APWEN inaugurates 15th president

The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria has inaugurated Mrs. Felicia Agubata, an employee of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency as its 15th president.

At the investiture in Lagos, on Saturday, the Managing Director, NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said the ingenuity of women engineers in the country in ensuring stability in the system should be commended.
Akinkuotu described the new president as a woman of courage, patience and hardwork that had transformed the system in the engineering department of NAMA within her few years in the agency, adding that she had remained persistent in her profession.

He said that given the opportunity and enabling environment, women like Agubata, would continue to excel in their endeavours.
Akinkuotu also commended the leadership and members of APWEN for the investiture of Agubata as their 15th president, noting that it was an honour.

In her inaugural speech, Agubata pledged to uphold the dignity of women engineers and to serve the entire engineering profession and humanity at large.

She acknowledged the challenges ahead especially the expectations from the engineering community and stakeholders, and promised to focus on capacity building to mobilise necessary human and material resources and create value for the good of the society in line with the mission of APWEN.

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

While acknowledging the tough environment where women are regarded as the weaker sex, she vowed to remain focused.
She said, “Just think about your mother and her toils in your growing up years and the picture the 21st century woman who still plays the traditional role of a woman with joy and yet acquired the necessary professional skills.

“There is no research work that has shown conclusively that one gender is stronger or weaker than the other, both sexes when given the exposures, training and orientation, the outcome will be very interesting. To guarantee continuous progress, both sexes must complement and support each other. This will ensure that our potential as one humanity is maximised across all spheres.”
She said members of the association must also work together to meet the evolving needs of the society and to improve human experience and expand opportunities for the emerging woman.

Agubata said APWEN would continue to encourage sound engineering practice and create an avenue for women engineers to collaborate with professionals across all disciplines in the country and globally.

She said the association which was inaugurated in 1983 with current membership strength of 3000 registered female engineers, had consistently contributed to the encouragement of the girl child in taking up the sciences and mathematics to increase the prospects of studying engineering.
Agubata also congratulated the immediate past President of the association, Hauwa Sadique, for a successful tenure and vowed to follow her good examples by bringing on board more value, energy, creativity and innovation in all APWEN activities.

Fashola seeks professionalism as SURCON inducts 267 surveyors

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has charged newly inducted land surveyors by the Surveyors Council of Nigeria to exhibit a high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

Fashola, who gave the charge at the 2018 induction ceremony for 267 new surveyors by SURCON, which held recently in Abuja, welcomed and congratulated them for making it as members of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors.
Represented by the Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Hassan, Fashola urged the inductees to strictly abide by the standards of the profession they had chosen to pursue.

He said, “I urge you, as you collect your certificates today, to go and practice professionally, knowing that this government, more than ever before, believes so much in the contribution of professionals so that it can bring about the desired infrastructural development.

“The Federal Government has invested seriously in infrastructure. In the real sector alone, we have made the commitment of about N2.7tn. Commitments have been made in sectors like agriculture, mining and roads, among others.

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

“If you believe in the ability of this profession to contribute to the economic growth of this country, you have to identify where you belong. You already have the basic training and have been certificated for that. All you need is to put the knowledge into practice in line with professional standards. I congratulate you all.”

Earlier in his address, the President of SURCON, Joseph Agbenla, noted that with the 267 newly inducted members, the number of registered surveyors in the country had increased to 3,627.

He urged the inductees to uphold the ethics of the profession and stressed that anyone found wanting in the course of practice would have his or her certificate, which remains a property of SURCON, withdrawn.

“I am highly confident that you will always remember that the seal and the certificate you are all having today belong to the Surveyors Council of Nigeria and may be recalled by the council if your professional conduct contradicts the rules, regulations and ethics of the surveying profession,” Agbenla said.

The Surveyor-General of the Federation, Ebisintei Awudu, advised the inductees to keep enhancing their capacity and ensure that their practice add more value to the profession.
He said surveyors should strive to improve their skills in order to adequately understand how to use the tools provided by the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation.

Awudu stated, “By the constitution of Nigeria, the OSGOF is principally mandated to do cadastral, geological and several other types of surveys. So try and improve your capacity on these aspects.

“At the OSGOF, we are working to ensure that our constitutional mandate is carried out at its best. We are working to ensure that we have some unmanned aerial systems to make information gathering easier as a way out of the challenge of poor visibility and to establish more core stations.”

Stakeholders optimistic about real estate growth

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

Despite the poor performance of the real estate industry and the lull in the property market in recent times, stakeholders have expressed optimism of a full recovery this year.

The Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, said although the real estate industry, which contributed 6.79 per cent to real Gross Domestic Product, dropped to 4.12 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, with interest rates currently steady within the lower double-digits and monetary policy keeping a keen eye on inflation trends and minimising inflationary pressure, stakeholders in real estate sector should expect a recovery.
Kale and others spoke at the Real Estate Outlook 2018 Conference convened by AlphaCrux Limited with the theme, ‘The aftermath of recession: Where do we go from here’.

