Pan-African home financier Shelter Afrique’s campaign to construct 5,000 houses is at an advanced stage and will be officially announced in July.
The mortgage financier had invited global entries on innovative designs of a home which can be produced at a cost of not more than Sh500,000. Three proposals were selected.
First placed was Ghanaian firm S. Teteh & Associates, Kenya’s Morphosis Limited and third place Sharon Davis Design of New York, United States. A cash prize of Sh10 million will be shared among the first three winners at an the firm’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July.
Jubilee administration has listed affordable housing as one of its priorities in the second term, with a target of providing a bare minimum of 500,000 units and a target of up to a million units. The other sectors are manufacturing, food security and universal healthcare. In 2016, the government halved corporate tax for developers who put up at least 400 low-cost residential houses to 15 per cent.
The design competition by Shelter Afrique was launched at the 2016 AGM in Abuja, Nigeria. According to the firm’s Managing Director, Femi Adewole, more than 150 entries were received.
“We will develop these 5,000 units across the continent over a period of time using the designs provided by the competition winners,” Mr Adewole said.
The winning proposal is conteptualised as having three critical components; dwelling (living room and bedroom), support (toilet, shower and kitchen) and court (future expansion) which together occupy a total area of 45m².
The court yard can be annexed and converted into an additional room if need be. It comprises a bedsitter with options for upgrade and adaptation to various climatic conditions in Africa.
Low maintenance, availability of materials and modifications to conventional construction techniques help keep the cost low.
The World Bank puts Kenya’s housing deficit at 2 million units cumulatively. This is also true for most major African markets.
“There will be 1.2 billion urban dwellers in major African cities by 2050, who will need a home,” Mr Adewole said.
The market outlook points to increased housing supply as both government and finance institutions focus on low-cost housing. The official noted in incorporating affordable housing as one of its key priorities, the Kenyan government in collaboration with the private sector will bridge housing deficit.
Kenya’s housing demand stands at about 200,000 units annually, with a backlog of 1.85 million units.
“Our new strategy emphasises innovation and large-scale development. We were amazed at the great ideas for affordable housing and the response to the competition,” he said.
The company has a 35-year history in Kenya and in the period has financed over 300 housing projects, currently with over Sh8 billion invested in the housing market.
According to Mr Adewole, Africa is rich of ideas and with better execution, there will be no need to out source expertise from outside the continent. “From the entries we received, everyone who participated showed a passion and commitment to affordable housing. This shows that our problems can be solved by us,” he said.
The panelists also singled out Hydraform of South Africa, Adengo Architecture of Uganda, XTEK Systems of South Africa and Architect Collaborative of Botswana for freshness in their submissions.
Shelter Afrique intends to have the top 10 submissions presented to shareholders at the July AGM.
“ Some reputable universities and research institutions have made their intentions known. We are also receiving a lot of interest from our member countries; many them have initiated large-scale housing projects. We see our competition as a solution to large-scale housing projects, problem” he said.
Jubilee administration says in its housing plan, it will reduce mortgages cost and lower cost of construction through the use of innovative technologies and materials.
Funds will be raised from the private and public sectors for investment in large-scale house construction.
Already, the government has identified 35 contractors in a pilot project to fast-track delivery of the 500,000 housing units.
Phase One of the project which involves construction of 8,200 units on a 55-acre government land in Mavoko, Machakos County is scheduled to start this month.
Transport and Housing Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the companies were short-listed from a list of 60 that bid for the project.
Only companies with a good record of implementing big housing projects in Kenya and abroad within the shortest time possible were considered.
But high interest caps are affecting mortgage uptake and investment firms are calling for a review of the credit ceiling to encourage many financial institutions to venture more into the sector.
In its January 2018 report titled The Total Cost of Credit Post Rate Cap, Cytonn Investments says financing mortgages is the key to addressing housing shortage.
Already, the World Bank has proposed having a Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company that adapts from other successful models like Malaysia and Morocco that guarantee up to 70 per cent of mortgages. Nigeria, too, subscribed to a bond scheme for citizens to acquire own homes. “This will see the number of mortgages in Kenya that average 25,000 a year rise to an average of 60,000 mortgages,” says the report.
Abeokuta – Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has identified lack of proper documentation and incomplete payment by applicants under the Homeowners’ Charter Programme as factors responsible for the delay in issuance of Certificates of Occupancy.
