Top Construction Industry Events To Look Out For In 2019

As 2018 quickly comes to a close, construction industry professionals are planning what the coming year will look like for their companies and careers. Attending trade shows and conferences arguably is one of the best ways to gain knowledge about improved ways of building and doing business, offering attendees educational sessions, hands-on demonstrations, jobsite tours, networking opportunities, and unparalleled access to exhibitors promoting their products and services.

Here is a list of the construction industry’s biggest events, in chronological order.

World of Concrete
Jan. 22-25
Las Vegas

World of Concrete draws nearly 60,000 industry professionals each year, and the 2019 event will feature more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and a robust lineup of educational sessions as well as various events, tours and demonstrations.

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World of Modular
March 15-18
Las Vegas

This annual event focuses on modular building, which is gaining market share as a delivery method, and will bring together hundreds of professionals for networking, educational sessions and displays of new products related to the latest trends in modular.

ABC Convention
March 24-28
Long Beach, California

The Associated Builders and Contractors will be building on the momentum it had relaunching its convention in 2018 with an extensive array of presentations and networking opportunities.

AGC Convention
April 1-4

Nearly 100 years old, this convention will include more than a dozen educational breakout sessions and keynote presentations, and products and services from more than 125 companies in the AGC Equipment, Technology & Construction Solutions Expo.

Construction Financial Management Association Annual Conference&Exhibition
June 1-5
Las Vegas

General sessions, mini-conferences, breakout sessions (including advanced sessions), dawn peer groups, and social and networking experiences all address the challenges that construction financial managers face daily.

ENR Future Tech
June 3-5
San Francisco

Geared toward business and IT leaders in the AEC field, this event features sessions on emerging technologies for boosting productivity, profitability and safety as well as networking opportunities.

American Institute of Architects Conference on Architecture
June 6-8
Las Vegas

This annual event for architecture professionals that also can be useful to those in the AEC industry offers a plethora of educational sessions and a sizable show floor of product and service vendors.

13th Abuja International Housing Show

July. 17th-20th


Abuja International Housing Show is West Africa’s biggest housing and construction expo, a forum that brings together all real estate stakeholders to discuss and display sector trends.The show has an excess of over 15,000 visitors and over 400 exhibitors.Since 2005, the event has offered real estate stakeholders an additional medium for networking, meeting visitors who have the buying capability – face to face and sealing deals. Over the years, Abuja International Housing Show has been able to generate not only high quality audiences and sale leads for exhibitors but also great bargains for attendees.

The National Association of Women in Construction Annual Conference
Aug. 21-24

Designed for all women in construction, this event offers keynotes and panels on industry diversity and awareness, leadership training and opportunities to network with fellow women in the business.

Source:Affa Dickson Acho with Agency reports

Hiring Women Can Ease Labour Shortage In The Construction Industry

It’s a time to celebrate the progress we have made in women’s rights but also time for reflection. We ought to stop and look back at the progress we have made or the lack there of. In many areas we have made progress but in many others, progress is rather illusive. Women are viewed as equal bread winners and they hold key positions in many industries. Does it mean that we have achieved gender equality?

Let’s turn to the construction industry. Despite the progress we have seen in the societal acceptance of women as equal breadwinners, capable leaders and successful entrepreneurs, in many industries such progress is less prevalent than others. Construction industry has a long history of sexism and discrimination against tradeswomen. In some cases, such treatment ended in tragedy such as the fate of carpenter apprentice,Outi Hicks, who was killed on the jobsite by a co-worker.

An uphill battle

In the 21st century, it is shocking that women in the construction industry still face an uphill battle when it comes to advancement. But when you consider the root causes and statistics, it’s not such a shock.

Almost a third of women working in construction fear sexism will hold them back from the industry’s top jobs, a recentstudy by Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors(RICS), found last year. The construction trades have long been among the industries with the lowest percentage of gender diversity in the workforce. Women represent only 9% of the overall construction workforce and 3% of the building trades.

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Why does it matter? The construction industry is experiencing a dire skilled labour shortage and women make up half of the population and workforce. It’s intuitive to conclude that a large part of the solution to the skilled labour shortage is in the hands of the untapped talent — we need more tradeswomen! It’s that simple. If the construction industry doesn’t act promptly to address and mitigate sexism and breakdown gender bias, it wouldn’t just be hindering progress in closing the gender gap but also the skilled labour gap.

It is true that we must address gender bias and sexism in the construction industry. But is it sufficient just advocating for gender diversity to be addressed? To create a diverse and inclusive culture and eliminate long-standing gender bias, we must advocate for diversity to be embedded into business strategy. It goes beyond proving adequate restroom facilities for tradeswomen and personal protective gear in smaller sizes.

Steps toward progress

Some building trades are beginning to make significant progress using both approaches. Tradeswomen and their allies, with the support of their leadership, are making headway in eliminating gender bias and turning hostile work environments into fostering work conditions for tradeswomen.

Iron Workers made headlines in the news with the announcement of its groundbreaking paid maternity leave last year with six months of pre-delivery and six to eight weeks of postpartum benefit for qualified iron worker women. Paid maternity leave is virtually unheard of in the construction industry. The leadership hopes the initiative will boost recruitment and retention of iron worker women.

As an iron worker and tradeswoman, it makes me incredibly happy to know that the building trades are leading the way in making diversity a priority. We have a better chance of closing the gender and skills gaps by incorporating diversity into the business strategy.

With the paid maternity benefit, the Iron Workers rolled out its “Be That One Guy” campaign, which challenges sexism in the construction industry. It is intended for curtailing the workplace bullying, hazing, sexual harassment and discrimination tradeswomen face. The campaign seeks to educate and raise awareness and using tools such as “bystander training” and dedicated town halls, address the root causes and create strategies to mitigate the problem.

It calls on the tradesmen to be advocates for their female counterparts — be a voice for justice when they see their sisters being mistreated due to gender bias and sexism. The campaign will serve as a model applicable across the building trades and hopefully, become a catalyst for change in the construction industry in general.

Closing the gender gap

It’s time to address the elephant in the room. We can’t close the skills gap without closing the gender gap in the construction industry. More organizations and companies in the industry, including contractors, building trades and end users, must incorporate diversity into business strategy and company culture.

There’s certainly a co-relation between harassment tradeswomen face on the job and the concept of “manly jobs.” I have experienced it firsthand. It starts with parents only allowing girls to play with dolls and boys to play with cars or encouraging girls to “grow up to be a wife and mom” while allowing boys to explore options other than just being a dad or husband. It starts with career stereotyping — expecting women to be teachers, nurses and secretaries.

Gender stereotypes also frequently play into how students are exposed to career options in middle and high school. Such career stereotyping has led building trades and construction industry careers to be considered “manly jobs” and created barriers for women entering the field. The idea of leadership in the industry is connected to “toughness” that is associated with physical strength and spatial problem solving.