The statistician-general, who was represented at the event by his Technical Adviser, Lola Talabi-Oni, said the Nigerian economy, despite being susceptible to internal shocks such as insecurity, and external shocks from fluctuating global oil prices, among others, would, according to the World Bank forecast, experience modest growth in 2018.
He stated, “The strong momentum of the global economy is expected to continue into 2018 with a forecasted global GDP growth of 3.9 per cent by the IMF. Here in Africa, the Sub-Saharan region is not left out of the global economic recovery as the IMF forecasts a growth of 3.3 per cent and 3.9 per cent within the region for 2018 and 2019, respectively.

“However, amidst these positive projections, some risks and challenges remain. Although analysts have predicted cyclical improvements in the near term, the consensus advocates for caution in the medium to long term.”

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

Kale said the dip in real estate’s contribution to the GDP, from 6.79 per cent to 4.12 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, came as a surprise but noted that the industry performed better during that same quarter than it did in the same period the year before.

“The continued disinflation within the economy should therefore be good news to stakeholders within the real estate sector,” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer, Northcourt Real Estate, Tayo Odunsi, said real estate, as part of the larger economy, could not be said to be in growth, but was rather still recovering from the economic woes of the previous quarters.

Odunsi stated that industry players needed to conceptualise innovative concepts necessary to deepen it and fast-track growth.
He noted that the key considerations that could shape the property market this year were the declining vacancy rate across cities and the office market shifting towards co-working space due to its flexibility as well as investors preferring smaller retail malls.

“With millennials accounting for 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population, developers are forced to come up with innovative developments like students’ housing and other affordable schemes as young people now have preference for smaller apartments rather than investors building sprawling apartments with no occupants,” he said.
The Managing Director, Uraga Real Estate Limited, Dr Gbadamosi Yakubu, stated that government across levels should start thinking of collaborating with the industry players to bring about the desired change.

“Government’s plan towards affordability is key and it must start from land allocation to ease access to land,” he said.

A chartered surveyor and valuer and President, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, Akin Olawore, stated that there was a need for a change of attitude towards homeownership in the country in terms of funding.

“As Nigerians’ attitude continues to change towards house ownership, we have to seek innovative and ingenious ways of funding rather than rely on government’s spending, especially now that young people dominate the population,” he said.

The Director of Operations, Andela, Anthonio Pinhiero, who spoke on the role of technology in solving housing challenges in the country, stated that stakeholders could deploy technology to drive decision-making process in the property market.

“Since technology has come to stay, it will continue to disrupt the market from the demand end to the supply end, making it a lot easier for consumers to participate within the property market space,” he added.

The Managing Director, Alphacrux, Mr. Tobi Adama, noted that the impact of the last recession as well as a successful first edition of the conference had made it necessary to bring stakeholders together to discuss trends and issues in the industry.

“The recession had an impact we were not quite ready for but we got out of it as swiftly as we got in; and now, the way we deal with the aftermath is the crucial thing on our hands,” he said.

NNPC to invest N100billion unharnessed land in real estate

Plans are underway by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to invest its over N100 billion worth of unharnessed landed property across the country in the real estate sector.
The feasibility of the plan would largely rely on the ability of the group to recover the assets across the country. It would also be a major shift from its initial lease administration of collecting rents from tenants occupying its property.

NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ventures, Babatunde Adeniran, who disclosed this at the maiden edition of NNPC Properties Ltd (NPL), Festival in Abuja, said the plan would be honed through commercial opportunities adding that the company has already commenced the recovery of the corporation’s landed properties.

According to him, NNPC Properties Ltd had shifted from the initial lease administration of collecting rents from tenants of the NNPC Properties to “exploring all commercial opportunities available in the real estate market to efficiently position itself as one of the key players of repute that fits the NNPC brand”.

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

He added, “the current aggressive commercial drive by the NPL is yielding results as the company had recovered a number of the corporation’s landed property which had been lying idle across the country.

He listed some of the recovered property to include: a 92-hectre parcel of land on Chevron Drive, Lekki, Lagos; Royal Grove Estate, Port-Harcourt, and others in Abuja and Kaduna.

NNPC staff.
He lauded the subsidiary for developing the Third Party Home Ownership Scheme for staff with competitive interest rates from reliable banks and affordable deals from credible developers.

Managing Director of the NNPC Properties Ltd, Danny Sokari-George stated that the company was determined to deliver quality and affordable houses with the best funding options and cautioned staff member against frivolous spending to be able to acquire house with ease.

George said he was committed to turning the NPL into a revenue generating Strategic Business Unit (SBU) of the NNPC.

Also speaking at the event, officials of Access Bank and Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank assured staff of friendly packages with low interest rates for property acquisition.

Lagos State Land Use Charge Law Amendment Bill 2018 – Highlights

In 2001, the Lagos State government passed the Land Use Charge Law which consolidated and replaced all the state and local government taxes payable on property in Lagos State.
On 28 January 2018, the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the Land Use Charge Law 2018 to repeal and replace the Land Use Charge Law 2001. We have highlighted below, some of the provisions of the new law.


