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REMARKS BY BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA, SAN AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE GOVERNING BOARDS OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY AND THE FEDERAL MORTGAGE BANK OF NIGERIA

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We gather today to perform a formality. We gather to inaugurate the Governing Boards of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as required by their enabling statutes and as approved by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

As simple and formal as this event is, it has profound consequences.

One consequence is that it offers opportunity to the Nigerians who we inaugurate today to participate in the decision-making process that affect the lives of millions of people, who will partake and benefit of the prosperity that a Housing economy offers.

It is an opportunity whose importance is not to be viewed lightly. This is the opportunity to participate by rendering service, and it is the hallmark of liberal democracy.

Every so often, many of us complain that things are not heading in the direction we like, but how many of us volunteer our time, our skills and our resources to affecting the course of events?

More importantly, how many of us accept to serve with titles that are not headline grabbing like President, Governor, Senator, and Local Government Chairman; and how many will accept to serve without a title?

I have said before that you do not need a title to serve, and if we all pause to look beyond in elective offices, and the big titles, we will see an enormous field of opportunities for service beckoning on men and women of goodwill to step forward and contribute to nation building.

This is the profound decision all of you have taken by accepting these appointments to serve in these two important institutions.

On behalf of President Buhari, the Government and People of Nigeria, I thank you for accepting and for the service you will render to our people.

As to what your roles will be, please let me implore you to quickly avail yourselves of a copy of the respective laws setting up your agencies, where your functions and powers are spelt out.

But if a guide is required, let me say that you will individually and collectively be the conscience of these agencies for implementing the policies of Government, with respect to public housing and mortgage financing in Nigeria.

Some of the programmes and projects of these Agencies will come to you for approvals, and it will be your duty to decide whether to approve or not.

In doing so, you will have to decide whether the proposals are consistent with Law, whether they advance public good, whether they will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people.

As you undertake this responsibility, please permit me to remind you that it is men and women who build institutions and not the other way around.

Therefore, good institutions are the aggregate of good deeds of good men and women, while unsalutary institutions similarly represent the aggregate of the unsalutary deeds of men and women who, perhaps, were never worthy of the responsibility they were entrusted with.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, since the FHA and FMBN were set up, they have experienced their fair share of challenges, while they have also become well-known brands within the country.

This is now your responsibility to reposition these brands and utilize them, by providing the guidance for the Managing Directors and Management teams of FHA and FMBN to enable them deliver service to Nigerians.

For the avoidance of doubt, let me state that the Policy of Government is to deliver Affordable Housing, acceptable to Nigerians and these agencies, whose brands you will now administer are the implementing arms of Government for: a) Housing delivery (FHA) and b) Housing Financing (FMBN).

The Managing Directors and their Management teams have the executive responsibility for carrying these out, subject to your Board oversight, approvals and advice, while the Ministry plays a supervisory role.

Therefore, we expect to see harmony, respect, teamwork and a healthy working co-operation between Board and Management.

On the part of the Ministry, I assure you that we will supervise but we will not interfere.

For your information, we are piloting a Housing Programme and currently constructing in 33 (Thirty-Three) States of Nigeria.

We do this to validate and test what type of housing design responds to Nigeria’s diverse cultural, climatic and religious needs, so as to ascertain what is acceptable and affordable.

We are at different stages of construction in different states, and we have commended these designs to FHA, without imposing them.

Our decision is informed by the evidence of previous housing initiatives that people did not take up and empty houses that still abound in almost every state of Nigeria.

These untaken houses, and the deficit of Housing, suggests to us that the untaken houses are either unacceptable or unaffordable or both.

We see housing as a product, and we take the view that before they can be delivered to market, we must know what the people want and what they can afford.

When our pilot is fully completed, these answers will become self-evident and this is when we can mass produce.

There is certainly nothing that stops FHA from undertaking other designs of housing if she can find a market for it, and she can deploy the income to cross-subsidize and make mass housing more affordable.

As for the financing side, this is critical to affordability and it is as much the function of FHA in cost management and delivery as it is that of FMBN in delivering mortgages of affordable tenures and costs. Since May 2015 to date FMBN has issued 2,724 mortgages worth N20.237BN to assist Nigerians buy their own homes; under the National Housing Fund.

