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’Federal Housing Project isn’t abandoned in Bayelsa’

AGAINST the backdrop that the federal housing projects in Bayelsa state have been abandoned, Mr Nwachukwu Achebe, Federal Controller, Housing Sector in Bayelsa, said that said the assertion is misconstrued, though the work pace is slow owing to the topography of the state.
He said further that the project is seated on five hectares of land cleared and sand filled for the National Housing for the people of the state.

This, Achebe at the site of the National Housing Programme Estate in Elebele, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Saturday during the media tour of on-going Federal Government projects in the state.

He posited that the special challenge posed by the state terrain require courage to put through the projects, because the state is constantly combating with ocean tidal erosion, and the land is swampy and below sea level.

Continuing, Achebe averred that several metric tons of sand were allowed to sediment before we could reclaim and regenerate the required soil texture that would carry the housing structures, adding ‘’we did the reclamation with the utmost patience to ensure there is no case of building collapse which could lead to loss of lives.

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He emphasized that the federal government goal was to ensure that housing deficit across the states is redressed, while the project would also create jobs for unemployed site workers and local contractors in the state.

Describing the project, the Controller explained that each structure has two and three bedrooms semi-detached bungalow, as well as three condominiums consisting of 24 units flat with a total of 72 housing units.

Achebe, however, noted that the project is being designed to take care of the low and medium income earners across the country.
“This project is to show the Federal Government commitment to make houses affordable for the people; it is also designed to suit the physically challenged persons.

“It comprised one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bedrooms apartments with complete housing schools, recreation centre, worship centres, clinic, shopping areas among others.

On the on-going federal secretariat in Bayelsa, the controller said that the project has attained above 75 percent completion.

Achebe said that secretariat model consists of 400 offices including nine committee rooms and one conference hall of over 250 capacity.

He reiterated that the project awarded since 2012 was delayed by the challenge posed by the topographical nature of the state, that require clearing, sand filling, reclamation/regeneration of land and piling work before construction could take place Bayelsa, foundation redesign, pilling, sand-filling among others.

“The project is over 75 percent completion and definitely the building will be ready by June 2018,” Achebe said.

Mr Sunday Omekwe, General Manager, Trenur Nigeria Limited, handling the federal secretariat project, said the workers are committed to handover at the expected period of completion.

Speaking with some of the artisans employed in the site, they commended the Federal Government for the opportunity to work and earn a better living.

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

Mr Chidi Onwe, a supplier of building materials such as cement, chippings and sand said the project has been beneficial to his family; lauded the federal government initiative in creating jobs through project execution.

FG urges community in Benue not hinder development

The Federal Government has appealed to the land owners in Utu Mega Layout Community in Makurdi, Benue, not to be obstacle to ongoing efforts to provide affordable houses. The Zonal Director, National Housing Programme, (NHP), North Central Zone, Mr Julius Olurinola made the call on Sunday in Makurdi.
He urged the group not be blinded of the huge impact of such developmental project, adding that they should not be obstacle to the agenda of the Federal Government. The group, who are land owners, led by Mr Deunion Akimbo, had barricaded road preventing government officials from inspecting the NHP located in the state. They were protesting non-payment of compensation by the state government. However, Olurinola promised the group that the Federal Government would facilitate their compensation by the state government.

“There is a collaboration between the 36 states government and the Federal Government as regard to the project. “It is the responsibility of the states to provide lands that have been compensated for. “That is why when this issue was brought to the attention of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, he had written to the state government on the issues the programme in the state is facing. “Your complaints are being handled, you know the challenges being faced in the country presently and some state that are yet to pay salaries. “The issue still remains that what needs to be done must be done and the issue of your compensation is not left out. “This project will be of good benefit to all people in the state, the artisans are also from the state. At its completion, it will enhance the status of the citizens,” he said. Olurinola commended the speed at which the contractors handling the project used to attain to a finishing level despite its delay. “The project has an initial problem of starting but it has overtaken some projects in other states. Its quite commendable”.

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The housing project which consists of 72 units of flat is at 60 per cent completed The Utu Mega Layout Community in Makurdi, Benue, land owners appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in its land compensation issues. Akimbo expressed anger over the way the state government was delaying in the payment of the compensation. “We want the Federal Government to immediately intervene for the state to compensate us. We know the government has control but the land belong to some people.

