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5 Common Mistakes First-Time Landlords Make

There is no doubt that owning a house doesn’t always come easy in Nigeria or any part of the world. Especially for the civil servants, whose salary doesn’t always permit to do so. However, if you are fortunate to own a house, there is a need for you to guard it properly. Guarding your properties, especially, houses entail avoiding some mistakes.

Managing a rental property like houses requires a lot of expertise, knowledge, perseverance and interpersonal skills because there is a difference between managing a business and managing a property. Meanwhile, if you are first-time or a newbie in that field, there is a need for you take note of some things.

For you to guard your housing property very well and to avoid troubles from your tenants, here are 5 common mistakes first-time landlords usually make that you can avoid.

  1. Not Adequately Knowing A Potential Tenant

Although most landlords hardly come in contact with their tenants prior before approaching them to rent their house, there is still a way a landlord can still get to know a potential tenant before admitting him/her.

Knowing a tenant before admitting him/her has to do with doing proper screening. There is need for you to allow a prospective tenant to fill out a rental or lease form that will capture the necessary personal details. It is through the details of a prospective tenant that you can know him/her properly even before giving your house for rent. So, don’t just joke with it.

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  1. Not Following The Law

If you are a landlord, that doesn’t give you the effrontery to go against the law bidding on rental properties in your location. You must get yourself acquainted with the laws that deal with leasing properties to the tenant and the right both the tenant and landlords have.

For instance, the eviction process is one thing most landlords usually get wrong in Nigeria and this alone can cause a serious problem for them if care is not taken. Study the law and follow the law, it is by this, that you can avoid problems most landlords usually have with their tenants.

  1. Underestimating Maintenance Cost

Another big mistake most landlords, especially first-time landlords should always avoid is to underestimate the maintenance cost. Most first time landlords don’t know the rudiments of housing maintenance and that usually cost them the pain of shooting themselves by the legs, when charging their potential tenants.

Repairs will cost you more than you think they will. Owning properties involves ongoing maintenance like landscaping, HVAC maintenance, painting and upkeep costs. But there are also unexpected one-time costs that will pop up, like foundation issues, concrete repairs to garages or roof repairs. Preventative maintenance will help, but there will always be unexpected costs. Just always ensure you do your calculation right to avoid this mistake.

  1. Over-Estimating Rent Rates

Another mistake first-time landlords usually make is to charge their prospective tenants far higher above the market price. Having spent so much on an investment doesn’t guarantee the fact that you must milk your tenants dry.

It is advisable you study the market very well before charging your tenants. One of the disadvantages of exorbitant price rate is that, prospective tenants will always boycott your house for another one with a lower price.

  1. Neglecting Tenants

The home(s) you are renting out are your responsibility. If you do not regularly check in with your tenants and on the condition of the property you will have no one to blame but yourself if something goes wrong. However, make sure that you are not violating the laws regarding tenant privacy before stopping by the property unannounced. You may inadvertently give them the right to sue you or be released from the terms of your lease agreement.

SOURCE: NIYI OYEDEJI

Michael Mugabi Appointed as Uganda’s Housing Finance Bank MD

Michael Mugabi

Housing Finance Bank (HFB), Uganda has appointed Michael Mugabi as the Acting Managing Director after Mathias Katamba tendered in his resignation letter, hoping to join DFCU Bank early next year.

The announcement was made in a press release by David Geoffrey Opio-Okello, Chairman Board of Directors who disclosed Katamba’s departure saying: “The Board of Directors of Housing Finance Bank has appointed Michael K. Mugabi as the Acting Managing Director effective 25th October 2018. Housing Finance appreciates the services and contributions of the outgoing Managing Director, Mathias Katamba and wish him well in future endeavours.”

However, in a bid to restore investor confidence after Katamba’s departure, Opio-Okello reaffirmed the Board and Management’ commitment to providing efficient, innovative customer-centric financial services to its customers.

Katamba joined HFB in 2014 and now, leaves it as the 12th largest bank in Uganda by assets.

Eagle Online days ago reported of Katamba’s departure which would see him join DFCU Bank as its new MD as the current MD Juma Kisaame plans to exit in December 2018.

