Kagame, Bella Disu seek collaboration for regional integration at Africa CEO Forum

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Globacom’s Executive Vice Chairman Bella Disu on Monday began discussions on the use of digital technology to help the march towards economic prosperity in Africa. The two leaders held a private meeting after the opening session of the two-day Africa CEO Forum taking place in Kigali, Rwanda.

Globacom could use its massive infrastructure, including the Glo 1 international submarine cable, to drive digitalisation on the continent.

President Kagame said Africa’s hopes of achieving regional integration and economic growth would not be realised without modern technology. He also commended the success Globacom has made.

The Rwandan leader, who had in his opening remarks at the forum called for “open, responsive and accountable governance” on the continent, said the private sector was critical to growth because of its ability to “envision on what needs to be changed to achieve desired improvement in the private and public sectors”.

Disu said Globacom’s Glo 1 armoured submarine cable and digital solutions, such as mobile money, artificial intelligence, E-Health, Smart Cognitive Learning and Smart Energy, could help Africa achieve a digitalised economy.

“I commend President Kagame for his exemplary leadership and for the tremendous success Rwanda has achieved under him. Like President Kagame, I have no doubt that greater integration will lead to continental growth and a more prosperous Africa. Globacom is committed to Africa’s economic renaissance,” Disu said.

The Globacom EVC also chaired a session on “Women in Business” on the opening day of the forum. She called for more gender parity on the boards of companies and applauded Rwanda’s policy of 50 percent female representation in appointments as a good model.
“There are no two ways about it, women must continue to advance. After all, we make up more than half of the world’s population,” Disu said.

“My charge to women is to keep climbing the career ladder. Climb it anxious. Climb it confidently. But just keep climbing. And when you get to the top, because you will – give a helping hand to the women coming behind you – this is how we grow,” she said.

The opening session was attended by Cote d’Ivoire’s Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé, Congo Democratic Republic President Felix Tshisekedi, Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente, and over 1,800 leading decision-makers in the private and public sectors in Africa.

Source: Business Day

ZOLA Electric announces expansion into Nigeria market

ZOLA Electric (‘ZOLA’), the leading renewable energy brand in Africa, with 200,000 installations and more than 1,000,000 daily users has announced plans to bring clean, affordable, reliable 24 hour power to Nigeria.

According to Mr. Bill Lenihan, Chief Executive Officer, ZOLA’s entry into the Nigerian market is in line with the mission of the company to use distributed renewable energy solutions to make clean, affordable reliable 24 hour accessible for anyone, anywhere.

“ZOLA Electric is a power solutions pioneer that is now one of the most trusted brands in Africa’s distributed renewable energy market. We have successfully delivered our clean, affordable and reliable power solutions across Tanzania, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana.

We’re super excited to make our clean, affordable and reliable 24 power solutions available to Nigerian homes, business and organizations.

Mr. Lenihan explained that ZOLA will expand its distributed smart storage + solar energy model and launch an affordable renewable energy alternative for Nigerians in a bid to deliver clean energy access to over 1 million households and businesses in Nigeria over the next three years. This ambitious expansion is focused on improving environmental, health and economic outcomes while driving the transition to clean, renewable energy.

Nigeria is a rapidly expanding economic powerhouse, with population growth tipped to surpass the United States by 2050. It is Africa’s largest economy and its biggest oil producer. Despite this, the Nigerian electrical grid is unable to meet basic energy demands.

Power from the grid is unreliable and expensive and this has driven more than 100 million Nigerians to rely on diesel generators to power their basic energy needs in their homes or apartments.

“With the current electricity access deficit in Nigeria affecting an estimated 80 million people each day, ZOLA’s expansion will help Nigerian homes and businesses to access reliable 24 hour, with smart storage + solar for a monthly price that is less than the average energy outlay on diesel generators.

By combining our PAYGo micro-finance leasing and mobile money payments, ZOLA’s energy access model is financially inclusive and adaptable to energy need and income” said Lenihan.

He further revealed that the affordability of ZOLA’s systems allows customers to redirect their current energy spend on diesel and power bills towards a smart storage and solar system that they will own in the long term resulting in significant cost savings for customers.

Our power systems give customers the flexibility to use their own home appliances at any time of the day.

Reliable power generates economic productivity – businesses can stay open for longer or use evening hours for other income generating activities.