Ladies and Gentlemen, once again, let me thank you for accepting to serve. The tenure and condition of service are contained in the letters of appointment that have been issued to you.

It is my honour and pleasure on behalf of Mr. President and the Federal Government of Nigeria to Inaugurate the Boards of the FMBN and FHA.

Please accept my best wishes for a successful tenure of service.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

FCTA To Revoke, Reallocate Undeveloped Plots In Jabi

The Federal Capital Territory administration (FCTA) has again warned owners of undeveloped plots in Jabi district to commence their development or face revocation of such plots. Speaking when he removed illegal mechanic workshops, food joints and road blocks around the popular Jabi Motor Park, coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, added that any plot revoked by the council would be reallocated to those with the capacity to develop them. Shuaibu noted that the area was notorious for being a den for hoodlums and street hawkers, who indulge in drug peddling, crimes and illegal mechanic work, thereby causing discomfort and nuisance to those living around the area.

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Represented by director, Department of Advertising and Signage (DOAS), Yusuf Ibrahim Yakassai, the coordinator advised affected persons to find lawful places for their business activities, instead of constituting nuisance in the society. He maintained that the removal exercise was a continuous one, adding that the administration would find a way of preventing reoccurrence of such illegality in the area and in every other part of the territory. Housing News gathered that the team was made up of development control department, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Parks and Recreation, including security operatives, drawn from the Army, police, the civil defence, immigration and NDLEA.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INAUGURATE BOARDS OF FHA AND FMBN

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola on Wednesday, the 1st of March, 2018 inaugurated two new Boards of Directors comprising The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

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In his inaugural speech, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing said the vision of the ministry to provide affordable housing for Nigerians had to be achieved. He also stated that the formalities of the Inauguration had consequences as it affected the lives of millions of Nigerians. He said the functions and roles are spelt out for the Board but that he will provide a guide for implementing rules. He charged the respective Boards of Directors to be guided by the laws of the Country in the formulation of their plans and programme, asking them to bear in mind that the welfare of the people is paramount in its development agenda.
“Good institutions are the aggregates of good deeds of good men and good women,” He emphasized.
He asked the Boards of Directors to reposition and manage the brand as the policy of the government is to deliver affordable housing.


He charged the FMBN Board of Directors to help provide finance and housing acquisition and also charged the FHA Board of Directors to know what Nigerians wanted and offer them what they want. He said that there is nothing wrong in working on other house designs and that it will be helpful if FHA can make housing affordable, as people do not take up many houses as they are sometimes unaffordable. He told them that he expected to see teamwork and asked them to take good decisions on behalf of millions of Nigerians, and also follow the law and refuse any decision that does not go with the law.
Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, admitted that the ministry is presently piloting an affordable housing programme in thirty three (33) States of the Country.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Sen. Lawal Shuaibu thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister for delivering on their promises on housing. He said he is ready to serve and bring the best of service to work. He also said the issue of National Housing Policy will be seen to. He assured the Honourable Minister that the policies will be fully implemented.
The Chairman of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Adewale Adeeyo also thanked the President and assured him that he will make sure there will be teamwork and that both the FHA and FMBN will work together to ensure that there will no troubles. He promised that there will be affordable housing with affordable interest rates.

REDAN gets New Exco, promises to operate transparent leadership

To ensure effective and efficient running of its affairs nationwide, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) yesterday inaugurated its 17-man new Executive Committee.


The New Exco members includes; Ugochukwu Chime, Alhaji Aliyu Orji Wamakko, Princess chinwe Nnabuife among others generally agreed by members to lead the association for another tenure.
Speaking during the event, which is REDAN 2018 Annual General Meeting in Abuja, yesterday, the President of REDAN , Rev Ugochukwu Chime said “ The Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) is an umbrella body of Organized Real Estate Sector ( Public & private) recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria since 2002 adding that the association is also saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the delivery of affordable Mass houses for Nigerians”.
Earlier in his speech, REDAN appeal to Nigerians particularly his teaming members to rise above board in order to support real estate development in the country adding that, such is a sure way of revamping the economy.

