Walk through the streets of cities, towns, and villages in Nigeria and you will see the signs everywhere, clearly erected in front of gates or painted explicitly on fences in colours that immediately grab your attention — This Land is Not For Sale. In Nigeria, having a land ownership deed is no guarantee that the land is really yours. Why? Because the government’s land ownership records aren’t trustworthy enough. Land disputes happen all the time. Sometimes, leading to violence and death.
According to data from Nigeria Watch, there were over 2,100 deaths from land disputes alone in 2018. Already, close to 100 have been recorded in 2019.
Apart from the violence and death that land disputes and a lack of a credible, trustworthy land ownership records cause, there’s also the restriction of access to loans and capital. According to the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance Africa, there is an estimated $100 billion worth of trapped capital in Nigeria, land that cannot reach access to financing in Nigeria.
How do we solve this problem? How do we unlock the capital trapped by poor and untrustworthy land registry records? One that is quickly gaining traction is the use of blockchain technology.
A lot has been said about blockchain. It’s often associated with cryptocurrency, but that’s not all there is to it. Blockchain technology can be applied in so many practical and immediately relatable ways — digital identification, supply chain monitoring, digital recordkeeping, copyright protection, and real estate.
Blockchain technology is quickly gathering buzz in Nigeria. By July 2018, Nigeria was already the 7th highest trader of bitcoin, transacting over 4% of the total volume. Also, big companies and brands like Dangote, Interswitch, Nigerian Customs Authority, Sterling Bank are already creating blockchain technology solutions. So, the concept of blockchain is not new to Nigerians.
However, using it to solve land registry problems is a novel idea and one company spearheading this innovation in Nigeria is Seso Global, a blockchain powered mortgage registry and real estate platform that connects stakeholders in a property market and enables them to make trusted transactions.
“Seso aims to provide trust and security in the real estate market to allow easy property sales and access to mortgages.
Seso allows users to query property information, contract land service providers such as lawyers and estate surveyors, apply for a mortgage and buy a property. Through our network of trusted property developers, we ensure a simple buying experience,” Phillip Jarman, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, says.
Seso Global’s primary aim in Nigeria is to create a real estate boom that will provide opportunity and capital to the ending market in collaboration with key stakeholders such as the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, a consortium of 25 banks and the Nigerian Ministry of Finance.
“We are confident we can succeed in Nigeria through our industry partners who are keen to see the growth of the mortgage industry. We have assembled a team from Nigeria and across the world with key experience to drive the solution forward. We seek to work with the people of Nigeria to build the mortgage registry and provide trust to the real estate market,” Dimeji Belo, Senior Vice President of Business Development, says.
South Africa is set to commence construction of soon to be the tallest skyscraper in Cape Town once it receives approval from the Reserve Bank.
The building dubbed Zero-2-One Tower has been in the spotlight since as far back as 2016 when the plans for the skyscraper were first unveiled by developers FWJK. The Tower initially faced delays in approvals which included stipulations that new developments include ‘affordable housing’ – an incredibly difficult task in a city with some of the highest house and apartment prices in the country and funding hurdles.
FWJK CEO, David Williams-Jones has however announced that the development has secured funding through a foreign direct investment and therefore construction is set to commence in the next few months. He acknowledged that procuring funds locally proved a hill of a task.
“The procurement of project funding has faced challenges and has had to be secured through foreign direct investment. Raising the funds from the local South African convention banks proved impossible because of the current state of the economy and cautious bank appetite at the present time to lend on projects of this scale,” said David Williams.
“Once the South African Reserve Bank approves the foreign funding, we are going to start construction in about three to four months which will create 3,000 onsite and offsite jobs for the locals,” he added.