The expansion of ZOLA’s business operations into Nigeria is also expected to improve areas such as; employment (with the renewable energy sector tipped to become one of the largest employers in Africa), significantly reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions and help small, medium and large businesses to improve efficiency and deliver greater economic benefits that they can share with customers and employees alike.

Source: EnergyMixAfrica

How to speed up your property transfer

Time is money – and transfer delays can be costly

In complex, protracted transactions like property sales, delays are not only frustrating, they can also be extremely costly and may even torpedo the deal completely. However, while some delays cannot be foreseen, it’s possible to exponentially reduce the risk by doing one’s homework and having all one’s ducks in a row from the onset.

This is according to Jill Lloyd, veteran agent and Area Specialist in Rondebosch and Claremont for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, who says: “Essentially there are two primary types of delay; the first relating to the confirmation of the sale and those that occur once the sale has been confirmed and hold up the transfer.

“Property transactions are known to be lengthy processes with multiple steps and reams of documentation, and once the potential minefield of suspensive conditions and contractual obligations has been successfully navigated and the deal is finally done, many people breathe a sigh of relief. But the expected downhill cruise to transfer can still become an uphill battle if one isn’t careful.”

 

Lloyd explains how this can happen:

“One of the main reasons for delayed transfers is that the timeline is out of sync, especially when two or more deals are linked and money from one sale is needed to purchase the next property and so on. I once brokered a transaction with seven linked deals all dependent on the sale of a Rondebosch East home and we had to pull out all the stops to get the house sold in time.

“It is also very important for buyers to budget for the transfer costs of the new property they are buying or have an access bond in place on their current home, otherwise when the attorney calls for bond cancellation that bond account will be frozen and they will not be able to access the funds.”

She adds that not giving the required 90 days’ notice of cancellation of the existing bond can also cause delays as well as avoidable late cancellation fees.

“If a homeowner is seriously thinking about selling, they should give notice to the bank holding the bond. In doing so, they are not committing to selling, merely notifying the bank of the possibility and they can keep on renewing the cancellation if they don’t sell timeously or revoke the notification if they change their minds.”

Craig Guthrie, Partner at Guthrie Colananni Attorneys says: “One of the transferring attorney’s key roles is to coordinate and control all the role players involved in a transfer, including SARS (transfer duty), the municipality (Rates Clearance Certificate) and the bank.

In order to do this as seamlessly as possible, it is essential that both the buyer and seller submit all the necessary documentation in time, as per the legal requirements and without omissions. This is especially important if either party resides in another country or is otherwise difficult to contact for information and signatures.

 

Guthrie says that although hiccups and stumbling blocks can occur at any point of the transaction, they most commonly occur at the following stages:

  • Bond Approval
  • Bond Cancellation
  • The signing of transfer documents
  • Obtaining valid compliance certificates
  • Issues encountered at lodgements requiring the removal of notes by the Registrar of Deeds
  • Transfers which are unusual and more complex, such as estate transfers which require an endorsement of the Master of the High Court, which can cause a delay

Most of these delays can easily be avoided, through prompt co-operation with the transferring attorney and the paralegal handling their transfer or, if they are outside of South Africa, by giving a valid power of attorney to a person within South Africa who can sign the necessary documents and act on their behalf.

 

“It’s vital that the client is completely up front with the agent regarding their financial situation,” says Lloyd. “We can then facilitate and expedite the process by having our bond broker at ooba, South Africa’s largest mortgage originator, prequalify them and the thorough credit check will reveal any potential snags.

“This step is particularly important for buyers who are self-employed as banks are very strict about the documentation that they require for a bond application. At this stage I always advise all my clients to avoid making any expensive purchases that could negatively impact their affordability.”

 

Lloyd concludes: “Experienced estate agents will guide their clients every step of the way and as long as they are upfront with their realtors, there should not be too many problems to circumvent.

“I also recommend appointing an accomplished conveyancing attorney who is really on the ball. It is all very well allowing your best friend to handle the transfer, but you could end up being enemies if they make a complete hash of it and that happens more often than I like to remember!

“And, as the transferring attorney and agent work closely together behind the scenes to ensure a smooth transfer, it is always an advantage if they already have an established working relationship.”

 

Source: Private Property

Dangote Re-affirms Commitment to Nigeria’s Economic Potential

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Industries, says his continuous efforts to innovate, create value and invest in Nigeria’s economy is borne out of his firm belief in its vast economic potential.

