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Hong Kong developers to hold biggest weekend property sale in six months in rush to beat rate rise

 

Hong Kong property developers will put 597 new flats on the market in the biggest weekend sale in six months, as competition to lock in buyers heats up before the era of cheap mortgages comes to an end.

The sale comes as brokerage Nomura became the latest to predict sharp falls in property prices in the city, the world’s least affordable housing market, seeing a 13 per cent drop next year as higher rates bite.

Interest rates are expected to rise by the end of the month, with Hong Kong set to follow an increase by the US Federal Reserve, a move that is likely to dampen demand.

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“Buying interest will drop and more buyers will take a wait-and-see attitude when the prime rate rises,” said Lung Siu-fung, analyst at China Merchants Securities International. “Developers want to sell before the prime rate rises.”

Nan Fung Development said it would offer 487 flats at the LP6 project in Tseung Kwan O on Saturday, a day ahead of rival Sun Hung Kai Properties’ sale of 72 flats at Cullinan West II in Sham Shui Po on Sunday. Meanwhile, Wheelock Properties picked Friday for the sale of 38 units at its Monterey development in the same area.

“You only have a set number of buyers. Your buyer pool is finite, so I think right now it’s giving buyers a little bit more opportunity to look around, not only in terms of product but also in terms of pricing,” said Denis Ma, head of research at JLL, referring to the keener competition for homebuyers.

Nomura’s prediction followed warnings from Citi, UBS and CLSA of price falls of up to 15 per cent, sparked by interest rate rises as well as a slowing economy and falling Chinese yuan currency that could crimp buying from mainland China.

“Remember what happened in late 2015 – prices dropped about 13 per cent in only six months, and the trigger was the Fed’s rate hike,” Joyce Kwock, head of Hong Kong property research at Nomura International (HK), was quoted by Bloomberg as saying at a briefing in Shanghai. “The entirely same situation may repeat again.”

Adding to the pressure on developers is a series of measures announced by the government in June to try and cool prices. These include a proposed tax on unsold units, aimed at preventing developers from hoarding supply while prices rise.

In the past two months, buyers have splashed out in excess of HK$52.88 billion (US$6.7 billion) on new flats, according to Ricacorp Properties, most of which went to Sun Hung Kai Properties, the largest holder of completed but empty flats.

“The launches were rushed because developers also want to clear stock before the vacancy tax is passed [in the Legislative Council],” said Vincent Cheung, deputy managing director for Asia valuation and advisory services at Colliers International.

Developers also have a wary eye on the annual policy address due to be delivered by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in October. Some analysts said she might announce areas set for land reclamation.

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“While land reclamation will not affect the land supply any time soon, the market will feel that the supply of land has gone up, and this will have an immediate impact on demand,” said Alvin Cheung, associate director at Prudential Brokerage.

“Those who are willing to wait might not want to buy property right now as the supply will rise in the future.”

FCT HOUSING COMMITTEE SET TO PUT AN END TO ILLEGAL LAND ALLOCATIONS IN THE FCT

 

The Chairman, Sub-Committee to investigate the process of land allocation in the FCT Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi has said that submissions made before the committee will go through exhaustive investigations in other to put together a good road map for the future of land allocation processes in the FCT.

He made this statement during an adjourned session of the committee with the CEOs of the affected estates in the FCT at the National Assembly yesterday.

During the session, the CEOs of affected estates present made their submissions on oath adopting and taking full responsibility of the submissions made. Amongst those who made their submissions were; Shelter Origins, Jedo Investments Ltd, River Park Estates, Osilama Gardens Estate, C2Q Properties & Investment Company, Leisure Courts, Crown Luxury amongst many others.

The adjourned session was to enable those affected get the relevant documents of their properties for investigation by the committee. However, companies who were not able to meet up with their submissions were granted grace to make their submissions on or before 11th of September, 2018.

In response to the submissions made by those present, it was agreed by the committee that after the submissions have gone through proper scrutiny, consultations from the issuing agencies and necessary further investigations have been made, a time-table will be drawn for individual companies to appear before the committee for further investigations.

