Reporter

Property buyers shun off-plan sales amid sharp practices

 

Many prospective property investors are becoming wary with the gale of promotions for off-plan sales characterised by incentives for buyers of new homes.

The concept has gone more radical recently, with the private developers offering mouth-watering discounts, installmental payments and dangling other attractions to buyers. The traditional marketing ploys include the use of glossy and beautiful brochures and advertising to woo buyers.

But the concept of buying off-plan has been fraught with sharp practices. In some cases, the advertised properties or infrastructure are not delivered.

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The most common aspects are site and services schemes dotted in every part of the country. They feature beautiful gates and fences, as it is an appealing option for buyers/investors due to lower prices.

In some cases, the developers never add any infrastructure to the schemes five or eight years after conclusion of sales and promises.

The process also allows purchasers to place a deposit and secure the property while construction takes place. Amid construction process, there is the possibility or otherwise for the value of the investment, particularly in sought after and upcoming areas, to grow substantially.

Investigation revealed that less than 20 per cent of buyers patronise off-plan property sales which used to be popular in Lagos and Abuja, Ogun State, Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Ibadan in Oyo State among others.

The trend in the market now is for people to pay for what they could see and feel rather than the beautiful pictures with which many of the off-plan sales come with. Some also rely on reputable and trusted developers for off-plan properties.

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According to industry experts, investing in the property market off-plan, comes with risks that do not occur when purchasing completed property. The Chairman, Real Estate Consulting, a division of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Niyi Fudoju told The Guardian, that experiences of people which often are not palatable, have triggered loss of confidence on the off-plan concept in Nigeria.

He stated, “When people buy houses, they have reasons and if they buy off-plan and the properties are not delivered at the expected time, they get frustrated.”

Fadoju emphasized that issue of trustworthiness on the part of the property sellers play a key role because the property market has been infiltrated by huge numbers of people who comes in, to swindle unsuspecting members of the public other engaging in honest business.
“Only developers that have clean track record in places like Lagos and Abuja don’t have problem with off-plan sales. Immediately they give the subscription form, people start paying them because they are trusted. The buyers are cock sure they would complete on time and also deliver good housing development that satisfy the taste of buyers”.

According to him, the economic factor especially fluctuations in building materials prices as well as the exchange rate served as a factor why buyers don’t get the quality, which they expect, in off-plan sales.

The NIESV Chairman, Rivers State, Elliot Orupabo confirmed that many people have been swindled in the name of off-plan sale in Port Harcourt. “What we are experiencing in Port Harcourt is that some developers would come and make a lot of noise and promises than even those who are in the practice of estate surveying and valuation cannot fulfill.

“They will call names of estates for people to go and buy, tell them to deposit N6, 000 and the land is yours, people will subscribe and before you know it, the developer would abscond with the money. The fraudulent approach to it has made many people not to be comfortable with it”, he said.

He noted that instances of such transaction abound in the state where people have spent huge fund over 15 years on off-plan property, yet the properties won’t be delivered to them.

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For NIESV chairman, Ogun State Chapter, Mr. Salimon Alao Shobanke, the system is full of fraudulent practices by some property developers that collect deposits from people, take them inside the bush especially locations where there are no basic infrastructures and promising what could not be delivered.

“Many people in Ogun state have been cheated by those parading themselves as off-plan property developers.

“Prospective off-plan buyers must work with the principle of Caveat emptor in their quest for any property that is off-plan based. If the firm doesn’t have a registered office location or success story to tell, people must avoid transaction with them”, he stated.

Victor Gbonegun

Low-income earners can’t afford govt housing units – NIQS

 

Stakeholders at a seminar organised by the Ogun State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors have chided the federal and state governments for constructing housing units only for the rich.

The seminar held in Abeokuta and had as its theme: ‘Effective housing delivery in a developing economy.’

The President, NIQS, Obafemi Onashile, noted that there was the need for the government to evolve an effective housing policy, which would guarantee more affordable houses to the low-income earners and the masses.

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Onashile, who was represented by the Vice-President of the institute, Mr Olayemi Sonubi, said Nigeria, with a growing economy, needed more affordable housing units.