Leaked documents showing Kisaame’s bank statements from Bank of Africa that showed he had over USD40 million on in his account, caused commotion within DFCU Bank. That was not also helped by DFCU Bank board which declined to hand the position of MD to William Sekabembe who declined to join Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Uganda as Managing Director with the hope that he would replace Kisaame.

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By August 2017, the two largest shareholders in HFB, the Uganda government and NSSF Uganda, had each contributed US$8.2 million in fresh capital to boost the bank’s ability to provide mortgages.

Ghana launches its first Building Code regulation

The government of Ghana has launched its first Building Code aimed at regulating the activities of the country’s building and construction industry.

Speaking during the launch, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Ghana’s Vice President expressed delight over the production of the standard document after decades of effort in the formulation.

“Ghana has been operating without a comprehensive building code since independence. Essentially, it has been a free for all in the building and construction industry with no clearly defined standards. Ghana’s  construction environment will now be safe and meet international standards,” said Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

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Ghana Building Code

The Ghana Building Code GS1207 of 2018, is a 1,700 pages and 38 section comprising of requirements, recommendations, planning, management and practices that will lead to a  smooth operation  and construction of residential and non-residential buildings. Local Ghanaian training institutions will be provided with a copy that would soon be online.

The code was  formulated by a 22 member technical team including representatives from the Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Institution of Engineers, Surveyors and Institute of Architects and Standards Authority and passed by the legislature.

Components of the  Building code

The building code sets regulations for areas such as; safeguarding during construction, site development and land use, energy efficiency and sustainability, fire and smoke protection measures, planning, management and practices under construction and requirements for plumbing and electrical systems among other.

Materials used in construction of schools, roads, hospitals and all public construction as per the gazetted noticed are required to use standard specific  materials in accordance to the  new Ghana building code. This will in turn create a fair and uniform cost for construction and guarantee safety from collapsing buildings.

The vice-president emphasized the need for having a building code for all countries. He described the move as a key component of the ruling government’s determination to formalize the Ghanaian economy. He further stated  that, the building code gave people value for their money against all construction related procurement.

“Building Codes are critically important in all countries. They specify the requirements needed for all aspects of building and construction,” said the vice president.

SOURCE: Construction Review

Aregbesola kicks off housing estate project in Ilesa

Foundation laying ceremony of Ilesa New Town residential project in Osun State last week

Last week, at an elaborate ceremony in Ilesa, the outgoing Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, brought the hope of urbanisation of the town to life, flagging off the construction of an ultra-modern housing estate in Ilesa- the Ilesa New Town (Palm Dale Estate), to improve on the standard of living and general well-being of the people of the state. This comes under the New Towns and Areas Development initiative of the administration. The initiative, it is believed, is to build a fantastic human habitat, modern and smart settlement that will help to improve on the well-being of the citizenry and as well drive the socioeconomic development of the state, and that of Ijeshaland.

The new town, upon completion, will sit on approximately 290.173 hectares of land, with the following features: serviced residential plots numbering about 700 plots in all which are of Low, Medium and High Densities of average 800m2, 1200m2 and 3000m2 respectively; public and semi-public uses; commercial uses such as the hotels and event centres and support retail facilities and a State-of-the-art Golf Course.

According to the Director-General, Osun New Towns and Growth Areas Development Authority (ONT&GADA), Olumuyiwa Ige, an architect, the project will be developed as a truly liveable Smart City. He explained that the development was being executed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.

To this end, the SAO-MUSTARD Concept group, the DG explained, having demonstrated capacity, are anchoring the flag-off development as a growth pole development strategy in developing Ilesa New Town. He explained that a portion of the estate, measuring approximately 91.720 hectares, including the Golf Course, has therefore been allocated to SAO-MUSTARD Concept for a comprehensive development.

Ige explained that for would-be subscribers to the project, features in the estate and the actual apartments would include but not limited to: general indoor spaces; all bedrooms would be ensuite toilets and bath facilities; kitchen with store and laundry; double vaulted living areas; dining area; courtyard; landscaped green environment; family lounge, among others.

