MEET WITH MANUFACTURERS WHO CAN DELIVER A TWO BEDROOM BUNGALOW FOR UNDER N1.5M

Abuja International housing show  brings together a broad-based, nationwide partnership of public and private organizations and committed individuals. The organizers believe that all Nigerians should have access to high quality, affordable housing in suitable locations.

We accomplish our mission by promoting a positive image of affordable housing; demonstrating the need for affordable housing throughout Nigeria; supporting the work of state and federal housing networks to educate, communicate and advocate for affordable housing; influencing public policy and planning to enhance the supply and quality of affordable housing; encouraging the development of a supportive administrative, regulatory and financial environment; and convening key stakeholders to advance forward-looking housing policy development.

The 12th Abuja International housing show will feature THE LATEST Technology and Innovations in affordable housing delivery…….If you are a Real Estate Developer seeking Strategic Alliances or a Government Agency looking for Reliable and Trusted Partnerships……….You must attend West Africa’s Largest Housing Expo.

If you attend this year’s event, you will meet one of our EXHIBITORS from Asia, whose most recent project in Africa includes 88m2 two bedroom house for an average family. 70% of building materials used can be recycled. It is simple to assembly, it can resist earthquake of magnitude 8 and can withstand 12 mph wind gusts.

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

The estimated economic life is more than 70 years. The homes boast of superior thermal insulation performance, sound insulation effect; and it can be customized according to customer preferences and shapes.

Meet with our featured manufacturer and other Exhibitors from Asia at the 12th Abuja International housing show, the Largest Housing event in West Africa……….. promoting smarter growth, sensible transportation choices, community revitalization, and open space conservation.

Abuja International Housing Show, if you’re not there, then your not there…….

by Kunle Faleti

Expert urges Nigerians to key into FG`s housing schemes

The Group Managing Director of Alphea Mead Group, Mr Femi Akintude has said it is only when the people key into government`s housing schemes that it would be able to provide funding for the housing sector.

Akintunde further said for the government to actualize the set target of any social housing programme, private sector developers must be infused into such arrangement with the government providing a sizable chunk of the funding, while private sector balances up the difference.

He stated this in a paper presentation entitled “perspective on social mass housing infrastructure.”

He said, “The upper income is not where we have a problem; unfortunately, that is where the return on investment seems to be more attractive and that`s where we also see oversupply and under demand because of affordability.

“The middle income can be defined as the housing in the range from N10 million to 15 million. These are housing for middle income professionals those who are gainfully employed but cannot afford the luxury of buying houses of N100 million, N200 million without a loan. So, they must rely on mortgage facilities

“There is also the lower level that`s where the bulk of the gap resides about 50 or 60 percent of the gap is at this level. Houses in this range cost between 5million to 10 million naira. The people in this range can’t simply pay for any house more than N2milion.”

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

He noted that given the current economic situation, 2milion naira cannot conveniently build a quality house.  “This simply implies that something must give way or someone must pay the difference to enable the people in this category own houses and that is where the concept of social housing comes into play.”

Akintude said it is the responsibility of government to provide housing for people in this category.

He, however, said government`s approach to deliver housing should not be through government directly; else, it will not be  slow and inefficient.  He said The Federal Mortgage Bank, the Federal Housing Authority and National Housing Insurance must come to play here, and that is why government encourages people to participate in these schemes.

“It is only when the populace key into these schemes that government can provide funding that can support the counterpart funding from either the domestic or international finance market.

“But the critical question is when the people contribute to this course, how can the government guarantee the security of their contributions?”

by Mustapha Suleiman

CORBON, N-Power begin skills acquisition training

The Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) and N-Power have jointly commenced skills acquisition training for 100 Master Trainers in the ongoing ‘Train the Trainer Skills Acquisition Programme for Construction Artisans in Nigeria.’

At the end of the training, the master trainers will be sent to the 36 states to train other trainers who will in turn transfer skills to construction artisans.