Zero 2 One Tower, at 44 storeys, will comprise 570 apartments and 7,000 sqm of retail shops on ground level and station concourse level built on the corners of Adderley and Strand street in Cape Town CBD. The project is estimated to cost US $67m.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced today the launch of a new strategic initiative to help develop stronger and more effective affordable housing partnerships in both the policy and business arenas. The objective of these partnerships will be to promote more sustainable, affordable homes for purchase and rental for underserved people and communities, especially minorities and low-to-moderate-income Americans.
“The lack of affordable housing is presenting significant challenges to families across the country. We need to explore how the lending community can better partner with public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to ensure more Americans have access to homes they can afford,” said MBA President and CEO Robert D. Broeksmit, CMB. “As the trade association representing the full breadth and depth of the mortgage lending community, MBA should, and will, be a leader in finding innovative solutions.”
Steve O’Connor, a 23-year veteran of MBA and currently its Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Industry Relations, will assume the new role as Senior Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives.
“Steve is uniquely qualified to lead this new initiative,” added Broeksmit. “He knows our members, he knows the issues, and he has strong relationships with a broad group of stakeholders, including affordable housing groups, consumer advocates, and civil rights organizations. Steve has a real passion and drive when it comes to addressing the needs of underserved markets.”
O’Connor currently leads MBA’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Council and serves on a number of industry boards, including the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Homeownership Council of America, Quicken Loans’ Consumer Advisory Council, Freddie Mac’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and the National Urban League’s Business Solutions Council.
“Housing affordability is an issue facing millions of Americans, both those who rent and those who want to buy a home,” said O’Connor. “There is no easy solution. The only way we are going to solve this is by getting lenders together with policymakers, consumer advocates, community leaders, and other stakeholders, and using our collective knowledge and experience to find the answers.”
Under O’Connor’s leadership, MBA is developing a work plan set around a series of objectives designed to better understand the nature of the problem and why previous efforts have failed, and to build and nurture partnerships in support of affordable housing policy and business practices.
The Scottish government says it is firmly on track to hit its ambitious target of 50,000 affordable homes by 2021. The latest official Scottish statistics published this week show there were more than 9,500 affordable homes delivered in 2018-19, an increase of 12% on the previous year.
As part of this rise, completions of social rented homes accounted for 6,573 of the properties, 25% more than the previous year. The statistics also show a record increase in the number of new build homes completed across all sectors, which reached more than 20,000 for the first time in ten years.
This rise is reflected in the Registers of Scotland property market report, also published this week, which shows that 12% of all residential property sales in the last year were new builds – the highest proportion since 2008-09.
Scottish housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “Everyone in Scotland deserves a safe, warm place to live, and I’m delighted that since 2007 we have delivered a total of 86,109 affordable homes including 59,131 homes for social rent.
We are also firmly on track to deliver our target of 50,000 affordable homes by 2021, backed by investment of £3.3bn. The statistics highlight more than half the homes are now completed, with approvals well on course.
“Providing more affordable homes is a crucial part of this government’s aim to create a fairer Scotland, and improve communities through inclusive growth. On my visits across the country, I have seen the real difference these new developments have made to people’s lives.
A home is more than just bricks and mortar – it’s about a sense of identity and belonging. It is also great to see a rise in the number of new homes across all sectors providing choice across all tenures.”
What is most attractive for hundreds of product exhibitors that participate in the Abuja International Housing Show is the countless benefits like the opportunity to introduce new products to the housing and construction industry market and meet exciting buyers with purchasing power.
The AIHS usually host many stands owned by several organisations and brands seeking to introduce their new products and ideas to prospective buyers, clients and investors. The registration platform provides opportunity slots for such brands to book in advance and reap the benefits that come with partnering with the largest Housing Show in Africa.
In past years, we have seen exhibition of contemporary-modern roof designs, home and office furniture and all kinds of latest innovation in building technology.
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 which are always in presentation.
Also, given that the convener of the Abuja International Housing Show is the promoter of Housing TV, housing development program showing on stations like AIT, TVC and NTA, housing time on Ray power and owner of the largest housing news portal, and not mentioning the live coverage on all social media platforms; it’s a guarantee that participants and exhibitors will get optimum publicity at almost no cost.
