NBA Threatens Mass Action Over Lagos Land Use Charge

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, says it rejects the 50 per cent reduction of the levies under the recently reviewed Land Use charge

Consequently, the lawyers have threatened to go on another round of protest if nothing is done.

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The NBA Chairman, Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, told a media briefing on Wednesday that the reduction “is a sham and a calculated ploy to hoodwink the people of Lagos State”.

“The rates are a fraud and farce, ” he said.

Ogunlana claimed that there was no proper evaluation of properties in the state and that property owners were unaware of it or involved in any evaluation of their properties.

“When the government says it is slashing cost, they are only deceiving people; the amounts reduced are mere fantasies of their imagination.”

He also said the NBA objected to the House of Assembly’s setting up of a committee to review the Land Use Charge 2018.

Ogunlana urged Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to prevail on the House to call a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the legislation which must be accompanied by a draft sent to stakeholders ahead of the hearing.

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“If Ambode wants to do a thorough and clean job, he should publish the proposed amendments through the media and give no less than a month for its study by concerned bodies before the public hearing takes place.”

The NBA had on March 13, stages a protest tagged, ” Walk The Talk” which in solidarity, was supported by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), civil society bodies and professionals.
Others are the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Joint Action Front (JAF) and the Human and Environmental Agenda (HEDA)

The protest which lasted about three hours, was meant to kick against the Land Use Charge Law 2018, excessive litigation cost, borehole tax, car registration tax of the Lagos State Government.

Ogunlana said: “The people of Lagos are not against increase in taxation, but the Land Use Charge, high litigation cost, borehole levies and car registration law 2018; they must be repealed because they are oppressive and illegal.

“If by Thursday, March 29, the Lagos State Government fails to positively consider our position, the NBA Ikeja branch shall embark on another protest.”

FG, ‎estate developers brainstorm on affordable housing

Fred Itua and Okwe Obi, Abuja

The Federal Government and Real Estates Developers of Nigeria (REDAN), on Tuesday, in Abuja, brainstormed on how to develop affordable houses for Nigerians.

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Declaring a workshop for real estate developers, with the theme ‘Enhancing Real Estates Development Through Collaborative Effort open, Minister of State (2) for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Hassan, explained that the Federal Government’s plan to solve the scarcity of houses for Nigerians in the bud, was ongoing.

He stated that with the planned and sustained partnership with the private sector, more houses will be sufficient to meet the needs of the teaming population.

On the part of REDAN, it warned the Federal Government against giving licenses to land speculators, which, according to the professional body, would continue to make houses unavailable and unaffordable to Nigerians.

REDAN also stressed that the only way houses can be available and affordable, considering the increase in population, was for the Federal Government to embark on infrastructural development and create of access roads.

President of REDAN, Mr. Ugochukwu Chime, pledged that the association would not rest on its oars in ensuring that houses remain available and affordable to Nigerians.

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Chime frowned at the high rate of interests collected from members which according to him is a limiting factor.

“REDAN will not rest on her mission to forge a common unity of purpose in the real estate sector,” he vowed.

He added that “after a careful appraisal of the challenges in the real estate environment, REDAN in 2015 set an ambitious agenda of building a strong institution with enhanced succession internally, and a coalition of collaborators with stakeholders. That effort is burgeoning and eventually crystallize to the desired efforts to change the real estate landscape of Nigeria.”

Still speaking on the workshop, Chime, stated that the data that will emerge from the exercise will enable appropriate planning, forecasting to take place and justification for some of the envisaged intervention by government.

Abuja beautiful houses are occupied by Rats, lizards – NIOB President

The President of the Nigerian Institute of Builders NIOB) Kenneth Nduka, has said the inability of Nigerians to buy or rent houses is the major factor responsible for the large numbers of unoccupied houses in Abuja and some major cities in Nigeria.
He said despite the huge housing deficit in the country houses in Abuja are not designed to recognise the classes of people in terms of income as beautiful houses in Abuja are occupied by lizards, spiders, rats and rodents because people can’t afford the rent.