He explained that the location of the estate is just two minutes drive to the expressway; five minutes drive to the community market; five minutes drive to University Teaching Hospital Complex (Wesley Guild); five minutes drive to community schools; 10 minutes drive to King’s Market and 10 minute drive to banks and financial institutions among others.

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Ige, who justified the project by insisting that as a result of steady urban growth, the need to create a New Town within the large expanse of hitherto Ilesa Leventis Foundation limited became imperative. This informed the choice of a portion of the land towards Osun Ankara for the project.

“The idea of developing Ilesa New Town by this Administration is just in tandem with pioneering New Town in the state, Oranmiyan New Town, which is within the State Capital Territory so that the Towns will turn out as models of beautiful and pleasant places for living and recreating,” Ige said.

That Aregbesola takes delight in the project is understandable. Firstly, the idea to build modern housing estates across the nine Federal Constituencies in the state by his administration had been conceptualised before he took over adminitration. Also, the project when completed will complement his administration’s efforts at providing affordable shelter for the people of the state through housing scheme. It is also in fulfillment of his administration’s commitment to make life more abundant, meaningful and worthwhile for the people of the state. Importantly, the project represents a fulfilment of the desire to modernise the town, especially when it is considered that it was developed with old technology at its inception.

“What we are doing today is phenomenal. We contacted UN-Habitat to help us fashion out modern structure across our nine federal constituencies. It took them one and half years to come up with their submission. It is their (UN-Habitat) submission that we have started implementing starting with the Oranmiyan New Town Development in Oshogbo. The location of this project is the highest point in Ilesa; the sun also sets here. So I encourage you all to be part of it,” Aregbesola said, adding that the Ilesa New Town is in tandem with his administration’s six-point integral action plan.

SOURCE: THENATION

3 tips for aspiring housing entrepreneurs in Africa

With World Bank showing that nearly 61% of Kenyan urban residents live in slums and the country has a housing deficit of over 2 million houses, it’s evident that the Kenyan housing sector needs a drastic overhauling.

Slow growth in the sector is preventing Kenya from reaching its economic potential with the key to unlocking the sector’s vast potential being the provision of affordable housing.

In its last Economic Survey Report, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics recorded the annual average employee income in Kenya as 684,097 KES, showing that home ownership, even in Nairobi’s purportedly affordable satellite towns, was out of reach for most Kenyans.

In recent years, global giants, IKEA and Hilti’s foundations have moved into Kenya’s housing sector. Together with Habitat for Humanity, the world’s foremost social-impact organization in housing, and other partners (Pangea Accelerator, BDO and Strathmore University and iBizAfrica) IKEA and Hilti have scouted and are supporting changemakers improving access to housing in Kenya.

Launching the ShelterTech Accelerator in Kenya on Tuesday, Pangea Accelerator and partners selected 24 out of approximately 100 applications to provide expertise, networks and a chance to get up to $100,000 in funding.

From talking to startups making waves in the sector and industry experts, Business Insider SSA compiled tips for aspiring shelter entrepreneurs.

#1. It’s all about the money

“Whether you’re bringing renewable energy in homes or recycling heat in buildings, businesses in this sector need significant capital to survive. On the plus side, there’s less competition: we’re one of 6 similar firms in the country. But the on the flip side, if you’re outside, it’s hard to get in,” Greenhub founder, Brian Ouma, explains.

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#2. Know Your Customer

Nawiri, a social enterprise providing shared living spaces for low-income women, mapped out the needs that their target customer faced. In the end, they realized that to remain sustainable, they’d need paying customers and yet their target customer often lacked access to job opportunities.

Therefore, they set out to develop partnerships and skills training with local businesses to provide employment opportunities to their clients, providing both themselves and their customers with revenue and adding value to their product.

#3 Talent Turns Tables

Getting the right people on your team is just as important as having enough capital, especially in this sector.

Pangea Accelerator held #AcceleratingShelter in September, gathering startups in the housing, waste management, water and sanitation and renewable energy ecosystems to discuss and deliberate on startup needs in the industry.