He noted that the government’s housing policy had failed because there was no systematic plan to build houses, adding, however, that it was not enough to build houses that the low-income earners might not afford.

He called on the government to bring the interest rates on mortgage loans to one digit, because according to him, a two-digit mortgage loan regime would take a long time to pay back.

Onashile added, “Mortgage loans should not attract more than five or six per cent interest, having such loans at 19 per cent is quite high.

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“There is the need for the government at the state and federal levels to build affordable housing units that low-income earners can afford.”

In his keynote address, a former General Manager, Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation, TundeAwolana, an engineer, said not many low-income earners could afford the housing units being built by the government and private developers.

He stated, “Housing corporations are building prohibitive housing units, which can only be afforded by criminally-minded people.

 

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“They are supposed to build housing units for low and medium-income earners. Some wealthy Nigerians are also building big houses their children may not like to inherit.”

Awolana called on professional in the built environment to rise up to the occasion in tackling the challenge of housing deficit in the country.

The Ogun State Chairman, NIQS, Mr Kayode Dipeolu, said the workshop was aimed at examining the effective delivery of housing units in the country.

Samuel Awoyinfa

If your bank is on this CBN list, your money is safe

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the list of banks operating in Nigeria, as at the 30th of September, 2018.

The report which was released on Monday is titled The List of Deposit Money Banks and Financial Holding Companies Operating In Nigeria. The report includes the list banks and the addresses of heir operating head offices.

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Commercial Banks

The CBN report groups commercial banks into three categories:

  • Nine commercial banks are licensed with international authorisation and they include Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Fidelity, FCMB, First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Union Bank, UBA and Zenith Bank.
  • 10 other commercial banks along with the first 9 are licensed with only national authorization for commercial banking. They are Citibank, Ecobank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Polaris Bank and Stanbic IBTC. Others include Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank and Wema Bank.
  • The last categories of commercial banks are those licensed with regional authorization and they are Suntrust Bank and Providus Bank Plc.

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Merchant Banks

The report shows that there are only five licensed merchant banks operating in Nigeria with national authorization, as at the end of September, 2018: Cornonation Merchant Bank, FBN Merchant Bank and FSDH Merchant Bank. Other Merchant Banks operating in Nigeria include Rand Merchant and Nova Merchant Bank.

Financial Holding Companies and Non-interest Banks

According to CBN, only three companies are licensed for financial holdings in Nigeria as September 30, 2018. They are FBN Holdings PLC, FCMB Group PLC and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.

Meanwhile, Jaiz Bank Plc remains the only company with non-interest banking licence that has national authorization in Nigeria.

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Polaris Bank

It will be recalled that CBN a few weeks ago revoked the operating licence of Skye Bank Plc with AMCON taking over all the assets and liabilities of the defunct Skye Bank. The name was immediately changed to Polaris Bank.

The apex bank later cited the bank’s urgent need for capitalization, as shown by the results of its examinations and forensic audit, as the reason for revoking its licence.

You can read the full report here.

Dennis Adesanoye

Effect of climate change on real estate in Nigeria

 

The effect of climate change could be felt differently by different people in different climes. Nigeria has really felt the negative impact of the change in climate at least much this year.

The country is currently having unprecedented rainfall and massive flooding that has wrecked havoc in not less than ten states and still counting.

An instance of this is that Anambra State Government established about 28 shelter camp centers in the flood prone areas of the state to help cushion the effect for the flood ravaged people of the state. Other flood prone states also did the same or similar thing to reduce the adverse effect of the flooding in their respective states.

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The 28 shelter camp centers were established before the flood increased meaning that more camp centers will be established to reduce long journeys for people not living close to the established centers.

The State Government approved the establishment of 28 emergency shelter centres in flood prone areas to help in the amelioration of hardships for the people. The 28 emergency shelter centres are in some flood prone local government areas of the state like; four in Awka North, three in Ihiala, Idemili South, two in Ayamelum, four in Ogbaru, six in Anambra West, six in Anambra East and two in Ekwusiego.

