Improving maintenance culture in Nigerian construction industry

The construction industry has become a key contributor to the country’s economic recovery since the meltdown in 2016. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently released Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the second quarter of 2018 indicating that for the first time since the country’s exit from recession in 2017, economic growth was driven by the non-oil sector.

According to the report, the construction sector grew by 7.66% in Q2 2018 from -1.54% in Q1 2018 and 4.14% in Q4 2017. Although these figures hint at an improving industry, the Nigerian Construction industry still has a long way to go.

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Mr. Olayinka Omotosho, a Chartered Surveyor and Chairman, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) asserted that there are certain processes bypassed in the Nigerian construction industry that retard its growth. He said “although every stage of building construction must be approved by the state’s physical urban planning offices, and duly monitored by responsible building control authorities. Some developers embark on building projects without first obtaining the necessary building approvals and certification from the state government.I urge authorities in charge of granting building approvals to be more proactive in discharging their duties and refrain from compromising on standards.”

Studies have shown that most incidences of building collapse are caused by human error and poor construction supervision which can be avoided if the right maintenance culture is adopted. If players in the construction industry make use of the right materials during construction;organize periodic testing of building materials; employ the right caliber of professionals and artisans in the design and construction of buildings; ensure that designs are cross checked by the right professionals before construction commences amongst other things, the right maintenance culture will gradually be embedded in the sector.

Emmanuel Adeyemi, QA/QC Coordinator, ITB Nigeria Ltd also emphasizes on the importance of adopting the right maintenance culture. According to him,“Quality work should be the central drive of all construction activities. Construction companies should continuously aspire to provide quality solutions that meet up the requirements and expectations of their clients. It is for this reason that ITB Nigeria Ltd has put a Quality Management System (QMS) in place. This system will provide continuous improvement, sustainable development and excellent service to clients in an efficient and effective way.”

Maintenance culture should be given priority in the construction industry and its practice should be highly encouraged, since the installation as well as maintenance of existing facilities is a key indication of how developed a nation is. The right maintenance culture not only saves lives, finance and property, it also increases the likelihood of foreign investments, boosts the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and creates room for more projects to spring up.

SOURCE: constructionreviewonline.com

IMF says Nigeria’s economy doing poorly, cuts growth projection

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut the growth projections made for Nigeria saying the country’s economy is doing poorly.

Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, deputy director at IMF’s research department made this known on Tuesday while addressing journalists at the ongoing annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in Bali, Indonesia.

He said the aggregate growth rate of Africa is being held down by its three largest economies.

The IMF economist identified the three economies as Nigeria, South Africa and Angola.

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“The aggregate growth rate for the continent is held down by the fact that the three largest economies are not performing up to their full potential,” he said.

“Nigeria’s growth, 1.9 percent this year; 2.3 next year. South Africa, only 0.8 percent this year. Angola, contracting by 0.1 percent this year. So the aggregate — over three percent this year, close to four percent next year — is despite the largest economies in the continent doing poorly.

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“The continent could do much better once these economies are on a more solid footing, particularly South Africa and Nigeria because they are really large and affect a number of countries in their neighbourhood.”

In the World Economic Outlook report released in July, the Bretton Wood institution had projected that Nigeria’s economy would grow by 2.1 percent in 2018 and 2.3 percent in 2019.

In the October edition of the report, IMF cut the growth projections for 2018 to 1.9 percent.

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“In Nigeria and Angola, tighter monetary policy and moderation in food price increases contributed to tapering inflation. In Nigeria, inflation is projected to fall to 12.4 percent in 2018, from 16.5 percent in 2017, and to rise to 13.5 percent in 2019,” the report read.

The World Bank recently cut its growth projections for Nigeria by 0.2% citing reduction in oil production levels, and contraction in the agricultural sector, following the herder-farmer crisis.

Oluseyi Awojulugbe

Nigeria bleeding under Chinese, foreign loans – Duke

 

The Social Democratic Party presidential flagbearer, Donald Duke, has expressed concern over the growing indebtedness of the nation to China and other countries, stating that Nigeria is haemorrhaging under foreign loans.

Stating that the government needed to indigenise the economy, the former Cross River State governor noted that the Federal Government was taking foreign loans because the interest rates were low, adding that the nation could regulate bank rates in the country to make credit cheaper and affordable for entrepreneurs to grow the economy.