Speaking to journalists at the training centre in Abuja, Vice Chairman of CORBON, Dr. Samson Opaluwah, explained that the training of master trainers included going to the states and zones across the federation to train other trainers who would in turn train construction industry artisans for the country.

He noted that the training progammme was “a major problem solver” because the artisanship level of the construction industry in this country was being taken over by foreigners while Nigerian youths remained unemployed.

He said, “The CORBON/N-Power initiative will equip Nigerian youths with the skills to win jobs and execute them competently and professionally in a competitive economy.”

He said no economy could be sustainable without home grown inputs and management specialists, adding that any nation which depended on foreign expertise would be disappointed because foreigners would migrate to locations of greener pastures as soon as they got better offers, but that citizens were likely to have residual interest that would make them stay in their country.

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

“So, it is best to train an in-country man, and that is what we are doing, and we commend the Federal Government for the effort,” he said.

Speaking on the impact the training will have on the economy, he said: “Nigerians will be trained at the tactical level, meaning the artisanship level of the construction industry, and they will be jointly certified by CORBON and the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) so that they will be competent to deliver world class services in the construction industry, especially in building and the allied industries.

“The training is also remarkable for the huge jobs it will create across the federation. It aims to restore the dignity of man in working with his axe.

by Mustapha Suleiman

‘Demolition should be last option, accompanied by relocation, compensation’

Barnabas Atiyaye is the Managing Director of Envicons Team Consultants Limited, a town planning firm based in Abuja. In this interview, he speaks on how government can reduce slums without necessarily demolishing structures.

 

Rural-urban migration is over stretching infrastructure in Nigeria, especially in the Federal Capital Territory. What should government do to accommodate people without overstressing infrastructure?

The most important thing we need to ask is why are people coming down to Abuja? Why are people leaving a particular urban centre to another? There are so many factors; the first factor is security. People feel that Abuja is more secure than any other place in the country. For instance, Maiduguri in Borno State is still volatile and some people feel the best place they can run to is where the security situation is stable, and Abuja appears to be one.

The second factor is that most governments have abandoned the issue of urban planning. If you want to attract investment to your state and you neglect urban planning, you are invariably depriving or driving away investors.

So, even indigenous Nigerians find it difficult to operate in such environments, how much more of people that are coming from outside. Therefore, foreign direct investment (FDI) will be absent. What we are saying is that the political will must be there, but unfortunately too, most of our political leaders want a quick win, meaning that within their tenure, they want to see results. That does not really happen when you want to do something that is sustainable. It has to have a base and a subsequent leadership can come and build from what you have done

Many planners have been engaged in preparing master plans and at the end of the day such master plans are just left on the shelves. Subsequent administrations will not go back to them. Meanwhile, the cities are decaying, infrastructure is not just there, access to economic activities are blocked, crime is on the increase and there is nothing to attract people to such places. This has resulted in some people trying to create new cities within their own environments. We don’t need that, all you need is to come up with very good urban renewal strategies, come out with good master plans that can be undertaken even if they are going to be in phases, and at the end people will be willing to be where they are.

The next is the ability to know the direction of growth of cities: each city has a direction of growth, either to the East, West or South, and there must be a favoured direction. Government should pay attention to such places, provide the infrastructure and all the services, and people will remain where they are.

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

I have seen areas where infrastructure and services have been provided and nobody is there. Meanwhile, areas where people are living are without any infrastructure. Therefore, the question is what happened? It is a misplaced priority as far as I am concerned. I have also discovered that those in executive positions don’t take advice from professional bodies. Assuming you want to establish something, you need to contact people that know about the terrain to professionally give you advice, but they will come with political correctness and they just think on their own and say “I want to do it here” even if you come with a superior argument.

Governments have said they always consulted and engaged professionals from the civil service before embarking on any project. Will this not make governments to easily emasculate them into their own political agenda?