The show is attended by about 40, 000 participants from Nigeria and at least 15 countries. There is no bigger and better platform for exhibitors to market and sell their products than the Abuja International Housing Show.
The show also opens doors of sponsorship and partnership for exhibitors as they meet with buyers, clients and investors who will take interest in their products and offer to invest or partner with them. In essence, the show helps exhibitors gain new customers whose patronage will even outlast the show.
Also, for many exhibitors, the show offers them the opportunity to advance their business ideas and be inspired by the products of other exhibitors in order to promote industry competitiveness. It is a mutually beneficial event for all exhibitors.
A big new development is coming to Baymeadows, but it’s neighbors who live there who will pay for it.
On Wednesday, City Councilman Danny Becton and the Baymeadows Community Council held a town hall meeting to talk about the new initiative to improve the community.
Some challenges the community faces, including lighting, sidewalks, and wastewater systems, would all be redesigned in the plan.
Dozens of people showed up to the meeting, and they could see a tax increase between $200 and $600 if they want to see those proposed changes. The amount of the tax increase depends on the type of property owned.
Mary Land-Hughes, who’s the president of the BCC, said the new initiative would allow communities to have the power to change the infrastructure of their communities themselves.
“It’s something brand new. It’s even new to the city, so we’re all educating ourselves on how this is going to work and benefit our community. Obviously putting it under one umbrella to manage it, to maintain it, rebuild it in places where the roads are deteriorating. The improvement district would cover those things,” Land-Hughes said.
Many neighbors in the community who attended the meeting seem to be in favor of the plan. Next, community leaders plan to take the proposal in front of the City Council to get its opinion and approval on the plans.
Organizers are hoping this initiative can be a model for other communities throughout the city.
When Willette Benford was released from prison earlier this year, she knew that finding housing in Chicago would be a struggle. She didn’t have a steady job and was staying on a temporary basis at a homeless shelter—and friends who’d been released from prison in the past told her that no landlord would rent to someone with a felony conviction on their record.
It didn’t matter, Benford says, that the conviction had been the result of a domestic violence dispute that occurred more than two decades earlier, or that Benford was given an immediate release from prison when Illinois updated its domestic violence laws.
Too many landlords in the city, especially those who rented affordable housing, had “blanket ban” policies that would cause them to deny her outright.
“People don’t know the whole story,” she says. “They just look at the paper, and they’re immediately afraid. They don’t know the details, and they just make the assumption that everyone’s still guilty. Then they deny you housing, which is just a basic necessity—and then where else are you supposed to go?”
In late April, Benford was one of several formerly incarcerated people who stood before the Cook County Board of Commissioners and told her story.
She was testifying in support of a law that would prohibit most landlords from denying people housing on the basis of a criminal conviction. After years of pressure by activists with the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, the ordinance finally passed, 15 votes to two.
The victory in Cook County, the second-most-populous county in the United States, is the latest in a burgeoning nationwide movement to ensure housing for returning citizens.
Following the success of “ban-the-box” initiatives that prohibit employees from asking about criminal records, activists in nearly a dozen major cities are now campaigning for the passage of “fair-chance housing ordinances” that would prohibit landlords from denying applicants with prior convictions. In doing so, these advocates are also fighting to change the public’s perception of formerly incarcerated people.
Criminal-justice reformers have stressed the intersection of housing justice and mass incarceration for decades. Recently released or paroled individuals are far more likely to experience homelessness, often because their criminal records prevent them from getting approved for an apartment, and those who do experience homelessness are far more likely to be incarcerated again.
In this way, a conviction from decades past can cast a shadow over a returning citizen’s safety and stability, as well as the safety and stability of their family members.
Research has shown that many formerly incarcerated people experience discrimination when applying for apartments. A report from the Ella Baker Center found that 80 percent of such people said they had experienced difficulty accessing housing.