Participating startups noted that getting talent, especially engineering talent, was particularly hard and smaller firms often had a high turnover due to poaching by established companies, leaving them locked in a cycle of recruitment and training.

SOURCE: PULSENIGERIA

Buhari nominates Ronke Shokefun as Chairman board of NDIC

Ronke Shokefun

President Muhammadu Buhari has withdrawn the nomination of Olabode Akin Mustapha as chairman of governing board of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and replaced it with Ronke Shokefun.

Buhari’s request was contained in a letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday.

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“The distinguished senate is kindly invited to recall my earlier request for the confirmation of the appointment of Chief Olabode Akin Mustapha as the chairman of governing board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC),” the letter read.

“That letter dated 27th March 2018, a copy attached herewith. You may also recall that the nominee is yet to be confirmed by the senate and I write to inform you of my decision to substitute Chief Olabode Akin Mustapha with Mrs Ronke Shokefun as chairman of the governing board.

“The distinguished senate is therefore kindly requested to consider and confirm the appointment of Mrs Ronke Shokefun as chairman of the governing board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) as well as other members whose names have earlier been forwarded.

“While I hope this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the distinguished senate, please accept, Mr Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

SOURCE: THECABLE

Experts warn FG on danger of Abuja earth tremor

The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Eco Defenders Network (EDN) and Urban-Rural Environmental Defenders (U-RED) has called on the federal government to stop rock mining in Abuja.

A statement jointly signed by Dr. Nnimmo Bassy, Shehu and Gods power, all heads of the three organisation respectively at the weekend said the time is now for the government to take a stand on the side of life and not corporate profits. Save Abuja, save Nigerians, protect our environment!

They warned that the earth tremors are clear signals that mining in Abuja must be stopped, adding that it is shame that the government continue to ignore the warnings of nature in the mindless pursuit of cash.

“In September 2018 we had an unusual earth tremor in Abuja. A repeat tremor yesterday in the Maitama area of Abuja gives serious cause for concern.

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“We do not need to wait before action is taken to protect lives and avoid a disaster. We have heard officials say that the tremor is caused by indiscriminate water borehole drilling in Abuja. Although that is an indictment of the government or not providing residents with pipe borne waster, we believe it is a smokescreen to divert attention from the real culprit.

“We are convinced that indiscriminate rock mining or blasting in the city. FG suspended rock blasting and mining activities after the first incidence occurred at Mpape, close to Maitama area in the FCT, but after a few weeks the suspension was lifted. Now we ask, why was the suspension lifted, and in whose interest should the blasting and mining activities continue at expense of people lives? the statement reads.

It stated further that the Rocks of Abuja, including Aso Rock and Zuma Rock are great landscape markers and have a national cultural significance which must not be blasted to oblivion.

FG committed to functional, sustainable infrastructure provision —Fashola

housingNot been unmindful of the expectations of Nigerians as far as infrastructure provisions is concerned, and giving the enormous responsibility he carries, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, last week, reemphasised the commitment of the present administration to the provision of sustainable infrastructure and other amenities.

The Minister, who reeled out the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the areas of power, works and housing in the last three and half years, said the projects executed by his ministry are of high qualities capable of standing the test of time.

Going back the memory lane, Fashola noted that in 2015 when the current administration came into office, the budget left behind for the three ministries, by the previous government was N19 billion for works, N5 Billionfor power, and N1.2 Billionfor housing making a total of N25.2 Billion.

In the year 2017, the budget for works was N394 Billion; Power was N69.96 Billionand Housing was N64.9 Billion (Total N529 Billion).

“However, in a country where the population is growing faster than the infrastructure, the difference between these budgets must tell you that this government is more serious about providing infrastructure to support the people.

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“So, if you need more roads, more bridges, more power, more housing and Job opportunities and prosperity that their delivery will bring, your choice in the next election should be easier’,said Fashola, urging Nigerians not to go back to a budget of N25.2 Billion for Infrastructure, but to move forward with a budget for Infrastructure which has grown to N543 Billion in 2018.