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He spoke extensively on REDAN Bill which he revealed is presently before the National Assembly. Tagged “Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill 2017”.


REDAN boss while emphasizing the importance of the bill when passed into law said “it will make for a comprehensive legal framework that will ease the process of land acquisition, planning, development, sale and transfer of real estate against the backdrop of the land use act, land holding practice as well as conflicting regulations presently guiding the process”.
In his acceptance speech, REDAN president pledged to operate an open door policy that will enable him and other members to fast track housing development in Nigeria.


He also commended, his members across board for the confidence repose on the new executive to lead them for another tenure stressing that they will serve with commitment and energy.
Speaking on the urgent need for more developers in the country, the new president said over 3000 developers are in want nationwide reiterating an urgent need of advocacy to all the 774 local government areas in a very short period.

LIST  OF NEW EXECUTIVES OF  REDAN

S/N                  POST                                                           NOMINEE

1                  President                                                          Ugochukwu O. Chime
2               1st Deputy President                                   Aliyu O. Wammako
3                2nd Deputy President                                Barr. Akintoye Adeoye
4                Vice President South East                        Arx. Munachiso O.
5                  Vice President North Central              Anthony Aboki Okwa
6                 Vice President North East                      Hussain Abubakar
7                  Vice President North West                   Dahiru Maishanu
8                   Vice President South South                 Engr. Bunmi Johnson
9                   Vice President South West                  Taiwo Ogunbodede
10                Treasurer                                                         Bala Ahmed
11              Financial Secretary                                      Haj. Binta Ibrahim
12              Publicity Secretary                                      Festus Adebayo
13             Organizing Secretary                                  Lami Onayi Ahmed
14             Legal Adviser                                                   Sallima Makama
15             Ex-Officio 1                                                       Victor C. Onukugwa
16             Ex-Officio 2                                                       Suleiman Abubakar
17             National Auditor 1                                        Godwin Ajah
18             National Auditor 2                                        Anthony E. Ibanga

Regulating The Mortgage Industry In Nigeria

By Wale Suleiman

It is no longer news that Nigeria has a huge housing deficit that experts have put at above 17 million units that would require an annual investment of billions of naira for the next 10 years to bridge. Yet, there is no coherent housing policy in place to suggest the country is matching towards bridging this housing gap. Anyone who drives around Abuja or the Federal Capital Territory would undoubtedly get a false sense of surplus housing in the country. Several residential estates have sprung up in the city in the last five years, but estate agents will tell you many of these houses are vacant because they are unaffordable to the low and middle-income Nigerians who require housing. This is why the recent House of Representatives’ hearing on the repeal of FMBN Act Cap F16 which includes the amendment of NHF Act is coming at a good time. The bill seeks to reform the bank, strengthen its board and ensure better regulation and professionalism in the mortgage industry. The heavy involvement of stakeholders in the attempt to repeal and re-enact the FMBN Act as well as the NHF Act, and consequently reform the bank is particularly instructive, and suggests there is a consensus in the industry and the need for an urgent and comprehensive reform to take the industry to the next level. Credit must be given to the management of the FMBN under the leadership of Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa, the Managing Director, for involving all the critical stakeholders in the push for reform. A lot of hard work and consultation went on behind the scene to secure the buy-in of stakeholders and harmonise positions. Securing the buy-in of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers and the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, among others is a rare feat that must be commended.