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Speaking on the way forward Hon. Gaza said “we are going to go through your submissions, as we see the need, invite parties individually after we must have engaged with the other parties involved who are the government parties and done exhaustive work on your documents in other for us to be able to address what has happened before and put together a good road map for the future.

He further stressed on the Publication made in the Punch Newspaper on 23rd of August, 2108 which was negatively affecting some of the estate developers “ this is not a witch-hunt, we in no way intend to affect anybody’s interest… if your documents are legit, you won’t have any problem whatsoever”

On the side line some of the persons present spoke with HousingNews Correspondents on their views about the proceedings; Mr. Jagunmolu Akande Omoniyi (FCA) CEO of C2Q Properties and Investments Company appreciated the committee on their efforts. He said, “This proceedings is face-saving for genuine developers in the FCT and I’m sure at the end of the day all the parties will be happy for it.

Mr. Osilama Osilama CEO and owner of Osilama Gardens Estate said “for me I think it’s the best thing because the issue about Lugbe has dragged for too long so I’m sure if they do this, it will help both the people investing their money and the developers who have been in between.”

Barr. Ejeh Monday, Legal Counsel to Crown Luxury Estate said, “for me I have some legal issues with respect to their publications and the impression it gives to the members of the public as members of the public were advised not to have any dealings with the affected companies. I feel this should be done after the investigations not before as the publication makes it look as if they acquired the properties illegally”

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Speaking with HousingNews Correspondents, Hon. Gaza stated that the process was aimed at finding out deficient laws regarding land allocation and processes in the FCT as well as mapping out ways to strengthen these deficient land laws and processes.

He added that “these processes is aimed at seeing whether any laws are deficient… so as to strengthen the laws that revolve around land allocation and processes as all these are creations of the National Assembly”

The Chairman of the Sub-Committee Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi appealed to those affected who are yet to make their submissions to do so to enable the committee carry out their constituted duties as is expected of them.

“those concerned should come and make their submissions so that their benefactors can be very comfortable with the fact that they are adhering to scrutiny”, he said.

Wilson Ifeoma – HousingNews, Abuja.

Family Homes Funds will address the challenges of affordable housing

 

As Nigeria continues to urbanize rapidly, adequate supply of affordable housing will be fundamental to actualizing national development targets and enabling the country to maintain a high rate of growth, with cities contributing an increasing share of new employment and GDP.

The structural shift out of rural areas and toward a higher-productivity manufacturing and service-based economy will drive population growth and new demand for housing in cities Lagos, Owerri, Port-Harcourt, Eket, FCT, Enugu, Benin, Kaduna, Makurdi etc etc.

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Urbanization has been used as a tool to accelerate economic growth and poverty reduction in many countries around the world, and affordable housing will be instrumental to helping Nigeria achieve its goals for increasing productivity and inclusive urban growth.

Nigeria has a substantial deficit of quality affordable housing. Almost 70 percent of households in Nigeria are still living in poor conditions. Meanwhile, the majority of new demand for housing will be concentrated in only a few major cities and industrial zones. Together FCT and Lagos, will account for around two-thirds of the new housing demand.

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The Family Homes Funds will address the challenges of affordable and equitable housing for all Nigerians through the following measures that will be implemented:-
– Increase and reorient government spending in the housing sector. In particular, focusing on programs that support and target the lowest two income quintiles and high growth cities, where the need for housing is most urgent.
– Program would include initiatives to improve access to housing finance, stimulate supply of affordable rental housing and enable delivery of core housing to support the self-built housing sector.
– Prioritize structural reforms to improve governance of the housing sector and urban land management.
– Support market development by investing in the building blocks of a functioning housing sector, including regulatory reforms to incentivize greater private sector participation, improved real estate information systems, as well as monitoring and evaluation standards.

FMBN’s ‘Rent to Own’ scheme is a laudable project, however…

 

It was cheering news to Nigerians wishing to own a house of theirs when the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) recently announced that Nigerians above 18 years with steady income would be able to access up to N5milion housing loan without equity contribution. This was disclosed by the Managing Director of FMBN, Ahmed Dangiwa, after a closed-door meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House in Abuja.