It didn’t matter what their conviction was for, or how long ago it had occurred—many of them said they were denied housing outright because of “blanket ban” policies maintained by many private landlords and public housing authorities. And if formerly incarcerated people return to live with their family members in housing where there is such a ban, they put those families at risk of losing their housing.
African Americans with criminal convictions face this discrimination especially acutely, according to a report from the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. An audit of several dozen landlords across the city found that landlords applied conviction policies inconsistently across races more than half the time, discriminating more harshly against black renters than non-black renters.
It’s hard to measure the precise scope of the problem, but recent statistics show that more than 600,000 people are released from confinement each year, and the majority of them return to cities, where renting is easier and more common than purchasing a home. In New York state alone, more than two-thirds of the 600,000 prisoners released since 1985 have gone on to reside in New York City, and more than half of those released were African American.
Despite the pervasiveness of this discrimination, local laws to prevent it are a relatively recent phenomenon. Activists found success in the early 2010s with ban-the-box initiatives. Deep-seated stigmas against people with criminal records made it difficult to push for fair-chance housing policies in all but a few liberal cities, including Washington, D.C., and New Orleans. Seattle, too, made waves in 2016 when it passed the strongest, most comprehensive ordinance to date.
But in 2016, when the Obama administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development took a formal stance on the issue, it set off a “sea change” at the local level, says Marie Claire Tran-Leung, a lawyer at the Shriver Center. HUD declared in a policy memo that it was illegal for property owners to deny housing on the basis of a criminal conviction. The memo argued that the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which prohibits landlords from discriminating in ways that result in a “disparate impact,” applies to criminal records as well as protected classes like race, gender, and sexual orientation.
The policy doesn’t have the full force of law, Tran-Leung says, and could only be enforced if a federal court sided with a renter in a lawsuit over the issue. Nevertheless, it inspired activists around the country to make a push to pass more easily enforceable local laws along the same lines.
Five years ago, there were no more than four major cities in the United States that had such laws on the books; by the end of 2019, there could be more than a dozen. San Francisco; Detroit; Newark, New Jersey; and Kansas City, Missouri have passed ordinances in the last few years, she says, and other cities, including Portland, Oregon, and Berkeley, California, are pushing to pass them now.
“It’s definitely gaining traction,” says Tran-Leung. “You’re seeing efforts underway in a lot of different jurisdictions. The [HUD] guidance helped, too, because it really helped make the point that people who are coming back home are subject to a lot of stigma and need strong protections against discrimination.”
Take Richmond, California. With a population of about 100,000, the Bay Area city is bordered to the north by a medium-security prison and to the west by the notorious San Quentin state prison across the San Francisco Bay. As a result, the city becomes a de facto first stop after release for many incarcerated people in the Bay Area.
One such person was Tamisha Walker, who founded the Safe Return Project to advocate for the rights of the formerly incarcerated after she served her sentence. She and her fellow activists surveyed hundreds of returning citizens in the area about their needs and found that housing was at the top of the list.
“To my mind, housing is the first guarantee against recidivism,” Walker says. “Of course the argument in California is always, ‘Oh, it’s a challenge for everyone,’ but we interviewed people who had a job, a steady income, everything they needed, and the only thing stopping them from getting housing was a conviction. To us, that was discrimination.”
Safe Return focused its energy on persuading the Richmond City Council to pass an ordinance like Seattle’s, which prevents any rental landlord from considering criminal convictions. Despite the Bay Area’s reputation for leading on progressive policy, Walker says at first it was hard for the activists to get any oxygen: the city had just passed new rent control laws, and as a result, “landlords were extra defensive—they really didn’t want any more regulation.”
Tran-Leung says the same was true for campaigns in Cook County and Seattle. Realtors’ associations and groups representing landlords appeared at hearings in both cities to testify against the law, she says, as did representatives from companies that offer background check services to landlords.