Amosun stated this during the 29th edition of presentation of Certificates of Occupancy and Building Plan Approval to another batch of beneficiaries at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta. The Governor, represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, explained that though government allowed payment by installment, some applicants who had taken advantage of the opportunity have not done the needful by completing their payment and other documentation.
“The question asked by some applicants is why the delay in the issuance of C of O. But we found out that they have not done the needful. Some are yet to make full payment, though this government allows payment by installment.
“Others have not completed their documentation under the scheme. Let me assure you that all applicants that meet the requirements will collect their C of O before the end of our tenure,” Amosun said. He said proper documentation would assist government in fast tracking the process of issuing land title documents and free the owners from land grabbers, forging or cloning their documents.
In his welcome address, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, TPL Bola Ajayi, said the programme would also help to provide enumeration data for medium town planning for the provision of schools, hospitals and other essential services to the people.
Just few hours before the new president of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Esv Rowland Abonta, was unveiled, in Ibadan, Oyo State, at the weekend, Housing News correspondent in Ibadan , had an exclusive chat with him soon after a fellowship at the instance of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International.
How prepared are you for the challenges of associated with your institution’s presidency?
I could say that I am fully prepared in view of the facts that, in the last 12 years, I have been playing active roles in the leadership of our profession. I started as an assistant of NIESV’s national secretary, and I have grown from that point to become the national first vice president of our institution. My experience has spanned over 12 years and throughout this period, I have been able to work closely with our past leaders, learning from both their strength and weaknesses. So, I am coming into the office with balanced view robust ideas on what to do to take our institution to the leadership position it ought to be among comity of professional bodies in Nigeria.
With your experience, what are you going to do differently from what has been in the last decade?
Some areas would be addressed. First, there would be reform in the way we do our business as a professional body and even in the way individual members do their business. There is a rebranding programme, as part of my agenda. This will be brought to bear in the way we do our business and in the way our members engage in their professional practice.
Two, we intend to improve on our advocacy. We are planning to evolve an intensive advocacy programme. This is necessary because it is surprising that more than 50 per cent of the Nigerian population do not understand the work and services of estate surveyors and valuers. When people are sick, they know they have to go to the doctor. When people are in trouble, they know the lawyers are there to represent them. We also want the public to appreciate the immense contributions and added values that estate surveyors and valuers can add to their assets either in assets or facilities’ management. Up till now, so many people still patronize wrong professionals when it comes to these jobs.
We also want to impact positively on government policies and programmes in the area of making of sure that right decisions are put in place when it concerns housing and real estate related issues and taxes.
Again, some people know that, estate surveyors and valuers are the first set of professionals you consult when you want to enter into development because you, the investor or developer will get the best advise on the best location to site your project or investment. You will also get the best advise on the type of property to be located in which location, considering the market demand. This will prevent failed investment either in the time or in place. Once a wrong investment is done, clearly, you won’t get the desired returns. These are some of the programmes we are going to bring to bear on our nation to know the value addition the estate surveyors and valuers can add when consulted as at when due.
I observed this meeting in this hall looks like a Christian fellowship. Is that part of the presidency affair for NIESV?
I can tell you that you may call it part of the presidency issue. This is so because for every man, there is a God factor that helps moulding and shaping a man to become what his Creator has destined him to be. Growing up, I was like any other young man; anything mattered to me. I was steering the ship of life my own way. But coming in contact with Full Gospel, my life has been transformed; my life has changed and since then, I have been working in tandem with God’s programme and purpose for my life. That is exactly what it is it. Every leadership traits and qualities I have, came up all because I came into closer relationship with God through this fellowship. And because I have found this to be good path, I decided to invite my friends and those around me to also taste what I have tasted. That is the gospel I am spreading. In Full Gospel, we could better estate surveyors and valuers and so, I invited some of our leaders, friends and colleagues to enjoy what I have been enjoying being a member of Full Gospel; as matter of fact, a national director of Full Gospel.
What exactly are the leadership qualities you are bringing to bear?
The first leadership quality I am bringing to bear is the fear of God. Every leader must have first, the fear of the Lord. If any leader operates without the fear of the Lord, the tendency to mislead their followers is there, the tendency for those leaders to misrepresent God, who is the ultimate Leader would be there. But once you have the God factor and presence in you, as a leader, you could attain to any height without loosing you head.