The emergency shelter centres were set up in flood prone Local Government Areas’ secretariats or headquarters. The State Government, however, urged residents to get prepared for emergency evacuation or relocation, in case of flood disaster.

The residents have also been urged to have a small box, where they should put relevant and vital documents, as well as be ready for evacuation anytime the need arises. It is believed that with the forecast of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on flooding in 2018, it might likely be in the same magnitude of 2012, so SEMA had planned ahead.

Imagine a world with affordable, clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and decent work and economic growth for all. That is the world the United Nations imagined when it defined the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development with “the desire to create a future where there is no poverty, the planet is protected, and all the people enjoy peace and prosperity.”

But the reality is, that world can’t exist without the equal participation, and leadership, of women as business and political leaders, investors, and contributors to the global economy. Just look at recent events in Nigeria. People are already blaming climate change for the kind of flood ravaging some states in the country. People are also saying and confirming that the kind of rain these days and the kind of flood noticed have not been the usual.

The kind of cold whether that go with it is also very unusual. That is climate change. For instance, in Kogi, Delta State, Beyelsa, Edo, Benue and other states, their roads have been cut off making road users go through untold hardships to meet their daily needs.

You might know what weather is. Weather is the changes we see and feel outside from day to day. It might rain one day and be sunny the next. Sometimes it is cold. Sometimes it is hot. Weather also changes from place to place. People in one place might be wearing shorts and playing outside. At the same time, people far away might be shoveling snow while others will be busy bailing water.

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Climate is the usual weather of a place. Climate can be different for different seasons. A place might be mostly warm and dry in the summer. The same place may be cool and wet in the winter. Different places can have different climates.

You might live where it snows all the time. And some people live where it is always warm enough to swim outside. There’s also earth’s climate. earth’s climate is what you get when you combine all the climates around the world together. New research shows that real estate properties in areas affected by extreme weather and sea level rise are losing value relative to less exposed properties.

The effects are already substantial, but they may point to a looming collapse as climate change makes coastal communities untenable. There is no gain saying the fact that man depends on his environment for existence and sustenance such that man’s life is shaped by his environment and this underscores the need for the protection of the environment from all forms of degradation, especially those brought about by the activities of man.

Realising the significance and inevitability of the environment for survival of man, environmental experts have been arguing vociferously that without the environment man cannot exist since human activities are made possible by the existence of his environment.

Nowadays, environmental issues are receiving attention at global levels and the global communities are continuously making efforts towards ensuring that the world is a better place for human habitation.

Undoubtedly, the world continues to be under the threat of climate change problems like global warming, greenhouse gas effects, flooding, acid rain typhoons, rising sea levels, soot as is currently in PortHarcourt, rising sea temperatures resulting in depletion of marine organisms, earthquakes, wind storms, land and mud slides, desertification, tsunami, erosion, volcanic activities, hurricanes, pollution, deforestation among several others.

One of the great ironies of those historic housing patterns in Miami, America is that for decades under Jim Crow, laws and zoning restricted black people to parts of the urban core, an older part of the community that sits on relatively higher ground along a limestone ridge that runs like a topographic stripe down the eastern coast of South Florida.

Now, many of those neighborhoods, formerly redlined by lenders and in some places bound in by a literal colour wall, have an amenity not yet in the real estate listings: They are on higher ground and are less likely to flood as seas rise. Whether it is climate change or an eye for good real estate returns, historically black communities on higher ground are increasingly in the sights of speculators and investors.

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Real estate investment may no longer be just about the next hot neighborhood, it may also now be about the next dry neighborhood. Although no region of the world will be entirely spared, the negative impacts are likely to fall most heavily on poor nations in the tropical region. While data on the global impacts of climate change is available, those at regional levels are scanty and scattered. This is why there is a study that took a general overview of climate change impacts in Nigeria.

Mean annual and monthly temperature and rainfall data were collected from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and some States’ airports for a period of 105 years (1901-2005). Published data from different sources as acknowledged in the text were also used.

Histogram, trendline and time series were the statistical tools employed to analyse the data. The results show that while temperature increased by 1.1 OC for the 105 years, rainfall decreased by 81 mm. Desert encroachment,
coastal inundations, drying up of surface waters and shift in crops cultivated over time were also noticed.