In Cook County, for instance, speakers from the National Credit Reporting Association told the commissioners that background checks were necessary for “mitigating financial and property risk” and “protecting other residents from physical harm”; the speakers warned of “unintended consequences that could harm the very citizens we are trying to protect” should the ordinance pass.
In Richmond, after long negotiations between activists, landlords, and city politicians, all the parties involved agreed in December of 2017 to support an ordinance that would only prohibit discrimination by landlords who receive affordable housing subsidies. It’s a weaker law than Seattle’s, which prohibits all landlords from considering an applicant’s criminal background, but one that nevertheless has the potential to change thousands of people’s lives.
The victory in Richmond set off a ripple effect in the Bay Area, inspiring organizers in the East Bay to make a push for similar ordinances. John Jones III, another formerly incarcerated activist who lives in Oakland, started connecting other criminal-justice activists around the city and in surrounding Alameda County when he saw Richmond’s bill move forward.
After spending months identifying potential supporters in Berkeley, Jones helped draft a bill that was introduced in the Berkeley City Council last week; his organization, Just Cities, hopes to introduce similar bills in other East Bay cities later this year.
But the fight doesn’t end once an ordinance passes. From there, activists, lawmakers, and city attorneys have to hash out how the ordinance will be implemented and enforced, a process that in Richmond took more than a year and concluded only a few weeks ago.
And in Seattle, a conservative legal group called the Pacific Legal Foundation has launched a lawsuit against the city’s ordinance, arguing that it impinges on freedom of speech; the suit will go before the state supreme court this month. Jones says he fully expects a similar legal challenge tothe East Bay ordinances if they pass.
“One of the biggest barriers to passing these laws is taking on the question of who is and isn’t deserving of housing,” says Deborah Thrope, a lawyer with the National Housing Law Program who worked on the ordinances in San Francisco and Richmond. “We really have to get people to think through the stigma and ask why we even categorize people by their conviction.”
If cities in even the bluest states are fighting an uphill battle against real estate lobbyists as well as a wary public, activists in red states face even steeper odds. Madison, Wisconsin, for instance, had one of the first fair-chance housing ordinances, but the state’s Republican-dominated legislature effectively overturned it a few years ago by passing a law that prevents local antidiscrimination legislation from going any further than the state’s civil rights law.
Texas’s state senate adopted a similar law in April to prevent Austin from implementing a ban-the-box initiative that would have prohibited hiring discrimination.
Thrope says activists are still figuring out how to circumnavigate these preemption laws, but over time she believes such laws may contribute to further segmentation between conservative and liberal states.
Under the Trump administration, it’s unlikely HUD’s 2016 guidance will be codified into a formal policy; indeed, says Thrope, there’s some concern among activists and legal experts that the administration will rescind the guidance the way it has rolled back Obama-era rules on housing desegregation and civil rights enforcement (though at a recent hearing, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said he supported Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion to end the department’s “one-strike you’re out” policy for removing criminal offenders from public housing, which dates from the tough-on-crime 1990s).
In the absence of such federal gains, says Thrope, formerly incarcerated people in red states and rural areas may find themselves denied the right to housing that is on the books in a growing number of liberal enclaves.
“There’s been some progress on the federal level,” Thrope says, “but the real progress has been local. We have these extremely harsh policies that have worsened recidivism, torn families apart, and policymakers are just now starting to say, ‘Okay, this isn’t working, let’s reverse these.’”
Still, the speed with which the fair-chance housing movement has spread from city to city is an encouraging sign for activists who want to push for criminal-justice reform beyond a mere reduction of prison populations.
The long-term consequences of a criminal conviction, these activists insist, don’t end when a prisoner is released or paroled, and cities can’t truly say they’ve ended mass incarceration until they tackle the stigmas that prevent returning citizens from fully reintegrating into their communities. And the first and perhaps the most fundamental step to reintegrating, Jones says, is finding a safe place to stay.
“Sometimes we don’t even try, because we’ve already internalized that there’s a barrier there and no one will give us a chance,” he says. “Or then you apply once or twice and you’re told no on the basis of your conviction, and then you just give up.