Highlights of the Changes
Properties exempt from Land Use Charge (LUC): The main change in the law is the introduction of an LUC formula that ensures that assessments are based on ‘market’ or commercial value of land and improvements.
The exemption available to cemeteries and burial grounds under the old law is restricted under the new law to public cemeteries which means that owners of private cemeteries will now be expected to pay
LUC. Private libraries will be exempt under the law in addition to public libraries,however, they must be certified to be non-profit making by the Commissioner of Finance for Lagos State. In addition, the
exemption for property owned by religious bodies has been limited to those used as a place of worship or for religious education.
The law provides that where any exempt property is leased out to private entities for revenue generation, they shall not be exempt for purposes of the law.
This may therefore capture religious centres that are also used as event centres or receptions for a fee. However, the LUC imposed shall be prorated so that it is applied to that part of the year in which the
property, or part of it, is not exempt.
The owner of the property has the duty to inform the Commissioner of the loss of exempt status or risk a penalty of up to 3 times the exemption in issue.
Persons liable to pay LUC:
Under the law, persons liable to pay LUC have been extended to include occupiers holding long leases of 10 years and above. The law is silent on whether such LUC paid can be recovered from the landlord.
One question that arises from this is whether shorter term leases that are automatically renewable unless expressly terminated would create an obligation for the occupier if the automatic renewal takes the
term above 10 years. The law has amended the definition of Occupier to include persons unlawfully in
occupation of property. This is in line with international principles on taxation that an illegality does not preclude a taxpayer from his fiscal obligations.

Read More: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018
Assessment Appeal Tribunal:
The law reduces the number of the tribunal from 15 to 9 and gives the tribunal the power to adopt Alternative Dispute Resolution. Where the mediation does not resolve the dispute within 45 working days of the first session or when the mediator declares an impasse, the mediation shall be deemed
inconclusive and parties shall be at liberty to resolve their dispute formally at the Tribunal or through any other lawful means. The Law does not state who will bear the alternative dispute resolution cost.
Penalty: Penalty for noncompliance with provisions of the law has been increased to a maximum fine NGN250,000 from NGN100,000.
Right of Enforcement: The rights of enforcement of the State has been extended to include a civil action against the owner to recover the accrued LUC or to obtain an order of Court for distrain of the property.
Takeaway
The changes introduced appear to be directed at blocking the loopholes in the old law rather than a fundamental change in the LUC regime in the state.

Mortgage Banking Sub-Sectors’ Approved Uniform Mortgage Underwriting Standards for The Informal Sector of the Economy.

The Informal Sector in Nigeria refers to economic activities in all sectors of the economy that are operated outside the purview of government regulations. This sector may be invisible, irregular, parallel, non -structured, backyard, underground, subterranean, unobserved or residual (Magbagbeola, 1996)1. This Sector mainly comprises of self-employment activities, which are basically categorized under the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Due to the nature of their operations, activities in this Sector are difficult to measure, they are highly dynamic but they contribute substantially to the general growth of the economy and the GDP of the Country.

 

From the Website of Federal Ministry Budget and National Planning, the Informal Sector is reported to have great potentials as it contributes more than 58% to the Country’s economy; and in order for the Mortgage Banking Sub-Sector to harness these potentials, it has become imperative to develop Uniform Mortgage Underwriting Standards for this Sector.

The Uniform Mortgage Underwriting Standards for the Informal Sector are as below:

Mortgage Loan Criteria
Purpose of Loan
The mortgage loan may be used to finance the purchase or refinance an existing mortgage loan.

Type of Property Eligible
An eligible borrower may use the proceeds of this loan to purchase either, a single-family home or an apartment in a multi-unit building. The property acquired shall be owner occupied.

Eligible Borrowers
Only natural persons are eligible to borrow. Borrowers shall fall into the informal sector of the economy i.e. self-employed professionals, self –employed non-professionals, and Owner/Managers and employees of small and micro-enterprises without formal records.

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

Corporations are not eligible borrowers under this product.
Borrower shall be a citizen or legal resident of the Republic of Nigeria, and proof of verification of immigration status shall be required, for non-citizens.

Credit Bureau Report
The Mortgage Lender shall obtain a credit report from two independent credit bureau agencies licensed by CBN showing a credit score that translates to a minimum of satisfactory and above.