Clarifying on the new scheme, Dangiwa said: “What is new is that with the Rent-to-Own product, you don’t need to have any equity contribution and second, you enter in to a house as a tenant and over the years, it becomes your own just like owner occupier basis”. He also said, “You just find the estate that you want and you enter there in collaboration with your employer and then the house becomes your own”.

The Rent-to-Own scheme is open to civil servants as well as the self-employed. The basic requirements for interested workers are pay slip and evidence to show that the applicant is a contributor to the National Housing Fund NHF. As for the self-employed, the only requirement to qualify for the N5million housing loan is for the applicant to present a verifiable steady income from his bank. Three agreements are expected to be entered in to by every applicant who qualifies for this Rent-to-Own housing loan. They are the tenancy agreement, mortgage, and employer guarantee.

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Dangiwa noted that the FMBN has funded estates over 20 years across the federation; adding that a contributor to the NHF can now go and choose the house he or she wants within those estates. FMBN offices within those states will profile the contributor and send same to the head office for approval. Before now, beneficiaries of housing loans had to contribute 10 percent to enable them access up to N5 million housing loan. Dangiwa said Vice President has promised to take the new Rent-to-Own scheme to the National Economic Council meeting for further deliberations.

With the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s figures showing a housing deficit of N17million, the FMBN has only been able to finance the acquisition of 260,000 houses in the country since its inception; a figure that is far below the shortfall required to bridge the gap created by the deficit. About 18,000 houses out of this figure were built through loans. So far, FMBN has carried out a total of N185 billion credit disbursements.

There are no indications that the FMBN would be able to change the tide in the country’s housing deficit even if its request for capitalization were to earn it N500 billion. Assuming that N5million naira is the cost of a 3-bedroom house that could be acquired through the Rent-to-Own scheme, the N500 billion may only provide 100,000 houses which is nowhere in the deficit statistics.

We support the new Rent-to-Own scheme of the FMBN because it seeks to provide easy access for low-income earners to own houses without equity contribution and with flexible conditions. Yet, there is need to educate Nigerians more on the new scheme. Some workers have been contributing to the NHF without benefiting from it; many of them without records of their contributions. Before the request for capitalization is granted, we advise that details of previous contributions and disbursements by the FMBN are examined by relevant authorities.

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Even then, there are yet concerns over FMBN’s capacity to effectively tackle housing deficit in Nigeria. The provision of 26,000 houses only in its 26 years of its existence does not portray the mortgage bank as a financial institution that has done so much to reduce housing deficit in the country. Perhaps, the Act establishing the FMBN requires amendment not only to reposition it to realistically tackle today’s challenges associated with housing deficit but also to save the mortgage bank from undue political interference in its operations. It would be apt to adequately empower the FMBN to fully sanction defaulting beneficiaries to help it sustain its mortgage schemes.

Growing rental market to create more Rental Management Companies

 

The growth in the rental market in India, presents an opportunity for rental management companies to step in. We examine the role that these companies can play and the benefit that they bring, to tenants and property owners

The rental market in India is gradually evolving, owing to a change in the mindset of people. Renting a house, is no longer merely driven by affordability, as compared to buying a home. Rather, people are now choosing the rental option, to be able to live in a preferred locality and also to avail of amenities that promise a good lifestyle. This changing trend, presents an opportunity for organised players and rental management companies (RMCs) to step in.

Vinayak Katkar, director and co-founder of Amura Marketing Technologies, points out that in India, traditionally, the rental market was driven by local brokers because the supply/accessibility to inventory was limited to brokers.

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“With various property portals available now, this inventory availability issue has been sorted. Nevertheless, brokers are still managing rental homes. What young people want, is not just a home but managed property services that take care of their daily needs and chores. Start-ups like Nestaway and Grabhouse, are managing properties and finding tenants for landlords. This has certainly helped people to find good places to live and has also boosted the rental yields for property owners,” Katkar explains.

How rental management companies (RMCs) can help property seekers
Communication and transportation, have also had a major impact on the rental market, says Kiran N, co-founder, RentMyStay.