Another quality I am bringing is the fact power came from the people. There is therefore, need to carry everybody along. I am going to run an open system where every estate surveyor and valuer will have opportunity, medium and a voice to contribute to the governance of our professional body. I am also bringing to bear, modernization of our systems, structure and methods. There are quite a lot of things in the pipeline but I am optimistic that NIEVS can never be the same again after my two years tenure.
One challenge in your hand is shortage number of estate surveyors and valuers in Nigeria. What you do different to boost the number in line with ESVARBON?
We work together with ESVARBON, being our regulatory body. We draw policies and actions from their own programme to improve the way numbers are registered. But the high point is the issue of quality and standards. In a bid to increase membership, we would not open the door for every dick and tom to be registered. I can tell you that, the institution does a lot of trainings and preparations for would be young estate surveyors and valuers to equip them to become knowledge and exposed before their final registration. There are quality control tests in place through the membership committee.
As for increasing the number of estate surveyors, we have reach out programme to tertiary institutions, even to secondary schools to catch them. In the last two years, I have been the chairman of the membership committee of our professional body. We have accelerated the rate of mentoring, teaching and trainings of would be members and this has translated to increased number of registered estate surveyors and valuers in the last few years. We will continue in that direction in the next two years of my tenure.
How would you address the issue of ethical erosion within your fold?
It is simple. Every organization or group looks at his or her leader. If a leader demonstrates the tendency to ethics, there is greater feeling that, the followers will not want to deviate from their leader. But if leaders do not establish firmness, then, followers will have excuses to do things that are unethical. My hallmark hinges on discipline and ethics and I am assuring you that, in the next two years, even those who have veered off, will readjust themselves because they will see in me leader who is pursuing ethical standard. I will make sure that things are done properly.
And of course, I am a member of the Royal Institution of Estate Surveyors (RICS), the foremost body in the world for estate surveyors. My ultimate goal is to benchmark their standards and make sure that our members can stand very anywhere in the world.
NIESV as it is now has several faculties. In view of the emerging areas in your field, would you be reducing or increasing these faculties?
I am not planning to either reduce the faculties, or planning to be in a hurry to increaser them. The number we have today have addressed some key areas within our professional practice and I want to consolidate on them and make them function and effective in terms of training and impact they have.
The Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has disclosed that it is working on a Nigerian Affordable Housing project for the common man. Speaking in an interview with Housing News recently, the president of NIA, Arch Adibe Njoku, who said the project will be piloted by universities, disclosed that it the building project will be launched next year.
According to him, the project will make use of local materials in order to make it affordable for the people. He said: ‘‘We want to build a sample in Abuja. The walls might be made of muds and not blocks but when it plastered and painted, nobody will know that the difference. We want people to know that they can build a house with local materials without spending too much. ‘‘The materials will stand the test of time.
We’ll solve the problem of high cost of building for the poor man. It is the best approach to solving housing deficit in Nigeria.’’ He also said the permanent solution to building collapse in Nigeria is for people to make sure they engage the right consultants for their building projects. The NIA President also explained that the crisis between the association and the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has been fully resolved.
‘‘ARCON is our regulatory body and there is nothing we can do without them. NIA is an association that looks into the welfare of architects, there is no way NIA can be fighting ARCON. Somehow, during the tenure of the last executives, there was a misunderstanding stemming from the issue of examination that NIA conducts which ARCON said it won’t recognise. We are working together now.’’
Following the retirement of Professor Charles Inyangete as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), the board of the company has announced the appointment of an acting managing Director Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu
According to the company, Ogundimu holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Ibadan and obtained an MBA from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years work experience in financial services (secondary mortgage and diversified banking), energy and public accounting.
“Mr. Ogundimu started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and subsequently worked in various capacities at Chevron Nig. Ltd and in the Washington DC region at Pepco Energy Services, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and finally at Capital One Bank, where he was the Head of Debt, Derivatives and Securitization before joining NMRC.
“Mr. Ogundimu is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.
“He has attended several executive management programs in leading educational institutions including Harvard Business School and Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria,” the release further read.
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Forty years ago, (precisely March 29, 1978) a tipping point was reached in how land was thenceforth to be owned and administered in both urban and non-urban areas in Nigeria. The Land Use Decree (now Act) of 1978 came into being.