Dangote said this during Dangote Cement Distributor’s Award Night on Monday in Lagos.

He said his target was to ensure that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in all the sectors where Dangote Industries have its footprint — cement, agriculture, mining and petroleum.

The industrialist noted that the company was at the forefront in exploring opportunities targeted at the diversification of the economy and had continued to roll out massive agricultural projects across the country.

“We have started in rice, while plans are underway for dairy farming. Our push for backward integration in providing our own raw materials on a massive scale has led to the planned investment of 4.6 billion dollars over the next three years in sugar, rice and dairy production alone.

“That will eliminate the country’s reliance on imported food and the foreign exchange outflow that comes with it,” he said.

The industrialist noted that the award was to celebrate its valued customers and distributors for their unflinching partnership in ensuring that Dangote cement products remained the first choice for construction purposes across the country.

“You have made Dangote Cement become a household name and the product of choice among cement users in Nigeria.

“We are leaders in all the sectors where we play, and this demands continuous improvement and partnership with you, our customers.

“Our cement plant in Obajana, Kogi State, is already the biggest in Africa. We are building the fifth line, and hopefully it will come on stream early next year and will make its production 16.25 million tonnes.

“The cement plant and its sisters in Ibeshe, Ogun and Gboko, Benue have long been the bedrock of our leading role in the cement sector.

“Therefore, we are rewarding customers for growth. If they grow, we grow. We grow together,” he said.

Dangote pledged his commitment to the continued innovation toward creating more value for customers as well as stakeholders.

The overall National Best Growth customers rewarded were D.C. Okika Ltd, Lafenax Ltd., Gilbert Igweka Global Concept, Chinedu & Sons Ltd, and Kazab Heritage Ltd.

Also, some of the best Corporate Customers were CCECC Nig. Ltd, ITB Concrete, Julius Berger Nig. Ltd, Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company, EXTEX Group and Setraco Nigeria Ltd.

Dangote Cement posted a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N390.32 billion in its 2018 operations, as against N204.25 billion achieved in 2017.

Besides, the company has maintained its dominance of the Nigerian market, accounting for 65 per cent of the total volume sold in the domestic cement sector in 2018.

Cement revenue from its Nigerian operations increased by 11.9 per cent to N618.3 billion from N552.4 billion.

Source: Vanguard

How non-implementation of local building materials’ policy is worsening housing delivery

A major paradigm shift in the use of indigenous building materials for housing design and construction may take long to come, following the inability of the Federal Government and its agencies to implement the new National Housing Policy.

Under the 2017 National Housing Policy, the government was urged to pursue vigorously the adoption of functional design standards that will facilitate cost reduction, affordability, acceptability and sustainability, which will respond to the cultural and regional peculiarities of potential users; expand and improve the manufacturing base for building materials production from all available local materials and evolve a more efficient distribution system.

According to the policy, the development of appropriate capacities to achieve sufficiency in the production of basic building materials and components of acceptable quality from local resources will stimulate effective economic growth and development; and structured manpower development programme for domestic requirement and international engagement.

The document further called on the authorities to encourage the expansion of existing industries producing building materials from local sources such as clay, bricks, concrete products, timber, glass and tiles.

It wants collaboration with other developing countries in the development of technical know-how for building materials manufacture; and encouragement in regional spread of building materials industries to stabilize cost as well as widen distribution.

Notwithstanding the good intentions of the stakeholders to ensure a robust indigenous building materials market, the absence of effective indigenous technology for the production of building materials, new building materials factories due to high cost of finance; inadequate and inefficient Infrastructural facilities (roads and rail transportation, water, sanitation, and power supply have worsened the plights of manufacturers and investors.

Besides, the recommendations of the policy for government to encourage the production and use of locally manufactured building materials by: providing incentives to, and creating the enabling environment for the private sector in order to encourage rapid flow of funds into building materials manufacturing through tax relief, accelerated depreciation and generous capital allowances are not adhered to.

There is also minimal support in providing matching grants for investments into research in the use of local materials for building materials manufacturers; providing loans at reduced rate of interest to manufacturers who will in turn supply self-built housing cooperatives and developers of low-income housing with their products at reasonable prices; attracting foreign participation into the building materials industry; and using local building materials for public projects at all tiers of government.

The Building Materials Producers Association of Nigeria (BUMPAN) formed to promote and encourage the production of building materials has remained in comatose.