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Addressing journalists at the SDP headquarters in Abuja on Monday, Duke pointed out that the about 30 per cent interest being charged on loans made it hard for businesses to grow and generate employment.

He said, “Indebtedness to any nation is worrisome, not just China. The concept of independence is being able to stand on your own; you are not independent if you are indebted to other nations. We need to strengthen our own local trade and when you trade, there should be a balance.

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“You cannot always import without exporting; you cannot always breathe in without breathing out, that’s the law of nature; there must be harmony. If you keep on importing and you are not exporting to have a balance of trade, then your country will haemorrhage; we are haemorrhaging.”

The SDP presidential candidate insisted that the nation could produce nearly all the things that were being imported if power and bank credit were available.

He said, “All the things that we import, can’t we make them in Nigeria? Each time you import, you are sustaining a job overseas. Our government goes to countries like China to borrow because it is cheaper there.

“But you can also do the same thing here; you can regulate interest rates here and ensure that credit is affordable; we need to indigenise this economy built by Nigerians for Nigerians,” the lawyer stated.

Duke pledged that if elected in 2019, his government would address gas flaring, make credit affordable and available to Nigerians, and invest in the housing sector, which he said could generate millions of jobs.

“Already, if you take the housing sector, you have over 17 million housing shortage. If you decide to build one million houses every year, you will employ over 10 million to 15 million people; it will still take you 17 years to catch up. So, even though it is a problem, the sector still provides opportunities,” he argued.

 

The presidential hopeful said it was not right to tie the nation’s growth to oil prices, which he noted were fluctuating like every other commodity prices, stressing that it should rather be tied to real, measurable growth.

Adelani Adepegba

FMBN disburses N14.7bn housing renovation loan to beneficiaries

 

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria on Monday disclosed that it had disbursed the sum of N14.7bn to 17,062 beneficiaries across the country in the last two years under various loan windows.
The Executive Director, Business Development and Portfolio Management, FMBN, Umar Abdullahi, confirmed this during the presentation of cheques to staff members of the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin-Kebbi, who benefited from the Home Renovation Loan scheme.

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Abdullahi explained that the loan window afforded Nigerians who had been contributing to the National Housing Fund an opportunity to access the HRL up to N1m per applicant to renovate and improve their houses, which was expected to be repaid within five years with six per cent interest.

He said, “The FMBN has approved and disbursed the sum of N123,914,000 to 157 staff beneficiaries of the FMC, Birnin-Kebbi. It may also interest you to note that the sum of N19m was earlier disbursed by the bank to 19 staff members of the Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero.

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“It may also interest you to note that the total sum of N14.7bn has so far been disbursed within the last two years by the bank to 17,063 beneficiaries across the country under this loan window.”

The bank, however, appealed to the Kebbi State Government to ensure the immediate return of the state’s civil servants to the NHF scheme to enable them benefit from the FMBN loan facilities.

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Governor Abubakar Bagudu, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Establishment, Dr Mohammed Kende, assured the bank that the state government would queue in into its schemes and ensure judicious usage of the loan facilities.

Responding, the Chief Medical Director, FMC, Birnin-Kebbi, Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi, described the opportunities provided by the FMBN as a long-term initiative, which many Nigerians might not be aware of, stressing that his staff would forever be grateful to be among the beneficiaries of the bank’s loan windows.

Adeniyi Olugbemi

Buhari govt spent 1.7trillion on infrastructure in 2years

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal government has expended 1.7 trillion in capital investment in two fiscal years.

The Vice President made this claim while addressing participants at the 9th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum held at the State House Banquet Hall on Monday in Abuja.

The vice president said that infrastructure development was important to economic growth and job creation.

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He commended the commitment of the participants in extending the efforts being made by the Industrial Training Fund(ITF) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) on skills acquisition.

“These must take into account the need to provide real value to the private sector through the ITF scheme and where necessary, develop optimal incentives to support the private sector.

“It will also be important that we commit to constituting sector skills councils and encourage the development of these councils for various sectors, especially in sectors we have identified as being of priority for job creation.

“I am convinced that we can crack the jobs problem and we are in the right direction.

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“ First, by Investing in infrastructure; we are investing more in infrastructure today than any previous governments in our history.

“We have spent so far in two budgets, N1.7 trillion in capital investment – that is the largest in the history of the country despite earning 60 per cent less; we are doing far more with far less resources,’’ he said.

Osinbajo revealed further that the Federal government is doing all it can to improve the power situation of the country.