“People are travelling, for pleasure or work, more frequently than before. For short stays, people earlier used to rely on hotels or serviced apartments, which can be very expensive. For example, if someone wants an accommodation for two months, hotels can be very expensive and flats have minimum lock-in period of six months. Consequently, a person may be forced to pay for six months, even if he stays for only two months. In such scenarios, a short-term rental plan, which allows customers to book a furnished flat for one day to six months, can be ideal. People can save a lot, by choosing such flats, instead of hotels and cooking for themselves instead of ordering food from hotels. Such needs, have created big opportunities for RMCs in India,” says Kiran, adding that tenants now prefer services that are transparent and customer-oriented, rather than the existing systems.

RMCs’ professional services to benefit developers
Kawal Nagpal, managing partner at Hi-tech Constructions, maintains that RMCs can also be very useful, in case of builder flats, till the time the ownership is not completely transferred. “They provide professional services, like security guards, maintenance of flats or the complete society, like operating the lifts and also take charge of electricity supply, horticulture requirements, etc. This happens especially in commercial properties. In this way, RMCs can help to generate good rentals and at the same time, it does not require a lot of time from the builder,” Nagpal elaborates.

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As the rental market grows, owing to the slowdown in real estate construction and high real estate prices, organised RMCs are bound to tap the opportunity. In the beginning, RMCs will be seen setting up their bases in the metro cities because this is where the real action is – in the form of jobs, as well as crunch of space to live. Moreover, these factors will also force people to search for a hassle-free accommodation that offers additional benefits. From a property owner’s perspective, however, before giving house on rent, it is important to ensure that the disadvantage of renting are outweighed by the benefits.

Pooja Bhatia

Akeredolu inaugurates Land Reform Committee

 

The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has identified inconsistent land policies, uncoordinated execution of policies and poor monitoring and evaluation as factors militating against effective governance of the land sector.

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Inaugurating an 11- man Land Reform Committee in Akure, Akeredolu said the state’s ministry of lands and housing to urgently encourage and explore possible means of correcting observed lapses and anomalies of the past in the land resource sector of the state.

According to Akeredolu, the ministry was mandated to focus on acquisition of land, both public and private, procurement of title deed to land, commercialization through land use charge, digitization of the land process, mapping of the state, legal reforms, as well as the management and monitoring of land.

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He said: “This became imperative for obvious reasons as this administration needs to break grounds to shore up the revenue base of the state in order to meet its everincreasing demand and be responsive to people’s needs. “Our major desire was to undertake measures aimed at tapping all vital resources to strengthen the state’s social-economic base.

Opinion: Chinese Investment brings Africa hope, not trap

 

The claims that China’s investment in Africa is creating a debt crisis are misleading and false.

It is a fact that China has been investing more and more on the continent, up nearly 40 times since 2003.

However, it is irresponsible to exaggerate Africa’s debt problem in the first place. In statistical terms, overall debt level of African countries is nothing comparable to some developed economies.

It is also wrong to blame China for it, and neglect what China’s investments have made happen on the continent.

From 2000 to 2016, China’s loans only accounted for 1.8 percent of Africa’s foreign debts, and most of them are offered to infrastructure.

None of the African countries has once complained about being trapped in debt crisis because of their cooperation with China. On the contrary, many leaders of African countries have praised China’s investment and financing cooperation with them, and are looking forward to greater cooperation with China in this respect.

Debt has long been an issue for Africa. In the 1970s-1980s, there were IMF documents devoted to Africa’s debt problem. For infrastructure-starved poor countries eager to speed up industrialization, debt tends to rise.

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Some new factors add to the debt issue. Resource-based African economies, who have been reeling from a slump in commodities prices over recent years, have seen their debts surge. And the U.S. Fed’s rate hikes which pushed up the U.S. dollar made the situation even worse.

Debt is not an African issue. Research by the London-based Jubilee Debt Campaign in 2017 showed that debt payments by poorer countries had increased by 50 percent in two years and had reached their highest level since 2005.

In addition, it is filled with hypocrisy to turn a blind eye to the benefits that the Chinese investment has brought to the continent.

A recent Washington Post article by Professor Deborah Brautigam, director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, may shed some light on the issue.

After assembling databases of Chinese loans provided since 2000, scholars at Boston University and Johns Hopkins University concluded that “by and large, the Chinese loans in our database were performing a useful service: financing Africa’s serious infrastructure gap,” according to the article titled “U.S. politicians get China in Africa all wrong.”