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

“They have taken over our farmland, the community demands a quick response from the Federal Government in terms of compensating each and everyone of them affected by the housing project scheme. “Our children are starving and suffering too much and government is not making any efforts to pay us that is why we have blocked you from entering today so that you will go and deliver our message to the Minister,“ he said. While responding to the group, Gov. Ortom Samuel of Benue assured the group that all has been put in place for immediate compensation. Ortom, represented by the Director of Building and Structure Engineering Services, state Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Cephas Suswan asked for little patience to sort out the issue.

Federal Government creating jobs through mass housing projects – Official

The South East Zonal Director, Housing, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Arthur Abara says the Federal Government is creating jobs through mass housing projects across the country.
Abara said this in Enugu on Friday at the site of the National Housing Programme Estate in Ugwuogo Nike during the media tour of ongoing Federal Government projects in the South East.

He said that this current effort was the first time since 1999 that the Federal Government was directly investing in the housing sector for workers and Nigerians at large.

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He, however, said that the ongoing efforts were not just aimed at providing affordable houses for Nigerians but a deliberate attempt to create employment for Nigerians.

“Housing is now seen as one of the key indices for employment and for engaging people. That is why we have to build in every state,” he said.

The zonal director regretted some of the challenges they had to grapple with before beginning construction in some states.

“We had the issue of getting a suitable site in Enugu State because they initially gave us a place that was so hilly and with coal underneath. So we could not build there.

“They gave us another place that had no access road. The current site was the last place they gave us and we have no other option because if we reject it we may not build at all,” he said.

Abara, however, commended the state government for showing interest in the project, adding that there were states that had not even allocated sites for the project.

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

“This project is expected to be replicated across the federation but there are states that have not given out lands.

“You build wherever is allocated to you because President Muhammadu Buhari wants to make great impact on the housing sector,” Abara said.

The Deputy Director, Public Building and Housing Department of the ministry, Mrs Tina Eneh, said that the building was for low and medium income earners.

Eneh said that the Federal Government had made commitment to make the houses affordable for the targeted income group.

She said that the facility comprised one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bedrooms apartments with a complete neighbourhood housing schools, recreation center, worship centers, clinic and shopping areas.

“We have four blocks of single rooms, six blocks of two bed rooms and 24 flats of condominium with a place for the handicapped. We are looking to complete it by the end of this year,” she said.

Eneh said that enrollees of the National Housing Fund (NHF) were qualified to benefit from the project.

“What qualifies a civil servant to be a beneficiary is to be an enrollee of the NHF. However, with the help of mortgage institutions it can be worked out even if you do not have the funds available,” Eneh said.

Also, the Controller of Housing, Enugu, Mr Godwin Emesue, said that the ministry was working out the final modalities for the distribution of the housing units.

Emesue said that there were no serious challenges in the construction of the houses, adding that members of the host community had been friendly.

A supplier at the site, Mr Ezekiel Eze said that his engagement to supply materials at the site had enabled him go back to school to complete his higher education.

Eze, who said that he dropped out of school due to financial challenges said: “I was searching for what to do to continue my education. I then applied as a supplier here and was employed.

“Right now I am back to school to complete my Higher National Diploma (HND) with the little money I get,” Eze said..

Ethiopia builds Africa’s first energy plant that converts trash into electricity

Waste management is one of the biggest challenges confronting many African countries. The issue of collection, management and disposal of solid waste still features highly in major towns and cities across the region. Failure to correctly manage waste disposal has often led to flooding and the outbreak of diseases.

In Ethiopia, its largest rubbish dump Koshe was for almost 50 years, home to hundreds of people who collect and resell rubbish trucked in from around the capital Addis Ababa. It, however, made headlines last year when it killed about 114 people, compelling the government to rethink an alternative use for the site which is said to be the size of 36 football pitches.

Ethiopia has since turned the site into a new waste-to-energy plant via the Reppie Waste-to-Energy Project which is the first of its kind in Africa. This forms part of efforts to revolutionise waste management practices in the country.

Read More: WHY YOU SHOULD EXHIBIT AT THE 12TH ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW

The plant, which was expected to begin operation in January, will incinerate 1,400 tons of waste every day. This represents about 80 percent of the city’s waste generation. The plant will also supply the people with 30 percent of their household electricity needs.