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Nduka made this disclosure recently in Abuja while speaking with journalist at the Real Estate Exhibition.


He said one of the reasons many people come to work in Abuja from the outskirts is because houses are on the high side adding that housing in Abuja is not designed to recognise the classes of people in terms of income.
The president said the way forward is for professionals to be drafted into the processes of housing delivery both at its design and the implementation level.


“Someone has to ensure that the right needs of occupants are provided. That’s the only way to ensure that needs satisfaction can be interfaced so that houses will be built and people will be able to occupy them,” he said.

UNDP completes 608 houses in Borno community

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has handed over 608 housing units built for Ngwom Community to Borno State government.

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The housing units are part of efforts at rebuilding about 20 destroyed communities by Boko-Haram in 2014 and 2016. About 370 households were affected while 2,300 residents were forced to take refuge in camps in Maiduguri.

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UNDP Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon disclosed this in Maiduguri at the handing over ceremony in Ngwom. He said because of the commitment to rebuilt Borno State, UNDP, Japan, the Switzerland and other development partners are in Ngwom to give back hope to school boys and girls, including old women in the community.


Speaking on the UNDP integrated rural development, the Commissioner of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR), Prof. Babagana Umara said the EU has earmarked 20 million euros for rebuilding 20 destroyed communities in the state.

IMPERIAL HOMES MORTGAGE BANK RESTATES COMMITMENT TO EMPOWER NIGERIANS TO OWN HOMES

Imperial Homes mortgage bank one of Nigeria’s leading mortgage banks, has assured Nigerians of its commitment to providing easy and affordable mortgage solutions to address and help reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria.

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The bank expressed this commitment through a statement released from its corporate headquarters in Lagos.

With a housing demand estimated at over 17 million accelerated by an exponential increase in population, Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank – formerly GTHomes – stated that there is an urgent need to providing financial solutions to owing your own home.
“We have always focused on leveraging on international best practices to provide affordable rates and packages for our customers. Our mission to provide affordable housing scheme for all Nigerians has been the driving force behind our operations, and we have made giant strides over the last couple of years, but we definitely believe that a lot more still has to be done,” said Ben Akaneme, Managing Director, Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited.

“Since we changed our name to Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Ltd from GTHomes Ltd in 2014, we have consolidated our position as one of Nigeria leading mortgage Bank by making Home ownership easy and accessible, as well as contributing to efforts to improve the industry, so that more Nigerians can afford and have access to mortgage solutions,” he added.

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Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited has an array of products, which include Imperial Homes Classic, Imperial Homes Direct, and Imperial Homes ESS offers some of the best rates in the country. They are specifically designed to make home ownership easy for Nigerians.

Why Government Should Support the Building Industry

Ayodeji Ake

Calling the attention of the government to the crawling building industry, the Managing Director of Knightstone Properties Limited, Mr. Adeniyi Adams, has said the government can score political goals not only by campaigning into offices but also investing in the building industry. Adeniyi lamented that the building industry seconds the Information Technology (IT) industry in massive labour employment, yet the government is paying little or no attention to them.

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Addressing journalists at the recent unveiling and handing over of 20 units of houses developed by Knightstone Properties Limited, he said government interventions in the building industry in terms of regulation of foreign exchange, mortgage systems and loans will sky rocket the industry. “In terms of building, government can score political goals. This industry is big and serving a good purpose. The government can support in various ways. Even If the pension fund can be used to support this industry, that will go a long way. The government really needs to support the industry”, he said.

Speaking further on mortgage system, Adeniyi said a larger percentage of the population are in the informal sector who has been disenfranchised of acquiring a land or buying a house because the mortgage system does not cater for them.

“We are not yet serious bridging the housing gap because if we are serious, we should address the issue of the mortgage system. The mortgage system is a not catering for the informal sector and that’s where we have the population of people on the street, the market people, and others into business. But because they don’t have proof of income, the mortgage system doesn’t cater for them,” he said.

