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Why money alone can’t help beat poverty in Africa, here’s what is needed

Money is not the currency of well-being, sustainability and community cohesion. Nigeria recently surpassed India to become the country with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty: 87 million. Nigeria is oil rich and boasts Africa’s fastest growing economy. Yet six of its people fall into extreme poverty every minute.

This story isn’t unique to Nigeria. It’s echoed in other resource-rich countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola where an exploitative elite and multinational companies keep wealth from reaching the majority of citizens. By 2030, it’s estimated that 82% of the world’s poorest people will live in Africa.

This is the continent’s paradox: vast natural resources and mineral reserves alongside extreme poverty.

Historically, poverty has been predominantly dealt with as a lack of material resources or an income deprivation issue. Development work has focused on pushing resources to poor communities. Many have criticised the availability of “free money” though international aid, which they say has created a “dependency syndrome”, dishonest procurement and white elephant projects. Aid work has also been accused of fostering paternalism rather than partnership.

The reality is that poverty is about more than just money. If money alone were the solution, poverty would have ended: more than $50 billion was given as overseas development assistance to Africa in 2017 alone.

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Without contextual knowledge, education and adaptation, foreign or imposed practices or resources cause new sets of problems. This is seen again and again across countries that depend on aid. For example, where food poverty was causing under-nutrition in parts of Malawi, financial aid has alleviated it. But that problem is quickly being replaced by diabetes and hypertension – because of a narrow financial solution to a complex problem.

We argue that tackling poverty requires a different focus, rather than just money. It requires partnerships and practices that promote learning, particularly in relation to cultural and self knowledge. Having communities identify their own problems, then collaborate to find solutions, is also crucial. Money has a role to play in partnerships, but projects shouldn’t default to depending solely on it.
Driven communities

Many of the factors that are blamed for contributing to poverty are not measurable in dollar terms or connected to income. These include people’s lack of choices, restriction of freedom, lack of skills, gender castes and barriers.

Understanding these issues and their complexities requires looking at poverty through a sustainability lens. This is a perspective that focuses on ethical and innovative ways to look at and use resources, share knowledge, and build community to affect positive change.

Our work with the Sustainable Futures in Africa Network has shown the importance of this lens. We’re an interdisciplinary collective of researchers, educators, and communities of practice that aims to build understanding, research, and practice in socio-ecological sustainability (which recognises the interconnection between social and ecological systems)
in Africa.

We work from the understanding that because poverty is multifaceted, solutions to alleviate it must be multifaceted, too.

A number of the community projects we work with are engaged in poverty reduction practices but don’t focus solely on generating income. These projects are driven by communities on their own with existing resources; they rely on their own abilities and efforts that are not externally funded.

One example is ECOaction, which works in a slum community on the outskirts of Kampala in Uganda. Residents largely rely on collecting and selling discarded plastic bottles collected from across the city for small amounts of money.

With no resource other than time and vision, residents have built a community hall from recycled water bottles and an urban garden that grows food for residents and a chicken farm. Colourful murals and sculpture can be found around every corner.

In Botswana, the Sustainable Futures in Africa team is working with a community in Mmadinare to develop a project that will protect their farm land from wild elephants. This will not rely on, or generate, external funding. But it will protect the farmers’ and the wild animals’ interests.

There are other ways to build strong sustainable communities without external financial resources. In Taba Padang, a village in Indonesia, sustainable community forestry is helping improve human wellbeing. There’s also Boomu African Village in Uganda, where a women’s group participates in eco-tourism and invests back into the community. They have built a nursery school and trained other residents in their village to get involved in eco-tourism.

Other self-reliance projects centre on health. For example in Lesotho, volunteers participate in community home-based health care and fill the gap in the community health care chain.

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There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all solution that will end poverty. But aid in the form of donated money, from one place to another, is culturally, practically, and ethically problematic.

Money is not the currency of well-being, sustainability and community cohesion. More often, it’s a tool for influence and power dynamics that will favour the creditor. That’s why partnerships that rely on different types of resources and bring people together to design and act on context-relevant solutions can be such powerful drivers of change. That’s why for resource rich Africa, promoting self reliance would be key to eliminating poverty.

CNBC Africa

Demolition of Ayefele’s N800m house, an economic waste

The Housing Development Advocacy Network, an NGO, has condemned in strong terms the recent demolition of the popular musician, Yinka Ayefele’s N800 million music house, saying it was an economic waste.