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Getting a practical, workable consensus among stakeholders is critical to the success of any reform of the FMBN and the mortgage industry. The management of FMBN have realised this and have gone ahead to ensure proper consultation in the industry. There is no doubt that it was this groundwork among stakeholders in the industry that ensured their active participation at the public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Housing in December 2017. It is cheering news that the report of the Committee was laid before the House on Thursday, 22nd February, 2018. The new bill also seeks the establishment of the Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders of Nigeria (IMBLN) to ensure better regulation of the industry. Such an institute would provide better regulatory framework, eliminate fraudsters, remove speculators, entrench sanity and decency. It will also provide training programmes for practitioners in the sector to promote professionalism. But most importantly, is the provision that would ensure better recapitalisation for the bank and reposition it to be able to provide affordable housing to low and middle-income persons. At present, the FMBN has a meagre capital base of N5 billion despite the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund are shareholders. Stakeholders in the industry are demanding that the Central Bank of Nigeria be divested from ownership of the FMBN and that it should be wholly owned by the Federal Government to rid its operation of unnecessary interference and also so that the CBN can concentrate on its regulatory role. Such interference is a clog in the wheel of efficient and effective operations of the bank. If the bank is to deliver on its mandate to provide affordable housing, the stakeholders and the management of the bank are right on track to demand better recapitalisation. While the stakeholders are asking for a recapitalisation of N1 trillion, the MD of the bank is asking for a minimum share capital of N500 billion. Whichever way the pendulum swings, it would be a great leap for the bank and for the housing industry in the country if the bank’s capital gets such a boost. It would increase the liquidity of the bank and it would then be able to provide affordable housing finance at single digit interest to Nigerians, particularly the low and middle-income groups. There is a lot to cheer if the signal from the ruling All Progressives Party is anything to go by. At the recent Abuja Housing Show, National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odiegie-Oyegun said Nigeria was set to commit about N1 trillion to the housing sector through a public private partnership arrangement. He said the scheme was part of the new Social Housing Programme of the government that is part of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched recently. The FMBN that would be re-established if the new bill sails through would be able to play a central role in delivering on this ERGP mandate. Recent events have shown that a stronger government mortgage bank is critical to delivering affordable housing. Private estate developers who borrow funds at commercial bank rates cannot deliver affordable housing to the low and average income Nigerians. All the private estates that litter the FCT are glaring examples of how difficult it would be to deliver affordable housing without recapitalising the FMBN.

There are houses in Abuja which have remained empty for years because they are out of the reach of majority of people needing housing. Recapitalization will afford the FMBN the ability to provide long term credit to other mortgage institutions to deliver affordable housing instead of the current position where the bank can’t even finance its primary customers. Recapitalising the bank as demanded by stakeholders is the surest way to turn around the fortunes of the bank and re-position it for better service delivery. The management of FMBN has done an impressive job of getting all stakeholders to be on the same page on the way forward, and it is the reason why the House hearing was successful. Some of the stakeholders I spoke to commended the management of the bank for its patriotism and professionalism. “It is rare to find the management of a government institution and its stakeholders on the same page on critical industry issues,” said a member of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria after the hearing. If the National Assembly is able to perfect the new FMBN bill and ensure its passage with all the stakeholder input, Nigeria is well on its way to delivering affordable housing.

Anambra Govt. To Demolish Buildings Under Electricity Transmission Lines

Anambra Government on Thursday said it would demolish all buildings under high tension electricity transmission lines in the state.

Mr Mike Okonkwo, the Managing Director of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka.

Most of the popular leisure outfits at Abakaliki Street and Amaudo near Aroma Feeds are situated under the high tension power line.

Okonkwo said the Federal Government had already written Gov. Willie Obiano of the state to check unwholesome human activities around the high tension lines.

He said that it was worrisome that people decided to encroach on the spaces under high tension lines because of its cost-free nature.

The ACTDA boss noted that the agency had stopped further constructions under transmission lines and had instructed those living or operation businesses there to move out.

Okonkwo said the danger and death associated with accidents related to high tension were fatal that the government could not condone such deadly adventure.

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“We have stopped all construction works going on under the high tension; unfortunately people build in the night to beat our enforcement agents.

“The attitude is that people hold tenaciously to the lands and encroach on the right of way.

“High tension accident is deadly and we have instructed people to stop building under such places and any bulldozer seen there will be seized,’’ he said.

Okonkwo said ACTDA had embarked on dislodging of shanties and illegal settlement in line with its urban renewal programme.

He added that the shanties evacuated included those at Ngozika Kwata and Nise where criminal elements were using as hide outs.

Okonkwo, however, encouraged Awka residents to go for decent accommodation and urged those who wished to live in cluster to acquire a piece of land and develop.

COREN advocates reintroduction of weighbridges on highways to check overloading

The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has urged the Federal Government to reintroduce weigh bridges on highways to reduce overloading of trucks in the country.