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Urging the government on swift intervention in the building industry, Adeniyi stated that Nigeria has the capacity of churning out houses in low prices to curb housing deficit if only the government can assist the industry. “We should be delivering bungalows at three to four million naira if all things being equal but it’s practically impossible when everything is on the high side. We really need the government to come to our aide,” Adeniyi said.

Kenya, Ghana To Partner Visionscape On Waste Management, Electricity Generation

Waste management company, Visionscape and the government of Ghana have signed an agreement on waste management and electricity generation, while a similar arrangement is already being worked out with Kenya.

According to reports, Visionscape and authorities of Ghana and Kenya have had series of meetings in Lagos and Dubai.

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It was gathered that the Ghanaian delegation said they were impressed by the global pedigree of Visionscape and they would like the company to provide an end to end solution in the management of their waste. The Ghanaian team, it was further gathered were impressed with the new compactors and other facilities Visionscape was bringing into Lagos for its operation.


It was further gathered that a presentation was made on behalf Visionscape by a company identified as GIL Capital to the Governor of Nairobi City County in Kenya.

A source said the Governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, had written a letter to Visionscape inviting the organisation to make a detailed presentation on the prospective waste management approach that could assist his County to have a one-stop shop management solution.

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The presentation it is expected would include how to generate electricity from a garbage dumpsite.

Visionscape Group, an environmental utility group of companies already has operations in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Lagos, Nigeria.

Lagos begins audit of buildings’ plan permits

Fresh moves are being made by the Lagos authorities to restore sanity to the built environment and further curb cases of building collapse and its attendant loss of lives and property in the state.
Under the new initiative supervised by the Lagos State Building Control Agency, (LASBCA), the agency is carrying out post construction audit exercise on all existing building to ascertain their status and determine the validity of development permits.

The government has already begun the circulation of letters to residents associations. The letter urged all owners/developers to forward their development permit to the nearest LASBCA office in their respective locations.

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The letter signed on behalf of the General Manager of LASBCA by Olalekan Shodeinde, warned that any owner/developer that fails to submit the development permit within two-weeks of the notice will be served due statutory notices and compelled to obtain the development permit in line with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010.

The State Government had earlier last week officially announced granting a six- month grace period to allow property owners and developers, with existing developments or those wishing to commence construction but are yet to perfect their land title, obtain planning permits and approvals, without penalty.

Speaking on the development, the Chairman, Lekki Residents Association, Lekki Phase I, Prof. Ajose Olumide said; “What is the government recertifying for? We don’t understand what the government is after”, he said.

He lamented that many issues have come to the association at the same time. For instance; he said the question of the land use charge, the toll gate, and the post construction audit exercise.

Prof. Olumide stated that government needs to educate the people more about what it’s doing before issuing out ultimatum, adding that the association was trying to address the issue of the land use charge through an ad-hoc committee but not through with that, the issue of post construction audit exercise came up.

Speaking to The Guardian on the issue, the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Titi Ajirotutu explained, “Even if your building is 50 years old, the letter serve an avenue for those who do not have their building approval to obtain it.

The Governor has given an order that the Lagos State Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA) should not collect penalty fee for sixmonth. Before now, if you have built your house before approval, there is a penalty for it but it has been waved so that everybody will have the opportunity to do the needful”.

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She added that; “Those whose building are very old, we also be asked to go for stability test to get assurance that the building can still last for a particular time or otherwise.

Any building that is still okay will be left alone and the owner will be asked to go for only approval. Lekki is a development site, those who have not done their permit; the wave of penal fee for six months, the wave of title document for six month for those who do not have is an avenue for them to do their building approval. LASBCA is not punishing anybody for now.”