To justify his position that the administration is on right footing, the minister compared the difference between these two budget sizes, saying that the last government was spending less on infrastructure for almost one decade when oil prices stayed at $100 per barrel while his government is spending more on infrastructure when oil prices largely hovered between $40-$60.

He also emphasised the fact  that over the last 10 years, from the proceeds of oil, Saudi Arabia spent $420 billion on infrastructure. But quickly to add that the issue is not about spending money alone, but rather, about what were done with it; and what was left behind for the current government.

“What was left behind were massive debts owed to contractors who had not been paid for 3 to 5 years and who had laid off thousands of workers and shut down equipment and plants, which was the reasons the economy first went into recession.

Besides, the minister bemoaned a huge debts owed state government’s, that was inherited by this administration. “State governments who were forced to intervene on federal infrastructure especially roads and bridges. That figure stands at about N450 Billion!.

He stated that they were preoccupied with the payment of contractors and that as at  today, there is no state in Nigeria where government is not building, at least, one Federal road.

The minister, while emphasising the commitment of government to housing projects, noted that: “ More than anything,  we are constructing houses in 34 states in a pilot scheme to determine affordability and acceptability; and we have 90 transmission projects aimed at improving connectivity between the GenCos and the DisCos to increase the power sector.

“On the housing side, as I stated, we are in every state including all the states of the South West except Lagos. Each site employs not less than 1,000 people made up of builders, artisans, fabricators, and vendors of various items with the plan to do much more”, he said.

Buhari, infrastructure Resuscitated projects

The minister also hinted that close to 90 projects that were in moribund state were resuscitated.

“ Close to 90 projects are largely resuscitated because this government has recovered 690 containers of power equipment out of over 800 containers left at the Port for almost a decade because they did not pay contractors, who then could not pay the shippers and warehouse companies.

The Buhari led government, according to him,  has done a lot in the area of power and still  making progress. The projects are ongoing in Adamawa, Odogunyan) (Ejigbo) (Apo) (Damaturu) are some of those completed Transmission Sub-stations.

 Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund

Apparently to hasten road infrastructure development, especially, roads, the minister also hinted that there is now a Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund to ensure that the Second Niger bridge, the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and some other projects are not deprived of funding again.

He listed major roads in the Southwest like the Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta Road, the Ikorodu-Sagamu road, which had been deserted and left to decay, now have contractors at work.

The Apapa- TinCan – Mile 2 -Oshodi- Oworonshoki road has been awarded and work should start sometime in November this year as the construction equipment are being readied”, he said, noting that the move will give a final solution for the gridlock that was inherited from the last government.

However, he emphasised that its going to take more than one election cycle to consolidate on the progress made so far, stating that unwise choice of those to come into power can reverse the highlighted progress.

 

“Those from Ondo and environs will agree that although the work is not finished, but travel time on the Benin-Ore-Sagamu road has reduced. Our contractor is on site and has to work while you use the road. The same is true of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway that connects 3 states of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo; and links to Ondo and beyond.

“Those who use the road will acknowledge that you no longer have to spend the night on the road. You can go to Ibadan from Lagos and be sure that you can return on the same day.

“Yet, we have not finished. Please as you prepare to choose next year, remember those long hours on Benin-Ore, Lagos-Ibadan that sometimes stretched into the Night. Do you want to go back ?”, asked Fashola rhetorically.

Statistics to backup claims

According to the minister, the last quarter report of the National Bureau of Statistics for Q2 of 2018 shows the following rate of growth in sectors affected by the Ministry of Power Works and Housing:

Transportation – (Road, rail, water and air)  – 21.76percent;

Construction – 7.66percent and  Electricity- 7.59 percent.

However, Fashola said he was convinced that it is not just travel time reduction, and economic growth that is impacted, the number of road traffic accidents, injuries and loss of lives are reducing month by month as FRSC figures from June and July 2018 show. While the biggest cause of accidents remains speed violations.

Power sector

Let me close with some specific comments on power in the South West :- Magboro, Mowe, Ibafo, Ondo (North and South) are communities who were never connected to power supply before.