The association is supposed to lay a solid foundation for the development of robust, effective and economically viable small and medium scale industries for the production of building materials.

Other strategies that are enshrined in the document such as strengthening the administrative, regulatory and institutional framework to ensure certification, registration and control of professional practices; supporting an integrated action programme for the organization of the informal building materials marketing sector; restructuring and adequately fund the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI); and encourage establishment of building materials testing laboratories by the private sector have not been supported by the government.

Experts say, the non-adherence to the content of the policy is impacting negatively in the housing delivery, which should reduce the housing gap.

According to them, since the aim of the housing policy is to solve housing problems, there is the necessity to enhance the workability of the policy in order to achieve the goal.

Consequently, they stressed the need for periodic review of the housing policy to make it functional and acceptable.

The immediate past president of Nigeria Institute of Architects, (NIA), Tonye Braide, said the policy is a mere paper work as there are many cheap materials coming from China, which are competing with the local materials.

According to him, government should come out with a better policy as the price of the local materials are still high, which is reducing the local component needed for housing delivery.

He lamented a situation where materials that come from outside the country is cheaper and of higher quality, which will not help in mass construction of housing and ultimately reduce the housing deficit.

He said: “ it is not right that some body will carry materials all the way from China and it will be cheaper than the one manufactured locally.

“Like the project, we are doing in Akwa ibom, there is no local content element in the project.

“In the presentation of proposal, you have to put it that construction will use local content and local labour but in practice that is not the case.

“I feel that there must be a conceited effort than the lip service we are seeing in the implementation of the policy”, he added.

For NIA second Vice President, Enyi Ben-Eboh, there is a noticeable difference to the extent that such materials like cement are locally available. “To a large extent, there are areas in basic housing that foreign components are utilised.

“ One of the few aspects is roofing aluminum sheets where we still depend on foreign materials imported.

He also said the foreign doors from China is becoming common. If you look at the cost in relation to a wooden door, which may not be as durable, people will still prefer Chinese metal doors.

“To that extent, the government may have to look into how some of these materials that are unfavourably competitive with local ones can be either made to pay higher tariff or allow incentives for local manufacturers to be able to compete to achieve mass housing and eventually reduce the housing deficit.

According to him, affordable housing thrives on mass production.

“Whatever is manufactured, if it is done over a large quantity ,the prices come down, so if most of these components are produced locally like cement, it can meet the housing demand in Nigeria.

“We will get to a time when local product outweighs demand, then competition will come and the price will begin to come down.

“Presently, if you assemble available materials for a two bedroom bungalow, the price will still not be affordable to those who wants it.

“You found out that those who can afford a two bedroom bungalow are senior civil servants who do not need that level of housing .

“For the people below level seven and downwards, they cannot afford the local materials based on their salaries”, he added.

Speaking also on the local content consideration of the policy, an official of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Razaq Babatunde Lawal said the institute has been able to develop building materials like Pozzolana, a cementious material, Mardotile roofing, and other varieties of machines but mass-producing it for the housing industry, has been a big challenge.

“Pozzolana is an ancient materials of construction that is coming back in view of its advantages and need to have an alternative cementitious material apart from over dependence on ordinary Portland cement hundred per cent.

The material like Pozzolana was developed and used in the past but it is now staging a come back become of its affordability and its usefulness as a building material.

Pozzolana materials include volcanic ash, power station fly ash, burnt clays ash from some burnt plant materials; siliceous earths. When mixed with cements, it activates the cementing properties to reduce cost of concretes made from composite materials often referred to as blended cement”.

According to him, the product reduces cost of efficiency of mortar and concretes, improves workability of mortar and concrete, reduces heat of hydration and reduction on effects of alkali aggregate reactivity.

He disclosed that the first pozzolana plant in Nigeria has been commissioned and ready for investors to show interest.

Lawal who works in the Engineering Materials Research Department (EMRD) said “NBRRI has developed interlocking block making machine in which the blocks made don’t necessarily need to use mortal while plastering yet you will have very aesthetic building.

We have developed fiber-reinforced material for roofing of buildings. We have also improved on it by increasing the size with about 5mm in thickness, longer and reduce the laying time. NBRRI has all the professionals in the building environment and has developed various machines for the built sector.

The institute, he said hasn’t been able to mass-produce the materials and equipment because its mandate is solely to carry out research.

