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7 Key Features that Impact Affordable Housing in Africa

Africa’s housing sector has witnessed remarkable and significant developments over the past few years. Thanks to the multiple reforms brought about by stakeholders of the sector. However, there is still a vast scope of possibilities to bridge the gap between the affordable housing demand and supply through multiple approaches, which when brought together will lead to a future where everyone has a place to call home.

We have encompassed some of the influencing factors that would allow more collaboration and thus pose African affordable housing as a lucrative sector to invest in a meaningful future.

1. Investment & Financing 

The key to a good return is based on a bankable investment structure, optimal project management, and predictable returns. Multiple channels of securing & boosting returns and alternate

financing options help re-instill the investor/financier faith in affordable housing projects.

2. Public-Private Partnerships:
PPP models are now taking the center stage as governments turn to PPPs for long-term commitments; risk-sharing and large scale investments. This model is not only cost-efficient but also time-efficient and objective. Yet, multiple concerns arise with the model with respect to the accountability, control, and rigidity of contracts.

3. Design & Construction efficiency:

A whopping 70% or more of the entire cost is directed towards construction. This is one of the major challenges that affect affordability. Innovative construction methods such as the use of reclaimed material, new planning and cost management systems, design innovations, account for construction efficiency of homes.

4.  Legal & policy framework:

While these exist to protect the interests of the end users, there is no denying that, many a times legal structures & policies could be an impediment for investors to venture into projects as a result of implications which could impact the entire value chain of the sector. The issue is how to address priorities and various conflicts of interests in order to ease financing and supply of affordable houses.

5. Technological advancements:

The rapidly evolving landscape of technology offers numerous ways to not only expedite the initiation and delivery of houses but also streamlines, the whole process, increases transparency and thus reassure that the residential units are fast, affordable and reach the rightful buyer.

6. Infrastructure and community facilities: 

Homes that are well within the proximity of workplaces, educational institutions, and other recreational areas are always a win with the community. This not only attracts more investment but also the buyers, providing them with low-cost homes and facilities that are basic to present-day living.

 

7. Sustainable Homes are the Future

Last but certainly not the least, is the concept of Green Homes, where people and the planet can thrive. Green building practices and sustainable designs contribute to efficient utilization of resources while creating healthier and more productive environments for people and communities.

The Affordable Housing Investment Summit attempts to open avenues to have honest and fruitful dialogues, on the 26th & 27th of June 2019 in Nairobi-Kenya, along the factors above and more, among the key stakeholders including the government representatives, financiers and project developers who delve into the ideas that can convert challenges into opportunities to make affordable homes a reality for all.

Cement sector sets for recovery amid fragile growth, weak infrastructure

There are indications that the cement sector of the Nigerian economy is on recovery part despite threats posed by sluggish growth of the macro-economy, steep naira devaluation, militancy in the Niger Delta region and weak infrastructure spending by private and public sectors.

The sector was drastically affected by the underwhelming performance of the economy mainly because the demand for cement tracks the performance of the macro-economy as well as government policies, reforms and spending on infrastructures.

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A report on the Nigerian cement industry titled ‘In Search of Growth Triggers’ by Afrinvest Securities, an independent investment banking firm, shows the sector grew 4.5 percent in 2018 compared to -2.2 percent in 2017 as real GDP rose to 1.9 percent in 2018 from 0.8 percent a year earlier.

The sector which accounted for over 0.8 percent in real GDP in 2018 saw growth moderating to an average of -1.0 percent in the last three years compared with 16.9 percent in the previous decade.

The 2016 recession which saw growth declining to -1.6 percent from 2.8 percent in 2015 thwarted the fortunes of cement business as the sector contracted 5.4 percent in 2016 compared with 22.1 percent in 2015.

Consequently, the country’s consumption per capita dipped 20.5 percent to 97kg in 2017, lower than South Africa (234 kg), Senegal (222kg), India (217kg) Ghana (202 kg) and the sub-Saharan African region (116kg).

In addition, the devaluation of the naira between 2014 and 2017 triggered operating costs of cement companies given their exposure of energy costs ( as gas is priced in dollars and coals are imported) coupled with debt to foreign currency risk, which consequently hiked cement prices.

Lafarge was badly bruised due to its foreign currency loans. Dangote was unaffected owing to its long dollar position on the back of its recorded earnings from revaluation gains.