“At the risk of sounding overdramatic, it’s absolutely a violent experience, trying to get housing,” he adds. “Especially if you have a desire to do good, if you have to provide for your family, there’s a sense not only of desperation, but of being dehumanized—being told that you’re not entitled to the most basic human right.”
As far as investments go, property is one of the safer bets. Buying a house to let out can be a safe and profitable way to put spare cash to use, and a good way of expanding your assets.
While some approach letting as a purely commercial exercise, parents may also buy a place for their children, which they then charge them rent for. This can be seen as investment in both your and your family’s future.
Mortgages available for letting property used to be subject to higher rates of interest than standard residential mortgages, but in recent years this has changed.
In an active attempt to encourage growth in the private rental sector of the market, interest rates have been lowered and criteria made more flexible. This led to a boost in the amount of properties being bought as income-producing investments.
The rent you charge, as a rule of thumb, should be around 150% of your monthly mortgage repayments. This should cover all the associated expenses – while letting can prove profitable you should take into account the time and cost involved.
Not only will you need to find and purchase suitable property, but you will have to manage it well, whether this means maintenance, furnishing or advertising. An agent can take care of some of these tasks, but bear in mind you will have to pay their fees. Generally, you should think of buying to let as a medium or long term investment.
You should always make sure that a professional agent or solicitor draws up leases and agreements. While you can buy ‘readymade’ leases, these are not comprehensive enough to rely on. Remember too to include an inventory of all furnishings and fittings in the property.
Other costs to consider are: Insurance – both buildings and contents, plus you may want to take out rental protection in case a tenant fails to pay. Service charges and maintenance costs – try to ensure the property will require the minimum of upkeep and repairs.
We have seen pockets of progress over the years with rising numbers of property listing companies and tech landlord-house-seekers intermediaries, but housing deficit continues to prevail in Nigeria.
Rising population, rapid urban migration and uncoordinated policy direction of the government are some of the critical factors deepening the housing gap. Because of the scale of this deficit, innovative investment solutions are all-important right now.
Nigeria’s housing deficit
The head of the federal mortgage bank in Nigeria, Ahmed Dangiwa, put the country’s present housing deficit at 22 million units; and the bulk of that is in urban areas — Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
As the urban population expands — almost half of the country’s population now live in urban areas — building additional units would require more than N6 trillion (US$16 billion) investment yearly. Of this, we can expect very little to come from government funding.
Crowdfunding is a permissionless way of raising money. So far, the trend of pooling capital from several retail investors to finance a new or existing business venture has proven successful in Nigeria. The growth of AgricTech platforms has provided a template for other poorly funded areas of the country.
Thrive Agric, which crowdfunds investments for smallholder farmers, have funded more 14, 000 farmers with over ₦180 million ($500,000) raised in February, 2019 alone; and providing returns of up to 20 per cent for retail investors. Currently, there are up to ten different crowdfunding startups providing value in the agric space.
These platforms have unlocked an untapped financing opportunity for farmers who are mostly locked out of the Nigerian credit system and also lowered the investment threshold for many middle -class Nigerians who have been shut out of the capital market.
Real estate developers could also leverage this financing model. It won’t be a significant shift from the traditional model of most real estate projects: already, developers often raise capital from private investors to finance massive projects.
However, there are additional costs and risks with raising small amounts from 500, 000 retail investors rather than 50 high-net worth private investors, for instance. This is where blockchain startups could provide a unique value.
Tokenisation in real estate
Tokenisation on the blockchain makes it possible to represent ownership in a property on an open, distributed digital ledger. Simply, it means converting rights to an asset into a digital token.
Hypothetically, say an apartment of 50, 000 square metres cost N30,000,000. That can be converted into 500,000 tokens (a token representing 10 square metres).
These tokens can then be freely bought and sold on a designated platform. Every holder of the token becomes an investor/part-owner of the property, and would be entitled to a share of the profit when the property is sold.