Mr Kashim Ali, the President of COREN, who made the call on Monday in an interview with the Housing News  in Abuja, said that overloading was responsible for the destruction of most of our roads.

Ali said that the roads in the country were designed according to the axle load expected but expressed dismay over a default in the recommended loads on Nigerian roads.

“Way back even in the 60s when the roads were not well developed, we had weighbridges, what happen to them?

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“I am aware in the Ministry of Works that they commenced the procurement process for weighbridges many years ago and they have not completed the process, why?

“Those are the questions they need to answer, why have they not shown sufficient interest in putting weigh bridges on important roads?” he asked.

Ali said the roads in the country were built according to the expected highest axle load to be on it.

“Overloading is a big problem when you design a road; you design it based on the expected loading.
“In a road structure, you have expectations, what is the highest axle loading that you expect on that highway? So, you design to accommodate the highest.

“So, when the highest changes and the road have not been redesigned, the problem will come,” he added.

According to him, I was at a conference in Ghana many years ago and we were told about some vehicles that were brought into Ghana.

He said the 40 tonnes axle load vehicles that were denied a license in Ghana found their ways into Nigeria and were licensed.

Ali said most of the vehicles that carry goods through Nigerian roads from the ports to Chad or Niger were usually weighed at the border.

“If there is excess load, they must dislodge, they cannot enter Niger or Chad with excess load but anything goes here.

“We should commend the quality of work on our roads, for them not to have collapsed in a manner that we will really reflect on the kind of abuses that come on them,” he said.

Experts call for construction industry development board

Glimmer of hope is beaconing towards solving problems confronting the nation’s built environment as professionals in the sector have entered into strategic move to address the problem.One of the rewards of such move was the call for the establishment of Nigerian Construction Industry Development Board (cibd), which they said would be saddled with the roles of; formulating, implementing, regulating policies and initiatives that will speed up development processes especially in infrastructure across the country.

Before now, the construction sector has been bedeviled with challenges like, absence of construction firms in the stock exchange and international market, dominance of expatriate firms, lack of executive and financial capacity, reluctance of both public and private clients to pay fees for consultancy services.Others are; prolonged delay in projects delivery, high- overrun cost, high accident and injury rates and sub-standard or poor quality of works, dearth of local skilled labour, poor inflow of private sector funds, high level of corruption, payment insecurity, among others.

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To address these challenges and with the exposé that infrastructure development is the basic facilities, equipment, and installations required for the growth of a society, professionals in the industry converged in lagos to sensitise their folds on the desirability of the CIDB for nigeria at this critical moment of infrastructural deficits. the gathering was converged by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS).
The professionals include the presidents of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), commonwealth association of surveying and land economy, and heads of regulatory bodies in the housing sector

Leading discussion on the issue, a former Head of Department of Building, University of Lagos, Prof. Godwin Idoro posited that the proposed CIDB is an agency, which serves as a platform for promoting the growth and development of the construction industry, and reposition it for improved performance to enhance its contribution to the economic growth and development of particular nations. he said the board would spearhead the development of capacity, capability and quality of output as well as domestic and international competitiveness of the construction industry.

According to him, the establishment of CIDB has been one of the key recommendations of several research works on the nature and prospects of the construction industries of developing countries stressing that some developing countries like; Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, India, Malaysia, Singapore and others have embraced the concept with attendant pay-offs especially in the realisation of their national goals.

Speaking on the drivers of  CIDB in a paper entitled; “the need for the establishment of the Nigerian construction industry development board”, he said it can be a government agency which works with and draw guidance and support from a coalition of public and private sector organisations, all service providers in the construction industry, and all arms of government.

It can also be a private sector driven agency comprising all stakeholders which collaborates with all arms of government. the focus of CIDB is all projects or facilities, resources and activities in both public and private sectors that are related to construction. it is thus, an omnibus body to promote the growth and development of construction practices, processes, projects, facilities and entities”, he stated.

He proposed that the board should include; one representative from each of the regulatory bodies in the industry, one representative from each of the professional bodies, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Federal Ministries connected with works, lands and housing, one representative from each geopolitical zones of the country, the Green Building Council of Nigeria, the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, the construction industry local content board and universities offering construction related programmes among others.