On a continent where over 600 million Africans have no access to electricity, 40 percent of the Chinese loans paid for power generation and transmission. Another 30 percent went to modernizing Africa’s crumbling transport infrastructure, the research has found.

Just take the past three years as an example. In late 2015, China announced “ten cooperation plans” to support Africa. Projects completed and still under construction in these plans are expected to bring the continent 30,000 km of highways, 85 million tonnes per year of harbor capacity, over 9 million tonnes per day of water-cleaning capacity and about 20,000-megawatt power generating capacity while creating some 900,000 local jobs.

By the end of 2017, China has invested over 100 billion U.S. dollars on the continent in total. Most of the funding went to infrastructure projects such as the 480-km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway that lays the foundation for growth and prosperity.

It is not just infrastructure. Hundreds of schools, vocational education centers, and hospitals have been built, and nearly half a million patients have been cured by Chinese medical teams.

Lina Benabdallah, a political science professor at Wake Forest University, studies Chinese investments in African human resource development programs. “When Africans are thinking about technology and skills, they are thinking of China as a valid option,” she said.

In this sense, instead of the so-called debt trap, Chinese investment has brought hope to Africans who want to break the cycle of poverty and live a better life.

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This is why it is unjustifiable to demonize Chinese investment in Africa and label Chinese lending as “predatory.” Why the money is sweet “money pie” when it is offered by certain countries, but a dark “money trap” when offered by China?

What have these finger pointers done for Africa?

In the 1960s, Tanzania and Zambia, who just shook off the shackles of colonialism and are desperate for development, turned to certain developed countries for assisting with the building of a railway linking the two countries, only to be turned down.

Very disappointed, the two countries approached China. Much to their surprise, China, also an impoverished country and a victim of foreign aggression and suppression, agreed to lend a hand, at the cost of some of its own infrastructure projects.

Starting from that point, African people came to understand, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

300 buildings marked for demolition in Benue

At least 300 buildings have been marked for demolition for contravening land laws in Benue state.

Abraham Gbileeka, the General Manager of Benue Urban Development Board, says most of the buildings were built on water channels.

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“It’s true that people are building on water channels and it is our responsibility as a board to stop them; the only action we have to sustain the right thing.

“Once we discover that you have not received a legitimate approval from the board and you have gone ahead to build, we serve you a notice which will lead to demolition.

The general manager also said that the structures marked for demolition were not only built on water canals, but lack government approval.

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Gbilekaa said that areas that would be affected “are Nyiman extension, Achussa, Genabe, Owner Occupier, Wadata and High-level, Naka Road and some communities in North Bank.’’

He, however, explained that marking a house does not necessarily lead to demolition as houses were marked sometimes because they have no records with the board.

Gbilekaa warned the residents of the state against raising illegal structures that such buildings stand the risk of being demolished.

 

A look at residents of Abuja’s Ajegunle

 

It was christened by migrants from one of the biggest slums in the country who moved into the nation’s capital seeking better economic prospects. It is located in a grimy slum on the fringes of Abuja’s city centre, and has no facilities that can classify it as urban, but it is too noisy and polluted to be termed rural.

A group of settlers migrated from where many refer to as the “jungle city” of Lagos to the Federal Capital in the late 80s, with little knowledge about the territory they planned to make their new home. The high cost of securing a befitting accommodation has pushed many into settling in slums; these migrants are no exception. They settled in an area and christened it “Ajegunle.”

“As with other migrants from the length and breadth of Nigeria, we relocated to Abuja in search of better employment and business opportunities. Few weeks after our arrival, we settled in a place in Mpape a distance away from the indigenes. At that time, the area was bushy with few houses in place and it had no name. We decided to name it Ajegunle because we lived in the Ajegunle area of Lagos,” says Oba Musibau Adekale, the Yoruba chief in Mpape.

This, according to the chief, was done in order for them to have a feel of their former homes, which he says bear some resemblance to their new location.

In Lagos, Ajegunle is a mega slum infamous for its overcrowding, poverty and lack of sanitation. However, the slum is getting a major revamp with the provision of some facilities. Schools, hospitals and roads exist, although the staggering population of the area is overstretching these facilities.