Briefing Newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the President of the group, Mr Festus Adebayo described the demolition of the music house of the popular gospel musician as an economic waste and lacked rule of law.

The Oyo State Government on Aug. 19, demolished the Music House which housed Fresh FM, a radio station and music studios that belong to the artiste despite a court injunction restraining it from demolition.

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“How can we grow our institutions if we do not respect the rule of laws, we need strong institutions led by contented patriots, working collaboratively with other institutions to move things forward.

“What has happened in Ibadan is not about Ayefele but it is about right or wrong, it is also about laws and processes.

“When such act occurred and there are no protest and repercussion on the governor, it emboldens potentates at all level of the government.

This induces fears and uncertainty in the socioeconomic development process.

According to the president, no reasonably investor will invest in an environment where the government cannot obey the rule of law.

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He added that it was unfortunate that those who cannot build houses for their citizens were demolishing the houses built by the citizens.

“The Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s action in Ibadan reminded us of  how former FCT minister Sen. Bala Mohammed demolished 500 houses  on independence in FCT in Abuja (Minanuel Estate)  located along Airport road Abuja.”

`Nigeria cannot continue with this kind of economic waste in the country where the housing deficit is above 18 million and where the unemployment is increasing on daily bases.”

He said that it was an empirical fact that the citizen of the country must obey the town planning laws but doubted if the people who were implementing the laws even understood it.

He asked: “Has Yinka Ayefele violated the building code?

Did he just violate those building code, if yes, is it a newly enacted building code or pre-existing building code of Oyo state.”

“Why did the government not obey the court order refraining it from demolishing the building in a normal society, the government cannot arbitrarily contravene the judge order and that is where our fear lies.

“This fear is also a factor used to coarse people to fall in line into sycophancy and loyalty once you show loyalty and fall in line with the party or government your sins which may be many may be forgiving.

He called on the government of Oyo state to learn how to obey the rule of law to attract investment into the state.

“If democracy must thrive, the rule of law must be the order of the day, the governor should join the league of other governors who are investment and housing friendly for the betterment of the youths.”


Ella Anokam

Group frowns at EIU Report on Lagos, demands parameter


The Housing Development Advocacy Network, an NGO, has frowned at the recent report that rated Lagos State as the third worst city in the world, calling for the parameter.

Briefing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the President of the group, Mr Festus Adebayo expressed dissatisfaction over the report adding that the report was highly subjective.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2018 Global liveability report had recently ranked Lagos, the Nigeria commercial nerve centre, the third worst city to live in worldwide.

Lagos was ranked 138th of the 140 countries ranked by the EIU.

Adebayo called on the international rating organisations, including the World Bank to do more in showcasing transparently the yardstick or the parameter used in the rating.

The housing expert said his group would like to understand the methodology adopted by EIU in gathering its data, in analysing and reaching conclusions.

“We need to know whether the data is opinion based or based on objective measurable parameters, answers to these will help us to know the validity of these ratings which has been demarketing Nigeria in the international communities.

“Respectively, any report that ranks Tripoli a war ravaged city above Lagos that has barely recorded one bomb blast in over 10 years cannot be accepted to be based on a scientific, objective model,’’ he said.

Adebayo called on Nigeria research institutions to begin to publicise data for those in the international community who may need them as  bases of confirmation of events and trends in the country.

“We are being forced to respond to various ratings of Nigeria in the international community in the last few weeks that describe Nigeria as the headquarter of poverty in the world and the recent rating of Lagos as third worst city worldwide

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“We observed that some of these rankings are highly subjective and also based on the residents comments about Nigeria. It’s unfortunate that Nigerians are our own worst enemies when it comes to demarketing.

“In the rating of Lagos as among the worst cities, if Boko Haram attack was among the parameter used in the reports, we doubt if Lagosians will mention Boko Haram as one of their problems.

“We hope in that those who did the rating have not mistaken Lagos as Maiduguri,” he said.

He also noted that the recent activities of Gov.  Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos supposed to have put Lagos out of three worst cities in the world.

According to him, Lagos still remains the economic capital of Nigeria and every effort to demarket the commercial hub of Africa should be discouraged.

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He also commended the Statistician General of Nigeria, Dr Yemi Kale for the good work he has been doing in the area of data provision.

Adebayo urged Nigerian Leaders to rise up and be sincere in their call to duty in making the country a better place.