Greenhouse gas reduction and adaptive measures were recommended.

Maduka Nweke

ESVARBON introduces key regulatory initiatives

 

In order to strengthen its oversight functions to members, the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON), has introduced key regulatory initiatives to assist registered estate surveyors and valuers in the delivery of high quality services to the public.

At a press briefing recently in Lagos, the Chairman of the Board, Sir. Nweke Umezuruike, said the introduction of the initiatives, including use of Adhesive Stamps for professional reports, Creation of Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Unit and The Nigeria Valuation Standards (The Green Book) will enable the board to regulate the activities of members efficiently.

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According to him, “Valuation of properties (real or chattels) is the core aspect of the profession of Estate Surveying and Valuation and in order to ensure compliance with standards and prevent quackery in the practice, ESVARBON, had in 2016 introduced the use of Adhesive Stamp in Valuation Reports. The ovation that greeted the action by users of valuation services, particularly, banks and other financial institutions, corporate bodies, was huge. The endorsement by the users of valuation reports has led to the current high level of success recorded in the use of the adhesive stamps by registered valuers.

“The Board has now resolved to introduce an improved version of the adhesive stamp. This decision is based on the useful feedbacks we have been receiving from registered valuers and the users of valuation reports. The new improved Adhesive Stamp is personalized, with individual practitioner’s name and seal/registration number. It is easier to use, with security features to avoid cloning and counterfeiting. The new Adhesive Stamps have brighter blue colour and aesthetically well-pleasing. It does not have expiry date.

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“Some of the documents that must now carry the new Adhesive Stamps include, Valuation/Appraisal Reports – Individuals and Private Sector Organisations; Letter of Offer; Arbitration, Mediation and Independent Experts Awards; Property and Facilities Management Control and Agreements; Project Management, Agreement and Report Auction Agreement and Notices; Agency (sales and letting) Agreement and Compensation Indemnity Certificates,”he said.

Nweke stated that the new Adhesive Stamp will become operational from January 1, 2019 and that the existing adhesive stamps will continue to be used simultaneously with the new Adhesive stamps until the end of June, 2019 when the use of the old Stamps will be officially discontinued.

“It is important to emphasize the role of clients and patrons of the services of registered estate surveyors and valuers in ensuring compliance on the use of the Adhesive Stamps by registered Estate Surveyors and Valuers in all the aforementioned documents. Non compliance with the use of Adhesive Stamp by registered Estate Surveyors and Valuers automatically triggers disciplinary action against such practitioners.

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Clients with professional reports and documents without adhesive stamps may also find it difficult to get professional redress in any claim of professional negligence against any registered estate surveyors and valuers,”he noted

The Chairman noted that to further boost its regulatory and control functions, ESVARBON has now established a Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Unit. “The Unit which will be coordinated by a very experienced registered estate surveyor and valuer is charged with the general duty of monitoring and reporting on practitioners compliance with the Board’s regulations and practice standards.

Maduka Nweke

FG unearths over 100 companies in property fraud

 

…Nets N1.7bn tax revenue

The Federal Government has uncovered 114 companies neck deep in shady land deals, even as it raked in N1.173 billion in tax revenues from January till date.

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, made the disclosures in Abuja at the the African Union high level panel on illicit financial flows from Africa.

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According to him, the 114 companies feigned ignorance of having various lands allocated to them.
But Fowler said the FIRS sought sufficient clarification and confirmation from the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) to determine that those plots were actually allocated to companies and vowed to hand over the false claimants to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation for further actions.

He said: “114 companies claimed they were unaware of land allocated to them but AGIS has confirmed the ownership for all the cases referred to them and we will soon hand these cases over to the Attorney General on the way forward.”

Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Mahmoud Isa Dutse, said the Federal Government, in its efforts to address IFFs within the context of taxation, introduced the Transfer Pricing Regulations via the FIRS several years ago.

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She said the move was to curb the incidence of aggressive transfer pricing practices and enthrone the “Arms-length” Principle in cross-border trade practices of multinational corporations, as well as indigenous firms.