Tradeswomen are constantly challenged and tested to ensure that they can “handle the manly job.” The idea of manly jobs is the root cause of sexism and discrimination tradeswomen have faced for decades. It is the barrier to increasing diversity in the industry. It is the reason why women represent just 3% of the building trades.

The future of the construction industry depends on increasing diversity. It depends on campaigns to raise awareness and incorporating diversity into business strategy.

This piece was written by Vicki O’Leary, Chair of the North American Building Trades Union (NABTU) Tradeswomen’s Committee.

The 10 US states with the worst infrastructure

America relies on a vast network of infrastructure — airports, roads, bridges, freight rail, ports and electric grids — to keep the $18 trillion economy humming. But many of the systems currently in place were built decades ago, and economists say delays and rising maintenance and safety costs are now inhibiting our nation’s economic performance. It’s an issue that President Donald Trump has set his sights on with a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan to address the crisis. He believes infrastructure modernization would have a multiplier effect. Global consulting firm McKinsey estimates that increasing U.S infrasructure spending by 1 percent of GDP would add 1.5 million jobs to the economy.

“Today every American family is losing about $3,400 a year in disposable income due to poor infrastructure,” said Greg DiLoreto, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is talking about auto repairs, gasoline for the time you spend stuck in traffic, bottled water during an outage — the list goes on.

Infrastructure is important to business, too, which is why it is among the most important categories in CNBC’s exclusive America’s Top States for Business study , worth 400 out of 2,500 points.We use government data to evaluate each state’s roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail networks and utilities.

While some states are finding ways around the crisisothers can only shrug each time a White House Infrastructure Week comes and goes.

Here are America’s 10 worst trouble spots.

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  1. Mississippi

If ever there was a state that could benefit from better infrastructure, it is the Magnolia State . The state has one of the most important stretches of its namesake river, as well as a key Gulf Coast port. Its roads and rails provide key links to the rest of the South. But as it does in so many measures of competitiveness, Mississippi falls short here. The state lags its Gulf Coast neighbors in the value of commodities shipped. Roads and bridges are in bad shape, and air travel options are limited.

2018 Infrastructure score: 172 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D+)

Deficient bridges: 11.8 percent

Average commute to work: 24.3 minutes (U.S. Average: 25.7 minutes)

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 51 percent

20-year water-system needs: $4.8 billion

  1. Massachusetts

One of the few things holding the Bay State back from true Top State status is its infrastructure. It also holds back commuters, who spend an inordinate amount of time just getting to and from work. Massachusetts has made some strides maintaining its roads and bridges, but all too often the 230-year-old state shows its age, particularly when it comes to water utilities.

2018 Infrastructure score: 168 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D+)

Deficient bridges: 9.3 percent

Average commute to work: 29.6 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 42 percent

20-year water-system needs: $12.2 billion

  1. New Jersey

Anyone who has sat in New Jersey traffic can tell you the infrastructure in the Garden State is not good. Home to bedroom communities for New York City in the north and Philadelphia in the south — not to mention an economic engine in its own right — New Jersey’s transportation system has more than its share of stress, just as its commuters do. The state is working to address the situation by reconfiguring its historically low gasoline taxes, helping to fund a new state infrastructure bank offering low-interest loans for local projects. But so far, it is just a drop in the bucket. A jarring two-thirds of the state’s roads are in mediocre condition or worse.

2018 Infrastructure score: 164 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D+)

Deficient bridges: 8.8 percent

Average commute to work: 31.7 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 66 percent

20-year water-system needs: $8.6 billion

  1. New York

If New Jersey is on this list, you know New York cannot be far behind. That is despite several very visible infrastructure projects taking shape in the Empire State. They include the new Mario Cuomo Bridge replacing the aging Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in the New York suburbs, $27 billion in upstate road and bridge repairs and a complete rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport. But at least until those projects are done, New York’s infrastructure is a mess. New Yorkers’ commutes are the longest in the nation. And for all the shiny new projects for all to see, there is a mess underground, and we aren’t talking just about the subway. Water utilities need serious help.

2018 Infrastructure score: 158 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D)

Deficient bridges: 10.5 percent

Average commute to work: 33.4 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 60 percent

20-year water-system needs: $22.8 billion


  1. Maryland

The Old Line State is in the heart of one of America’s most economically robust regions. But Maryland’s infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle the activity. In Baltimore, water main breaks remain a daily occurrence. And both greater Baltimore and the U.S. Capital region are perpetually choked by traffic. Gov. Larry Hogan has been pushing a $9 billion highway upgrade package financed largely by tolls. Whatever the state does to pay for the improvements,Maryland needs help. So do its workers, who endure the second-longest commutes in the nation.

2018 Infrastructure score: 157 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D)

Deficient bridges: 5.6 percent

Average commute to work: 32.8 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 55 percent

20-year water-system needs: $9.3 billion

  1. West Virginia

The most rural state on this list,West Virginia has a hard time catching a break. The Mountain State’s economy has improved somewhat in the past year, thanks to an increase in coal production, but state forecasters say that is unlikely to last. Trade tensions with China are threatening to derail a major investment in the state by a Chinese energy company. And all the while, the state’s troubled infrastructure keeps falling further behind. The state’s bridges are in dismal shape with one-fifth deemed structurally deficient. Air travel options are limited.

2018 Infrastructure score: 157 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D)

Deficient bridges: 19 percent

Average commute to work: 25.4 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 47 percent

20-year water-system needs: $2.3 billion

  1. Connecticut

The infrastructure situation in the Nutmeg State is so bad, you could say Connecticut is moving backward. With the state facing a fiscal crisis, Gov. Dannel Malloy had to cancel $4.5 billion in transportation projects last year, proposing instead to restore tolls to the state’s highways for the first time in more than 30 years. That idea, so far, has gone nowhere. As politicians continue to debate, Connecticut roads continue to deteriorate. With nearly three-quarters in poor or mediocre condition, they are in the second worst shape in the nation behind Illinois.

2018 Infrastructure score: 150 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D)

Deficient bridges: 7.8 percent

Average commute to work: 26.3 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 73 percent

20-year water-system needs: $4 billion

  1. Maine

The stereotypical New Englander says, “You can’t get there from here.” In Maine he might really mean it. While the state’s busiest airport, Portland International Jetport, marked a record year in 2017, it offers year-round nonstop flights to only 10 destinations. Granted, the Pine Tree State is known more for lobsters, blueberries and rugged natural beauty than it is for its infrastructure — and that’s how they like it. Still, the state’s bridges are in disrepair, and its freight rail network is in the bottom five for tonnage carried. But commuting is a breeze, and water utilities are in fine shape.