He explained that while it carries out research, the institute expects the public, based on exhibitions attended that investors should reach out to it and develop the products to the next level in terms of commercialization and forming partnership through proposals.

He stated that the fund to mass-produce its products might not be available. However, he said with institutional, private and foreign supports, the commercialization of its materials could be possible.

African cities become the new home to over 40,000 people every day, many of whom find themselves without a roof over their heads. With that in mind, IFC has committed to do more to develop the property sector, both to provide new and affordable housing and to encourage an industry that requires significant building materials and has the potential to be a major employer. In May, IFC and Chinese multinational construction and engineering company, CITIC Construction launched a $300 million investment platform, CITICC (Africa) Holding Limited, to develop affordable housing in multiple African countries. The platform will partner with local housing developers and provide long-term capital to develop 30,000 homes over next five years. IFC estimates that each housing unit will create five full-time jobs – resulting in nearly 150,000 new jobs on the continent. Kenya and Nigeria are high on the priority list for the new effort. Kenya’s housing shortage is estimated at 2 million units, while Nigeria is in want of 17 million units. The soaring demand is being met by scant new supply. Africa’s housing market has few local developers with the technical and financial strength to construct large-scale projects. The IFC-CITIC Construction platform will work with local housing companies to develop affordable housing projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, each ranging in size from 2,000 to 8,000 units. CITIC Construction has a proven track record in constructing and delivering large scale housing projects. The platform will start by developing homes in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria, expanding to other countries as operations ramp up. “In Angola, through planning, financing, construction and post-construction operation, CITIC Construction has successfully completed the 200,000 units housing program, new city of Kilamba Kiaxi, with relative infrastructure and utilities in four years. CITIC Construction has also founded the CITIC BN Vocational School in Angola which helps youth acquire the skills they need to become professionals”, said Hong Bo, Assistant President of CITIC Group and Chairwoman of CITIC Construction, “CITIC Construction will take advantage of our engineering experience and delivery capability to develop more affordable houses for Africa through the platform with IFC.” “As Sub-Saharan Africa become more urbanized, the private sector can help governments meet the critical need for housing”, said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “The platform will help transform Africa’s housing markets by providing high quality, affordable homes, creating jobs, and demonstrating the viability of the sector to local developers. IFC will work with financial institutions to support mortgages and housing finance that will allow people to purchase the units.” The new housing units will be constructed in accordance to IFC’s green building standards, delivering homes that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. The World Bank Group estimates that by 2030, three billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population will need new housing units. To date, IFC has invested more than $3 billion in housing finance in over 46 countries world-wide. IFC focuses on regions where large portions of the population live in sub-standard housing and have limited access to credit to build, expand, or renovate their homes.

“Government has tried by going into pilots of the inventions but as a research institute over the years, we just write papers and it remains on the shelf if the products of the efforts is not commercialized”. Now we are having pilot plans in some universities. Through research we can avoid emissions by stopping the use of cement and start using alternative material. Cement industry and construction firms can partner with us through programmes on affordable housing and when they are using their cement, they could think of Pozzolana”, he said.

He observed that for the past 11years, interventions from the institute were not been felt, however, the current crops of leadership are desirous to let Nigerians feel its activity through development of exceptional building materials for building construction in the country.

Managing Director of Bolyn construction Nigeria Limited, a brick manufacturing company, Elder Rufus Bamgbola Akinrolabu said government has shown lack of political will to implement housing policies.

He lamented that government’s direct involvement in the housing sector over the years has led to politicisation of policies and programmes including those relating to housing, to the detriment of Nigerians.

He blamed the situation on issue of corruption in system, which has made ‘nothing’ to be implemented in the previous years.

Akinrolabu, who is a manufacturer of low-cost housing equipment based in Lagos, explained that Nigeria’s housing problem could become a thing of the past if only the government and people will look inwards and use the local materials that God has blessed the nation with.

“Many of the policies require money to implement and with the fall in the global price of oil, where is the money? Nigerian government has no business in housing because everything has been politicised. if you politicize everything and you go to the national assembly, ask them to budget funds and the money is appropriated and at the end of the day, the money is shared. How can policies be implemented when the government has no money”, he said.

Source: Chinedum Uwaegbulam

 

Sovereign fund to boost power generation with N50 billion

A subsidiary of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), InfraCredit, has opened a N50 billion 600MW Shiroro Hydro Electric Infrastructure Green Bond to boost the plant and power generation nationwide.