“The board would train for capacity building, monitor economic activities within the industry, consult with all organs of states to identify construction budgets and their application, assess impact of public expenditure on the industry and advise government accordingly, promote export of construction of goods and services, collect statistics from contractors, suppliers, manufacturers and service providers in the industry on their activities and performance such as labour cost, growth rates, units costs, size and volume of projects subjects to nbs law as well as publish periodic reports on the state of the construction industry and others”.

Prof. Idoro however, noted that to achieve the vision, all the professionals and parties couldn’t afford to operate in isolation, as effective delivery of a construction project is the joint efforts of all the professions represented to bring about collaborative or cooperative professionalism in the nigerian construction industry.

The convener of the gathering and NIQS president, Obafemi Onashile explained that the vision when realized would eliminate intra and inter-rivalry and conflicts within each profession, review and improve on the current performance of the industry by collectively focusing and come up with solutions to the urgent problems of; health and safety, housing deficit, shortage of artisans, non-payments of works, and environmental issues.

According to him, cidb would strategically engage the government by speaking with a single but collective voice to the government through policy statements, budget advice and programme monitoring. he further stated that it will engender industry-wide self discipline and self regulation in promoting professionalism, promote successful succession by taking interest in training and growing future leaders for the sector at very early ages, revitalise industrial training fund to pay training institution, establish young professionals’ forum and pursue gainful employments for young entrants.
President of niesv, dr. bolarinde patunola-ajayi who applauded the initiative called for a stakeholder deliberation on the matter as way to ensure speedy take off of the initiative and dissuade those who belief that it is a difficult task.

Also contributing the president of commonwealth association of surveying and land economy; joseph ajanlekoko explained that nigeria would be a better place if the board is established. he pointed out that if the nation should have a vibrant construction industry, it would quicken the paste of development of the country.
“it will create numerous employment opportunities to nigerians and other professionals and the country will retain the giant that it should be in africa. government should play the role of a catalyst and create the enabling environment for the private sector to take it up. there should be efficiency in the setup, professionalism and competency”.

He noted that for the board to takeoff, it would require the act of the parliament particularly the passage of law on the construction industry board and once that is passed, it becomes operational and then all the professionals would come together and do the necessary structuring of the board in his address, the special guest of honour at the occasion, retired general theophilus danjuma who was conferred with the highest honourary fellow of niqs for his strategic contributions and impact in the construction industry, lamented the current high cost of construction in the country and advised that the sectors’ players must do everything possible to reduce the cost.Nse president, kunle mokuolu, in his contributions called for collaboration between the professional bodies for the purpose of exploring the abundant opportunities in the industry as well as in the establishment of cidb.

FCT DEVELOPMENT CONTROL TO DEMOLISH DIAMOND ACRES ESTATE AND OTHER ILLEGAL STRUCTURES

Illegal structures worth billions of naira are set to be pulled down by the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) in Abuja any moment from now, Housing News reports.
The FCTA will soon resume massive demolition of illegal structures after a few weeks break.
The exercise is intended to sanitize and regain the city’s original master plan.
The types of the structures that will be affected this time include shanties and estates obstructing power transmission lines and major access road networks.
Housing News reports that the exercise has already commenced in some locations like Area 1 Garki district, Zuba interchange, Jabi motor park, Giri junction, Ungwan Saidu, a rising shanty right in the heart of Kado district and a property at Mabushi district said to belong to a former first lady.
It was gathered that areas that will be affected by the imminent demolition exercise include Peace Village, Tudun Wada and Fruit Market all in Federal Housing Lubge.
Some other shanties within the capital city including those in Kubwa, Gwarimpa, Jahi, Kado districts and even those in highbrow areas like Maitama, Asokoro, Guzape, Katampe and Jabi districts may also be pulled down.

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Some of these communities within the city centre sprung up as a result of the huge influx of people into the FCT seeking for a greener pastures.
Speaking on the matter, the Development Control Director, Malam Muktar Galadima, said that all the shanties built directly under the high tension in Tudun Wada, Peace Village, and on either side of the electricity facility will be brought down.
He added that properties that breach the legally permitted 30 metre-proximity to the high tension particularly at the Lugbe FHA Fruit Market and others would also be removed to pave way for the commencement of work by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
“The distance legally allowed from the high tension is 25 metres, plus 5 metres for contingency, which makes it 30 metres,” he said.