“More recently, this administration launched the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) initiative which ended in June 2018. VAIDS was a tax amnesty programme aimed at raising tax revenues, regularising the tax status of citizens and bringing concealed tax assets into the national tax base.

“Furthermore, the Federal Government is collaborating with several countries in terms of sharing information on Nigerians who own properties and bank accounts abroad. We also run a programme for the Automatic Exchange of Tax Information with the United Kingdom. In addition, we have signed agreements on the Multilateral Competent Authority on the Common Reporting Standard which is a platform for exchange of financial accounts information. This will come into effect as soon as the legal framework is finalised”, she explained. Ahmed said President Muhammadu Buhari, signed the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill into law in July.

“This autonomous and independent agency monitors cross-border financial flows with a view to identifying and intercepting suspicious transfers. The Unit is also empowered to fight the funding of criminal activities, money laundering and terrorism through the international and domestic financial system.

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“We are determined in the fight against IFFs. We are therefore committed to fighting this on all fronts. To aid us in our efforts, it will be appreciated if the HLP will share its experiences in domesticating international best practices in the key sectors of our economy with respect to IFFs…”

In this regard, Nigeria stands to gain much from initiatives such as the European Union’s country-by-country reporting (CbCR) transparency measures. By requiring companies that are of a particular size or operate in certain industries to publish operational and tax data for each country in which they do business, governments such as ours would be better equipped to check the incidence of aggressive tax-planning strategies, adopt more targeted and risk-based tax audits, and persuade large multinational corporations to voluntarily reduce the magnitude of their tax avoidance”, she added

Uche Usim, Abuja

6 reasons why you should own a Detached house

 

When it comes to the purchase of a property, it requires you take your time before making a decision. With an array of property types it is possible you might be confused and reluctant about making a purchase decision. But if a detached house is what came to your mind at first, it will be a good pick for you with a lot of advantages.

Here are some benefits of possessing one.

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1. Apart from the fact that it is an independent house which provides you and your family with all the privacy you need, it has a great resale value, which is a plus.
2. When it comes to detached homes, you have the liberty to renovate to your standard – it could be the painting, roofing or flooring etc. but whatever it is, be rest assured that you are getting value for money spent.

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3. In a case where you don’t want to occupy the whole property, you can rent out some part of the house that you won’t need. The Detached houses gives access to every part of the house without limiting your movement to one entrance.

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4. If you are particular about privacy, this is the right property for you and your family.
5. A detached house gives you the opportunity for landscaping, so feel free to starting picking out trees, shrubs and flowers from a nursery for your home.
6.Talking about space, the detached home gives enough room for your outdoor activities

It is advisable to maintain and keep the home in the best shape possible, in case you plan to sell it in future.

 

Private Property

Dilemma Of Affordability in Nigeria’s Housing Policies

 

CHIKA OKEKE examines the housing policies initiated by the previous and current administrations and writes on the need for feasible policies to trim the housing deficit.

Nigeria with over 180 million population is experiencing a rough battle in addressing the current housing deficit pegged at over 17 million units. This is even as the country has been challenged in the provision of mass and affordable housing for the informal sector, civil servants and low income earners who constitute over 80 percent of the population.

Findings highlighted that one of the major housing policies that were initiated during Shehu Shagari administration in 1979 failed to meet the housing needs of Nigerians due to absence of designs that captured diverse cultural delineation. Recall that when the national technical working committee under the housing thematic area of the Vision 20:2020 was inaugurated on 18th April, 2009, they were asked to make recommendation towards the contribution of housing to Vision 20:2020 goal of the federal government.

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Part of the vision was to make housing available to all Nigerians by the Year 2020 and also make the housing sector one of the top three contributors to the nation’s economy by adding 10 million decent and affordable homes to the national housing stock by the year 2020.