Credit Worthiness
Documents that may be used to prove credit worthiness
include:
i. Twelve months payment receipts and or invoices of at least three utility bills (rent, utility payments, waste, water, phone e.tc)
ii. Letter of reference from his/her suppliers or associates, trade association as applicable.
iii. Notarized statement of adequate net worth for the loan program.
iv. Evidence and confirmation of satisfactory payment of dues or subscription to approved trade associations or cooperatives as applicable.
v. Satisfactory School fees payment record for children/dependents.
vi. Any other informal means as acceptable to the Lender to verify or ascertain borrowers’ credibility. (***See Guidance Notes)

Limitations on Co-borrowers
A married couple may serve as Joint Borrowers in the transaction. Where a couple is acting as Joint Borrowers, the income and expense obligations of both parties will apply in determining whether the couple qualifies to participate. If a spouse does not serve as a Joint Borrower, that person shall
execute a separate agreement waiving any right to block foreclosure in the event the borrower defaults on the transaction participating agreement. Where Borrower has multiple spouses/partners, or in a
recognized civil relationship, every spouse or partner RESIDENT in the property, shall execute the said separate agreement waiving any right to block foreclosure in the event the borrower defaults on the transaction participating agreement.
Minimum Loan Amount
Minimum Loan is as determined by the Lending Institution

Maximum Loan Amount
Maximum Loan amount is N50 million

Loan Term/Tenor
The mortgage loan shall have a minimum term to maturity of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years.

Borrowers’ Age
Minimum – Age of Legal Contract – 21 years
Maximum – 10 years to the legal retirement age or as
determined by industry and /or regulatory guidelines.

PENCOM Compliance
As applicable

The Currency in which the loan is Denominated
Funds will be disbursed and payments by the borrower(s) will be made in Naira.

Interest Rate Structure
Interest rates may be fixed or variable.

Minimum Down-payment
The borrower(s) shall provide a down-payment from his or her own funds equal to /no less than the amount specified in the table below for the value of the property, as determined at the time that the mortgage is underwritten. This down payment requirement shall not be fulfilled through a loan from a third party, unless under regulator-approved Special Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPAP). Down
payment should be sourced, to ensure legal funds, and seasoned in the bank account for at least 30 days.

Property Value (N’000) Down payment
< Less than 20,000 25%

20,001 – 40,000 30%
40,001 – 50,000 35%

Maximum Permissible Housing-Expense and Total-Debt Ratios

A borrower(s)’s monthly housing expense consists of the monthly mortgage payment plus other recurring housing related costs, including real estate taxes and insurance. This is commonly referred as the Payment to Income or PTI ratio.
This ratio shall not exceed the percentages presented in the table below of the borrower(s)’s net monthly income at the time that the mortgage is made.
A borrower(s)’s debt to income or DTI ratio also includes other payment obligations such as car loans, personal loans,etc. The borrower(s)’s DTI shall not exceed the ratios presented below of the borrower(s)’s net monthly income at the time that the mortgage is made.

Recognized Cash Maximum Maximum Debt
Income Band Housing Expense to Income Ratio
(N’000) to Income Ratio
2,000 and above 35% 50%
501 – 1,999 25% 40%
<Less than 500 20% 33.3%

Form of Mortgage Repayment
Payments shall be made by domiciliation of business proceeds to obligors account with Mortgage Lending Bank (MLB) or through the use of direct debit mandate drawn on an account with a minimum of 3 months PITIA in reserves, supported with 3 months of postdated cheques or through the use of BVN which shall also be linked to borrower’s other accounts.

Amortization Structure
Loan repayments are structured such that the loan will be fully repaid by the end of the period for which it is written. In no case may the remaining principal amount that is owed increase during the time that the loan is outstanding. (No Negative Amortization) Default interest can be charged but not added to principal. After default payment, any payment made is shall be applied to interest.

Prepayment of Mortgage Loan
The borrower(s) may repay the remaining unpaid principal balance of the loan at any time that it is outstanding, but the ML may charge a penalty fee. Where an ML’s product line includes a penalty fee, the information on all charges shall be made available to the borrower before closing. Such charges should be a nominal fee and not to be designed to achieve yield maintenance.

Seasoning
All mortgage loans submitted for refinance shall be at least six months aged, with at least six consecutive monthly payments made, from date of origination.

Delinquency
All mortgage loans submitted for refinance shall be current in monthly re-payments and must have had no delinquencies in the last six months.

Origination Fee
As specified by the Mortgage Banker’s Tariff

Servicing Fee
The borrower will also pay to ML on an annual basis a fee not exceeding fifty basis points (0.5%) of the outstanding balance of the loan. The fee shall be added to the mortgage interest rate and origination fee and together advertised by the ML as the mortgage loan APR% and paid on a monthly frequency

Late Fees
Payments that are received more than seven (7) days after they are due will be subject to a late charge. All information on late charges shall be made available to the borrower before closing and borrower consent obtained.

Property Valuation
Should be carried out by a licensed, independent Valuer who is a member in good standing with the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), and who shall carry Professional Indemnity Insurance with an insurance company that is licensed and in good standing with NAICOM
Prequalified independent Valuers shall:
(i) adopt international appraisal standards and methods;
(ii) meet certain minimum requirements; and
(iii) adopt uniform appraisal process/systems
The lower of the Purchase Price and Open Market Value /Fair Market Value(“OMV”) of the property to be acquired will used for computation of the Mortgage Loan

Tenure of Property
Full ownership. Leasehold with a minimum of 40 years from the date the loan is originated or legal maximum, if higher.