Launched in partnership with GuarantCo, KfW Development Bank and Africa Finance Corporation, the deal is covered by the North South Power Company Limited’s (NSP) N8.5 billion 15-year 15.60 per cent Series 1 Guaranteed Fixed Rate Senior Green Infrastructure Bonds Due 2034, operator of the 30-year concession programme.

In a statement, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, NSP, Dr. Olubunmi Peters, relished the milestone move.

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The Chief Executive Officer, InfraCredit, Chinua Azubuike, noted: “With the completion of the Series 1 Guaranteed Green Infrastructure Bond issuance, the company has established a long envisioned link with a more sustainable long-term, local currency financing required to implement its ambitious strategic power generation expansion plan through the capital markets.

“Infrastructure assets like Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Plant generate social, environmental and economic impact such as contributing to greenhouse gas emission reduction, revitalising disenfranchised areas, improving access to services and creating employment.

“Shiroro Hydro is an extremely essential and resilient asset with a 30-year consistent production history. North South Power, with the acquisition of a 30-year concession in 2013, has demonstrated the competence and ability to deliver on its business targets from restoring capacity target to 600MW and a 45 per cent increase in power generation.”

He added: “We believe that a sustainable and inclusive implementation of the eligible customer framework in a manner that generates economic benefits for all stakeholders will accelerate the industry’s strategic growth. With the success of this first-in-kind transaction, InfraCredit has further demonstrated its pioneering commitment to promoting financial inclusion.

Fund Manager, African Local Currency Bond Fund, James Doree remarked: “The first corporate green bond in Nigeria, issued by North South Power and supported by InfraCredit, sets a benchmark for the domestic and regional capital market.

Register to be part of the conference at the 13th Abuja Housing Show click here

North South Power’s ongoing investments in the Shiroro power station since 2013 have restored nameplate capacity with minimal environmental impact and NSP is now able to generate more than 2,000 GWh on a yearly basis.”

Source: Mathia Okwe

Odu’a signs N3.5bn housing deal with UK-based firm

Odu’a Investment Company Limited says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Kingdom-based Iconic City Limited for the development of a 3.8-hectare land in Alakia, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, into a residential housing estate.

Odu’a said the agreement was in pursuit of its growth strategy predicated on unlocking value from its huge asset base for sustainable development.

Odu’a Investment Company Limited says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Kingdom-based Iconic City Limited for the development of a 3.8-hectare land in Alakia, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, into a residential housing estate.

Odu’a said the agreement was in pursuit of its growth strategy predicated on unlocking value from its huge asset base for sustainable development.

According to the firm, the proposed residential housing estate which has been code-named ‘Westlink Iconic Estate’ is a medium density luxury estate consisting 124 households and will cost about N3.5bn.

“It comprises various housing types to allow for different market segmentation subscribers. The housing products are 60 units of three-bedroom apartments, 42 units of four-bedroom terrace houses, 14 units of five-bedroom semi-detached duplexes, eight units of six-bedroom fully detached duplexes and 36 commercial and business units,” the firm said.

It said the initiative was hinged on the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which had human capital development as one of its cardinal objectives with housing provision as key factor in achieving that goal.

The statement read in part, “The housing deficit in the country is over 22 million if not more, and investment in housing remains a worthwhile and profitable venture, especially when affordability is considered.

“Odu’a Investment Company Limited has identified partnership as a veritable strategy to add tremendous value to her existing property portfolio, earn remarkable return, strengthen her brand image and increase her socio-economic footprint for the benefit of its shareholders and stakeholders. The Estate which is scheduled for completion in 30 months will boast of state-of-the-art features.”

Raji was quoted to have said the N3.5bn joint venture investment with Iconic City was another landmark initiative to unlock value from the property portfolio of the Odu’a Group and bring on board a new dimension in structured and luxurious community living in Ibadan.

“This is in line with the vision of the board and management of the company to live the mandate of our shareholders to be the engine room of the economic development of the West,” he said.

Ogunmuyiwa was also quoted as saying the partnership would give his firm the opportunity to utilise its professional experience from training, working and living in the UK to build a world class mixed luxury residential estate in Ibadan.

“The designs and model types are exquisite and the finishing inviting and affordable,” he added.

Source: punchng

nbs

Foreign Trade volume hits N32.26Trn in 2018

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, said Nigeria recorded a total trade value of N32.26 trillion year-on-year in 2018, representing 39.3 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2017.