The overall target for the sector was to contribute to Nigeria’s quest to achieve a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $900 billion with an annual growth of 15 percent by 2020. The thematic area chaired by Mr Stephen Mayaki suggested that for Nigeria to meet up with its housing needs by the year 2020, the federal government must provide the legal and regulatory environment that would attract Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Also, to work with financial sector operators and regulators to develop an effective primary housing finance system, reduce the cost of houses by developing and promoting appropriate designs production technologies for the sector and among others. However in 2000, the then federal government promised to provide housing for all Nigerians, with the acronym, Housing for All by Year 2000 which also failed to yield positive result.

The 2012 national housing policy, aimed at providing affordable housing for Nigerians failed woefully as the current housing deficit still stands at between 17 to 20 million units. With the election of APC- led administration in 2015, the federal government promised to embark on a National Housing Programme (NHP) across the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) The pilot project is ongoing in 34 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with the exemption of Lagos and Rivers states whose governors failed to donate land for the project, though the monies spent on the project so far is still shrouded in secrecy.

Experts are however kicking against the current housing policy, which they believe might not address the bogus housing deficit. The former president of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Tpl. Steve Onu disclosed that affordable housing in a private sector driven environment would not be achieved without subsidy.

He said that Nigerians should not be deceived considering that the modus operandi of affordable housing in other countries is incomparable with the current housing programmes in the country. Onu linked the success story of Singapore to the election of a strong leader that has vision and political will, adding that the country has well structured institution to implement government policies and programmes.

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He noted since the previous government in Nigeria drafted a national housing policy since 2012, that the incumbent minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola was supposed to have studied the policy and compelled relevant agencies to come up with action plans for the achievement of the sectoral goals instead of embarking on a pilot project for a NHP that might not address the housing challenges.

Onu stated that though Singaporean government has private developers that the Housing & Development Board (HDB) is busy building houses for a target group noting that the houses are allocated based on need and not sold in the open market as done in Nigeria. HDB is the statutory board of the ministry of national development responsible for public housing in Singapore.

The expert emphasised that no individual owns more than one public housing in Singapore even as he regretted that Nigeria could hardly make progress since the president or governors do not believe in rule of law. In his contribution, the former managing director of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Prof Mustapha Zubairu lamented that Nigeria is yet to develop a viable housing delivery system despite the existence of national housing policy and urban development policies since 2012, stating that the two policies are gathering dust on the shelves of the federal and state governments.

The expert stated that government focused on building houses alone while neglecting other important components of large-scale housing development like land, finance, infrastructure, building materials and labour. According to him, “Nigeria needs a marshal plan that will enable the country address the huge urban infrastructure deficit in virtually all the cities and towns; and to institutionalise an integrated development planning that will enable us develop sustainable mechanism for financing, managing and governance of our cities and towns”.

This he believed would alleviate endemic urban poverty; enhance affordability of housing especially among the poor and low-income families; ameliorate climate change and contribute in restructuring of towns and cities when implemented. He asserted that 95 percent of Singapore’s 5.5 million population owned their houses while 4.5 percent live in rented accommodation provided by the government since their income is below US$12.000 per annum. Zubairu hinted that the feat was achieved through the HDB irrespective of the fact that Singapore is a one-city country occupying 741square kilometres of land. He wondered if Nigeria has the political will, knowledge, skills and commitment to change the current housing quagmire, stressing that effective housing delivery system could be the catalyst to boost our image abroad.

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The former managing director further attributed Singapore’s successes to a transparent Information and Communications Technology (ICT)- based system that facilitated equal access to one housing project at a time to its three ethnic nationalities, which he described as his dream for Nigeria. Lending his voice, a developer, Arc Adewunmi Towolawi Okupe noted that if the cost of houses are moderate and targeted towards particular income group that affordable housing would be achievable.

He stated that a tenant who lived in a rented apartment for over 20 years must have paid more than enough to build the house. Okupe pointed out that one of the company’s concept is to design houses for a particular income group and structure monthly repayment of not more than one third of their monthly income, which he believed would make the houses affordable for the group. Giving a breakdown on N100 billion housing intervention fund, he emphasised that 967 units of housing could be built annually with subscribers monthly payment .