Also, activities in the real estate and construction sectors that ought to support growth of the sector are uninspiring. Both sectors grew less than 2.5 percent in 2018. Infrastructure spending is still below the recommended $50 trillion or N18 trillion based on Nigerian Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP).

Steps taken to address the issues

The opulence of the cement industry has started to revive. Players have diversified their sources of fuel and have equally embraced local input sourcing. Stability in the foreign exchange market since mid-2017 has, to a great extent, eased pressure on operating costs of cement makers.

With the diversification of input sourcing, cement makers now have the long-term buffers to absorb currency risk, in case it occurs.

Key trends driving the sector

According to the report, new investment opportunities are gaining momentum in the sector amid overcapacity. An estimated 7.1 metric tonnes (MT) was added to the sector’s capacity since 2016 though utilization is less than 50 percent. Additional 12 MT is expected to come on board given Nigeria’s growing population and export opportunities.

The report pointed out that cement makers have started optimizing fuel mix, and this gave them upper hand to benefit from cheap fuels such as coal. Optimizing fuel mix is expected to spike earnings on the back of reduced energy cost.

Given the growing demand for cement, players are now moving to other parts of the country to exploit excess capacity in the exports market. Trucking remains the major means of transportation as infrastructure remains deplorable.

Outlook

The outlook for the sector is positive. The sector expanded 4.5 percent in 2018 as against -2.2 percent in 2017. Energy cost is expected to trend southwards given diversification of input sourcing and mild currency risk. Based on this, volume as well as earnings and profitability are expected to surge.

However, the report noted that growth of the broader economy will underperform the population growth rate close to 3 percent in medium term, thereby affecting demand for cement.

The enforcement of executive order 007, which grants tax credits to companies for funding public infrastructure, is expected to reduce tax expense and boost earnings of cement makers.

Although the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) aims to promote intra-Africa trade by reducing tariff, there are growing concerns on whether this policy would hamper the competitiveness of Nigerian cement. This might be the reason for President Buhari’s reluctance to sign the agreement.

In another side, there is high chance for Nigerian cement producers to benefit from the agreement given their cost competitiveness as a result of excess capacity, tax incentives and abundance of raw materials. The report noted that Dangote Cement is poised to benefit most due to its overcapacity in several regions of Africa.

Given the paucity of raw materials in West African region, cement importation is not a big threat to Nigerian cement makers, coupled with the fact that huge transport costs from other parts of the continent would make imports unattractive.

ISRAEL ODUBOLA

Dangote Re-affirms Commitment to Nigeria’s Economic Potential

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Vanguard

Real Estate – Sector’s Growth Yet to Recover from Recession

A breakdown of the recently released GDP report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed a further contraction in the real estate sector. The sector’s real growth stood at -3.85% from -2.68% recorded in the preceding quarter.

The sector has now been in the negative territory for at least 12 consecutive quarters. However, the sector’s contribution increased from 6.5% in Q3’18 to 6.6% in Q4’18.

The global real estate agency, Knight Frank, recently released its ‘The London Report 2019’. In this report, the agency observed:

1. Commercial offices in central London attracted a total of £16.2 billion of global capital ahead of other cities like Paris, Manhattan and Hong Kong. China was the largest investor in the city.

2. London’s real estate market remains the most liquid and transparent in the global market. This will remain an attractive feature for global and domestic investors.

What does this mean for developing countries like Nigeria?

Renewed hope in London’s real estate market coupled with the negative growth recorded in Nigeria’s real estate market reduces the possibility of increased investment in the domestic real estate sector.

Performance of real estate companies in Nigeria

Currently, four companies – UPDC, UAC Property, Union Homes and Skye Shelter Fund – are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In the period between December 31, 2018 and January 31, 2019 there was mixed movement in share prices across the board. UPDC and UAC shares declined by 9.9% and 9.95% respectively to N5.95 and N1.72. Union Homes and Skye Shelter Fund’s share prices remained flat at N45.20 and N95.00 respectively.

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

Outlook for real estate in February

Minimal activities are expected within the real estate sector in February. The election season will slow down activities across various sectors including real estate. However, we expect activities within the sector to improve by H2’19, driven by increased government spending.

Source: Proshareng

The Pros and Cons of Using Property Agents when buying or renting a house.

Hunting for an apartment to rent without using property agents might sound like a fun thing to do; especially since it would save you the extra money you would have spent hiring real estate agents. However, while this might save you money, it leaves you prone to mistakes and regrets.