“It is their lack of performance and insincerity that has been making the country to receive bad ratings every time on every issue.

“Our country deserves uninterrupted water and power supply, efficient refuse collection and efficient road system.

“Nigerian is not as worst as it has been rated,’’ he said.

Ella Anokam

Countries could see more Real Estate Investment

Canada and Germany have been identified as the world’s most underweight real estate investment markets and are set to attract billions of dollars of per year.

A new analysis, part of Knight Frank’s Active Capital report, has been conducted using a bespoke ‘gravity’ model, based on the models used to forecast international trade and says these two nations could see $4.5 billion and £3.1 billion of property capital per year respectively.

Canada had £2.6 billion of foreign real estate investment in 2017 and can expect to see a further £4.5 billion. Germany could see £3.1 billion of investment per year, Switzerland and Sweden, both $1.8 billion, France £1.6 billion and Belgium £1.1 billion.

The study also suggest that both Malaysia and Indonesia could see annual real estate investment of $1 billion, Austria some $0.9 billion, down from $3.8 billion in 2017 and Mexico some $0.8 billion, up from $0.1 billion last year.

For the first time, Knight Frank has created a model encompassing over 40 variables which impact on inbound real estate investment, including GDP per capita, relative strength of currency and location of the destination country.
Crucially, the model also considers a range of social and cultural factors that impact upon the flow of capital from one country to another, such as shared language, existing trade agreements, and shared common religious worship.

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The analysis shows that six countries in Europe are attracting less inbound real estate investment than expected. Germany, which Knight Frank calculates could support an additional $3.1 billion per year, is the most underweight European market, followed by Switzerland, Sweden, France and Belgium.

Annual investment into Austria is also significantly below the level forecast by Knight Frank’s gravity model while outside Europe, Knight Frank identifies current inbound real estate capital into emerging markets Indonesia and Malaysia as $1 billion per annum below the potential level.

“For the first time we have applied the type of spatial interaction model used to forecast global trade to estimate the level of real estate investment that global markets could support,” said William Matthews, head of commercial research at Knight Frank.

“By looking at the market and economic fundamentals, and by unpicking the socio-economic factors which impact on the flow of capital between individual countries, we have found that Canada and some of Europe’s most advanced real estate markets, including Germany and France, could support more inbound investment,” he explained.

“While competition provided by domestic investors in each market is one factor that can crowd out inbound investment, our feeling is that this sort of barrier will become less important over time, as appetite for cross border transactions increases,”he added.

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According to Ole Sauer, head of capital markets for Berlin at Knight Frank, the potential inbound capital will have a hugely positive effect on domestic German investors and the overall positive sentiment surrounding the nation’s healthy real estate market.

‘This confidence is already leading to a surge in new Grade A office developments, an area where Germany is definitely behind international competing markets who have a far greater number of state of the art office complexes,’ he added

Guardian Property

13 States set to adopt New Mortgage Law

Following calls for the government to simplify the process of homeownership, more states are taking steps to reform mortgage and land administration. To make access to land, housing and mortgage less cumbersome for their indigenes, about 13 states are expected to adopt the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law between now and the first quarter of 2019.

The MMFL is an initiative of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company which calls for the creation of a state mortgage board as a single window clearance mechanism to facilitate accessible and affordable mortgages for residents of the state.

It was gathered on Friday that eight states – Edo (which has established a mortgage board) Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Kogi, Benue, Plateau; Kebbi; and Gombe – will conclude the process by November.

Ogun State, on the other hand, is awaiting the governor’s sign-off to adopt the law while four other states are said to be looking at adopting the law by the first quarter of 2019.

Lagos and Kaduna states have enacted their own mortgage model law, and have worked on their property rights and land digitisation.

In most developed countries, mortgage plays an important role in homeownership. But in Nigeria, the process as well as the interest rate impede the growth of the mortgage industry, which is said to currently contribute only about 0.5 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. In some countries such as South Africa, mortgage contributes close to 30 per cent to the GDP.

When adopted, the MMFL is expected to create an enabling environment for states to provide affordable housing for their citizens by de-risking the housing and mortgage sector and unlocking its potential for economic growth.

According to the provisions of the law, the ease of doing business index for the states affected will be improved and this will in turn further improve the business case for new investments in housing and catalyse access to finance for citizens of the states.

This, it was gathered would lead to increasing taxable income to the states as well as improvements in the internally generated revenue profile.