I recently had a chat with Uba Nnamdi Chukwuebuka, the co-founder of one of the blockchain startups in the real estate industry solving the problem of lack of funds to build houses in Nigeria. HouseAfrica allows retail investors to own a small fraction of a home and also provides rent-to-own services.
Using the Waves Blockchain, it converts real housing assets into digital assets backed by a square meter of the house. The digital asset is called Square Meter Token (SQMT). 5 SQMT represents 1 physical square meter of the property.
“We are solving housing deficits and lack of funds to build these houses [bridging the housing deficit],” he told me.
“We are giving everyone access to fund real estate project and enjoy rental returns, sales profits and price appreciations. So you own house on your mobile via blockchain technology and make returns from a real house,” he explained.
The company raises funds for developers, who build these houses, they are then either sold or rented, and the revenues are shared with the co-owners. The projected return for the first project is about 38 per cent for 3 years.
Mr. Uba told me that they partnered with “an SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] approved trustee company that holds and protect our investors’ funds.” And Allianz Insurance insures the building projects.
Though blockchain is nascent and there are still few regulations around the industry, there are some apparent advantages to tokenising crowdfunded real estate projects.
Tokenisation creates liquidity
Liquidity is the ability to convert an asset into cash within a short period. Currently, to sell a property or land in Nigeria, it would likely take months to close a deal but with fractional real estate investing through blockchain technology, you could complete a transaction in minutes.
Cost reduction in processes
Cost is reduced by removing the administrative effort of record keeping and transaction reconciliation. The blockchain handles all that.
Other benefits include improved administrative efficiency and greater transparency.
What about protection for investors through regulations?
When it comes to regulation, it often follows innovation. When these blockchain startups successfully start raising funds for major projects in the country, regulatory bodies would definitely start applying appropriate measures to weed off companies that might want to defraud investors.
Like Mr. Uba Nnamdi told me, the regulation would “build up confidence among the investors” in a market plagued with pyramid schemes.
At the moment, the potential of the blockchain technology is not been tapped in the country. But through the cooperation of market participants, regulators and technologists, this new technology could yield significant results especially in the real estate sector.
Ogun State has the largest number of funded estates in the Southwest, the Managing Director, Federal Morgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa, has said
Dangiwa made this known at an enlightenment programme on the re-admission of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) into the National Housing Scheme in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Dangiwa, represented by Deputy General Manager, Field Office Coordination Group, Sunday Ogunmuyiwa, said about N500million has been refunded to 4,858 retirees who were contributors to the National Housing Fund in Ogun State.
He said: ‘’Under the FMBN Home Renovation Loan, over N283million has been disbursed to 354 beneficiaries in the state. A housing estate project at Laderin Phase 1, in the state is funded by FMBN through the disbursement of loans to 171 beneficiaries, while the Ministerial Plots Scheme at Ajebo, is also funded by the bank. It is on record that Ogun State has the largest funded estate in the entire Southwest.
‘’Other estates include Rockview Estate in Abeokuta; Sparklight Estate, Ibafo; Davids Court, Arepo; Master Golden and Evangel Estates in Ofada; New Creation Estate and Noah Pavilion, Mowe; Oba Sikiru Adetona Estate, Ijebu; and Metro Park, Abeokuta, among others.”
He said the FMBN, empowered by law to manage the NHF, has the responsibility to provide long-term loans to contributors to buy, build and renovate residential accommodation.
He stated that the bank would ensure that Nigerians who contributed to the NHF benefited more in the administration.
According to him, the bank has scrapped equity contribution for houses costing not more N5million, and loan requests above N5million but not more than N15 million attracts 10 per cent equity.
The Chairman, NUT, Ogun State, Titilope Adebanjo, commended FMBN for its achievements in the state.
He, however, appealed to the state government to further reduce the cost of obtaining titles to facilitate the creation of more mortgages.