There are two approaches to it: professionals in the civil service and also professionals outside have roles to play. There are certain things that professionals in the civil service don’t have the capacity to execute, and even if they do, the content of work is overwhelming that they may need to have people from outside to assist them. That apart, the truth is this, before government professionals are involved, in most cases, the authorities already determine what they want to do. In fact, people that dare to go against particular political decisions are either moved or sidelined or transferred. We have had so many instances. The Minister’s Hill for instance, that is being bastardised is supposed to be a green area. There was a reaction to it, and what happened? The executives eventually had their way and the civil servants had to cooperate. This is just one out of many.

What is the way out so that professionalism will reign supreme in project execution?

What always happens is that for professionals that know, they will put it into writing because there is a limit to which the professionals can go. If the minister or the governor decides to go the other way, that is left for him because the outcome of that can now be traced to the executives and not the professionals because the professionals must have given their professional advice.

Non civil service professionals have the capacity to tell the truth. However, unfortunately, because of the economy, professionals outside that are called by government to come and do a particular job become subservient in the sense that they feel it is an opportunity for them to get jobs, so they wouldn’t want to lose that opportunity because if they refuse to do it, another person is ready, so these are the critical issues we are being faced with and except we restore discipline we cannot get anything right. That is where I think institutions like Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC) must come in.

Let’s go to the issue of demolition: what should lead to demolition in the first place?

Demolition can be done only on two to three environmental issues. Firstly, if the people are living in an area where it is dangerous to their lives, demolition can be carried out, government can go ahead. However, government should provide an alternative land because you cannot just go and throw them away just like that. If you know that where they are living is dangerous-such as river banks that are liable to flooding or areas prone to slides, they should be relocated.

Secondly, when they occupy a place that is meant for a project and government wants to use that place, government can remove them. The problem is that government allows people to stay in a place for too long without talking to them. Anybody who has stayed in a place for over 10 years has a right to that place and if you want to remove him, provide an alternative. That is why even demolished sites are still being inhabited. People have come back to stay there because the moment you leave it vacant they will surely come back.

I have come to realise that people that are living in slums, most of them don’t even own that place. The rich men in the city own the slums, and in fact it is like a business for them.

Even in Lugbe, a lot of them are not living in their own houses. Lugbe is a combination of indigenes and settlers. If government wants to demolish it, with the population it now has, it will really attract international outcry because a lot of people are going to be subjected to serious hardship.

by Malikatu Mukaila

Housing Sector: Reps Give Committee 8 Weeks To Investigate Anormalities

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Housing to conduct an investigative public hearing on alleged fraudulent practices and activities in the housing sector.

The committee is expected to report back within eight weeks to enable the House take further legislative action.

The House urged the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to put in place appropriate mechanism to ensure registration of all estate developers.

This, it said, was to ensure strict monitoring and regulation of the sector.

TheBay House’s decision was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Joseph Edionwele (Edo- APC) at plenary.

Moving the motion earlier, Edionwele said shelter remained a basic necessity of life and that it topped the list of a man’s needs.

He said in a bid to address the housing need, the Federal Government set up a Public-Private Partnership arrangement where government provided land for private firms to develop affordable real estate for public.

The lawmaker said in spite of the attractive and motivational incentives by successive governments, there was still a huge housing deficit for low-income earners.

He said the public-private partnership had become a veritable tool in the hands of people who masquerade as estate developers to dupe unsuspecting Nigerians.

Edionwele said fraudulent activities in the sector had resulted in the loss of billions of naira by innocent Nigerians and had hampered the housing development policy of the government.

He stressed the need to put a stop to the practice by putting in place strict measures in the sector for effective monitoring and regulation.

Also speaking, Rep. Sergious Ogun (Edo-PDP) said if food, shelter and clothes were taken care of, corruption would be reduced to the minimum in the country.

While supporting the motion, Ogun charged security agencies to monitor and make examples of those perpetrating fraud in the sector.

Contributing, Rep. Mohammed Abdu (APC-Bauchi) said the committee was already working on the issues.

He said the committee was already addressing the issue of sharp practices in the sector.