2018 Infrastructure score: 140 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: D-)

Deficient bridges: 13.3 percent

Average commute to work: 23.9 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 53 percent

20-year water-system needs: $1.3 billion

  1. New Hampshire

Another New England state with infrastructure problems is the Granite State. Compounding the stress on New Hampshire’s beleaguered roads is that two of the state’s counties are part of the Boston metropolitan area. That helps explain the long average commutes in the state, and the poor state, overall, of New Hampshire’s roads and bridges. But issues extend to the rest of the state, including limited air and rail facilities.

2018 Infrastructure score: 123 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: F)

Deficient bridges: 10.9 percent

Average commute to work: 26.9 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 54 percent

20-year water-system needs: $1.9 billion

  1. Rhode Island

As America’s smallest state, Rhode Island is at a natural disadvantage in any national infrastructure ranking. But some of the Ocean State’s problems are of its own making. After all, with only 778 bridges — compared to more than 50,000 in Texas — transportation planners in Rhode Island have comparatively little to worry about. But nearly one-quarter of those bridges are structurally deficient — by far, the worst in the nation. Rhode Island is trying to tackle the problem with Rhode Works, a sweeping, $5 billion overhaul of the state’s transportation system passed in 2016. But these things take time. The program’s goal is to get Rhode Island’s infrastructure into shape by 2025.

2018 Infrastructure score: 100 out of 400 points (Top States Grade: F)

Deficient bridges: 23.2 percent

Average commute to work: 24.8 minutes

Roads in poor or mediocre condition: 70 percent

20-year water-system needs: $1.7 billion





10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Builders

Get your favourite builder a pleasant surprise this holiday by giving them a wonderful gift that can help make their job easier. Whether he or she needs a new gadget or wants to add more tools to his or her arsenal, these holiday gift ideas for contractors and home builders will surely fit their needs.

1.Toolbar Bluetooth Connected Laser Distance Measurer 

General Tool’s Bluetooth Connected Laser Distance Measurer is one of the perfect gifts for your contractor this holiday season. It will basically make measuring distances less of a hassle and less time consuming. All you have to do is point the laser to an area you want to measure and it will provide you with accurate readings up to 100 ft. So, whether you’re working on installing a new panel or estimating how much materials you need for your new project, this is a great time saving tool to have. With more construction tools being innovated to make them more effective, this is a must have for all builders out there!

2.Non-Contact Voltage Tester

For builders, safety is of high priority. A non-contact voltage tester is one of the safest way to know whether there is electric current running through any electric socket or not without touching any wires. What’s great about the Non-Contact Voltage tester is that it’s very simple to use and ensure safety. This makes a great pocket tool for your favourite builder and he’ll be happy to have it.

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 3. 3-In-1 Mobile Work Centre

A great gift for “on-the-go” builders who are always on the road. The 3-in-1 Mobile Work Centre is like having your own workshop on wheels! It is a portable storage unit for hand tools, power tools and more. With its spacious bottom bin and detachable tool box and tray, your builder doesn’t need to worry about misplacing any tool. This mobile work centre is built to last and can withstand heavy usage day in and day out. Many builders would love to have this professional tool and it makes a perfect gift for a builder.

4.Carpenter Wine Bottle Caddy

Want to say “thank you” to your contractor for that great project he and his team did? A carpenter wine bottle holder makes a great gift to do just that. Send him a nice wine together with a wine bottle caddy and it’ll put a smile on his face just.

5.Builder Mug

If there’s one thing that builders love aside from doing the finishing touches for your new home or building, it would be coffee. Sending them a coffee mug saying something like “I turn coffee into houses” or “#1 Builder” is a thoughtful gift for the holidays especially when they’re relaxing during Christmas morning with their favourite coffee.

6.Work Gear Builder Note Pad Holder

Builders are very keen to details and each detail should be written down to make sure they get the right dimensions, plans and estimates. However, not all notebooks out there are built for heavy duty usage. Builders need a notebook that they can carry anywhere and can resist a lot of wear and tear especially when they’re visiting their project sites. Th Work Gear Notepad Holder does a good job on protecting your Builder’s notes and at the same time has pockets for other important things such as pencils, business cards and other important documents.

7.Wheeled Contractor’s Bag

Builders move a lot especially when they’re managing multiple projects in a day. You’re your builder’s life less of a hassle by giving him the Wheeled Contractor’s Bag this holiday. It is a high-quality bag designed to carry various power tools, parts and accessories and keeps them secured while on transit. Another great thing about the wheeled bag is that its weather resistant thus making sure your builder’s tools are free from rust and dirt.

8.Space Pen Tool

This heavy duty and multi-functional space pen tool makes a wonderful gift for any builder. It writes underwater, over grease, in extreme temperature and even when you’re upside down unlike most pens out there. Aside from that, you can use it for various measurements and writes on almost any surface which makes it one of our top holiday gifts for builders this year.

9.Power Bank

Most contractors nowadays rely on their phone not only to get in touch with clients and their team but also to manage projects, calculate estimates, organize tasks and more. With this, it is important that their smartphone don’t die on them while they’re on a busy day – which makes giving them a durable power bank a great holiday gift idea.

10.T-Shirt With Their Logo

What’s a better gift than one that is actually customized for your favorite builder? your contractor will appreciate the amount of time you’ve spent customizing a T-shirt just for him.

Celebrating Dr Chii Akporji:The Amazon Of Housing Finance

Years of existence never justifies a person’s worth, rather positive influence and selfless works are evidently traits of one’s greatness. All of these great attributes can be accorded to Dr. Chika P. Akporji, fondly called Dr Chii, the immediate past Executive Director of Policy, Strategy & Partnerships at Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc. (NMRC).

She is an accomplished development finance professional with a strong track record of managing complex national programmes to significant development impact. She coordinated the operationalization of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), set up to grow the primary and secondary mortgage markets in Nigeria and unlock the multiplier effects of increased home ownership on the Nigerian economy.

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Prior to her position at the NMRC she had served as Senior Advisor to the former Nigerian Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and former World Bank Group Managing Director, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Before her return to Nigeria Dr. Akporji had had a successful 13-year career at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC, where she worked on city development strategies (CDS) and slum upgrading (SU) programmes of several cities under the Cities Alliance programme; with several publications to her credit.

During her time at (NMRC), the achievement of the management team which she was a part of recorded milestones which now underpin the operations of the Nigerian housing sector:

few examples include developing the Uniform Underwriting Standards for the Formal, Informal, Non-Interest and Diaspora sectors of the economy; the drafting and adoption of the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law by key states within the federation, the development and deployment of the HMS and the HMIP, transaction driven partnerships with major organisations, like the World bank, IFC, MBAN, REDAN, NBS, major developers like Urban Shelter, Brains and Hammers, EchoStone, Blue Water, several of which are already yielding early transactional fruits for the core business of mortgage refinancing, and are poised to yield even bigger fruits for the company in the short to medium term.