“The Reppie project is just one component of Ethiopia’s broader strategy to address pollution and embrace renewable energy across all sectors of the economy. We hope that Reppie will serve as a model for other countries in the region, and around the world,” Zerubabel Getachew, Ethiopia’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations said in Nairobi last year.

The waste-to-energy incineration plant will burn the rubbish in a combustion chamber. The heat produced will be used to boil water until it turns to steam, which drives a turbine generator that produces electricity.

Waste-to-energy incineration is also vital for cities where land is in short supply, as apart from generating electricity, space will be saved and there is a substantial prevention of the release of toxic chemicals into groundwater, and reduction in the release of the greenhouse gas – methane – into the atmosphere.

The Reppie plant operates within the emissions standards of the European Union, as it contributes towards alleviating air pollution.

Waste-to-energy plants are already popular in Europe, as nearly 25 percent of municipal waste is incinerated.
In France alone, there are about 126 waste-to-energy plants, with Germany having 121 and Italy having 40.

The Reppie plant in Addis Ababa is the result of a partnership between the Government of Ethiopia and a consortium of international companies: Cambridge Industries Limited (Singapore), China National Electric Engineering and Ramboll, a Danish engineering firm. The consortium is hoping that the project will be a series of similar ones in major cities across Africa.

Government must provide infrastructure – Estate Developers

Real Estate Developers are appealing to government to develop the infrastructure needs to enable them easily provide affordable housing.

According to them, it is the duty of government to provide the roads, drainage system and other infrastructure needs, since such activities are capital intensive and add to the cost of building.

Ghana’s housing sector has been faced with a worsening housing deficit of about 1.7 million units.

But Vice Chairman of Regimanuel Gray Limited, Regina Botchwey said the deficit could reduce if government intervenes.

Read More: WHY YOU SHOULD EXHIBIT AT THE 12TH ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW

“About 40% of the cost of every house is infrastructure. There must be good walkways, water pipes, electricity among others,” she said, adding that it is the responsibility of government to provide such infrastructure.

She stated that there have been times developers have attempted to take on the cost but could not bear with it.

“If these are done by the developer, it costs so much. So I can’t see how we can talk about affordability. Until the authorities take up this infrastructure costs we will still have this problem. It is a major challenge for us” she stressed.

Flexible pension laws to reduce high mortgage costs

In a related development, Banks want government to amend certain aspects of the housing law to allow collaboration between them and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to make mortgages cheaper.

According to the banks, various restrictions surrounding the tier one and tier two pension funds, hinder their ability to assist Ghanaians to access mortgages.

The call comes after President Akufo Addo in his State of the Nation Address disclosed that the NPRA and banks will design a system to make mortgages affordable.

Managing Director of HFC Bank, Anthony Jordan in an interview with Citi Business News insists this can only be realized if government amends the legislation.

China dominates global city rankings for house price growth

Chinese cities recorded the strongest mainstream house price growth in 2017 and seen the biggest rise in the prime property market, new research has found.

Price grow by more than 10% in eight Chinese cities in the mainstream market, led by
Chongqing with an increase of 58.9% and only two European cities, Amsterdam and Dublin, made the top 10 with rises of 20.9% and 12.3% respectively.

Vancouver saw annual growth of 16%, New York was up 11.7% and Shanghai up 10.7%. Paris recorded growth of 8.3%, Sydney 5.8% and London just 2.3%, according to the report from international real estate advisor Savills.

Prices were unchanged in Mumbai and Warsaw and fell in Rio de Janeiro by 4.4%, in Stockholm by 5.2%, in Shenzhen and Johannesburg by 6.3% and in Dubai by 7.9%.

Read More: 12th Abuja International Housing Show

In the prime property markets there were more falls than growth, including long established markers such as London, New York, Stockholm and Moscow but values in these cities are still higher than they were ten years ago. San Francisco was the only US city to feature in the top 10.

Chongqing also saw the highest growth in the prime sector at 48.5%, followed by Tianjin at 39.4% and Wuhan at 25.5%. Vancouver, Dublin, San Francisco and Amsterdam also make the top 10 with growth of 16%, 12.6%, 12.3% and 10.7% respectively.