Property Title
Good legal title free from encumbrance. Acceptable title documents may be determined according to standards for the community in which the property is located. Financier-Participant shall provide liability surety coverage for property where title is not legally fully perfected.

Security Required
First rank legal perfected mortgage over the property for the amount of the mortgage plus interest. This mortgage right shall be assignable to a third party (together with the mortgage loan), and where required by law, with the consent obtained at the signing of the offer letter or the mortgage loan agreement.

Insurance
Property insurance in the name of the borrower to cover the replacement or reinstatement cost of the property. This policy is to be index-based, if available. The borrower shall have life and disability insurance in the joint names of the ML and borrower or the Insurance is assigned to the ML for a minimum of the outstanding principal of the mortgage loan.
All insurance policies shall note the ML as the first loss payee.

Title Perfection Duration Insurance
Where a fully perfected Title is not readily available, the Secondary Market Refinance Company may accept Title perfection duration Insurance cover from their approved insurance companies. Such Title cover shall however NOT exceed 18 months from closure of the mortgage. In the event it exceeds, the ML will either have to substitute the mortgage loan with an equivalent loan with title or post acceptable
collateral

Consumer Protection
Information provided to borrower is in compliance with the relevant consumer protection and disclosure regulations and as prescribed by the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN.

Mortgage Counseling
The ML shall, during mortgage application process, ensure that the borrower is educated and clearly informed as to the responsibilities he is taking on.

Dispute Resolution
Contractual Arbitration or other acceptable Alternative Dispute Resolution process.

Origination Fee
Any applicable origination fee shall always be separated from Principal and Interest and paid out of pocket.

Guidance Notes to the Underwriting Standard
Mortgage Loan Criteria

Eligible Borrowers
A non-Nigerian resident in the country is eligible to apply if he has a valid visa and has stayed in the country for at least one year and is in compliance with any necessary/relevant Immigrations Regulation. Such borrower shall show proof of immigration approval to stay in the country for a period no less than the term of the mortgage repayment period, or three (3) years, whichever the lending institution approves as
appropriate for the mortgage program applied for.

Credit Worthiness
Other informal means for ascertaining credit worthiness may
include:
i. Independent interviews of family members, neighbors and
colleagues in the office/enterprise for background check i.e.
KYC
ii. Checking on information provided with issuing authorities
NOTE: Lender shall obtain borrower’s authorization in
writing, in order to contact ANY third parties for any
information concerning the said borrower.

Income Assessment
The Borrower shall have been on the trade or business for at least 36 months (continuously in the same industry), supported with operational and/or financial statements of account in respect of his/her business enterprise/activity so as to ascertain net-worth and credit worthiness.

Recognition of cash income (Where income and expense data are not feasible for
calculation of net income)

A Borrower’s bank statements are the most trust worthy source to ascertain the borrower’s cash flow. As such, the borrower shall provide appropriate and acceptable bank statements for previous 12 months, which shall show regular deposits with the last deposit not more than 30 days old. The credit inflow should be discounted as detailed below:
Trade (FMCG) 95%
Manufacturing 85%
Services 80%
The 12 months average discounted credit cash flow would be the recognized cash inflow for a month.
The discounted credit inflow represents the profit that can be utilized for repayment after netting cost of sales Where salary is paid, the net income would be used.

Amortization Structure
No Negative Amortization. Default interest can be charged but not added to principal. After default amount is paid, any payment made shall be applied to interest.

Mortgage Counseling
ML shall organize Home-Buyer Counseling classes to educate borrowers on their rights and obligations of home ownership, and the legal consequences of default. Every borrower shall receive home buyer counseling prior to closing on their loan, and shall confirm in writing, that such counseling was completed by their financing Lender.

1 Magbagbeola, N. (1996), The role of the informal sector in Nigeria’s post-Adjustment Economy, In Nigerian Economic Society Beyond Ibadan, Nigerian Adjustment: Management of the Nigerian Economy,

 

 

We’re failing in real estate planning –Adetiba

Segun Adetiba is the President, Furniture And Allied Products Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (FAPMAN).

In this interview, Adetiba spoke about social housing with cheaper locally-made building materials adding that it depended on the seriousness and acceptability of those materials by the private and public sectors. He felt that there was need for the public sector to have a new mindset on the creations of the Nigerian architects, calling on the sectors to look inward and embrace inward integration. Adetiba also spoke on the challenges facing the Nigerian real estate industry as well as issues about home furnishings, and housing.

Excerpts:

Slums in cities

I wouldn’t say we were failing in our real estate planning. Overtime, we didn’t have patriotic leadership that would set the pace. We failed to have trailblazers, coaches and trendsetters – those to look up to. It was the beginning of our failure. And it happened immediately after the days of the Azikiwes, Awolowos, Sardaunas, Okparas, Mbadiwes, and Okotiebos. We failed to take from them, and embrace their legacies. I don’t want to say that they failed to deliver to us what they knew.