Dr. Chii, holds a first degree in English and Modern Arabic Studies from University College, Dublin, Ireland and a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. She has also attended several professional training courses and has received certifications from institutions such as the World Bank Institute, Harvard University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.


Source: Affa Dickson Acho


10 Of The World’s Largest Construction Projects

1. Al Maktoum Airport, Dubai

Other airports do not prepare you for the scale of Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, which extends over more than 21 square miles. The facility is designed to handle 200 wide-body aircraft at a time. The airport’s second expansion phase alone has an estimated cost of more than $32 billion.

2. Jubail II,Saudi Arabia

This 22-year long industrial city project began its second phase in 2014 with an $11 billion expansion.When completed, it will comprise at least 100 industrial plants, an 800,000 cubic meter desalination plant, miles of railways, roads and highways, and an oil refinery producing at least 350,000 barrels per day. The entire project is slated to be finished in 2024.

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3. Dubailand,Dubai

Walt Disney World can fit three times inside this complex. With 278 square kilometers, the $64 billion Dubailand will have six parts: theme parks, sports venues, eco-tourism, health facilities, science attractions, and hotels. It will also have the world’s largest hotel with 6,500 rooms and a 10 million square foot mall. The project is scheduled for completion is 2025.

4. International Space Station

The ISS circles the earth every 92 minutes. Created by a consortium of of 15 nations and 5 space agencies, the ISS has currently scheduled construction costs exceeding $60 billion. The eventual cost of the space station and its contemplated expansions could exceed $1 trillion, by which point it could become a habitat for up to one million off-planet occupants.

5. South-to-North Water Transfer Project,China

The North of China is home to almost 50 percent of China’s population, but has only about 20 percent of the country’s water resources. To remedy this imbalance, China has funded construction of three huge canals, each more than 600 miles long and carrying water to the North from China’s three largest rivers. The project has a 48 year construction schedule. When completed it will supply 44 billion cubic meters of water each year.

6. London Crossrail Project

The world’s first underground continues to grow, adding 26 miles of tunnel connecting 40 stations. The estimated cost of construction is $23 billion. The project is scheduled for completion in phases, with the first new track went  into service in 2018 and all remaining tracks in service by 2020.

7. Three Gorges Dam, China

The world’s largest dam is a mile and a half long and about 60 stories high. The $59 billion dollar Yangtze River project was completed and put into service in 2003. Most extremely large construction projects have their detractors, but Three Gorges has been particularly criticized for displacing about 1.5 million persons and destroying hundreds of miles of viable farmland.  Its electrical generation capacity is more than eight times greater than Hoover Dam, but still supplies only two or three percent of China’s 2016 energy needs.

8. Sellafield Nuclear Site,England

Covering over 700 acres, this is the U.K.’s primary nuclear-fuel reprocessing facility. with construction costs exceeding $15 billion. One of its primary activities is the reprocessing of Magnox, a nuclear fuel, from UK nuclear power stations. Not surprisingly, the site has its detractors, among them New Scientist, an anti-nuclear research publication, which has claimed that “huge pools of mystery sludge” and other hazards are potentially explosive, a claim that Sellafield’s management disputes.

9. Beijing Airport, China

Beijing International Airport will eventually surpass Dubai’s Al Maktoum Airport in cost, total square miles and passenger and plane capacity. The airport’s first phase was completed in time for the 2008 Olympiad. Further expansion is scheduled for completion by 2025. Terminal 1, designed by Zaha Hadid, incorporates a number sustainable design concepts in a futuristic building envelope.

10. Great Man-Made River Project, Libya

Libya has been working on the “Great Man-Made River” (GMR) project since 1985. It is the largest irrigation project in the world. When completed, it will irrigate more than 350,000 acres of arable land and will substantially increase available drinking water in most of Libya’s urban centers.  The water source for the project is the underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System. The project is scheduled for completion in 2030.


Housing Is Too Important To Be Led By The Private Market

Fundamentally, the purpose of housing – whether owned or rented – is to provide shelter from the elements: a place from which to access school, work and health care and to find privacy from the public gaze. Housing should also give people a sense of being “at home” – a place to be their authentic selves, and realise their ambitions.

For these reasons, housing is too important to be led by the private market. When the purpose of housing is to provide a profit for shareholders, it creates perverse incentives to build expensive luxury homes for the wealthy to live or invest in, or to delay construction while waiting for land values to rise (a practice known as “land banking”.

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The other option is social housing: homes owned by local councils or housing associations, rented out at significantly less than the market rate. There needs to be a mixed housing economy, which prioritises the delivery of sustainable and properly affordable homes. But there are several steps that both government, and society at large, must take in order to get there.

For one thing, it’s vital to change the way we talk about housing. All too often, private individuals and organisations are encouraged by government to invest in bricks and mortar, for example through the “right to buy’’ policy. But if government gets involved – directly building property – it’s not seen as a capital investment to benefit citizens – the nation’s “shareholders” – but as a “burden” or a “debt”, in terms of public sector borrowing.

Government should invest in capital subsidies to build social housing, in the name of the public good. The Welsh government is abolishing the right to buy in Wales, and England needs to follow suit. The policy means homes are being built with public money, then heavily discounted and sold to private landlords, who gain the uplift in value on resale as the market values rise.

There are even examples of houses bought through right to buy being let on the private market, to tenants who pay rent using a housing benefit from the government. As part of my ongoing research, I have even heard from landlords who won’t let to tenants on benefits anymore, because their mortgage company considers it too much of a risk.

All the while, the nation’s stock of affordable social homes is fast being depleted, with about 4,000 being sold each year. Borrowing rules need to be loosened, to allow councils to build social housing at really affordable rates. A tighter link to earnings – not rising property and land values – would create really affordable housing, in relation to tenants’ income.

The recent cold spell has underlined the urgent need for a rapid response, to end the growing problem  of rough sleeping and homelessness. The market is partly to blame for the unacceptable rise in homelessness, alongside the government’s failure to invest in building more council housing. The impact of universal credit and benefit caps mean people cannot afford private rents in some areas, and there is not sufficient social or affordable housing to plug the gap.

The government can prevent people from having to sleep on the street, sofa-surf or engage in other forms of hidden homelessness by properly investing in health, education and social care to help keep people secure in their homes. Research has found that homeless people have many complex needs, which often require specialist support.

Another symptom of the lack of affordable homes is that only a quarter of young people today can afford to buy a house – the rest have been priced out. Many are delaying their transition into adulthood by continuing to live in their parents’ home, or sharing with others out of financial necessity when they would rather be moving into a family home with the person they love.

Both of these big social issues could be tackled with an integrated social policy with housing at its heart, and with investment by the government in building social and affordable homes. But there is also a keen need for more infrastructure and support, to help develop functional and well-connected communities.