Hong Kong remains world’s most expensive city for prime property at US$4,000 per square foot, followed by Tokyo at US$3,280, London US$1,770 and New York US$1,570.

‘This outperformance by the mainstream housing markets across key world cities is part of a longer term global trend. Prime values rose first and fastest after the global financial crisis, but some are now hitting a high plateau. It’s now the turn of the mainstream markets to play catch up,’ said Yolande Barnes, head of Savills world research.

‘Prime residential markets around the world reacted quickly to quantitative easing by central banks and the consequent yield shift in line with low interest rates. This was a one off yield shift and expectations are that central banks are moving towards raising rates, reducing the potential for price growth,’ she explained.

‘Importantly, while some cities have recorded small falls, we generally don’t expect these to become significant, but we do expect prices to remain relatively stable, on a high plateau for some time, though we will continue to see volatility in oil dependent economies, for example,’ she added.

According to the report cities such as Hong Kong, San Francisco, Sydney and Vancouver, which have now seen strong 10 year growth, are expected to hit a high plateau in the next year or two.

European cities such as Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris and Dublin, where prime residential value growth ranged from 5.1% to 12.6% in 2017, are poised for further price growth, though they too are expected to hit a long term peak within the next five years.

‘With large amounts of capital pointed at Hong Kong from the mainland, and held at bay only by capital controls, it is difficult to see a scenario where capital values will fall significantly,’ Barnes pointed out.

‘Equally, unless capital flows from the mainland were dramatically relaxed, it’s hard to see scope for further significant value uplifts. Prime Hong Kong residential values look set to occupy the same high plateau as many other world markets for a while,’ she explained.

Tokyo, where large, centrally-located, prime properties are rare, ranks as second most expensive for prime property, with values averaging US$3,280 per square foot after rising 10% in the year, more than five times the mainstream average of just US$630, and the biggest different between prime and mainstream across the Savills measures.

‘In future, investors will pay more attention to occupier fundamentals: not just the quantum but also the quality of demand. The biggest value differences will not be between world cities so much as between different neighbourhoods and different types of property within those cities. Tokyo is an early case in point,’ Barnes concluded.

KUALA LUMPUR DECLARATION ON CITIES 2030

We, the participants of the Ninth session of the World Urban Forum — representing  national, subnational and local governments, parliamentarians, civil society, older persons, women, youth, children, persons with disabilities, grassroots groups, indigenous peoples and local communities, private sector, foundations and philanthropies, international and regional organizations, academia, professionals and other relevant stakeholders — gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to localize and scale up the implementation of the New Urban Agenda as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Led by a strong spirit of collaboration, creativity and innovation, we share our aspirations for the future of Cities 2030 as the Cities for all where no-one and no place is left behind.

To this end, we call for the deployment of all efforts, means and resources available towards the operationalization of the concept of cities for all, ensuring that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.

We believe that global, regional, national and local implementation frameworks of the New Urban Agenda being formulated since its adoption should be supported by key enablers capable of unlocking positive transformation, such as:

Read More: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

  • Strengthening the role of subnational and local governments, urban governance systems that ensure continuous dialogue among different levels of government and participation of all actors, and increasing multilevel and cross-sectoral coordination, transparency and accountability.
  • Encouraging sharing of creative solutions and innovative practices which enable a shift in mindset necessary to drive change.
  • Building inclusive partnerships and strengthening age and gender responsive environments to ensure meaningful participation and engagement at all levels.
  • Adopting integrated territorial development, including through appropriate urban planning and design instruments, to ensure sustainable management and use of natural resources and land, appropriate compactness and density, diversity of uses, and revitalization of cultural heritage.
  • Deploying monitoring and reporting mechanisms, including assessment of impacts, that encourage best practices for effective policy making.

We draw attention to the persistent challenges faced by our cities and human settlements, such as:

  • Limited opportunities and mechanisms for youth, women and grassroots organizations, as well as other civil society organizations, local, subnational and national governments, international and regional bodies to work together in planning, implementation and monitoring;
  • Inequitable access to the city, including to decent jobs, public space, affordable and adequate housing and security of land tenure, safe, efficient and accessible public transport and mobility systems, infrastructure and other basic services and goods that cities offer;
  • Insufficient protection from human rights violations, including forced evictions, and inadequate inclusion of people living in poverty, persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups in urban planning, design, and legislation processes;
  • Gender inequalities in urban economic and leaderships spheres.