Like a human body without white blood cells, trying to rent an apartment without using property agents makes you vulnerable. Homeowners are largely men/women who expect to cash in on their property by making as much money as they can regardless of the condition of the house, its location, facilities and other details that a real estate agent would naturally be on the lookout for.

You should, however, bear in mind that using property agents has both advantages and disadvantages for you as a renter. We have highlighted them in detail in this piece and will start with the disadvantages of using real estate agents.

 

Disadvantages of Using Property Agents

Working with real estate agents when hunting for an apartment to rent comes with a wealth of benefits. However, before you hire one, ensure you are very clear on your budget as well as your preferences. Below are the cons of using property agents:

 

1. The Looming Feeling of Distrust

As someone looking to rent an apartment, it’s perfectly okay if you have a feeling that a real estate agent doesn’t have your interest at heart. This is a perfectly natural; especially when you consider the fact that the same agent might be protecting the interest of the landlord/homeowner more.

In many cases, you are likely to find yourself not trusting the real estate agents 100%. This is not necessarily your fault especially when you realise that the agent also has his/her own interest to protect. Even when you get a good deal from the agent, you might be reluctant to commit entirely to it simply because you just don’t trust him/her. This is a huge disadvantage when using property agents to hunt for an apartment.

2. Missing Out on Information

Using property agents means you have to rely on them as a middleman between you and the seller. In many cases, you will not be contacting the homeowner directly since you are working with an agent.

The disadvantage of this is that you are likely to miss out on information that you would have had access to if you were in direct communication with the landlord. In several cases, such information is not disclosed to you until you ask questions. This is why it is supremely important to ask questions when renting an apartment.

 

3. Overpaying

Before a real estate agent approaches homeowners on your behalf, you should provide the agent with a breakdown of precisely what you want. Such details would include your preferred location, the number of bedrooms, the amenities that sit on top of your list of priorities and many more. It then becomes the responsibility of the agent to represent you when speaking to landlords.

The danger of this is that if you become desperate to rent any particular apartment, this can end up working against you. For instance, if you are working with a really fat budget, real estate agents could exploit this to the point where you end up overpaying for the property.

It is quite easy for a property agent to convince a homeowner to make you pay more as rent by increasing what he/she is asking for. Such anomalies can only happen when working with a property agent.

4. Priority

Renting an apartment might be really high on your priority, which is why you’re probably trying to dedicate time to it. This, however, does not mean that a property agent would push you to the top of his/her list of ‘priority client.’ Most times, you would have to work with the timelines communicated to you by the agent. If your personal timelines are not flexible, this could be a snag.

Advantages of Using Property Agents

Despite the challenges of working with real estate agents, they can save you a truckload of trouble and situations that have the potential to leave you biting your nails in regret. Below are some of the advantages of using property agents:

 

1. More Options

A real estate agent will ensure that you get a richer pool of alternative apartments to choose from as opposed to searching by yourself. Regardless of your preferences, an agent has a strong network of property owners who are looking to rent out their homes and you can always rely on this to get several apartments to choose from.

2. You Can Buy Experience

Using property agents does not give you a deeper pool of apartments to choose from, you also get to enjoy the benefits that come with working with someone whose experience is strong enough to give you a reliable history of the apartments under consideration.

The agent will also be on the lookout for anything that can constitute a red flag and ensure you’re making informed decisions. When it comes to pricing, the value of an agent cannot be overemphasised. Instead of guessing or falling into the traps of greedy homeowners, the agent will let you know what you typically should be paying for an apartment.

 

3. Absorbing Pressure

Instead of finding yourself in a situation where you have to meet a property owner to negotiate how much you are expected to pay as rent, the property agent takes this pressure off you.

Going back and forth with a property owner can be very demanding especially if you are dealing with an aggressive landlord who is highly skilled in the art of negotiation. Remember that an agent knows the market and what is generally obtainable.

The agent also ensures that emotions are kept under check as a direct involvement with an emotional landlord could stand in the way of what could be a good deal for you.

4. Market Knowledge

There is a clear difference between a sellers’ market and a buyers’ market. In a buyers’ market, what you have is a situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations.

In a sellers’ market on the other hand, what you have is quite the opposite of a buyers’ market. Here, what you have is a situation in which demand far exceeds supply and owners have an advantage over buyers in price negotiations. Real estate agents understand this and how it works, which is why working with them puts you at an advantage.