The government recently announced a £866m investment to fund local council infrastructure schemes, but still more continued and consistent investment is needed. The governments changes to the NPPF to “encourage” building firms to get on and build homes – in addition to the funding already announced – is one part of the puzzle. But there is so much more that can and should be done.

Jo Richardson is a professor of housing and social research at De Montfort University. This article was first published in The conversation

Money Has corrupted The Practice of Architecture – David Adjaye

Billion-pound projects are perverting architecture warns David Adjaye, who says architects should be champions for the cities they build projects in.

In a keynote speech at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam yesterday, Adjaye said that architecture should be the “arbiter of ideas”, yet many of today’s projects are driven by “elitism that is to do with hyper-commercial liberalism and who controls money”.

“Money has totally corrupted the ability to make a meaningful form,” the architect told the audience.

“It’s all about money now. Architecture in the west is absurdly expensive – projects cost billions and it’s crazy.”

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Architects have a responsibility to cities

Adjaye, who was Knighted for his services to architecture in 2017, argued that architects have a responsibility to make sure their buildings give back to the people that use them, rather than simply fulfil a client’s brief.

“Architecture is able to become a form that is able to push a certain sort of justice into the equation,” he said.

“I think that architects are responsible in the way that they work for a client, but they also work for a city, they’re always indebted to making sure the city is giving the best back to its constituents.”

The Adjaye Associates  founder took the audience through a selection of his own projects, highlighting how each one offers some kind of “free space” –  a nod to the theme of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale  –  to its place.

One example he gave was his Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

Smithsonian Museum conveys political message

He said the building, which cost $250 million (£196 million) to build, is designed to take visitors on an emotional journey that communicates a political message. It does this by taking people down eight levels then back up another eight, to “literally physically bury people into a space with no light and then to lift them up”.

Design elements were also chosen to celebrate the craftsmanship of African people who were enslaved and brought to America.

“We think migrants have no skills but there were these incredible people brought to America who were literally building America with their skills,” said Adjaye.

The museum also features a shaded courtyard by the water, which lowers the temperature outside the building. “The building is the last moment before the mall, so in the hot summer sun it’s a much beloved space,” added the architect.

Aïshti Foundation gave Beirut a new public space

Other examples included the Aishiti Foundation , an art gallery and shopping centre in Beirut enclosed behind a gauze of red aluminium.

Adjaye said he was trying to create a place that could help the city recover from the “incredible trauma fracture” of the Lebanese Civil War with his design. One detail he added was a pool on the building’s rooftop.

“Since the war, the idea of public space has become very contested – there are military everywhere,” he stated.

“This gauze embraces the multi-programme of the space, he added. “You can find a space that can give you reflection, mind, retail, this idea of wellness.”

Small-scale projects “can be an opportunity”

Even small-scale projects can help to  “reset” cities on some level he said, citing the pavilion he created for the Gwangju Biennale in 2013 as an example.

“Any moment can be an opportunity to go beyond the material excellence of construction,” he said.

The project saw the architect team up with author Taiye Selasi to design and build a public reading room where locals could swap books.

The space, which is “obviously WiFi-ed”, is still a permanent place for people to gather and use. “It has taken on its own life,” said Adjaye.

Successful Women Who Play Big in Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector

Hajia Bola Shagaya is the 10th wealthiest woman in Africa according to Forbes.
As a businesswoman, she is most notable for her interest in real estate.
She is the founder of Bolmus Group international – a diversified Nigerian conglomerate with interests in oil, real estate, banking, communications, and photography.
The real estate development arm of the group builds and owns dozens of luxurious residential properties in some of the nation’s highbrow areas.
In recognition of her leadership qualities and immense contribution to economic growth, she was twice awarded the National Productivity Order of Merit award and Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman, one of the richest African women, and one of the richest black women in the world. In 2014, she temporarily unseated Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world. She is a business tycoon involved in the fashion,oil and printing industries.
She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion As of 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after NgoziOkonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.


Dr. Hannatu Fika is the Executive Secretary of Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) and a winner of life time achievement award at the 2017 National Housing Awards (NHA) for her participation in the development of housing in Nigeria.
The issue of affordable housing has been at the bottom of her heart for years especially provision of houses for Federal Public Servants and this passion has continued to drive her at the Staff Housing Loans Board.

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Agnes Olatokunbo Martins [CISA, CISM, CRISC, FCA, FCCA] graduated with a Bachelors degree in Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Lagos in 1983, she joined the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1990. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration also from the University of Lagos. In 2001, Mrs Martins proceeded to London South Bank University, United Kingdom to study Advanced Information Technology specialising in Object Oriented Analysis and Design and graduating with a Distinction.
She obtained a second Bachelors degree in Applied Accounting with First Class Honours from the Oxford Brookes University, also in the United Kingdom. She is the first female president of Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Lagos Chapter.
She is currently the Director Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria. She represents the Central Bank of Nigeria on the of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC)

Sa’adiya Aliyu has had a varied career in a number of roles, bringing her charasteric drive and inter-personal skills to every position she has occupied. Prior to starting work, she received a Bsc in Economics from Brunei University, following that up with an Msc in Finance and development from the School of African Studies (SOAS) in London.
In 2009, Sa’adiya joined Urban Shelter Limited as a senior Manager to the Chairman Office. In a role requiring a deft hand and a steady touch, she streamlined the operations of the Chairman’s office, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Her ambition for Urban Shelter includes affordable housing- for which she has a particular passion- and she seeks to provide innovative means for the delivery and payment of these structures.

Udo Maryanne Okonjo has a keen interest in Inspired Leadership, Business growth and Real Estate as a tool for growing Gross National Wealth. Her background includes a solid track record in Corporate & Commercial Law at Masters Level and Partnership at leading law firms, along with Business and Brand Development, Strategic Marketing, Complex Stakeholder Negotiations, Ethics and Governance.
A trusted real estate advisor, and wealth strategist to the top 1% of Nigerian Executive and Corporate Investors, she is popularly referred to as an Igniter, Mentor and Influencer among emerging entrepreneurs and professionals.
She regularly key notes on real estate trends, creating wealth through real estate and entrepreneurship, bridging the investment gap for women and millennials amongst other topics. Her strongest passion is raising Purpose driven, Prominent and Profitable leaders through transformational personal and professional development. She is the founder of Inspired Women of Worth, and Curator/Facilitator of the Go Mega Business Growth Series, Trailblazer Mastermind for SMEs along with the Ignite the Champion Within (an Inspiration, High Performance, Leadership and Entrepreneurship Series).