Consequent to this Act, “all land comprised in the territory of each State in the Federation is hereby vested in the Governor of the State and such land shall be held in trust and administered for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians in accordance with the provisions of this Act” the opening paragraph of the Act reads – Section 1 (i)
Land, worldwide is a critical factor of existence & production making its ownership, allocation, distribution and utilization critical issues in the creation of wealth, social and economic wellbeing for both individuals and societies and in effect, making it a subject matter that cannot be overlooked.
Among key objectives of the Act were to remove the bitter controversies that arose over title to land, to assist the citizenry, irrespective of status to realise the ambition and aspiration of owning land within the country, to assist the government in the exercise of power of eminent domain or power to compulsorily acquire land for public purposes. The Act also intended to curtail the activities of speculators over land.
Forty years afterwards, can it be said that the Act has achieved its objectives? The continuous numerous calls from many quarters to amend the Act with plausible arguments that it has apparently failed in its objectives is an indicator as to the success or otherwise of the Act. In fact, one of the seven-point agenda of late President Umaru Yar’adua’s short-lived government was an amendment of the Land Use Act.
It is worth showing how the Act has failed in its objectives and made land ownership and title transfer even tougher. For starters, bitter controversies and conflicts still arise or exist over title to land; the Act has definitely not made it any easier for citizens to own land.
Sections 21 – 22 of the Act prohibits the alienation of either a customary right of occupancy or a statutory right of occupancy via an assignment, mortgage, transfer of possession, sublease, or otherwise without the consent of the Governor. The above stated provisions have resulted in a plethora of issues relating to transfer of property transactions. Coupled with this is the confusing provision that the Consent of the Governor should be obtained before the transaction is consummated.
Firstly, the process of obtaining the Governor’s consent is expensive. Many States have seen it primarily as a revenue generating activity and so the total cost of that exercise is sometimes as high as 15 percent of the deemed value of the subject property.
Further, even though there have been improvements to the process in some States, it still takes a long time to obtain the consent, which significantly delays the completion of land related transactions.
Additionally, the requirement to seek the Governor’s consent for mortgage transactions has also proved to be an impediment in the introduction of financial tools such as mortgage backed securitisation, which requires an element of certainty in terms of the rights to the underlying securities in the mortgages to be securitised.
As a result of the above stated issues, amendments have been proposed to alleviate the burdens currently faced by investors in the real estate market and to provide property investment incentives but not much has been achieved in this regard.
According to a survey carried out in 2012, the second greatest challenge facing 22% of Nigerians that wanted to invest in real estate was reported to be the difficulty in obtaining titles. This is followed by 18% that cite cost and time involved in regularizing real estate transactions.
This lack of understanding of the laws and procedures surrounding real estate and real estate transactions is borne primarily out of the poor workability of the Land Use Act.
Data from the World Banks Ease of Doing Business 2017, indicate that regarding property registration in Nigeria, it takes an average of 77 days to achieve. 59.7 days in sub-Saharan Africa and 22.4 days in high income Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Registering properties in sub-Saharan Africa in general and Nigeria in particular is evidently tough as demonstrated by the Report.
At an average of 10.10%, Nigeria is among sub-Saharan Africa countries with the highest cost of registration as a percentage of property value. The average in sub-Saharan Africa is 8.00% and 4.20% in high income OECD countries.
A quick scan of the report further reveals that property registration in some select countries – Nigeria ranked 182 out of 190 in 2016 and 182 in 2017, which shows there has been no appreciable improvement in the ease of registering properties in Africa’s most populous nation.
Still on property registration, in 2016, Kenya ranked 122 of 190, China 42, South Africa 100, Ghana 76, India 140, and Brazil 130. In 2017, Kenya moved a step up to 121, China stayed same at 42, South Africa went southwards to 105, Ghana came down to 77, India improved by two places to 138 and Brazil also improved by two places to 128. A cursory study indicates how much work needs to done to improve and make the regulatory framework conducive for registering property.
Yet, this is a country, based on United Nations data, has a housing deficit of over 17 million units. To bridge this shortfall, 900,000 units must be added to the housing stock annually. But based on available data (National Bureau of Statistics) less than 100,000 are supplied.
The true and committed resolution of these issues must start with amendments to the Land Use Act. Section 15 of the Act provides that during the term of a Statutory Right of Occupancy, the holder shall have the sole right to and absolute possession of all the improvements on the land. Such right and possession only relates to improvements that the holder still cannot transfer, assign or mortgage without the prior consent of the Governor or would lose if in breach of terms and conditions of the Certificate of Occupancy.