The law will also make provision for the establishment of mortgage board and mortgage registry; reduce the time stretch it takes to issue Certificates of Occupancy by delegating top government officials to sign the governor’s consent rather than the governor alone; and make land ownership transfer easy, among other benefits.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Head, Project Administration Team of the National Housing Finance Programme, Mr Adedeji Adesemoye, stated that the law would help to correct some of the shortcomings of the Land Use Act, which limit access to land and housing.

“It will create better access to mortgage loan in the states and help manage the current Land Use Act which has some unintended negative aspects that limit access to land and which in turn is a restriction of access to homeownership,” he said.

He said Lagos and Kaduna states that adopted the law earlier had streamlined their operations so that people applying for C of O could predict when it would be issued.

“If you apply for governor’s consent to mortgage your property, you can predict when it will be issued. Some of these states have also delegated the governor’s consent so that any of the commissioners so delegated can sign it, which will make the process faster,” Adesemoye said.

He also said the processes would help the states to key properly into the Federal Government’s reforms and make mortgage transactions to take place in their states regularly, thereby helping to entrench mortgage in the housing sector.

According to findings by our correspondent, since adopting the law, the Kaduna State Government has modified and automated its land registry; fast-tracked the mortgage registration process; and initiated a process where the governor’s consent must be granted within 30 days of application.

It has also helped the state to attract a World Bank investment of over $200m and increased its IGR.

Similarly, the Lagos State Government has automated its land registry.

Adesemoye said the law would serve as a paradigm shift from supply-driven housing development to demand-driven where developers would not be building without having a demand.

“Currently, developers are building but not looking at effective demand; so, we have buildings on the ground that are not in demand; there is a disconnect between demand and supply. And then the banks will be suffering because of the loan taken for the development. But the new structure will enable homeowners to decide what they want according to their income and go for it,” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of real estate development firm, Alphacrux Limited, Tobi Adama, stated that with the population of the country at almost 190 million, Nigeria should have much more than the estimated registered 50,000 mortgages.

He said, “This shows we have not scratched the surface at all. If the states are adopting a new mortgage law, it should be encouraged because we need more people to take mortgages. People still save for 10 to 20 years before buying a home, but it should not be so.

“Once you have a steady income, you should be able to take mortgage and pay it over the next 30 to 40 years, depending on your age. That is what is done in every advanced country. Within Africa, mortgage still contributes a lot to the GDP; but it is not so in Nigeria.”

A former Chairman, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, Williams Odudu, said it was heart-warming that state governments had started thinking of ways to make homeownership easy for their indigenes.

He however stated that civil servants should be given a reorientation.

According to him, they create unnecessary bottlenecks that hinder the implementation of certain laws by government.

“Some challenges are put in place by civil servants who exploit the situation. They intentionally create problems that will make the system not to work. A Certificate of Occupancy, for instance, should not take more than one month but some civil servants, not necessarily the governor, increase the time. Their mindsets about making money through exploitation should be changed for the new system to be effective,” he said.


SON, CORBON to collaborate and end building collapse

In a bid to check building collapse in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has entered into partnership with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to end the menace.

The agreement was reached recently during a courtesy visit of the Council officials led by the Chairman, Professor Kabir Bala to the SON’s Director General, Osita Aboloma and his management in Abuja.

Investigation revealed that the agency’s readiness to cooperate with CORBON, saying that environmental issues and resource management needed to be brought to the forefront in the building and construction sector.

According to SON’s Director General, the renewed collaboration towards institutionalizing standards in the construction sector was to stem the tide of building collapse and structural failures throughout the nation.

The SON boss represented by a Director, Richard Agu, noted that the cooperation of the two organisations had helped in bringing issues and dangers of building collapse to the forefront of public discourse.

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SON, according to him, would be disposed to supporting the forthcoming 2018 builders congress through delivery of technical papers, exhibition of standards, among others.
Agu proposed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations to leverage on the extensive regulatory powers in the new SON Act 14 of 2015 in the overall interest of the nation and her citizens.

He admonished CORBON members and institutions to take advantage of SON capabilities in management systems certification of their services in quality and environment, among others.

Contributing, Director of Operations, SON, Felix Nyado, disclosed that all State offices have mobile sandcrete block testing machines for quality assurance.

He advised CORBON to also key into knowledge-sharing through more active participation in the national mirror committee for development of international standards under the auspices of the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) activities relating to the building sector and environmental sustainability.