Design

Truth is that if you don’t plan, you would fail. This is attributable to high spate of failures among young people. But we have taken to re-materialise this through championing of skills acquisition. In my factory alone I have graduated more than 550 Nigerians on various fields in carpentry, upholstery; machinists, painting, carpet laying and spray painting and they are in various towns and cities doing great works in home furnishings and automobile especially in Abuja. Most of them have their own factories. There is need for skills in our thought, planning, environment and the future. Every man or woman is the architect of his/her fortune. So, we are all architects. On the area of transfer of technology in the construction industry, I would say; it is not a difficult thing rather a matter of mindset of who you are and what you want to be. If you know who you are and what you want to be, there are people who would take you there. So, it is your planning that would make you to torchlight those who would lead you to success. It is what is lacking in our today’s young artisans.

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

Real estate development

It still boils down to leadership and followership. The leadership is supposed to set the pace, be patriotic enough to set agenda for the followership. The kind of leadership we have today does not know anything other than how to acquire money and stash in foreign banks, whereas money is supposed to run after our leaders especially if they have creative ideas on how to solve problems in the housing sector. In setting the pace, the leadership should create the enabling environment for the followership to participate. This accounts for the huge gap between the government and private developers in housing delivery; there is no patriotism and outlook in the sector that could specifically say; ‘this is what I want to do to create the kind of building I want for the future,’ a research into the future. Instead of copying the Western idea, we should create from African setting and arrive at something new. In fact, we need to settle down to create the kind of environment we want rather than copying. Nonetheless, Nigerian architects are learning and changing fast especially in the area of creation. Our roofing system is different from what is seen in other parts of the world. Even our façade are quite different and they are creations by Nigerian architects. My son is an architect and he is now busy organizing Made in Nigeria home furnishings exhibition.

Outlook

We have arrived at the starting point. The current Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) is busy designing local building materials, manufacturing door and windows. Today, when government awards contracts to build, the contractor goes to government owned factories to collect doors and windows. So, the housing industry is becoming versed. Fashola has turned it into success and it will soon show. I’m not propagating activities of his ministry because I’m not a politician. Since I grew up, the Buhari-led administration is the only government I have seen to fight and confront Nigeria challenges head-on. He has been busy about the challenges of the country in different sectors of the economy including education in some states of the federation. There are some states that are picking up economically, though not in the majority. And Governors are beginning to learn lessons that before you can become popular, you have to embark on social and populists programmes including social housing. That is why they are engaging the media for more awareness. It was not like that in the past. Every governor now wants to complete some social and people oriented projects before his tenure elapses. There is hope for the versed and untapped real estate industry.
Today, it is treated as an industry because there are various sectors and sub sectors. And all of them have a correlative effect in the industry. The federal government today has an agency that manufactures bespoke doors and windows in large quantity and there are a lot of building materials being produced locally. There are also various estates being created nationwide and the buildings in some places have started. It is easier today for builders to build because all the structures have already been cast and ready made and can be purchased and fixed: lintel can be purchased and fixed, ditto roofing sheets and windows. There are slab formwork, you just assembly them and a house is ready. So, the rudiments had begun the silent revolution going on in the industry.
Price retailing

There is a gradual response to that. It is on the increase because you learn fast by the Internet. It is the general norm now. So, architects should take advantage of it and create their own product online instead of marketing other people’s products. When you want to sell your product to the people, sell from your creation. It might take time for people to accept you but you can be rest assured you would be accepted. I attended home furnishings exhibition organized by GTbank on Victoria Island and saw that Nigerian architect and interior designers have gone far on what they are making out of Ankara and Adire fabrics; how they are using them to design and display as partitioning panels; Aso Oke being used for doors. It is a beautiful sight to behold.

The current government is providing an enabling environment for this kind of creativity to thrive and it is almost going big wheel. Youth are beginning to look inward and those who are reaping it are no longer thinking of leaving the field because they are now more passionate about it. The various governments are always hammering on skills acquisition and they have so simplified the culture that everything is based on skills; what one can do with his hands. The youth are being engaged such that even dropouts from schools are now returning to short classes. Forty-eight hours, 10 days and three months skills acquisitions programmes are all over the place. And when you acquire skills for three months, you go into the profession and start to develop your own business, and furnish the sector you belong.

Competition

The Furniture and Allied Products Manufacturers Association, (FAPMAN) under the umbrella of the furniture sectoral group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has counselled government through the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment. Good enough, we have a minister that is ready to listen and always coming to us for seminars, meetings and workshops. And we are always letting him know the programmes that would embrace the artisans mostly the youths, not only to focus on big factories but cottage industries.

How to access opportunities in housing sector

The real estate sector provides huge job opportunities for citizens in most economies. But in Nigeria, the sector has yet to stand on its feet let alone giving job to a reasonable percentage of the populace.

Although the real estate sector is still evolving in Nigeria, there are stringent roles it is expected to play wherever it is established. These roles come with opportunities that could be accessed and which directly or indirectly also could add to the nation’s GDP. Such opportunities include construction works that beget artisan engagement, materials’ supply, and food sellers at construction sites.