Again, this clearly creates a problem of security of title because though it is conventional in Nigeria to grant a Certificate of Occupancy for a period of ninety-nine years. There is nothing in the Act that prevents the Governor from granting an interest of a lesser period. Section 8 of the Act only enjoins the Governor to grant a right of occupancy for a definite or fixed term. Where the right covers a short term then it amounts to economic risk to embark on massive improvements because of the atmosphere of uncertainty induced by the Section 16.
The Act has equally failed to curtail the activities of land speculators, as one of its objectives. Large tracts of undeveloped lands are still not under the control of the Governors of the States and land speculators are cashing in on this seeming lapse by holding down vast lands out of use until such a time as it would be very profitable to dispose on the market – a practice that hampers development in diverse ways.
Ruling family members in many communities (popularly called omo oniles) who control large traditional lands engage in land profiteering. They also create undue conflicts that result in costly land litigations and in many cases, physical clashes leading to deaths and sacking of villages. This a situation the Act was meant to curtail but has not helped in any way. The result is that the cost of land continues to rise astronomically and land speculation has become even more rife.
Concurrently, the harsh economic climate in the country with rising cost of living has put Nigerians in dire straits such that many who have access to land whether by inheritance, previous purchase, or by family or communal allotments and are more readily inclined to disposing them to meet immediate survival needs cannot easily do so because of lack of access to title. Though the land belongs to them they still have to approach the Governor of the State in which their land is situated to obtain title to facilitate a sale.
The same thing applies to using the land for economic activity. Many who own land cannot pledge them to the financial institutions for facilities to engage in commercial or manufacturing activities because of the torturous process of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy as spelled out by the Land Use Act.
Thus, the rich continue to accumulate more and more lands to the detriment of the dominant poor.The situation has been complicated by the politicisation of almost all public affairs and institutions in the country.
The fact that all land in the state is vested in the Governor of the State makes it very easy for land and title revocation (Section 28) to be used as a political weapon not minding the investments on same or the adverse consequences of such a decision on the investment climate of the country, state, economy or financial sector.
This singular power in Sections 1 and 28 of the Land Use Act has made many financial institutions wary of accepting real estate as a collateral asset in extending facilities to their customers.
The amount of compensation and method of calculation of same under the Land Use Act also leaves a lot to be desired. Section 29 (4) (a) allows for an amount equal to the rent paid to the Government as well as cost of improvements to the land. This negates or ignores the fact that the allottee could have acquired the land from its original allottee at a huge cost on the open market.
Even more, costly improvements may have then been undertaken on the land to increase its value from which ordinarily, the land holder should benefit.
Section 6 of the Act which states that the Local Government authorities can grant land for agricultural purposes is in reality not practicable. Many local governments exist today in Nigeria and function as appendages or extensions of the Governor of the State. They cannot grant such lease as envisaged by the Act to any agricultural concern without the consent of the Governor. Where such leases are granted, and a Customary Right of Occupancy is granted virtually no financial institution in Nigeria recognizes same as a legal document strong enough to use as a collateral.
The impact of the current policy on land may directly or indirectly be one of the major reasons why agricultural production has not moved from its current subsistence and basic level after nearly 60 years as a nation. The statistics indicate that nearly 80% of land in Nigeria is agricultural land and are being put into various types of agricultural production. Of this 80%, less than 5% is held by large scale farmers or farm holdings. The rest are owned by small families and individual holdings engaged in small scale cultivation of the lands using very archaic technology and sometimes no technology at all – just the basic hoe, cutlass and hired labour.
Output is therefore very limited and even with that low level of output, nearly 70% of harvest is lost before it reaches the markets and targeted consumers.
Yet, each of these small farm holdings own their farm lots but because of the Land Use Act they can hardly obtain proper legal registered title to same to enable them access credit facilities with the financial institutions using these same farm lands as collateral. As a result of their inability to access financing they cannot employ technology by way of tractors etc to farm larger expanses of land, improve and increase output. Because of the lack of access to finance the small farm holdings cannot invest in technology to preserve harvest until it reaches consumers and the result is huge wastage and losses annually.
