S. Acquires Eko Atlantic Land for New Consulate Office in Lagos

The United States Embassy in Nigeria has entered into agreement with promoters of Eko Atlantic City, South Energyx Nigeria Limited, for a new American Consulate office complex in Lagos.This follows suspension of the drop box service and interview waivers by the embassy for Nigerians planning to renew their visas.

The agreement signing ceremony for the acquisition of a 50,000 square metres site (five hectares of land) at the Eko Atlantic City was held at the U.S. Consul General’s Residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, where the United States Consul General, John Bray described the occasion as a remarkable.

Essentially, the Consul General and an official of Overseas Building Operations (OBO), U.S. Department of State, Faisal Madi, signed the agreement on behalf of the American government.

Chairman of Chagoury group, Gilbert Chagoury and Chief Executive Officer, South Energyx, endorsed the document for the developers of Eko Atlantic City at a ceremony attended by Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem.

Speaking, Bray disclosed that the embassy would soon invite architects to study their operations and design a befitting office complex, adding that construction is expected to last for five years.

Bray explained that discussions for the acquisition of the site had been on between Lagos State Government, the embassy and officials of South Energyx Nigeria Limited.

“Eko Atlantic was selected for its world-class infrastructure.  Purchase of land for a new Consulate General will ensure we can continue to work with Nigerians to provide opportunities for economic growth and development in Lagos.

“The United States is proud to be participating in Eko Atlantic’s growth as part of our commitment to further enhance and strengthen the cooperation between the United States of America and Nigeria,” he said.Responding, Chagoury said the coming of the embassy to Eko Atlantic is a major milestone to the developers and shows the confidence of Americans on the project, adding that reclamation work at the city has reached 70 per cent.


How Home Affordability Trends Impact The Rental Housing Market

As we move into the second quarter of 2019, many are predicting an increase in inventory of homes for sale as the year continues. Though moderate, experts are predicting a 7% increase in inventory of homes for sale in 2019. The majority of inventory gains thus far have been seen in the luxury home market in high-growth areas: think Seattle, San Jose, Boston and Nashville.


Even though an inventory increase makes for a good buyer’s market, buying a home in 2019 will be an expensive undertaking thanks to rising mortgage rates and increasing home prices. Mortgage rates are expected to hit 5.5% by the end of the year, with monthly mortgage payments rising up to 8%. Homeownership will be far fetched for many, including Gen Z, millennials and other first-time homebuyers.


So what impact will these trends have on the rental market? If you examine the simple laws of supply and demand, it seems to make sense that increased inventory will mean more people will buy homes and rental demand will decrease. However, it is a bit more complicated than that, and there are several factors at play that take don’t fit this simplistic equation. In fact, many renters just aren’t homebuyer material (yet). People continue to rent for a wide variety of reasons, such as:

• Down payments are big: Putting aside rising prices and mortgage rates, let’s look at the biggest financial obstacle to purchasing a home: the dreaded down payment. An average down payment for a home is 20% of the purchase price. If you take the median home price for the United States (around $230,000), this puts the down payment at a whopping $46,000. Many would be hard-pressed to come up with this kind of money to buy a home.

• Maintenance and repairs seem overwhelming: Just this spring, I’ve had to replace a built-in microwave, call in an appliance shop to fix the washing machine, dig up a faulty water line and replace outdoor stonework that was ravaged by the winter storms. Does this sound like a lot? It can seem daunting to some, and so they avoid shouldering the responsibility by renting and letting their landlord do the repairs.


• Flexibility: When you buy a home you are inevitably and unavoidably “tied down.” A friend of mine recently married a partner with a travel bug — she wanted to experience living in other countries for long periods of time. They bought a house anyway and it has caused friction between them because they don’t have the flexibility to move around, pursue new opportunities and have new experiences.

By Nathan Miller

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