On his part, Bala who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, called for high quality values at all levels by developing and implementing more technical standards for production processes in the building and construction sector.
He called for closer monitoring, control and enforcement of quality of materials through the establishment of more materials testing laboratories across the country.

“CORBON is desirous of partnering with SON in establishment and management of a database of Physical Building Resources that will provide information on location and availability of standard materials to assist builders in accessing the right materials,” he said.

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According to him, the council has developed a set of standards to enable a professional builder to effectively administer the construction processes within budget limits, time, and specified quality.

The CORBON Chairman stated that the Building Production Management Standards which are to ensure the success of building production process are segmented into construction, project quality management, health and safety programmes and construction methodology.

Amaka Simon – The Guardian

Collapsed Building: AMMC to start investigations

Umar Shuaibu, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, says investigations will commence immediately on the collapsed Jabi building.

Shuaibu said this when he briefed newsmen at the site of the collapsed building on Saturday in Abuja.

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He noted that only six persons had been rescued with various degrees of injuries and had been rushed to a nearby hospital, with one death recorded so far.

The coordinator described the incidence as unfortunate and assured that adequate measures would be taken to prevent any future occurrence.
He said: “This is an accident. What happened is an unfortunate incidence. We have this kind of building collapse occurrence all over the world, not only in Nigeria.
“We are going to start our investigations now; we are going to take adequate measures to prevent any future occurrence.
“We have passed the first phase, the next phase is evacuating these rubbles and we implore the general public not to be here.

“There are so many scavengers around, so we are going to instruct security agencies that anybody they catch around this area should be arrested.”
He, however, noted that all the stakeholders worked overnight to ensure lives were saved and not a single soul was buried under the rubbles.
He commended stakeholders for their quick action to tackle the situation.
Shuaibu said: “We worked overnight with all floodlights, with all equipment, you can see it.

“We were able to bring out everything and found out that there is no single soul buried under this rubble.
“We had machines that helped and did professional job.”
Eze Celestine, member, Architects Association of Nigeria, said that the professional bodies were concerned about the incidence of collapsed buildings in the country.
Celestine advised that there should be relevant professionals in every construction site in the country, not just anybody, to ensure the environment is safe for all concerned.

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Celestine said: “In any construction site in Nigeria not only Abuja, there should be a regulatory industry personnel.
“Not where anybody will come and claim that he is an architect, engineer or a builder. The enforcement has to be stronger.”

The Eagle Online



Yesterday Friday 17th August 2018 at about 14.00hrs or 2pm, NBRRI was alerted about a building collapse at IT Igbani/NBRRI road, Off Obafemi Awolowo road, Jabi – Abuja. Because we have continuously used this route to the new NBRRI Head Office and Abuja Laboratories at 10 IT Igbani/NBRRI road, we have seen the structure always but since it is no one’s business to stray into someone else’s premises, it barely caught anyone’s attention.

On getting to Site at about 2.15pm, we noticed the building in a pile of rubble with rescue workers that arrived earlier struggling to remove debris to rescue lives with hand and crude tools. We sympathize with the families of those who lost loved ones and pray for speedy recovery of those injured.

The building is a framed structure of 4-storeys which had been left temporarily abandoned for some 15-years, so we learnt. This year there was resumption of construction work on Site which had been ongoing at the time of collapse. Our clear unequivocal opinions based on visual and physical inspections at the fresh accident Site are:

1. Based on the length of time that the structure was left abandoned, resumption of work on Site should have been preceded by integrity tests and some remediation done on concrete elements whose concrete deteriorated under years of carbonation resulting in the leaching out of bonding mortar.
2. As the electronic media (television and social network) would have captured in their recordings, there has been total disintegration and dissociation of concrete from the steel reinforcements pointing to a notion that the concrete used was weak and did not develop sufficient bond to act in unison as a composite single element to resist relative sliding between steel and concrete.

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3. Incidentally some NBRRI Staff have said they had taken note of the unusually slender column support elements and that these were being knocked recklessly with no due regard to their functions that could impair their load carrying capacity and induce a collapse at any time.
4. NBRRI in many previous reports has highlighted the unprofessional use of sandcrete blocks to beef up columns and beams in their structural roles. It has worked but is not necessary and in this building, a pure structural framing construction was commendably done but unfortunately structurally incompetent leading to failure.
5. Because of rescue operations, NBRRI has no way of inspecting the foundations to ascertain if they have a blame in the failure. In due course, attempts will be made to inspect the foundations and form an opinion.
6. There was evidence of both fresh and new concrete on site inferring that work was ongoing at the time of construction. Unfortunately, both hardened and fresh concrete spilled and disintegrated during collapse.