In conclusion, the objectives of the Land Use Act were no doubt lofty and well-intentioned but it has turned out to be defective in many respects. The time for a review in tune with current realities is long overdue. Fettered with institutional failure, dearth of political will and inherent defects, the law has not been able to achieve most of its set objectives.
Notwithstanding, the desire for economic development through effective, fair and equitable utilisation of land and land resources can still be attained if the law is holistically amended to overturn certain anachronistic and antithetical provisions and replaced with realistic and effective policies that would put Nigeria on the part of economic progress.
A new Managing Director has been appointed for the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC). He is Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu. The appointment of Mr. Ogundimu, who is the Chief Finance Officer, (CFO) is in acting capacity.
READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA He was appointed following the retirement of the pioneer MD, Prof. Charles Inyangete having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years. Prof. Inyangete was at the helm of affairs for three and a half years. Professor Inyangete joined the company in November 2014, following the incorporation of NMRC as a key component of the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme (NHFP) funded under a US$300 million IDA Facility from the World Bank Group.
During his tenure he saw the growth of the company from a 3-man start up charged with launching unto a nascent and very challenging Nigerian Mortgage market with a clear mandate to grow the primary and secondary mortgage markets and promote home ownership in Nigeria to one which has made significant strides in the industry and recognised as a sector leader.
He superintended over NMRC’s first mortgage-backed bond issuance in July 2015, which was the first of a N440 billion bond issuance programme backed by a conditional guarantee of the federal government.
The N8 billion raised from that exercise was deployed to the refinancing of legacy and new mortgages of NMRC member banks that conform to NMRC’s uniform underwriting standards for the formal sector. .Professor Inyangete was a proponent of the value chain approach to tacking the challenges facing a market comprising multi-faceted and complex operators, systems and processes along a supply and demand continuum.
When the present administration came to power it vowed to address Nigeria’s dilapidated infrastructure, and three years running, it has made giant stride, HAKEEM BELLO writes. The NHP programme in FCT
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, last Thursday undertook an inspection tour of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) National Housing Programme site declaring that the Buhari administration’s infrastructure renewal policy was achieving the envisaged purpose of boosting socio-economic development. Fielding questions from newsmen after the inspection, Fashola said the proof of the impact of the policy on the populace was no longer a matter of conjecture but could be seen and experienced by the people working at the various project sites, be they Power, Works (Roads) or Housing, across the country as well as those selling food, clothing, household items and other human needs in the markets, who were also experiencing the boost in trade and commerce.
The project as job provider The minister, who cited as example some workers he interacted with during the course of the inspection, declared that the actual beneficiaries of the much touted huge budgets allocated to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, were the workers carrying out various tasks at the project sites, suppliers of construction materials, food vendors and others, who, according to him, would then take the money to the markets where the traders would also take their shares. He declared, “It is no longer what I say that matters; the trueth is that the Buhari administration’s infrastructure renewal policy is really getting to where it should be getting; in the hands of the real workers; Fidelis and Ibrahim (the workers he interacted with at the site) the two carpenters I have talked to, represent those people, the foreman that I also spoke to, the 30 labourers who are mixing concrete, ordinary people who may never get to see the President but who the President is impacting by his policies and programmes. That really is the story”.
“Again, let me repeat; when you hear that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has the largest budget, this is what happens to the budget. We are just a conduit for moving it on to the people of Nigeria through contracts that are awarded, works that are done, payment that are made, concrete that is mixed, woodwork that is done by carpenters, iron rods that are bound together by labourers; so that is what happens to that budget. This is the destination of the budget”, he said. Fashola further explained that from the workers, the money would get to the markets where they would go to buy food, household and other needs thereby passing the money to market traders and business men who would also use the money to meet their diverse needs both at home and in their other commitments. “That is the economy”, he said.
Its sustainability On how the programme could be sustained in order to ensure continuous jobs and employment for artisans and other skilled and unskilled workers as well as business men, the minister said, “There is no going back on this. This is proof of concept. You would have seen in Oyo, Osun and Kwara last week where all our Directors went, the same thing is happening. We also have this thing going on in Kano and Kaduna where I was last week. In the last year, we stopped at sites in Gombe, Taraba and this is all over the country. But we need to prove that this concept works”. “When we finish, what we want to establish now is to ensure that people accept this 24 apartment design in this part of the country and that they can pay for it. Then you will see more of this. You will, probably see ten, twenty going on at the same time. So that is when the Housing Economy really takes full bloom”, he said.