The Development Control boss explained that while his office had severally warned the residents, it has become imperative to quickly carry out this demolition exercise due to a request from the Federal Ministry of Power for the FCTA to clear the area for it to commence construction of a 330/132/33kV substation in Lugbe (West Main).
Galadima added that the substation was one of the major capital projects to be executed in 2018.
“By standard we have to make sure that people do not develop (build structures) within the high tension line and it is not safe for people to live there, you can imagine someone selling gas under the high tension imagine what will happen if there is disaster,” Galadima said.
Our reporter visited Tudun Wada and Peace Village and found that while the affected properties have already been marked for demolition, their owners are yet to evacuate the property.
It was learnt that modalities for payment of compensation had been completed but a cross section of the residents told our reporter they were yet to be paid.
“There is massive injustice in the compensation. For example, the owner of a house worth maybe N2.5m will be given N1m or someone whose house is worth N1m will be given N500,000 but what can we do? We cannot fight them that is why it is compensation,” an affected resident Mr. Abdul Suleiman said.
Also, FCTA officials said another massive demolition exercise planned for this year will affect illegal estates in the city.
For example, an estate named Diamond Acres also situated in Lubge was said to have breached the Abuja master plan as it is sitting right on the proposed Ring Road 4.
The Coordinator Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Umar Shuiabu while speaking to journalists at the project site said that the estate must go.
He said that Diamond Acres Estate was sitting directly on the Ring Road 4, a major road network which could not be diverted because of the illegal project whose owner, he said, has refused to heed many development control notices served on him to stop work.
According to Shuiabu, the developer did not follow due process in obtaining necessary development control permits before embarking on the structures.
When asked why the FCTA failed to stop the said developer before the structures were erected, Shuiabu said, “The structures in that estate have been marked severally to stop work but whenever we mark it for demolition, the developer will wipe it off and continue work and now he has gotten to completion stage.”
Efforts made to reach the developer were not successful.

SOURCE: DAILY TRUST

Lagos Shutdown 20 Illegal Buildings On Lagos Island

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, have shutdown 20 illegal buildings on Lagos Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

The buildings were shutdown at the weekend for not having building plan approval and having no building submission before their erection.

LASBCA officials, escorted by officials of the Lagos Task Force stormed several streets on the Island and immediately swung into action by sealing the affected premises, while partial demolition was effected in some buildings.

Apart from not having building permits and submissions, most of the buildings have also broken government seals after they were previously shut, an offence that attracts a penalty of N500,000.

Most of the buildings sealed were between three and four storey buildings, with many of them erected with inferior materials.

General Manager, LASBCA, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde said it was no longer going to be business as usual as government was determined to get rid of illegal development across the state and stem the tide of collapsed buildings.

He said in the past three weeks, the agency had begun the sealing of buildings erected illegally across the state as their owners did not obtain building permits or made any building submissions to the government for approval.

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“Before now, we have been civil in our enforcement, but the developers have remained recalcitrant by continuing in their illegal development. Most of these developers don’t have submission talk less of having permits,” he said.

Shodeinde added that whenever a building had been shutdown, the agency’s officials toke the building so that their owners would come forward to regularize their papers, as well as pay the necessary fines.
According to him, LASBCA should not be running after illegal developers if they did the right thing by obtaining their building permits and submitting other documents for approval.

“Most of these illegal developments were done at night with substandard materials being used. They don’t get the needed permit or follow due process before erecting them. The rains are coming and you can’t stop building collapse when you are not building right,’ he said.

Shodeinde called on Lagosians to report any illegal development in their domains to LASBCA for prompt action in order to avert building collapse.

However, the building shutdown are located at Freeman Street, Odunfa Street, Andrew Street, Joseph Haden Street, Kakawa Street, Olushi Street, Thomas Street, Hawley Street, Foresythe Street, Bamgbose Street, Ganiyu Street and Dumare Street.

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