An agent is also likely to share market insights and knowledge with you, which could help you get a better deal from the property owner. Remember how this can be a disadvantage if the information is shared with the seller? This time, it works to your advantage, which is why it’s important to work with an agent you can trust.

5. Saves Time

How much time would you have to sacrifice if you were to visit several neighbourhoods to check out the homes and to assess the cost of renting them? That would require an awful amount of time. One way to avoid dedicating so much time to such a search is to work with a real estate agent.

You can save even more time by ensuring that you are very clear on what you want. When the agent asks you for what you want, don’t start by saying: “Maybe a 2 bedroom flat, a 4-bedroom flat or a self-contained apartment.” Such an answer just shows that you have not decided on what you want.

In a case you have not made up your mind, tell the agent what your budget is and provide additional details; like whether you will be living alone or moving in with your significant half. This puts the agent in a position where he/she can guide you based on your needs.

6. Legality

Renting an apartment has a legal side to it. It is not enough to simply pay for an apartment and move in 2 days after. There are vital documents and charges involved in renting an apartment. For instance, before you rent an apartment, you need to sign a lease agreement.

Going through the entire process of renting an apartment by yourself puts you in a situation where the landlord has room to have the upper hand. This might not really matter if the homeowner is a straightforward person. However, in a case where the landlord is shady, you might get burnt.

Final Thoughts on Using Property Agents

From the pros and cons, you can see that using real estate agents has both advantages and disadvantages but the as you might have guessed, the pros clearly outweigh the cons.

Singapore to pay bonus to all citizens after surplus budget

All Singapore citizens aged 21 and above will get a one-off “SG Bonus” of up to S$300 each as the 2017 budget came in with a surplus of almost S$10 billion (US $7.6 billion), the city-state’s finance minister announced on Monday.

Finance minister Heng Swee Keat made the announcement during his budget speech in Parliament, describing the bonus as a “hongbao”, the Mandarin word for a monetary gift given on special occasions.

He said this “reflects the government’s long-standing commitment to share of the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans”, according to Channel News Asia.

The “SG Bonus” will cost the government S$700 million (US $533 million).

The bonus will be paid according to people’s assessable income. About 2.7 million people will get the payouts, which are due by the end of 2018.

Those with an income of S$28,000 or below will be eligible to receive S$300, those whose incomes ranging from S$28,001 to S$100,000 will receive S$200, and those with incomes in excess of S$100,000 will receive S$100.

Singapore’s revised budget for fiscal 2017 showed a surplus of S$9.61 billion, thanks to contributions from statutory boards and higher-than-expected stamp duty.

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

The surplus will also be used in other ways. Heng said S$5 billion will be set aside for the Rail Infrastructure Fund to save up for new railway lines that Singapore is building.

Another S$2 billion will be set aside for premium subsidies and other forms of support for Eldershield, an insurance scheme that helps senior citizens with severe disabilities to cope with the financial demands of their daily care.

Source: hindustantimes

 

Freddie Mac invests $61 million in housing for families displaced by Hurricane Harvey

Freddie Mac, which re-entered the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit market last year for the first time in nearly 10 years, is making another investment in affordable housing.

The government-sponsored enterprise announced Monday that it closed a LIHTC fund with National Equity Fund and made three investments, totaling more than $61 million.

The new fund is Freddie’s fifth LITHC fund since re-entering the market last year.

According to Freddie Mac, the first three investments from this new fund will help provide supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and families displaced by Hurricane Harvey.


Specifically, the investments from the new fund will go towards (details from Freddie Mac):

Aiding those displaced by Hurricane Harvey: A $15 million LIHTC equity investment in Houston’s New Hope Housing’s Dale Carnegie development will provide high-quality housing and supportive services to 170 individuals and families displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Addressing Homelessness on Skid Row: A $19.6 million LIHTC equity investment in Skid Row Housing Trust’s Flor 401 Lofts development in Los Angeles will serve nearly 100 veterans and special needs individuals experiencing homelessness with both housing and supportive services.

Serving Homeless Veterans in South Los Angeles: A $26.5 million LIHTC equity investment in Hollywood Community Housing’s Florence Mills Apartments will help provide supportive housing in South Los Angeles — an area with a very high homeless rate. Thirteen of the 74 units will be designated for homeless veterans.