We recognize that today we face emerging challenges that require urgent actions, including:

  • Recognizing that crises are increasingly urban, which calls for inclusive urbanization tools adapted to local contexts and to the nature of natural and human made disasters and conflicts, as well as to guide humanitarian assistance, fast track recovery, and contribute to building and sustaining peace.
  • Managing the complexities of increased migration into cities, at all levels, leveraging positive contributions of all and using more inclusive planning approaches that facilitate social cohesion and create economic opportunities;
  • Understanding the impact of new technologies and potential of open and accessible data, which require governance and design models that help to ensure no one is left behind;
  • Addressing growing social and cultural inequalities, lack of access to economic opportunities, that are increasingly manifested in cities.
  • Responding to environmental degradation and climate change concerns.

Actionable recommendations

We, the participants of the WUF9, leveraging the advantage of the Forum, which convenes thousands of decision makers, key actors, stakeholders and communities, generated a wealth of ideas.

We encourage the acceleration of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda through:

Frameworks

  1. Encourage the formulation of implementation frameworks for the New Urban Agenda at all levels, including monitoring mechanisms, providing a coordinated space for an effective contribution from all stakeholders, aligning to the efforts and actions of the 2030 Agenda and other international, regional, national, subnational and local development frameworks.
  1. Support the creation and consolidation of inclusive platforms and agendas for dialogue among all levels of government, decision makers and stakeholders such as regional, national and local Urban Forums and committees that can strengthen policy review and assessment of impacts. These can also foster exchange of experiences and cooperation, as well as scaling up voluntary commitments and actions from all partners.
  1. Further develop and advocate for integrated territorial development, which includes integration of sectoral policies, institutions and investment; integration among the different spheres of government; spatial integration across the urban-rural continuum; improved coordination across actors; and enhanced alignment of national, subnational and local policies with international agendas.
  1. Adapt innovative and robust mechanisms for the diversification and expansion of the means of implementation, to cater for complex and integrated approaches promoted by the New Urban Agenda. Technological innovations and improvements, research, capacity building, technical assistance and partnership development, among others, may require enhanced resourcing.

Governance and partnerships

  1. Adopt multiple collaborative governance mechanisms that actively engage national, subnational and local governments, all groups of society, including youth, women and grassroots organizations and particularly the excluded, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. This work in solidarity is critical to promote more buy-in and co-responsibility in the activities towards sustainable urban development, and to ensure the sustainability of the results.
  1. Promote multi-stakeholder constituency-based coalitions to use the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to better prevent, prepare, and respond to urban crises.

Innovative solutions

  1. Foster a culture of creativity and innovation to be embedded in the way cities and human settlements operate.
  1. Develop monitoring and data collection mechanisms, including community generated data, to enhance availability of information and disaggregated and comparable data at city, functional urban areas and community levels. This would promote informed and evidence-based decision making and policy formulation, assessing progress and impact at all levels.
  1. Create an enabling environment and develop capacities for scaling up of good practices including municipal finance, sustainable private and public investments in urban development and job creation, and generating value while advancing the public good.
  1. Adopt accessibility and universal design as core principles into national, subnational and local action plans for implementing the New Urban Agenda through inclusive, accessible and participatory processes and consultations.

We, the participants of the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum, recognize the value of the Forum convened by UN-Habitat as an inclusive platform to collect inputs from a broad range of stakeholders and to feed these into annual and quadrennial reporting on progress in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

We call to further develop the role of UN-Habitat as a focal point in the United Nations system to support all countries and mobilization of stakeholders in the implementation, follow up and review of the New Urban Agenda, including through scaled up normative support.

We thank the Government of Malaysia, the City of Kuala Lumpur, and UN-Habitat for organizing the Forum, and commit to provide continuous cooperation to the next hosts, the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the city of Abu Dhabi.

Kuala Lumpur, 13 February 2018

Stakeholders Chart New Path for Financing Low-Income Homes

With housing production estimated at 100, 000 housing units per year, experts in housing industry have called for adequate housing finance for the low-income group, which constitutes larger part of the population.