Abuja’s Ajegunle is a sprawling slum that developed in the hills of Mpape, a largely informal settlement just outside the expressway, which circles the city centre. Mpape is one of the slums that dot the mega city with low-priced houses springing up by the day in the shadow of gleaming high rise and luxury buildings.

The most striking point about Abuja’s slums is their close proximity to shimmering luxury houses, often in the very heart of the city. The city is now a curious juxtaposition of rich and poor , that has yuppie executives looking down from high-rise buildings onto landscapes of ramshackle huts and open sewage.

Mpape is home to a number of mining sites owned by major construction companies in Nigeria.But neglected by regulatory authorities for decades, residential areas have developed side-by-side with quarry sites.

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“During the early days of Ajegunle, the construction workers blasting the hills helped in clearing the bushes and grading the roads. A construction company blasting the hills installed one giant light which illuminated the entire community at night because there was no electricity,” Oba Musibau comments, adding “basic amenities are non-existent, while residents always rely on self-help efforts to get the necessities.”

The major road leading to Ajegunle is a right exit from Murtala Mohammed Expressway, which takes you to the Mpape road. There, a few kilometres from the highway, a sweltering surge of humanity confronts you. The road disappears under the mass of people. Street traders, water vendors, commercial motorcyclists, take over what is left of the road.They only make way when a vehicle approaches.
In Ajegunle, cramped alleyways and mishmash structures lean into and grow out of each other. Kids careened down the rocky, dirt streets at full speed, while music soared out of a set of speakers at a record store. The population is bursting at the seams and growing by hundreds a year.The population of residents is put at about a million people. This number grows rapidly as a vast majority move from the countryside to the nation’s capital in search of greener pastures, most of them settling in slums.

The community could be a model for a study of the environmental impact of informal settlements, with no state-sponsored infrastructure like clean water, sanitation, healthcare or electricity. This, according to a resident, John Emmanuel, is because, as far as government is concerned, residents are squatters, who lack leases or legal title to their homes.

Residents see the population density of the slum as a blessing rather than a curse. The slum is a thriving economic hub. Shops dot nearly every corner. There wasn’t a square of street front property without activity: pharmacies, restaurants, grocery stores line the streets.
“Ajegunle has its problems, but it’s a nice place to live,” says Emmanuel. “At least you can do a petty business and get a little to get by. Back home in the village, it’s really hard to survive.”

It was early in the evening when I left Oba Musibau’s compound ,and the crowds streamed in from their jobs in the rest of the city. Amid honking horns, stall owners swept through the gridlock peddling a mind-boggling array of wares. Men and women picked their way through the streets, grabbing up last-minute items before heading home for the night.

“The population is much now,” says the Igede chief, Jacob Obor. “In the morning when residents are going to their various offices and workshops, Okada riders smile to the bank. Residents troop out in large numbers in the morning and same in the evening when they return from work. Some people have to trek a long distance to the expressway due to traffic congestion.”

Residents, he adds, have developed coping mechanisms to deal with the traffic congestion in the area “To get ahead of the rush, some people wake up as early as 5a.m. to drive to work.”

The nagging feeling of being left behind, also weighs heavily on residents of Ajegunle. Chief Obor reels off their woes: “No electricity, hospital, schools and roads.”

As the population increases, there is no corresponding development of infrastructure . The few but overstretched amenities are primarily the products of residents’ self-help efforts. Local associations collect levies from the neighbours and collectively invest in transformers and other electricity infrastructure, and maintain roads. Residents have always dreaded the rains. When they arrive in May, Obor says, sewage floods homes in the low-lying areas.

“In the entire Mpape, there is only one primary and secondary school. If you come to Mpape in the morning, you see school children crammed in a big truck that belongs to a construction company, conveying them to their various schools in distant places.There is no single borehole drilled by government here , while the health post serving the entire Ajegunle is actually half of my parlour. Electricity supply is erratic but bills are high. During the rainy season, the poor state of our road makes it difficult for us to move around ,” he laments.