Isoken Omo is the current Executive Chairman of the Edo Development and Property Authority (EDPA). Isoken also has experience as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ACCOUTRE Investment and Development Company Ltd. An MBA holder from the University of Hull, United Kingdom. Isoken possesses a highly relevant, award-winning career spanning over 20 years in Finance and Investment Advisory and Real Estate, covering various sectors and global regions. She brings a deep knowledge in creating Real Estate program solutions to broaden AIDC’s offering.

Prior to becoming CEO of AIDC, Isoken served as Head, Real Estate, Construction & Cement Sectors, Mainstreet Bank, Regional Head – Corporate Banking (North Central Region), Afribank Nigeria Plc where she won the best Region for Good Business Initiative Deal. She also headed the Infrastructure/Construction arm of Afribank Nigeria Plc.

At London Borough of Hillingdon, Civic Centre, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK she worked as a Housing Advisor for 1 year after which she moved on to work as a Housing Tenancy Relations Co-ordinator/ Project Co-ordinator, Strategy and Policy for 6 years with London Borough of Southwark, UK. She also worked at Bamet Consult in Beckton London, as a Property Portfolio Consultancy/Mortgage Adviser. She is a member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers

Olajumoke Adenowo, founder of AD Consulting, is a Nigerian Architect, Speaker, Radio Host, Philantropist and Author. CNN has described her as “Africa’s Starchitect”. She has been featured in the World’s foremost Architectural Journal; Architectural Record and has spoken on several platforms including the Global Women’s Forum and Harvard Business School (African Business Club). Olajumoke also hosts a Syndicated Radio show on Leadership called “Voice of Change”.


She is the Nigerian Vice Chairman/CEO, MGSL, Nigeria. Dr Mrs Virgy Anohu is Nigeria’s leading Mortgage Banker and a very senior veteran pan-African Banker with top strategic management experiences from Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, First City Monument Bank, Guardian Express Bank and now Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Guaranty Savings and Loans Limited.
Dr. Anohu is on the board of Premium Pension Limited, a pension fund Administrator licensed under the Pension Reform Act 2004.
Dr. Mrs Anohu, an Aluminus of the Prestigious Harvard Business School Boston is a prolific writer, and has authored many works.


Arc. Eucharia Alozie is the Head, Public Private Partnership (PPP) at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. She is an Architect and a Town Planner at the Ministry.
She has a Master Degree in Architecture and Urban& Regional Planning at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu, is a trained architect and expert in naval logistics before becoming the first woman to attain the rank of a Rear Admiral in the history of the Nigerian Navy.
Prior to joining the Navy, Itunu’s dream was to join the Nigerian Army, however, when she applied, she was told there was no place for women in its engineering corps.
Sad at the turn of events, Itunu applied to join the Nigerian Navy when she was told that she would be accepted irrespective of her gender. Before she joined the navy, she worked in an architect office for two years after she graduated from the university before she took her professional exams.
She was among the first set of architects to be enlisted into the Nigerian Navy and it is on record that Hotonu was the first female military officer to serve as a Directing Staff(that is an instructor) at the famous Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji and also the first female military officer to attend the then National War College, now National Defence College, where she won the Commander-in-chief’s prize as well as the Commandant’s prize for the best research.

In the quantity surveying profession, Mrs. Mercy Torkwase Iyortyer is a woman of many firsts. She was the first female Quantity Surveyor in the Northern Region of Nigeria, the first female chairperson of a chapter in NIQS (FCT Chapter), the Pioneer and Founding Chairperson of the Women Association of Quantity Surveyors (WAQSN), the first woman to represent the institute on the Council of the African Association of Quantity Surveyors, and first woman to be elected into the position of the Deputy President of the NIQS unopposed. Recently, she capped it all as the first female President after 46 years of the Institute’s existence.
Mrs. Mercy Torkwase Iyortyer was born into the renowned family of Mr. Timothy Yuwa (MON) from Benue State, Nigeria. She demonstrated hard work, intelligence and commitment from her early years in life starting from primary school; when she was chosen to tutor lower classes even as a student herself.
Her outstanding performance in Girls’ High School, Gindiri, Plateau State resulted in her coming out with a Division 1 and many other academic awards. Her leadership skills were harnessed as she was selected Class Captain, House Prefect, and President of Fellowship of Christian Students and eventually became the Head Girl of the school.
She also actively participated in various extracurricular activities such as hockey, volley Ball, netball, track and field events and drama in her secondary school days.
Mrs. Iyortyer moved onto the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and graduated in 1979 with a B.Sc in Quantity Surveying (Second Class Upper Division) despite the fact she gave birth to her first child during her final examination period.
Iyortyer then proceeded to University College London (UCL), UK in 1983 where she obtained an M.Sc in Architecture (Building Economics and Management). She continually strived for self-development and obtained a Certificate in International Project Management (IPMA) in 2005 and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from Pan Africa University, Lagos Business School in 2010.

Chinwe is based in Lagos, Nigeria and is responsible for the delivery of a full spectrum of real estate services across West Africa. She has over 14 years experience and was previously head of the JLL French International Desk. she holds a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Ifeoma is a professional with over 20 years experience in start up operations across human capital management, business development, business strategy, turnaround plans, process mapping and business re-engineering.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Management from Middlesex University Business School (UK).
She is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development(M.C.I.P.D) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Managers.
Ifeoma has a sound knowledge of real estate investment strategies and fund generation, with experience spanning developing sales, marketing communications and budget plans to implementing sound corporate governance structure for large corporates, SMEs in Nigeria and the UK. She is the Executive Director, Business Development at Brains and Hammers Limited.

LADY MARIA-GORETTI OMEGO A seasoned banker with over twenty years experience. She holds a First Degree in Accounting from Loyola University, Chicago, United States of America and a Masters Degree in Management from the Imo State University Owerri, she is equally a Doctorate Degree candidate of the prestigious Madonna University Nigeria. She has since the formation of Mayfresh been its Managing Director and Chief Executive. She is a Member of the Nigeria Institute of Management.


Olusola David-Borha, also known as Sola, B.Sc (Econs), MBA has been the Chief Executive of Africa Regions at The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited since January 1, 2017. Mrs. David-Borha served as the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC until January 19, 2017 and also served as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Corporate & Investment Banking.

She served as the Chief Executive Officer and Acting Managing Director at IBTC Chartered Bank plc and Executive Director of Corporate and Investment Banking (excluding South Africa). She was responsible for overseeing the Corporate Finance and Corporate Banking Departments, Project and Structure Finance Departments, Asset Management and Private Banking. She also supervises Treasury and Financial Services and is also responsible for the Bank’s correspondent banking relationships.