According to them, the lowest recorded interest rate on a mortgage in Nigeria is 19 per cent, as of September 2016, while mortgage access requires at least a 25 per cent down payment and mortgage penetration is at 0.58 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However to change this narrative, the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Nigeria (hbs) and Arctic Infrastructure (AI) last week convened a training programme in Lagos on “Public Private Partnership for Affordable Housing and Housing Finance”.

At the training attended by representatives from the relevant government establishments, private sector housing developers, civil society organizations, community groups, academia and professional associations, stakeholders noted the acute challenge in fundraising for housing projects.

Read More: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

They said, there is need to enthrone sustainable housing finance models in order to meet the housing needs of the low-income groups.

While noting the continuous increase in population and the impact of cities like Lagos, which has been dubbed the “mega-city of slums”, they called for more innovative ways to get funding through public private partnership for housing projects.

Leading discussions on Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Housing Projects, Executive Director at the Center for Ethics and Sustainable Development, Dr. Olajumoke Akiode, said Nigeria is one of the many countries that have adopted PPP in the provision of housing at various levels of government across the country.

According to her, the PPP in housing provision started in Nigeria in the early 90s, after the 1991 National Housing Policy, which supported and promoted private sector participation in housing provision.

However, in practice these, she noted, have not always been achieved due to inadequate risk assessment and management as one of the major reasons for failures of PPP in housing.

“Like any other construction business, PPP arrangement is prone to risk. In fact PPP projects are perceived to have more inherent risks due to the involvement of many stakeholders with varied interests in addition to the economic, political, social and cultural conditions where the projects are to be undertaken.

“This, therefore underscores the importance of risk management in PPP projects which have been adjudged to be riskier than the traditionally procured projects”, she added.

Dr. Akiode however mentioned transparency, respect to the contracts’ specifications, value benefits to stakeholders, thorough risk analysis and stakeholder’s engagement as some of the factors for ensuring success of PPP.

Also, the Country Director of Cromwell Professional Services International, Mr. Sola Enitan, who facilitated the housing finance session, said over time, housing in Nigeria’s urban centres has been a subject of concern to every government as there always seem to be a shortfall.

This, he said, is especially true for Lagos as a state leading to several reforms and policy measures, which have addressed the housing needs to an extent.

He however, listed lack of strong political will, economic limits, ideological limits, lack of provision of construction materials, administration of construction process, nature of labour process, system financing as some of the limitations.

“Of all these limitations, it has been agreed that the one that stalls the effectiveness of most housing schemes is lack of a political will. When this is addressed, then financing a housing scheme will not become as tedious as it is in recent times”, he added.

By Bertram Nwannekanma

Enitan outlined innovative building technology, tax holiday, off-taker mandates and removal of negative equity syndrome among others as, some of the strategies to be considered in enthroning sustainable housing finance models for Lagos and Nigeria in general.

Earlier, the Project Director of Arctic Infrastructure, Mr. Lookman Oshodi said the training becomes necessary in view of the acute challenge being faced by stakeholders in fundraising for housing projects.

He emphasized that the training programme exposed the participants to innovative and creative approaches of financing projects rather than full focus on conventional system.

On her parts, Mrs. Monika Umunna of Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Nigeria said the training was convened to strengthen the understanding of participants on PPP structuring, approaches, potentials and challenges now that many housing projects in Nigeria are being packaged using the PPP model.

Some of the participants at the programme expressed satisfaction with the new knowledge obtained including crowd funding for housing project, need for compensation fee or rejection fee for the bidders that are not successful in the bidding process and layers of housing acquisition loans and support mechanism that could be available in an organized but diverse housing market such as Lagos.

Africa Promises Good Investment Opportunity Says Elumelu at WEF

Mr. Tony Elumelu, group chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and one of Africa’s top businessman, has stressed the need to change the African narrative while concentrating on the myriad of opportunities inherent in the continent, stating that its economic transformation and stimulation should be the focus of all governments and global institutions.

This, he said, is paramount if the continent is to take its rightful position as a strong regional player in the international community, owing to its numerous investment opportunities.

Elumelu, who is the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the time had come for governments on the continent to put things in place to ensure that the continent which has great potential, lives up to it; adding that already, there are signals of the greatness all around.

Speaking during Richard Quest’s programme on CNN  aired on the sideline of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, he said; “the time has come for us to prioritise our young ones, who are the future of this great continent. These are the men and women who are energetic in Africa and who can perform wonders if the enabling environment is there.