“That story has changed. They are now connected and experiencing power supply. That is change, because we increased generation from4,000 to 7,000 MW; averaging 1,000 MW per annum; Transmission from5,000 to 7,000MWaveraging 660MW per annum, and distribution from 2,690 MW in May 2015 to 5,222MW in January 2018, averaging844 MW per annum.

“We have not finished and we have not reached everybody yet; but many of you can tell the difference now and attest to the fact that things have changed for the better.

“ I want sincere Nigerians to ask each other, if they use their  generator longer today than in 2015 or if they spend less money on diesel today than in 2015, or if you are getting power supply longer today than in 2015.

“Also ask yourself who has done better: 4,000 MW over 16 years at an average 250 MW per annum? Or 3000 MW over 3 years at an average of 1000 MW per annum?”. He asked.

 

SOURCE: TRIBUNE

Lagos won’t allow building without development permit – Tpl President

Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Bisi Adedire

The chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Bisi Adedire, has debunked the statement credited to him by a national daily during his testimony at the ongoing trial of the Registered Trustees of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and four others for the collapse of SCOAN building at Ikotun Egbe, on September 12, 2014, at Lagos High Court, Igbosere.

He made the clarification at a press conference where he called the attention of the general public and government stating that it was erroneous and damaging for a paper to misquote him without first seeking clarification in such a highly sensitive matter before rushing to the press.

Adedire stated that it was published in a national daily that during his testimony at the ongoing criminal trial of the Registered Trustees of SCOAN and four others, that he said that Lagos allows building a house without a development permit.

“This is contrary to what was I said. I, Adedire, as a staunch follower of regulations and ethics of the profession, never said that.

“There is no section or subsection of any physical planning regulation of the State where it is permitted for buildings to be erected without development permit.”

While speaking at the court, Adedire was said to note thus:  “Planning permit is a process whereby a proponent who seeks to develop a land brings developmental proposal to the planning office with the aim of receiving development permit to ensure legitimate erection of buildings in accordance with government regulation.

“In other words, as far as the regulation is concerned, a building without development permit is not legitimate. However, it should be noted that the state government had always given room for existing buildings within the state which were constructed without planning approval to be condoled by allowing the owners or developers to come for regularization.”

In a previous publication by another national daily on March 1, 2018, pages 34 and 35, the state government through the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) under the supervision of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development gave a-six-month grace for existing buildings without planning permit to regularize without the payment of penal fee.

“Initially, for regularization of existing structures, penal fee would be paid but it was stated in the publication that for applications that would be brought in within the time space, penal fees would be waived.

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The town planner noted that the process of regularizing a building without permit had been there even before he became a town planning consultant.

“As such, when asked by the Counsel if existing buildings in Lagos State could be given development permit, I, Tpl Adedire said yes based on the above publication of March 1, 2018 and what had always been obtainable in the State. This statement made is different from what was published.”

He explained that owners of such properties would only have to go through the planning process required, which includes: provision of title documents on the land (such as certificate of occupancy, deed of assignment or duly stamped receipt of land purchase), provision of survey plan, submission of drawings (architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical drawings where necessary depending on the project), availability of tax certificate, building integrity test etc.

He stressed that once the drawings were screened and recommended for calculation of assessment, the development is approved. He also stated at the court that if an applicant does not make full payment of the assessment fee, approval cannot be granted.

Furthermore, the witness who was just subpoena by the court via a letter dated October 4, 2018 to give evidence on Town Planning and Physical Planning Permit exercise and procedures in Lagos State as well as tender certify true copy (CTC) of necessary reports said that the Lagos State government through its appropriate agencies can issue any defaulting developer with enforcement notices. This ranges from contravention notice, stop work order, quit notice, sealing notice, regularization notice and demolition notice.

 

SOURCE: Daily Independent

Eko Atlantic City: Estate Surveyors appeal for infrastructure management jobs

Eko Boulevard View Estate on the Eko Atlactic City

In recognition of the inability of the country to make after-development-plans, the National Council of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has called on the Lagos State government to consider its members as managers of infrastructure in the ambitious Eko Atlantic city project.