Rose Ada Okwechime has been the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Abbey Building Society PLC since 1992. Mrs. Okwechime served in the Banking industry for over 24 years including time at the Bank of England. She serves as a Director of Abbey Building Society PLC. She served as Vice Chairperson of United Bank for Africa Plc since 2013. She has been a Non-Executive Director of United Bank for Africa Plc since July 2012. She served as a Director of United Bank for Africa Plc from August 1, 2005 to May 2010. She served as a Non-Executive Director of Standard Trust Bank Plc. She has at least 8 notable awards to her credit in recognition of her achievements and contributions to womanhood. Mrs. Okwechime holds a Masters degree in Banking and Finance.


Ruby Okoro has a BSc (Hons) in International Relations with a Second Class (Upper), a Masters Degree (MSc) in Public Administration as well as International Certification in Credit, Risk Management, Investment and Mortgage Banking.  She has a wealth of financial experience and expertise in Retail, Commercial, Investment and Mortgage Banking with over 25 years of local and International experience with notable Banks and Other Financial Institutions such as Citibank (Nigeria), FCMB (Nigeria) Bank of Montreal (Canada) as well as Mortgage Alliance Company also in Canada. She is a Licensed Mortgage and Investment Specialist in Canada and a registered member of several professional bodies such as the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) Canada, Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) Canada, Investment Specialist (ISC) Canada and Nigerian Institute of Corporate Administration.

She is currently the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Delta Trust Mortgage Bank Ltd as well as the current Deputy- President South-East of the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN).

Jumoke Akinwunmi is a Co-Founder, Managing Director, and Director of Alitheia Capital. She was previously the Principal at the firm. Ms. Akinwunmi served as Managing Director at Avante Property Asset Management Services. Ms. Akinwunmi led the development/promotion of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) on the NSE.
She also established a Research and Analysis Unit focused on the Nigeria real estate sector, providing real estate business information services for private, professionals and institutional investors while providing business development and incubation services for professionals and investors.
She was instrumental in establishing the first facilities management company with a specialization in retail space management. Prior to Avante, Ms. Akinwunmi spent eight years at Shell Trustees Nigeria Ltd., where she was responsible for managing the real estate development projects, a portfolio of residential assets in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Her understanding of the real estate sector and her excellent project management skills contributed to the growth of the portfolio. In addition, she advised on the incubation of Provast Limited. She worked as architect and project manager on several developments at James Cubitt Architects and Adeniyi Coker Architects.
She is an architect and real estate professional. She is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Nigeria and the University of Dundee, Scotland.


Tosin is a Solicitor with a great commercial mind, excellent analytical skills and vast transactional experience that spans across construction, real estate, finance, capital markets and corporate commercial.
She is a key member of DETAIL’s real estate and construction practice and actively engaged in recent regulatory efforts at financing real estate projects via the capital market. She has recently advised on UPDC’s 30B REIT transaction, the setting up of a <1.3B Private Real Estate Co-ownership scheme, the recapitalization of Intercontinental Homes PLC and the setting up of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company.
She is a member of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of Nigeria.


Chii Akporji is the Executive Director, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)
She Coordinated the set up and operationalization of the NMRC, a mortgage refinance set up under a PPP framework to address the key constraint of access to long term finance in the primary and secondary mortgage markets in Nigeria to the growth of home ownership in Nigeria.
Prior to her current position at the NMRC, Dr. Akporji had served as Senior Advisor/Chief of Staff to the former Nigerian Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy. Before her return to Nigeria, she had a successful 13 year career at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington DC, where she worked on City Development Strategies (CDS) and Slum Upgrading (SU) programmes of several cities and municipal governments like Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Manilla, Durban and Cairo.

She has been actively involved in the design, development and implementation of development communications, advocacy and knowledge management programs in support of a number of Bank operations in education, health, trust fund partnerships and urban and regional development programmes.


Adenike Fasanya-Osilaja is a Chicago, Illinois based Mortgage Professional, Industry Trainer, Consultant, and Public Speaker.
She has owned and operated Marvel Ventures Mortgage, Inc.(, since 2000, and my MV Professional Solutions Inc. ( since 2009. With a background in Law, Banking and Finance, she holds licenses and certifications in Islamic Finance, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA/HUD,and is a National Association of Mortgage Professionals Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC), the top certification in her industry. Adenike is a real estate finance columnist with the National Mirror Nigeria Newspaper, who hosted her own radio show for several years, and is an expert contributor on several U.S radio shows.
Adenike is most passionate about training on Affordable housing, Mortgage Education, Standardization, Compliance and Quality Control. She consults on Real Estate/Mortgage Finance Company Set-Up, Product Development, Underwriting, Processes and Procedures, Competence, Compliance and Quality Control. She has presented and facilitated for the NMRC/CBN, REUnite 2015, The ETAC Chicago Community Program, CBN Financial, and at multiple other real estate finance events.


Medinah Olufolake Huthman holds a BSc. (Economics) majoring in
Accounting & Financial Management from the University of Buckingham, England.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Her working career started at Eko Hotels Ltd. Having completed her youth service year she was employed and held various management posts culminating as the Financial Controller.She left that establishment to set up two startup companies. She is the Managing Director of Hexcel Ventures Ltd, a procurement and logistics company. She is also the Executive Director, Operations of Hydraform Engineering Nigeria Ltd.

In the 20 years, Medinah has worked in the procurement and built industry. She has over seen the following :
Provide Hydraform machines and accessories to several States to help them achieve their mass housing objectives. Such States include Ogun, Yobe, Rivers, Anambra,Kebbi,Borno, Ekiti, Kwara, Ondo, Delta, Enugu, Jigawa, Ebonyi, FCT etc
Provide same services to private estate developers throughout the Federation
Provide consultancy and supervisory services to State Governments and private individuals to develop some 1,500 houses in various estates throughout the Federation Develop a 144 3 bedroom housing estate in Kuje under PPP Scheme of Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing
Develop an estate of 200 houses with a private developer
Acts as technical partners in projects.

Hydraform is a member of REDAN (Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria) As a member, she has been privileged to serve as Auditor and Financial Secretary. She has also served on several Committees of REDAN. As regards her experience in the built industry, she considers herself a work in progress and takes opportunities to continuously educate herself by attending seminars and training courses. She also serves on the board of other corporate bodies.


Flora Anne is a Presenter, Producer and Broadcaster. She hosts the popular Housing Development Programme on African Independent Television (AIT ) and on the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA24). An Indigene of Edo State with a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism.
This successful media Practitioner advocates for the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians through her weekly TV Programme. She is a motivational speaker, script writer and a go-getter.

She is the Acting Director of the Pension Commission (PENCOM) of Nigeria. She was a facility Manager with her background in History prior to becoming the acting DG, she is presently acting pending the confirmation of the DG Designate by the Senate. She is renowned in the real estate sector as an advocate of the policy to allow pension usage by husband and wife as a down payment for home purchase.

Engr. Becky Damilola Oke is a Managing Director at Bstan Construction Limited with head office in Lagos.
She heads a Company that is an indigenous and professional construction infrastructure development outfit with world class expertise in Real Estate Development and Global Reinvestments.