“We need to get it right with infrastructure in Africa and with the macro-economic policies and environment. And the good thing is that things are gradually falling in place. I think Africa promises good investment opportunities, the problem has always been creating the right environment for it, and this should be our major focus.” Elumelu stressed.

He added that in Zimbabwe, for instance, there have been recent concerted efforts by the government and the people to change the narrative, adding that “I am optimistic about what is happening in Africa right now, because our leaders are getting it right and in fact what has happened in Zimbabwe is also an indicator of great things to come. The fact that they on their own decided to sort things out the way they did, is a new kind of democracy that the world needs to learn from. “There is so much private global capital looking for the right destination, they can go to Zimbabwe as in other African nations, once the right environment is put in place.”

READ: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

While pointing out that the blame game which previously obtained in the continent should be done away with, Elumelu called for increasing support from the private sector as well as key stakeholders to make Africa and African self-sufficient.

Throwing more light on this, he said; “We can’t keep talking about missed opportunities. What I keep saying to people is to put an end to the blame game. Let’s begin to fix what needs fixing and get things right. Our government should get it right, the private sector should come forward and we need to support the young African entrepreneurs; create economic hope and opportunities for them.  “We need to think of how to engage Africa in the 21st century because it is no longer about giving grants and aid to Africa, it is more about engaging them in a way that creates self-sufficiency; independence; and reduces the perpetual syndrome of dependence.

Continuing, he said “There is promise; it is getting better because the way this year has started in Nigeria for instance, we have seen market indicators showing good promise, so we are optimistic that it will be better year. The Key is to prioritise things that are important to us to help the continent to grow.”

– Nigeria Communications Week

Enugu Gov. Commends Ugochukwu Chime at the Commissioning of ECCIMA House

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reassured the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) of the continued support, assistance and collaboration of his administration for sustenance of the existing business- friendly environment towards the enhancement of economic and commercial potentials of the state.

Gov. Ugwuanyi who gave the reassurance during the commissioning of the new ECCIMA’s multi-dimensional secretariat complex in Enugu, stated that his administration was also committed to “the provision of necessary infrastructure and facilities that would help boost economic activities in the state.
The governor expressed delight that the construction of the complex was part of the efforts being made by the Chamber to build institutional capacity for the development of the organized Private Sector in Nigeria, particularly in the South East Region.

Congratulating the Chamber for the “spectacular” achievement, which he said, would enhance administrative convenience, promote productivity and also cement the rising profile of the Chamber and Enugu State as the hub of business activities in the South East.

Gov. Ugwuanyi equally commended the outgoing President of the Chamber, Rev. Surv. Ugochukwu Chime, “for the vibrancy, innovation, dynamism and creativity that his leadership has brought to the Chamber”.

According to him “the Chamber has, without a doubt, undergone such transformation since he assumed office, as to be ranked as one of the best in the country and even beyond”.
“We assure the Chamber of the continued support and assistance of the state government especially in the sustenance of the business- friendly environment that currently exists in the state and the provision of necessary infrastructure and facilities that would help further to enhance the economic and commercial potentials of the State”, the governor said.

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In his welcome address, Rev. Surv. Chime appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi for “the phenomenal support” towards the spirit of Public Private Partnership, stressing that it is most exemplary and promotes growth in the state.

He acknowledged the invaluable contributions of the founding fathers and past leaders of the Chamber, especially the solid foundation they laid, which he said has crystallized in the progress recorded by the body.

Rev. Surv. Chime said that the Chamber’s relocation to a befitting edifice was “a historic landmark” in the affairs of the organized Private Sector in the country, adding that “this building is a great signpost for the Institutional Capacity Enhancement of the organized Private Sector, particularly in this part of the world”.
“ECCIMA House is a message of hope. It is an affirmation that our God can do all things… The next frontier of battle is human capital development across all levels of our society. We need to pray for, identify, mentor and fund young leaders with vision and passion”, the ECCIMA president said.

He stated that the Chamber was eager to interact with the state government “to define a comprehensive development agenda for inclusive socio-economic wellbeing of our people”, applauding the Ugwuanyi’s administration for “their huge financial and non-financial contributions”.

Source: Daily Post

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