According to Freddie Mac, it chose to partner with NEF on the new fund because of the nonprofit’s “deep expertise with the LIHTC program, its commitment to serving communities in need, and its ability to support Freddie Mac’s mission of delivering liquidity and stability to underserved markets.”

David Leopold, vice president of Targeted Affordable Sales & Investments at Freddie Mac, said that NEF has a more than 30-year record of making investments in affordable housing, adding that the GSE is “proud” to aid NEF in its mission.

“We believe that extraordinary things can happen with great partners, and NEF’s partnership with Freddie Mac demonstrates that motto to be true,” said Reena Bramblett, NEF’s senior vice president of equity placement. “Freddie Mac’s investments provide life-changing opportunities for the individuals and families that call these LIHTC properties home.”

Source: Housing Wire

Sovereign fund to boost power generation with N50 billion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Mathia Okwe

godwin-emefiele-cbn

Emefiele Still CBN Governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed claims that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele has been sacked.

Responding to enquiries from The Nation on Monday, the Director Corporate Communications of the CBN Mr. Isaac Okorafor told The Nation that “the governor is in his office working. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Another official of the CBN also told The Nation Correspondent that “there is nothing like that, the governor is here, his tenure expires in June.

In fact he has functions to attend to tomorrow, one of which is to meet with stakeholders in the cotton value chain on Tuesday March 5, 2019.”

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An online medium had reported on Monday afternoon that the CBN governor has been sacked by the presidency and given two weeks to clear his table and “handover to an unnamed successor.“

Source: NationOnline

nigeria

Architectural tourist attractions in Nigeria

Architecture, a tool for drawing tourists to a country, has some stake in Nigerian big cities.

Take a look at some popular buildings in Nigeria whose designs and grandeur certainly attract tourists.
Countries like Dubai and Japan place high value on the architectural tourism, which shows in the kinds of buildings they produce.

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Nigeria, however, doesn’t have as much clout, but there are some that indeed stand out.

1 . Abuja’s Airplane house

 


This house built in the shape of a plane is one sight to behold in Abuja. It was built by a Lebanese couple, the Saids, in 2002. Jammal Said, the husband who spearheaded the project, in a bid to fulfil his wife’s love of travel, came up with the idea of building a plane house of about 100 ft (30.5 m) long.


According to Culture Trip, “The house itself has three floors and a basement. The wings and engines of the plane that extend over the sides of the hilltop villa each contain a bedroom and bathroom. The beautifully constructed cabin area is a living room and bar, the TV/computer game room is located in the plane’s cockpit, while the back of the plane is a kitchen. Along with the main building, the property also features a number of other aircraft-inspired structures, one resembling an aircraft control tower. Behind the main house is a smaller, plane-topped guest cottage and a two-storey security booth.”

2 . Kano City Walls

The ancient Kano city walls were once regarded as West African’s most impressive monument. They feature the Emir’s Palace, Kurmi Market and the famous Dala Hills that span a 14km radius, constructed to define defence, political space, management and security system.
In 1904, Lord Lugard described Kano as a “commercial emporium of the western Sudan,” and estimated that there were 170 walled towns still in existence in Kano province of northern Nigeria. Speaking on its walls, he said, “I have never seen, nor even imagined, anything like it in Africa.”

 

3. National Mosque (Central Mosque)


The Abuja National Mosque, informally known as Central Mosque, is easily one of the most popular tourist attractions of Abuja. According to the Hongkiat survey, the Abuja National Mosque is one of the top 50 Most Beautiful Religious Centres in the world. Its famous golden dome and four minarets, which can be seen from miles away, are signature for the depiction of the Federal Capital Territory. Tourists come from all over the world to take a tour of the mosque which is open to the non-Muslims except during prayers.

4. Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos


The Cathedral Church of Christ is one of the best descriptions for Marina, Lagos – the commercial headquarters of major banks and finance houses in Nigeria. It is the headquarters of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, and the oldest Anglican cathedral in the Church of Nigeria. The building was designed by architect Bagan Benjamin and its foundation laid by King Edward VIII of Wales.

The building was commissioned for use in 1946 and has remained a major tourist point in Lagos.

5. National Art Theatre, Lagos


The National Arts Theatre is the primary centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. Located in Iganmu, Lagos State, construction was completed in 1976 in preparation for the Festival of Arts and Culture in 1977.

By Adaobi Onyeakagbu

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