With the view of enhancing the capacity of business people by boosting power supply, Osinbajo stated that the federal government was making plans to review the previous power privatization.

He added that Job creation had been a priority of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

He said further that the surest way of creating jobs was by enabling the private sector to do business easily.

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“Opportunities are created in agriculture and the agro-allied industry, services, manufacturing, among others.

“But we realised that that would not solve the immediate problems of thousands of graduates who have no jobs or the millions who are at the bottom of the trading pyramid barely eking out a living.

“This, we believed created a compelling argument for direct intervention by government,’’ he said.

Joshua Oyenigbehin

Operators fault government’s infrastructure financing involvement

 

CIS pledges advocacy role to boost bourse

Capital market operators have faulted government’s level of financial involvement in the provision of critical infrastructure, urging them to focus more on the formulation and implementation of policies that will impact positively on the lives of the people.

The operators, who gave the advice during the 22nd yearly conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), in Lagos, at the weekend, argued that balanced approach would help to boost production in the country and generate more employment for the rising youth population.

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Specifically, the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, John Chukwu, said the need for government to show less involvement in the financing of key infrastructure, as well as allow the private sector to mobilise capital to fund these key infrastructure has become imperative.

“Government should concern itself in policy formulation and implementation of programmes that will transform the living standard of the people. There is still abject poverty in the country, as parents cannot afford to send their children to school and have quality education.

“In fact, there is lack of manpower in the education sector and government should find a way of boosting the sector,” he said.

The Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Patrick Ezeagu, pointed out that “government has no business being in business.”

“The provision of infrastructure is key, but the financing should be driven by the private sector. There should be Public Private Partnership, PPP in this key infrastructure so that government can pay more attention to the provision of enabling environment that will strive investment and production.

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“Also, government should pay attention to policies that will transform the economy faster. Imagine, a key government agency, SEC without substantive Director General and Board. How can the foreign investors take the capital market serious?”, he said

The Presidential aide on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwale, however, assured that government is doing everything within its powers to address some of the economic problems facing the country.

She said: “The Economic Recovery Growth Plan has helped in taking Nigeria out of recession in the short term. It has also helped to bring down inflation, though with marginal growth. It is helping in providing jobs through the provision of infrastructure and alleviating poverty among others.”

The President of CIS, Adedapo David Adekoje, said CIS operates in full partnership with the best known international professional bodies in Securities and Investment in the world.

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He pointed out that as a mark of recognition of the institute’s high professional and examination standards, the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, United Kingdom (CISI-UK), with effect from this year, will grant full membership (MCSI) to Fellows and Associates of our institute.”

“The Institute has always made it a cardinal responsibility to bring its rich intellectual resources to bear and serve as a strong advocacy platform to guide policy makers at all levels of government and the organised private sector in forging a strong and robust economy, especially from the perspective of the financial services sector,” he added.

Helen Oji

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

 

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

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

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Commercial Banks

The CBN report groups commercial banks into three categories:

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

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Merchant Banks

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

Financial Holding Companies and Non-interest Banks

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

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

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Polaris Bank

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

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

You can read the full report here.

Dennis Adesanoye

ESVARBON introduces key regulatory initiatives

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maduka Nweke

Nigerian Architects celebrate decades of architectural history

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Wholesale CEO: Freddie Mac just made mortgage lending a better deal for borrowers

Also, PIWs are now called Appraisal Waivers

Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are leading the charge to improve mortgage lending in the wake of the rising interest rate environment, according to the latest video “3 Points with Mat Ishbia,” the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage.

Some of the latest updates are big (Freddie Mac) and some are small (Fannie Mae). But both mean more opportunity for mortgage brokers.

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According to Ishbia, Freddie Mac made 3 major changes to its mortgage lending landscape — that is its requirements for loans its willing to bundle into the secondary market. For example, regular student loan payments can now be considered as a credit to the borrower. Plus there are ways to get more cash back for your refinance clients.

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Second, Ishbia discusses briefly the latest updates to Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter and Day One Certainty. Spoiler: the website is more user friendly and PIWs are now called Appraisal Waivers.

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Third, it’s true that mortgage rates are on the rise, and are expected to keep going that way for some time. But don’t despair.

Ishbia asks and answers: “Does that mean there will be no refinance opportunities for you?… no, there’s opportunity out there for you,” he says, citing several instances where the current mortgage environment can be effectively marketed by loan brokers.

Jacob Gaffney

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