Bukola Ibikunle, who lives close to a dumpsite, says she was worried over the health implication of indiscriminate disposal of refuse. She says inadequate waste management and poor drainage infrastructure has caused toxic pollution, and water-borne diseases, even as the pools of rainwater resulting from floods during heavy downpours, have now become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Obor appeals to government to “grade our roads, build hospitals and more schools for our children.” He says “At the town hall meeting which holds once a month, we discuss these issues and even delegate some residents to relay our complaints to the authorities.”

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The tragedy of Ajegunle can be seen in the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s refusal to grant residents formal recognition to land ownership, and this has caused the area to be included among the slums in FCT marked for demolition by previous government of FCT.
“They neglected the area when it was bushy. Now that the community has developed, they are attempting to eject us,” Ambrose Odeh fumes.
In 2012, FCTA announced plans to demolish 19 villages in Abuja suburbs, including the entirety of Mpape, in an effort to restore the Abuja master plan.

Numerous houses were marked for demolition in different areas of Mpape including Ajegunle, Eneje, Mashafa, Area 1, among others.
Odeh, who has lived in Ajegunle for over 20 years, recalls that palpable fear gripped the entire community when the news of demolition filtered in, compelling many to sell off their properties at cheap prices.
“We reacted quickly to the threatened demolition. We contacted National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), organised a peaceful protest to the National Assembly and got the demolition into the public domain,” Odeh says.

He said the case, filed by a team of lawyers, including the human rights activist, Femi Falana, challenging the legality of the demolition, is still in court.
“We are not quarreling over land with the government; we are appealing because you cannot forcefully eject about two million people without resettling them. There are lots of empty lands within our neighbourhood that stretches to Kaduna road. They should resettle us there,” he added.

Guidelines for accessing National Housing Funds Loan From FMBN

National Housing Fund (NHF) is a Federal Government introduced scheme that mobilizes long-term funds from Nigerian workers, banks, insurance companies and the Federal Government to advance loans at soft interest rates to its contributors.

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The scheme was established by Act 3 of 1992 to enable Nigerians in all sectors of the economy, particularly those within the low and medium income levels who cannot afford commercial housing loans to own houses by contributing 2.5% of their monthly salary to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, managers of the fund.

Eligibility For (NHF)
To be eligible for the NHF loan, a contributor must be above the age of 18 and must have contributed to the Fund for a period not less than six (6) months. The applicant must have satisfactory evidence of regular flow of income to guarantee loan repayment.

How to Apply For National Housing Fund (NHF)
Except for institutional borrowers who can apply for the loan directly from Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), individuals can only apply through a duly licensed and accredited Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB) of their choice and not directly to the FMBN. Loan applications are also to be obtained from the same PMB.

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Requirements for accessing an NHF Loan
• Open a savings account with a registered PMB
• Contribution to the fund for at least six months prior to application.
• Have satisfactory evidence of regular flow of income to guarantee the loan.
• Submit photocopies of valid title documents (e.g. C of O).
• Approved survey/site plans
• Approved building plans
• Priced Bill of Quantities where applicable
• Valuation report prepared by a firm of registered surveyors and valuers where applicable
• Three years tax clearance certificate
• Letter of consent to mortgage to your chosen PMB
• Completed prescribed mortgage loan application form
• Evidence of NHF participation
• Copy of pay slips for the previous three months
• Equity contribution of personal stake of 30 percent, 20 percent or 10 percent depending on the loan amount applied for loans of N15 million, N10 million and N5 million respectively
• Offer letter/Acceptance and Allocation letter (in case of government projects)
• In case of registered self-employed applicant, a copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association and a copy of Certificate of Incorporation as evidence of employment status must be submitted.

FASHOLA IS CERTAINLY ONE OF BUHARI’S GREATEST ASSETS

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How Much to Apply For?
An individual borrower is entitled to a maximum of N15 million. No individual shall be granted a loan in excess of 90% of the cost or value of the property to be mortgaged.

Security for the Loan
The property (residential accommodation) for which the loan is sought shall serve as security for the loan. The property must have valid title documents (C of O, Deed of Sublease, Deed of Assignment or Letter of Allocation). The property shall conform to the existing planning laws and regulations and building plans approved by the appropriate authorities. The mortgage property must possess sufficient value to recover the loan, and must be insured against hazards.

Source: MBAN

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