There are also opportunity for trade on building materials that range from cement, rods, woods, paints, among others, which can provide source of livelihood for many. Those who supply rods, woods and paints are sure that if construction work continues, their palm will continue to be greased. There will also be those permanently employed by construction companies and entitled to monthly salaries. These are some of the opportunities open to Nigerians in the real estate sector.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or plan on working for an established company, the real estate industry indeed offers a wide variety of career opportunities, including those in brokerage and leasing services for homes, office buildings, industrial properties and farmland, as well as property management, appraisal and counseling. And there are also other career paths in real estate, which demands acquiring relevant professional designations and certifications.

There include the residential real estate sales agents who help people throughout the process of buying and selling homes. In addition to showing homes to prospective buyers, these agents help clients with property valuation, financing, mortgages and government programmes. Agents and brokers must be licensed in the state in which they work (there is no national license). Each state has its own licensing system and requirements that include some type of pre-licensing course and a state-specific licensing examination.

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

There is the Commercial Real Estate. The commercial agents and brokers specialise in income-producing properties, such as retail stores, shopping centres, office buildings, industrial parks and apartment complexes. Commercial Real Estate professionals help clients evaluate a property’s income potential and offer guidance regarding local zoning and tax laws. Some states require a specialised license for commercial transactions, while others cover residential and commercial transactions under the same license.

The Property Management is part of the career in real estate that fends for the family. Property managers maintain properties that produce financial returns for the property owners and are responsible for the maintenance and management of the property, including budgeting and leasing. Residential property management involves apartment buildings, condominiums and vacation rentals. Commercial property management entails properties such as office buildings and shopping centers. Property managers often work for real estate firms. Most states require a real estate license for property managers who collect rent, list properties or negotiate leases.

There are Real Estate Appraisers who determine the value of properties to help people and businesses find the assessed value for tax purposes, investment value, present value for potential investors, book value for accounting purposes, rental value and insurable value. Appraisers must know acceptable appraisal principles, have practical experience and some knowledge of mathematics, accounting and economics. Often, appraisers work for banks or for appraiser firms. Appraisers must be licensed by the state in which they work. You must first become an Appraiser Trainee by completing state-specified coursework. With additional coursework and experience, you can go on to become a Licensed Residential Appraiser, a Certified Residential Appraiser and a Certified General Appraiser.
One can also eke a living through real estate counseling. Real estate counselors give advice about property and help investors make decisions about how to select properties that are likely to appreciate in price in the future. Rather than selling real estate, counselors focus on each client’s unique needs to offer solutions that address those needs. Counselors (also called real estate advisors) must know many facets of the real estate business. Often, real estate counselors have a background in real estate valuation, development, investing or property management. The real estate industry is robust, with numerous career opportunities. Only a few of the many career paths currently available are mentioned here. Other real estate career opportunities include construction, farm and land brokerage, investment, land development and research.

There is also the Real Estate Portfolio Management where the training and experience gained by real estate equity managers is similar to that of other fund managers. However, it is dissimilar in the manner in which they use those skills to ensure portfolio performance. Portfolio managers are often rated by their ability to ensure appropriate risk-adjusted returns and portfolio diversification through superior asset allocation and selection.

In addition, Real Estate Portfolio Managers provide value to clients by ensuring the most efficient use of investor capital, and by keeping clients informed through superior performance measurement, and even cash flow forecasting.

With the exception of real estate investment trust (REIT) and fund of fund managers (whose performance is judged by the ability to gauge other managers’ ability to design and execute strategy), the Real Estate Equity Fund Manager is in essence the CEO of his or her own company, creating and executing property-level strategies for the assets under his or her charge.
Real Estate Portfolio Managers conduct asset allocation and asset selection, not by understanding the market dynamics and companies in specific industries, but by being experts in real estate property fundamentals. They study within local regions and in the different commercial land uses: office, industrial, hotel, retail, and single and multifamily residential). To beat the market, ensure diversification and produce adequate risk-adjusted returns, Real Estate Portfolio Managers must make bets on regional or local property markets and, in the case of multiple-asset portfolios, the correct property mix.

For this reason, many fund managers focus on specific regions or property types; some larger real estate asset managers organise their senior employees and support personnel by region or land use.

The rationale for organising in this way is to ensure that market opportunities can be identified and then translated into the correct property selection and asset origination.

The manner in which properties are acquired is one of the most significant ways that real estate funds differ from more traditional investments. Like traders on the stock market floor, real estate funds use acquisition specialists to uncover and execute property transactions. These acquisition personnel usually work for a specific fund or are organised regionally or by asset type.

BY Maduka Nweke

Access Bank partners Taraba on housing

The Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, has said the bank will collaborate with the Taraba State government in the provision of housing, infrastructure and poverty alleviation.

Wigwe made this known during his visit earlier in the week to Governor Darius Ishaku in Jalingo, the state capital. He said that in a couple of months, the bank will build between 200 and 500 housing units for the state’s civil servants in a couple of months.