He asserted that a minimum of 45, 000 three bedrooms houses could be built with N100 billion at the cost of N6 million each. Okupe maintained that the fund could be set on autopilot to produce 5000 three bedroom houses yearly after the initial 16,667 three bedroom houses or more if the fund would be used for the construction of one and two bedroom houses for low income earners.

Chika Okeke

Nigerian Architects celebrate decades of architectural history

 

One of the foremost professional groups in the built environment industry, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has chronicled its successes towards attaining excellence in creative management of the physical environment.

This was unfolded at its annual 4th Distinguished Lecture Tagged: Beyond Simple Line: Presentation of nearly five Decades of Architectural Practices in Nigeria (1970-2018).

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The lecture series was borne out of great commitment of the institute to raise debates on key issues affecting the nation’s built environment and proffer workable and sustainable solutions.

The series is delivered by the past presidents and aimed to project architectural perspectives of critical local national and international issues and challenges, promote advocacies that project architecture and architects.

The forum creates requisite rapport with policy markers and patrons of architecture celebrate the institute’s collective history, encourage necessary bonding across generations and classes of members.

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The 14th president of the institute, Gabriel Yakubu Aduku, who delivered the lecture, said the architectural practice has witnessed series of absurdity in Nigeria over the years.

He argued that for architectural practice to thrive, practitioners need to understand the practice within content of 21st century of globalisation, neo-liberal, knowledge-based society.

Aduku said: “the general understanding of the practice of architecture are numerous that they are far beyond the simple lines. The trend in professional philosophical evolution of architectural practice has to be a major factor in Nigeria.”

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Earlier, NIA President Njoku Adibe extol the virtues of the Aduku, “the distinguished lecturer as a diligent worker who over the years of its existence in the profession been involved in many landmark project in the country, all of which dot the skylines of our nation

“At a time like this, when we seek a rebirth of our institute and our profession, the apt words beyond simple lines beckon.

Rwanda unveils new housing project

 

Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) has unveiled a housing project, which promises to ease the shortage of affordable housing in the country.

The housing project dubbed the ‘Ndera Affordable Housing project’ follows a 2016 partnership agreement between BRD and Moroccan real estate developer, Palmeraie Development Group when King Mohammed VI of Morocco paid a visit to Rwanda.

During the first phase of the project, 1759 housing units will be developed, with the cheapest property under the project valued at US $31,000. The project is also a shift from the traditional bungalow style to moderately-sized two and three bedroom apartment blocks.

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The first phase will cost an estimate of US $35 million and will be implemented under a joint venture by BRD and Palmeraie Development Group with equity injections in the ratios of 25:75, respectively.

The Chief Executive Officer of BRD, Eric Rutabana said the project targets Rwandans who earn a monthly income of between US $227 and US $1,360. He said targeting this income bracket was informed by studies and analyses, which showed that the current real estate market rates often locks them out.

However, the beneficiaries will be required to pay monthly installments not exceeding 40 per cent of their net monthly income.

The real estate project comes at a time when there have been widespread concerns of fast real estate valuation and prices which a section of stakeholders say is a result of market forces of demand and supply as well as cost of inputs.

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A section of Rwandans are also wary of housing project models following instances where they have turned out somewhat fraudulent leading to unending court cases.

However, Rutabana said that they were well aware of the concerns; hence not requiring deposits until the housing units were complete. “In this project we are not taking any deposits from potential homeowners until the project is complete,” he said.

The only requirement is that potential home owners provide evidence that they have their contributions ready or can secure mortgages from other financiers. This could see an increase in demand of mortgage products among local financial institutions.

“We are hoping that this model could help raise confidence in the local real estate market and be replicated in the future to reduce exploitation of the market as has happened in the past,” he said.
House shortage

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A previous a study by the City of Kigali, the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the European Union showed that Kigali could face a housing deficit of 344,000 homes by 2020.

Presently, between 800 and 1,000 housing units are constructed in Kigali annually, the majority targeting high-income earners, leaving the majority of city dwellers without decent housing options.

To address the housing shortage, the city needs to build at least 31,000 housing units annually, according to the study. Low and middle-income earners were found to make up about two-thirds of all new housing demand.

Sarah Nanjala

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