7. The Director of Development Control of FCT was present on Site and was advised to arrest the Owner of the Building as well as the Contractor and Professional team of Architects, Builders and Engineers, if they exist at all, because some Building Owners are their own engineers relying heavily on quackery for implementation.
8. NBRRI has a 5-story building not far from the collapsed Site and a lot of care was taken when construction was restarted after 12-years of abandonment to inject fresh cement mortar into all concrete elements including floors and beams to rejuvenate lost capacity resulting from years of carbonation and leaching of mortar.

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9. Every Site abandoned for years must be reassessed, redesigned and the structural competency assured before resumption of further construction.
10. NBRRI experience has revealed that Building Service Workers for Electricity, Water and Sewage Disposal as well as ICT lines are very unsympathetic to structural integrity. They drill small and large holes through very sensitive and intensely loaded beams and columns with no idea that it could collapse on them because they are undermining stability. They undermine foundations for services and weaken footings through ground softening by directing precipitation to excavations beneath buildings with no idea what dangers their activities pose.
11. A journalist asked me whether this has not represented failure on our part for past efforts and I told him a definite NO because our interventions over the years have produced numerous results.
12. Even though we must develop zero-tolerance to Building, Bridge collapses and Road failures, nonetheless the last Building collapse recorded in Abuja is some 4-years ago somewhere in Gwarinpa Extension or thereabouts which we investigated. Building collapses have gone down from 33no in one year (2012) in Lagos and 22no in Abuja in 2012 to almost zero. This is the first collapse brought to NBRRI attention this year in Nigeria.

13. The supervision of buildings is the square responsibilities of Municipal Development Control departments in cities and states who must be on their toes in regulating development as well as actively punishing offenders to act as deterrent for the future.
13. NBRRI and R&D outfits, especially Universities, and Professional Regulators such as COREN, ARCON, TOPREC, etc, are available to control practice and to provide scientific, technical and professional benchmarking for guidance. It is up to Municipal Control Authorities to institute checks and balances for practice within their domains, be it in Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Kano, Portharcout, Onitsha or any place in this country at all.
14. It is important to advice all developers to harness and use the services of intelligent and experienced registered professionals on their structures and avoid cutting corners in reinforcements and concreting; but most importantly to ensure that the foundations are properly designed and constructed based on proper field investigations. Using good artisans and craftsmen that are well informed, which comes primarily at the construction stage, is also useful because they could raise alert at flaws in design and construction sequence, procedure and optimal use of materials to avert shoddy works.

15. Government, Private Investors and all should strive to support more funding support for R&D, especially to take NBRRI to a pinnacle of service and contribution to raising construction and the built environment to making Nigeria an autonomous, giant and proud economy amongst the comity of nations worldwide. Thank you.

Engr Professor Danladi S MATAWAL, fnse, faeng, fnice.
Director-General/CEO, Nigerian Building & Roads Research Institute, NBRRI-FMST, Abuja.

Building collapses at Jabi, Abuja leaving casualties


Reports reaching HousingNews that a building located at Jabi junction, close to a popular Rukkayat plaza in the Nigerian capital has collapsed.

The incident occurred at about 2:00pm today while workers were still at the building.

It was gathered that those trapped include workers, children and food vendors.

It was also gathered that eight people have been rescued. Among those rescued was the site engineer who had his two legs broken.

One person has been reported dead while at least 10 others are trapped in the rubble of the three-storey shopping complex under construction.


Many of the victims are still communicating with their phones under the rubble however; the only escalator being used is too small.

Information gathered reveals that the building had been abandoned for 15 years, but contractors were recently mobilized to the site.

At the time of this report, rescue operations by officials of the FCT Fire Service and National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) were still ongoing.


Pictures from the sites are as shown below

The total number of casualty is yet to be ascertained.

‘Nigeria loses N126.2b on abandoned FG properties in Lagos’

The Federal Government has again been charged to either concession or sell all its buildings that are not being utilized across the country to private investors in order to forestall further deterioration as a result of continued abandonment.