Coming on the heels of the just concluded national council meeting of the institute in Lagos, Rowland Abonta, president of NIESV disclosed that for the Lagos State government to get value from the volume of investment made in Eko Atlantic City, they are recommending a partnership with the professional body.

“I am talking about the infrastructures in Eko Atlantic City as well as the public buildings in Eko Atlantic City and of course the management of that city as an estate, as these fall under the purview of estate surveyors and valuers to manage.”

To buttress his point, Abonta maintained that the law that registers estate surveyors and valuers, has a provision in it for facility management and that by their training, they are properly trained to manage such facilities in Nigeria.

He added that they are the foremost profession in the field of facility management; as a result, they are asking to partner with the government of Lagos State, particularly in the management of Eko Atlantic City as they have the professional knowhow when it comes to that.

Facility management, he said, is a multidisciplinary profession, and that there is no special law that has registered anybody as a facility manager, except the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Board (ESVABON) Act of 1975, which made provision for facility management by valuers.

During a courtesy visit to the Lagos State government, represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr Ade Akinsanya, the NIESV council appreciated the government for employing over 150 of their members as well as the patronage extended to their members in the private sector.

The NIESV president requested that they are also looking forward to further invitation by the Lagos State government for the valuation of the remaining infrastructures within the state.

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They also took time out to educate their host about the functions of their profession ranging from land administration, to valuation of assets, keeping of records of assets, facility management of infrastructures and quite a number of other services. And at the same time, they extended a partnership invitation to the government on the forthcoming conference.

“Part of the programme that culminated to this meeting is the interview of new members into the professional grade of the institution; we have about 116 candidates that were interviewed and quite a number of them passed the interview as future estate surveyors that would be inducted in the nearest into the institute; that is, in the month of December they would be inducted as estate surveyors.

“And of course, we know that the entire Lagos State is a metropolitan city as well as an exemplary city in our nation; many other cities borrow a cue from here on how to run their cities. As a professional body that is foremost in the management of the built environment, our coming to Lagos is historic because the profession itself started here in Lagos by the first generation of estate surveyors who trained in Britain and came back to Nigeria to form a body that is similar to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.”

Still on the choice of Lagos for the forthcoming conference, he said that the state holds a dear place in their hearts as more than 60 per cent of their members practice in Lagos.

On the credibility of land data and housing stock in Nigeria, Abonta confessed that it is an area that the country is not doing too well. According to him, no particular government in Nigeria has been able to do a proper housing survey. You need a proper survey to know what the housing stock is, he said, however, we depend on foreign figures foisted on us

As a solution, he remarked that they were involved in advocacy, to encourage the government to be serious with housing issues so as to aid real estate practice in the city of Lagos and the nation in general.

“We are partnering with government, making offer to government that NIESV is ready to assist in conducting housing survey nationwide. By God’s grace we have branches across the nation; all we need is to mobilize our members in those branches and they would be able to easily capture the data in housing, which will be very useful to government.

“Presently, our research and development committee is embarking on a new survey for the purpose of establishing a real estate data for the city of Abuja; we will not hesitate to do the same thing in Lagos too, if we have the encouragement, particularly from the government.”

The Valuer indicated that since his resumption of office as the president of the institute, that he and his excos have been able to instill discipline in the way members conduct their businesses. NIESV today, he said, is now much more known than most other professional bodies.

Also, he said that they have been able to engage several other categories of professionals that in one way or the other relate with the institute.

He narrated that as at the time of their taking over the realms of affairs of the institute, the construction of the NIESV secretariat in Abuja was at the DPC (damp-proof course) level, but that presently, he can say authoritatively, they are going higher in the five story structure.

“We have done the first floor slab and we are continuing. It is a five-storey building and our target is that NIESV will move into that building before the end of this administration

“Our membership has increased; within these eight months of assumption, we have interviewed over 200 members, we have received foreign professionals; just last week some professionals came from the United States for an exchange programme in the area of capacity building.

During the courtesy visit, the Commissioner appreciated their presence and assured that the state government will try its best to assist in whatever way possible.

SOURCE: Daily Independent

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