The trade value for 2017 stood at N23.16 trillion.

The NBS said this in Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics for Fourth Quarter of 2018 posted on its website.

The bureau said the volume of total merchandise trade in 2018 was the highest recorded since 2014, nearly double pre-recession levels.

The Bureau said during the fourth quarter of 2018, total merchandise trade stood at N8.60 trillion compared to its value of N9.06 trillion recorded in third quarter of the year.

It said the total export component of the trade recorded at N5.02 trillion, represented an increase of 3.5 per cent over third quarter 2018 and 28.5 percent over fourth quarter 2017.

African cities become the new home to over 40,000 people every day, many of whom find themselves without a roof over their heads. With that in mind, IFC has committed to do more to develop the property sector, both to provide new and affordable housing and to encourage an industry that requires significant building materials and has the potential to be a major employer. In May, IFC and Chinese multinational construction and engineering company, CITIC Construction launched a $300 million investment platform, CITICC (Africa) Holding Limited, to develop affordable housing in multiple African countries. The platform will partner with local housing developers and provide long-term capital to develop 30,000 homes over next five years. IFC estimates that each housing unit will create five full-time jobs – resulting in nearly 150,000 new jobs on the continent. Kenya and Nigeria are high on the priority list for the new effort. Kenya’s housing shortage is estimated at 2 million units, while Nigeria is in want of 17 million units. The soaring demand is being met by scant new supply. Africa’s housing market has few local developers with the technical and financial strength to construct large-scale projects. The IFC-CITIC Construction platform will work with local housing companies to develop affordable housing projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, each ranging in size from 2,000 to 8,000 units. CITIC Construction has a proven track record in constructing and delivering large scale housing projects. The platform will start by developing homes in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria, expanding to other countries as operations ramp up. “In Angola, through planning, financing, construction and post-construction operation, CITIC Construction has successfully completed the 200,000 units housing program, new city of Kilamba Kiaxi, with relative infrastructure and utilities in four years. CITIC Construction has also founded the CITIC BN Vocational School in Angola which helps youth acquire the skills they need to become professionals”, said Hong Bo, Assistant President of CITIC Group and Chairwoman of CITIC Construction, “CITIC Construction will take advantage of our engineering experience and delivery capability to develop more affordable houses for Africa through the platform with IFC.” “As Sub-Saharan Africa become more urbanized, the private sector can help governments meet the critical need for housing”, said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “The platform will help transform Africa’s housing markets by providing high quality, affordable homes, creating jobs, and demonstrating the viability of the sector to local developers. IFC will work with financial institutions to support mortgages and housing finance that will allow people to purchase the units.” The new housing units will be constructed in accordance to IFC’s green building standards, delivering homes that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. The World Bank Group estimates that by 2030, three billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population will need new housing units. To date, IFC has invested more than $3 billion in housing finance in over 46 countries world-wide. IFC focuses on regions where large portions of the population live in sub-standard housing and have limited access to credit to build, expand, or renovate their homes.

Meanwhile, the bureau said the import component stood at N3.58 trillion in fourth quarters 2018.

The figure showed a drop of N631.6 billion or 15.0 per cent compared to third quarter, 2018 but an increase of 69.6 percent when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2017.

However, it said the increase in export value and decrease in import value (relative to third quarter 2018) resulted in a favourable trade balance of N1441 billion, or 125.5 per cent over the preceding quarter.

According to the report, crude oil export has been the main stay of the economy, accounting for the largest share of total exports (84.2 per cent) in the fourth quarter of 2018 at N4.228 billion.

Non-oil products accounted for 4.6 per cent of total exports while other oil products accounted for 11.2 per cent of total exports in the quarter under review.

 

Source: DailyTrust

Why Aishah Ahmad May Replace Emefiele As CBN Governor

If not re-appointed, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, might vacate his position for one of his deputies, Aishah Ahmad, a top banker in the country’s financial institution.

Ahmad is among eight likely candidates on queue to take over the apex bank’s top job from Emefiele. The other eminent Nigerians being thought fit for the job include Professor Soji Adelaja, Mohammed Dikwa, Bismarck Rewane, Umaru Abdul Mutallab, Obadiah Mailafia, Bello Maccido, Adesola Adeduntan and Herbert Wigwe.