More business for suppliers Fashola advised business men and women to be ready to supply the market with household accessories such as curtains, carpets, bedding and household furniture pointing out that when people buy houses they would need those items to equip the houses. “The tailors and foam makers must get ready as well because the new house owners will need bed sheets and mattresses”, the minister said. Reiterating that the programme is currently on-going in 33 states of the country, Fashola declared, “So this is the full ecosystem of the national economy that we are beginning to get back to”. He urged journalists to propagate the news of the Housing programme to Nigerians, who, according to him, are the ultimate beneficiaries adding that they should report what they have observed. Interacting with the project supervisor earlier, the minister was told that there are 30 labourers currently working at the site, made up of carriers and masons; there are also 10 carpenters and 10 iron benders as well as five plumbers and six electricians, he said, adding that many other people come daily at the site to do businesses like supply of food and other needs of the workers. Workers’ testimonies One of the workers at the site, Ibrahim Haruna, told the minister during an interaction with them that he joined the site last month because he wanted to gain more experience and also because the pay for the work was good. Ibrahim, who said he joined the company from doing carpentry work on his own, added; “Now I have more experience on the work and the pay is very good and very attractive”. Another Contractor, who also interacted with the minister at the site, told him that he has about 95 workers doing different jobs at the site adding that with government paying them regularly, they have no challenges hindering their work.
The brief about FCT’sproject Located at Dukpai area of Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, the National Housing Project, which covers an area of about four hectares, consists of two components one of which is made up of buildings of 3 condominiums of three floors each wiTheach condominium having four one-bedroom flats, 16 2-bedroom flats and four 3-bedroom flats totaling 24 flats and 72 flats for the three condominiums. The second component, according to a project brief signed by the Project Team Leader, Arch. Fashoranti Toyin, consists of infrastructure such as roads, electricity and motorized borehole. The brief also showed that three contractors, Messrs City International Limited, Sonjay International, and Malami Pawa and Sons Limited are handling the building component of the contract while Messrs Sassads Trading and Construction Co. Limited, Umka Nigeria Limited and Muhsin Limited are handling the Infrastructure component.
Experts drawn from the local, continental and international infrastructural industry will converge in Lagos from Wednesday 28th to discuss sustainability in infrastructural for national development in a 3-days Series which will run through to Friday, March 30th to discuss on ways Nigeria can develop its infrastructure and mark the 7th edition of the International Conference on Infrastructure and Development in Africa (ICIDA).
The theme for this year’s edition ‘The Complexity of Infrastructure System: What are We Fixing’ seeks to look at Africa’s infrastructural gaps and proffer solutions towards ameliorating the challenges in the sector using comparative analysis with modern innovations with emphasis on economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The event is in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and Bells University of Technology, Ota, Nigeria, while the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu will function as the host of the event.
“We are bringing these people to partner with us to see what could be done to improve the situation of things generally. The conference will also bring about the recent research developments so that we will see the effect of this on infrastructural development unlike where you just have policymakers and government functionaries coming to give you policy papers; this is a departure from that,” Nurudeen Bashorun, chairman, Local Organising Committee said in a statement made available to Housing News.
Bashorun, disclosed that this year is unique with the presence of professionals, practitioners and academic all under the same roof with the main aim of dissecting infrastructural problems at the same time, profound sustainable solutions to them.
Reacting to the team’s decision to have the event in LASPOTECH, Bashorun explained that the conference seeks to position the polytechnic globally because LASPOTECH is the only polytechnic in ICIDA, adding that it will help expose the polytechnic and bring about development in terms of educational development.
“For this year’s edition, no fewer than 1,000 participants are expected to grace the conference and over 70 papers have been reviewed and found suitable for the presentation that will impact on the African continents,” Bashorun added.
At the end of the event, a resource document will be produced, forwarded and circulated for concerted efforts at achieving the discussed objectives for National development as far as Infrastructural sustainability is concerned, he said.
Keynote speakers for the event include; Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister for Power, Works & Housing; Aare Afe Babalola, president/founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) while the Lead speakers include – Nurudeen Rafindadi, managing director, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Abuja FCT; U.G. Muhammed, managing director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Maitama District, Abuja; Adekunle Oyinloye, managing director, The Infrastructure Bank; Chidi Izuwah, director general, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Abuja FCT among others.