Salima Makama is the Managing Director of Shelterplus Nigeria Limited, a comprehensive real estate firm, headquartered in Abuja with branches in Niger State, providing comprehensive commercial and residential real estate services for individuals and Organisations. Shelterplus has undertaken numerous construction projects and specialist works for both private and public sector clients, chief amongst which are the construction of office complexes, school compounds and staff residential estates for several government agencies. Due to their qualifications and experience in the real estate industry, Shelterplus has put together a combination of resources; human, financial and technical, required to effectively initiate, plan and execute construction projects while adhering to time, scope, quality and cost constraints.


She is a Lawyer and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008 and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Ewuwuni also holds a Master of Laws degree (LL.M) in Construction Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK, Nigeria Branch (MCIArb), a Certified Negotiator (Programme on Negotiation, Harvard Law School) and a member of the Society of Construction Law for Africa. She is also a Member, Panel of Neutrals, Cross River State MultiDoor Court House; Member, Panel of Neutrals, Bayelsa State MultiDoor Court House; Member, Panel of Neutrals, Delta State MultiDoor Court House.

Ewuwuni is passionate about her profession and, as the Lead Counsel in the law firm of ONNOGHEN-THEOPHILUS (a full service law chambers which specialises in Construction Law), she has wide experience in negotiating, drafting, executing and interpreting both domestic and international construction contracts.

She is the author of the first Nigerian book on Construction Law titled “Construction Law in Nigeria” and is a leading legal authority on the sector.


Hajia Binta Ibrahim currently serves as the Financial Secretary of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN).  Her Association aims to effectively represent the members to achieve their corporate objectives and to effectively carry on their business as agents of development by ensuring public appreciation of the importance of REDAN and efforts it is making to meet the housing needs of Nigerians. The Association also aims to ensure balanced national legislative, regulatory and fiscal policy to provide the enabling framework and environment for effective housing delivery.


Rahimatu Amina-Aliyu is the Executive Director, Loans and Mortgage Services at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). Hajia Rahimatu Aminu-Aliyu is a versatile Legal practitioner with specialty in Finance, Property and International Law. She is an articulate and persuasive negotiator with track record of resolving complex disputes and securing long term funding. Her career goal is to ensure that development is inclusive and sustainable.

Rahimatu Aminu-Aliyu is a widely travelled person with interest in community development; she is an honest and inspirational leader, a strategic thinker with impeccable organizational ability, skilful in oral and written communication, and a responsible and compassionate team player.


Umar Zubaida is the Group Head, Corporate Communications at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). She is part of an Organization that provide long-term credit facilities to mortgage institutions in Nigeria and also mobilizing both domestic and offshore funds into the housing sector.

How to build sustainable and resilient cities-Graham

Cities already account for approximately 70-80% of the world’s economic growth, and this will only increase as cities continue to grow. In the next 35 years, the population in cities is estimated to expand by an additional 2.5 billion people, almost double the population of China.

As a vital component for connectivity, public health, social welfare, and economic development, infrastructure in all its forms – basic, social, and economic – is critical for the anticipated urban growth.

“Globally, the annual investment required to cover the gap for resilient infrastructure is estimated at US $4.5-US $5.4 trillion,” said Riaan Graham, sales director for Ruckus Networks, sub-Saharan Africa. “And while no two cities are the same, more than than 50% of the global population – live in cities – and instrumental to achieving sustainable smart cities, is harnessing a new world of digital technology and communication to first enable a connected city.”

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Building on connectivity

Connectivity is a foundation layer to Smart Cities, both for Internet access and new digital services. A great starting point for cities is to deploy public Wi-Fi. Continues Graham; “Public Wi-Fi is a great way to create a more vibrant community and also connect citizens, businesses and visitors. But the benefits of Wi-Fi don’t stop there. Cities are leveraging smart Wi-Fi for many applications that go well beyond free public access to the Internet such as e-routing traffic, monitoring air pollution, conserving water, improving public safety and encouraging more direct participation, interaction and collaboration with local government offered services.”

In fact, according to an IDC Info Brief, Smart City aspects such as networked LED street lighting can provide a 25-50% reduction in operations and energy costs, connected trash bins can yield more than 50% reduction in garbage collection costs, 20–30% cost reduction can be obtained with smart parking and smart water systems can save 40% less clean water loss due to leaks and burst pipes. Such aspects are key to building sustainable cities and managing resources and services.

Sustainability lens

Alison Groves, Regional Director, WSP, Building Services, Africa, agrees, but cautions that when planning, designing and building infrastructure within the African context, we need to be conscious that we are operating in spaces that sit at two extreme ends of the development cycle.

“On one end, we have cities and urban centres that are faced with challenges of maintaining the capacity of existing infrastructure networks. These nodes still boast long-term infrastructure planning, which includes introducing smart technologies into their city scape that will make these cities more connected, innovative and nimble in the face of future disruption. At the other end of the cycle, however, we have vast areas that are underdeveloped, geographically dispersed, remote, and with limited accessibility to-and-from the nearest urban node.”

Groves believes that to be able to support continued and future growth – of populations, industries and economies – long-term planning must be approached with a vision to compensate for both ends of the development cycle and everything in between. “As we look to build cities and spaces for rural communities that are liveable, resilient to disruptions, and future proofed, sustainability is the way to get there.”

“Sustainability is a lens through which the planning, project delivery, and development processes focus to achieve the needs of the communities today without sacrificing capacity for future generations. A sustainability lens always includes balancing priorities across several areas, including the economy, community needs, and environmental quality, but also equity, health and well-being, energy, water and materials resources, and transportation and mobility needs,” adds Groves.

Resilience and livability

Urbanization, demographic shift, environmental changes and new technologies are reshaping the way city leaders are looking at sustainability as well as creating and delivering on public services to address these new dynamics, and the rise of Smart Cities is the response to these challenges. Smart cities will help address the economic and social inequality that this divide creates, by providing Internet access to all citizens.

“With robust networks in place, bridging this divide will help bring communities closer together and encourage citizens to play a more active role to local councils. Flawless connectivity will improve city infrastructure and make it possible for citizens to engage with their community, such as removing the roadblocks that complicate access to local services. We are already seeing significant foreign direct investment into such key ICT initiatives across the continent, but sustainability has to be at the heart of this if Africa is to create a resilient framework for better cities,” adds Graham.

“In Africa, resilience and liveability must be the desired outcomes sought through planning and design processes. Achieving these outcomes will require respecting and balancing local environmental, social, economic, and climate risk priorities through a robust planning and data-driven design process. And, ultimately the goal should be that we are building liveable spaces that are people-centric, integrated, connected, smart, nimble and resilient – where societies can thrive, well into the future,” concludes Groves.



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