A Professor of Building, Prof. Olumide Afolarin Adenuga, who gave the charge in his inaugural lecture at the J.F Ade Ajayi Memorial Hall, University of Lagos, Akoka, on Wednesday, said, N126.2 billion revenue have been lost since 2006 on the Federal Government properties in Lagos State alone, because the government have refused to either sell or concession the assets.

Adenuga, a professor of building management lamented that the nation have been hemorrhaging as a result of the neglect of the buildings, warning that the huge economic benefits of these iconic structures would continue to elude the nation if the government continue to ignore the need to restore them to beneficial use for Nigerians. The university don who said maintenance is as old as creation, said man have had to contend with managing his space and the ecosystem since he abandoned a wandering lifestyle to adopt a settled life, pointing out that maintenance was responsible for increased lifespan of structures such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Papal States in the Vatican City, The White House in the United States and the Golden Temples, and other monuments, most of which have been kept in same serviceable condition as they were at the time of their construction.

For him, it is regrettable that many of the nation’s iconic assets, which were pleasant to look at, at the time of their construction, had been allowed to degenerate due to lack of maintenance and planned repairs that could have reversed the trend and turned them into positive economic assets. “It is a glaring fact that our buildings are in very poor and deplorable conditions of structures and decorative disrepair, abandoned and reduced more or less to refuse dumps and natural homes for rodents and vermins in spite of billions of Naira spent to build and commission them.”

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Adenuga listed among such assets wasting away in Lagos State to include; the National Stadium, Surulere, the Federal Secretariat Complex, Ikoyi, The Nigerian Eternal Telecommunications (NET) building, Marina, the Defence House (formerly Independence Building), and the former NAVY Headquarters building in Marina. Other buildings according to him are: the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, former National Assembly complex, Tafawa Balewa Square, and the Supreme Court building among others.

He said: “All these buildings are in deplorable states of structural and decorative repairs because we do not have any maintenance culture, a fact which manifests in the general apathy for maintenance coupled with ignorance on the part of occupiers of the benefits of planed preventive maintenance and care of buildings.”

According to him, the cumulative potential economic loss at the National Stadium alone, between 2004 to date, is about N52.6 billion, while the Federal Secretariat, which has been overgrown with weeds and is now home to reptiles and rodents, could have been yielded over N72 billion, if it had been converted to luxury residential apartments as proposed by Resort international Limited since 2006, while the 32-storey NET building with about 720 sq. metres of lettable space could have attracted over N1.6 billion in rent annually if well maintained and optimally utilised.

He said apart from the loss of the huge revenue which could have been ploughed back into provision of social amenities for Nigerians, the 480 units of luxury residential apartments being proposed by RIL could have contributed to reducing the shortfall in the nation’s housing stock. “Because of their present deplorable state, these once iconic structures have become a nuisance not only to the city of Lagos and her residents, but is also a source of economic loss arising from abandonment and gross under-utilisation,” he added.

He said since it hardly feasible to construct buildings that are maintenance free, it is desirable for experts to think of building maintenance projections even at the design stage to reduce the cost of maintenance work throughout the lifespan of a building.

“All elements of buildings deteriorate at a greater or lesser rate depending on the materials used, methods of construction, environmental conditions, and the use of the building,” he said.

To reverse the trend of improper maintenance of public or private properties, Adenuga recommended a formulation and formalization of regular minimum repair programme, regular and effective inspection of all the fabrics of the buildings, including their sorroundings, as well as the comfort of the occupants to detect signs of disrepair, prompt attention to repair needs of buildings, to prevent further deterioration in order to keep the buildings in acceptable standards.

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He canvassed planned preventive maintenance, which according to him are best accommodated at the design and construction stages of building development, even as he urged occupiers of buildings to be adequately educated to report, as soon as noticed, defects for prompt maintenance even as he charge them to use the property in such a way as to keep them in good tenantable conditions.

He canvassed that occupiers of public properties should be responsible for repairs and maintenance of the properties, the avoidance of deliberate alterations, which may lead to immediate or eventual decline in the state and aesthetic value of property, the standardization of building components.

He added that property owners, both private and public, should guide against overcrowding which may result in over-use of facilities and undue pressure on sanitary facilities.

Adenuga, a product of the polytechnic system, who described the lecture as his debt to academic and scholarship, is the second professor to have given his inaugural lecture in the Department of Building and the ninth professor in the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the University of Lagos.

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