“The houses will be cheap, with low interest rate, and affordable. It is necessary that civil servants should be able able to peacefully plan their retirement,” the bank chieftain noted.

He also stated that Access Bank will also invest in infrastructural development in Taraba, with focus on road construction.
“We shall work with the Taraba State government in providing the appropriate structures, for contractors to do the work.

“The third area is to provide general welfare for the civil servants, by providing them loans to be able to pay their children’s school fees, buy cars and improve their living condition.

“By doing that, we shall be investing in the educational sector of the state too. Already, we are working with the World Bank on that.”

Governor Ishaku said with the visit of one of the five top commercial banks in the country, something good was about to happen to the state.

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

“With the coming of Access Bank, Taraba has begun to rise; it is good news to us.

“With the support of Access Bank, we are going to tear all the roads in the state and make them admirable by all.
“We shall also make housing available and affordable to all our civil servants, to avoid them the temptation of graft in office, so that they will enjoy their homes during retirement,” Ishaku said.

LASBCA goes tough on building contraventions

•Agency prosecutes defaulters

Relief, albeit temporarily, came the way of the 12 people arrested at various building construction sites in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State on Saturday, when a Magistrates’ Court granted them bail in various sums on Monday. The presiding magistrate had ordered their detention in prison custody until they were able to perfect their bail conditions.

The 12 were arrested during an enforcement exercise carried out by the officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), led by the General Manager, Lekan Shodeinde, an engineer.

One of the defaulters, Mr. Obina Akabor, owner of the property on No 6, Chidi Street, Ajegunle, was released upon depositing N500,000 and two sureties. He was charged with a four-count charge of breaking government seal, no approval and no building permit, among others. Prior to his arrest, Akabor had caused confusion at the scene of his arrest, threatening to break the seal placed on his property under construction by LASBCA.
Akabor, upon sighting LASBCA officials, let all hell lose, accusing them of wickedness. “I have paid over N4 million to government for approval, yet they keep sealing my house. I will break this seal again and finish building my house; I will not stop except I die,” he threatened.

Shodeinde, however, said while Akabor had applied for building permit, he, however, had no approval to build. Besides, he explained that what Akabor had built on his parcel of land was at variance with the drawing plan he submitted.

“Government is not stupid. There is no sane building authority that will approve what he has built here (pointing to the house). Akabor initially put up three buildings on the land, contravening building laws; we pulled down one and asked him to stop work on another, then we sealed the premises. But what do we see here? He has two buildings standing on the land when he has no approval. There is no way we will approve this kind of construction to stand, he has to take down one of the two buildings, and then wait for approval,” Shodeinde said, adding that on more than four occasions, Akabor had broken the government seal on his house.

Food, fuel and housing push inflation to 15.13% in January― NBS

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INCREASE in prices of food items, fuel, transport, accommodation, clothing among others pushed inflation to 15.3 percent in January 2017 against the position one year earlier according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released on Wednesday by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Bureau, however, explained that the figure was 0.24 percent points lower than the 15.37 percent recorded in December 2017 making it the twelfth consecutive month that headline inflation has slowed down year on year inflation since January 2017.

“The Food Index increased year-on-year by 18.92 percent in January, down from the 19.42 percent recorded in December.
“On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increased by 0.87 percent in January 2018, down by 0.29 percent from 0.58 percent recorded in December.

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

But that was not the only property sealed in the community. Five buildings on Ojo Road were equally sealed. Included in this is the zonal headquarters of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). The owners of the RCCG building, a massive three-storey structure, were said to have broken the government’s seal many times after it was served ‘stop work notice’ and sealed. The Nation gathered that notice of stop work order was served the developer on November 3, 2015, followed by another on April 29, 2016. Three labourers found working on the structure were arrested.

A shopping mall on Owokoniran Street, opposite Access Bank, Coker Bus Stop, in Ajeromi, was also sealed. Although the first and second floors of the mall are already occupied by traders, the third floor is still under construction. LASBCA officials maintained that the entire build had no approval. It was gathered that the structure had been sealed several times, with the shop owners breaking government seals; two people were arrested.

Also, De-Golden Guest Hotel, located at 98, Opebi Street, Ikeja, was also sealed, for what LASBCA called “illegal conversion from residential building to hotel” without approval.
A livid Shodinde told The Nation that although Opebi area had been upgraded to a mixed use area, the building in question didn’t have the requisite approval.

“It was an existing building – residential now converted to hotel. The side is residential terrace building. The owner broke our seal several times. They started like they were renovating the house, and later paid for the renovation permit. To our surprise, when we came, we saw a hotel, the structure has been converted to a hotel without government approval. We sealed the property, but the owner unsealed it again. That is why we are shutting it down now for illegal conversion,” the LASBCA boss explained.

Shodeinde warned that it would be a different ball game this year for building construction defaulters.

“This year, we will come down hard on defaulters who remove our seals. We will prosecute anybody found on site. Once a building contravenes, anybody found on it will be arrested and prosecuted. To unseal a sealed site is a criminal offence and the penalty is N500,000,” he said.

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