Kogi rescinds policy to sell off goverment property

Faced with criticism on its decision to out rightly sell off some legacy projects to finance the 2018 budget, the Kogi State Government has proposed back tracked on the controversial policy.
The controversy was stoked by the State’s Commissioner of Finance Asiwaju Idris during his budget defense for the ministry, where he revealed government’s plan to sell off some of the State property.

Many stakeholders in the state had condemned the decision as some even threatened to sue the Government if it goes ahead with the plan.

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Director-General, Kogi Bureau of Public Private Partnership (BPPP), Mr. Bob Achanya stressed that contrary to speculations that government planned to sell-off landed property and projects of previous administrations, it was out to resuscitate moribund ventures through concession agreements.

Achanya disclosed this at the weekly Inter-Ministerial Press briefing organised by Kogi Bureau of Information Services and Grassroots Sensitisation in collaboration with the state Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Lokoja.

Achanya said that government was not talking about the sale of viable property but concession of projects to investors.

“What I see here is a tactical refusal of the people to accept the concept of concession of projects. I have not seen any sale; we don’t even have a lease. All the talks are political semantics to disparage government policies.

The director general disclosed that the bureau received over 600 business proposals from investors interested in various sectors of the state economy in last two years.

He indicated that 42 of the concession projects were on-going on six-month probation at the expiration of which the quality and speed of work would determine their continuity or otherwise.

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According to him the bureau had developed an integrated Infrastructure Masterplan for infrastructural development of the state.

Achanya described the masterplan which had been approved by the State Government as “Syllabus and Textbook” of business in the state.

MBAN links accessible mortgage to robust partnership

The Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) has said there would be accessible mortgage to people living across country states if government facilitates the much needed private sector partnership that would partner the mortgage banks.

Lack of adequate support in regulatory and legal frameworks, as well as long term funds to match long term investments have long been identified as the bane of the sector that has the potential to create millions of jobs and protect the economy from routine shocks.

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The association’s executive, on courtesy call to The Guardian’s headquarter, in Lagos, recently, maintained that government’s partnership and sincere reappraisal of the sector, would create loans in order to reach out to more people with subsidised rate of affordable housing.

The immediate-past President of MBAN, Dr. Femi Johnson, reiterated that if state governments can leverage the amount of money provided in their budget for housing and partner with the private sector and other people and put funds together and create homes, chances are there that together, things can work a lot better.

“Even if the state governments use tax payers’ money and build houses for citizens and tell them to come and take at no interest rates, instead of building for 200 citizens for free in a year, it could be used to give 10,000 people houses at reduced interest rates,” he said.

The President of MBAN, Adeniyi Akinlusi, stressed the need for governments to reduce the long period of time and procedures associated with title transfer of properties as it hampers the ease of doing business and extendedly, the financial inclusion.

“If title transfers take a shorter time, it will improve ease of doing business. If there is adequate mortgage law, investors from the private sector will come in handy and there will be inflow of money in the country,” he said.

The group therefore, propagated for what it described as “131 model” to tackle the issue of poor housing investment in the country and discouragement facing investors.

Explaing the formula, Akinlusi said that 1 is for the one per cent subsidy, while 3 is the maximum number of days to proper documentation of title and the other 1 represents one desk where the documentations is carried out.

“In some states, you will find close to 15 different desks to register title and by the time you get to the fifth desk, some papers are already missing, meanwhile it was complete when you submitted.

“You don’t need more than three desks for registration. The duration should be short, we don’t need more than three days for proper documentation to finalise title. The cost can be cut down. If we have one per cent as cost, a lot of people will not shy away from registering their title. When this is done, people can then go to the banks freely to pay.

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The association’s Executive Secretary, Kayode Omotoso, harped on the need to ensure standards as it is a major step in attracting funds from capital market to make the sector sustainable, as well as derisking operations.

“To achieve this, we are working with relevant stakeholders including the Central Bank of Nigeria. We have come up with uniform mortgage underwriting standard for self-employed and those at the informal sector, so they can easily access funds to build their houses,” he said.

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