Recall that Emefiele’s job came under threat when the then-presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar faulted him for the slow growth of Nigeria’s economy, stating he’s not the man to lead Nigeria’s highest financial institution.

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The probability of Emefiele returning is also low since no CBN Governor has served two terms since Joseph Sanusi.

Role of CBN Governor in the economy

The CBN Governor is expected to advise the president on both fiscal and monetary policies from time to time. Aside from this, the CBN Act, 2007, states that the Governor is expected to formulate, for the approval of the Board, general rules and any subsequent amendments thereto, providing for:

  • The safekeeping of the common seal of the bank
  • The safekeeping of the assets of the bank and of valuables entrusted to the bank
  • The safekeeping of stocks of unissued or redeemed currency and the preparation, safe custody and destruction of plates and paper for the printing of currency notes and disc for the minting of coins
  • The protection of banknotes and coins in transit
  • The conditions under which any Zonal Controller, Branch Controller or Currency Officer may be appointed; and
  • The conditions governing discounts and advances
  • The exercise of dual control and general security throughout the bank; and
  • Such additional arrangement which may be made to ensure the efficient working of the bank, through proper observance of security and the accuracy of the accounts of the bank.

Likely criteria

Not far from the basics; to occupy the apex seat, professional background, regional consideration, and international exposure are considered in the selection of the Central Bank job.

The market always reacts to the final selection, which makes the background and track record of the appointed individual significant. Also, the appointee is expected to be globally respected by the International markets with foreign educational background.

Meanwhile, in the case of Nigeria, the position of the Central Bank governor has always been zoned between the North and South.

President Buhari’s radar

Aishah Ahmad’s name is reportedly on President Buhari’s table, with reasons not disclosed, but according to Newsonbanks, an online medium, the President is considering Ahmad for the CBN job as Emefiele’s term expires in June.

“it is not yet clear if there are strong economic reasons for this, considering emefiele’s sterling performance in stabilising the naira in the winds of the economic turbulence, hellish recession and sluggish recovery that have plagued president buhari’s years in office.”

In the report, it was stated that a source in the Presidency said

“the president is being pressured to submit her name to the senate immediately before or after the election and ensure that it is considered and approved before the end of may.”

Aishah Ahmad, 42, is the youngest member of the CBN Board and oversees the Financial Systems Stability Directorate of the apex bank. She replaced Dr Sarah Alade who retired in March 2017. If the Senate approves her nomination, she will be the youngest and the first female CBN Governor in Nigeria and the first female to hold the position in Africa.

Other eligible candidates

Aside Ahmad, eight others are currently being scrutinised and assessed for the job. These include Professor Soji Adelaja, an economist and Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University (MSU), USA; Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, a PhD holder in Accounting and Finance, whose success in coordinating the TSA and the blockage of billions for the government through PICA was said to have endeared him to the President.

Bismarck Rewane, a financial analyst and the Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company; Umaru Abdul Mutallab, former CEO of UBA and ex-Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Obadiah Mailafia, a former CBN deputy governor in charge of monetary policy, foreign exchange operations, investment management, research, statistics, and cooperation with international institutions.

The rest are Bello Maccido, the Chairman of FBN Merchant Bank; Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc.

Source: Fakoyejo Olalekan/Nairametrics

NSE: Profit Taking,Election Shift Crash Trading Session

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) crashed in yesterday’s trading session, following profit-taking by investors and heightened risk due to the shift of the country’s general elections earlier billed for last Saturday.  

The All Share Index ended today’s trading session at 32,190.07 basis points, down 1.61%. Year to date, the index is down 2.4%, essentially shedding.

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Top Gainers and Losers 

Presco Plc was the best performing stock today. The stock gained 10% to close at N72.6. Beta Glass Plc was next, appreciating by 9.27% to close at N79. CAP Plc rounds up the top three gainers, appreciating by 6.92% to close at N34.  

On the flip side, Transcorp Plc was the worst performing stock today, shedding 9.94% to close at N1.54. C&I Leasing Plc shed 9.82% to close at N6.61, down 9.82%. Livestock Feeds Plc shed 9.72% to close at N0.65.  

Top Trades by Volume  

Access Bank Plc was the most actively traded stock today. 25.3 million shares valued at N160 million were traded in 283 deals. Chams Plc was next with 21.7 million shares valued at N4.3 million were traded in 17 deals. UBA Plc rounds up the top three most actively traded stock with 20.4 million shares valued at N157 million traded in 282 deals.

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