Source: PMnews

Addressing Nigeria’s housing challenge

Despite the Federal Government’s promise in 2016 to address the nation’s housing challenge through mass housing, not much has been done in that direction.  President Muhammadu Buhari had at the time said his government would build 5,000 housing units in every state, every year for the next three years, for the use of public sector workers. Nigerians are waiting for the fulfillment of that promise.

In August last year, the government announced that it had commenced mass housing projects in 33 states across the country. Since then, not much has been heard or seen of the houses. In the 2018 budget, the Federal Government earmarked N35.4 billion to address the housing needs of its workforce under the National Housing Programme. With the enormity of the nation’s housing problem, the 2018 budgetary allocation to housing is inadequate. Whatever the 36 state governments budget for the sector is also not likely to make much impact on the housing gap.

Statistics on housing show that Nigeria, with an estimated population of 170 million people, has housing deficit of 17 million units.  The World Bank, in 2016, projected that it would cost the country about N59.5 trillion to address the deficit. About 108 million Nigerians are estimated to be homeless, based on an average family of six people per housing unit.  While Nigeria needs to build about 700,000 housing units every year to bridge the housing gap, the country barely builds 100,000 such units per year.

Apart from being a basic need of life, housing is a right of every citizen. It is one of the three necessities of life. In fact, Article 25 (1) of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to which Nigeria is a signatory clearly states, among others, that: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services.”

Read More: Why Government can’t regulate tenancy in Nigeria

Many Nigerians are denied this right to standard housing. A situation where some Nigerians live under bridges because they have no place to lay their heads is unacceptable. It is interesting that China, with a huge population of over 1.3 billion people, makes deliberate efforts to ensure that all its citizens are provided with adequate shelter. It is a sad commentary on governance in Nigeria that virtually all our successive governments made promises to solve the nation’s housing problem but failed to do so.  Good housing is necessary for good health and sanitation. It goes a long way in raising the living standard of the people.  Nigeria should borrow a leaf from other developed countries on how they tackled their housing deficits. Government should stop paying lip service to the problem.

One of the factors strongly militating against mass housing for Nigerians is the lack of an adequate mortgage finance system. Housing statistics show that Nigeria’s mortgage finance industry (as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)) is gravely low at 0.5 per cent when compared with other countries such as UK (80 per cent), US (77 per cent), South Africa (31 per cent), and Ghana (2 per cent). Sadly enough, housing and construction sector accounted for only 3.1 per cent of Nigeria’s rebased GDP in May 2016.

Also, the rate of home ownership in Nigeria is reportedly the lowest in Africa at 25 per cent.  Available statistics show that Nigeria’s home ownership rate is much lower than those of countries such as Singapore (90 per cent), Indonesia (84 per cent), Kenya (73 per cent), US (70 per cent), Benin Republic (63 per cent) and South Africa (56 per cent). Interest rates charged by banks on real estate mortgage range from 20-30 per cent, with a short tenor. It is also reported that property developers can hardly access any loan from commercial banks at less than 28 per cent.

To resolve the nation’s housing challenge, bank loans for housing should be single digit, with longer tenors. Government should also prioritise the construction of affordable housing units for the masses. Most of the current housing schemes in the country are designed for affluent Nigerians who can pay deposits running into millions of naira. There is the need to embrace the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in solving this problem.

Former Lagos State Governor, Lateef Jakande, left an indelible legacy in affordable mass housing that is worthy of emulation by today’s leaders. Government should overhaul the nation’s mortgage system to make it suitable for the funding of  massive housing projects.

Author: Uche Atuma

 

Why Government can’t regulate tenancy in Nigeria

It is a popular saying that one does not give what one does not have. This, in a sense, means that you should cut your coat according to your cloth. It also means that government will have no legal backing to regulate tenancy in Nigeria. The introduction of laws to regulate tenancy will only be on paper because any landlord who chooses to peg any rate for his property will not be stopped. The worst could be the introduction of black market in property sector.

Regulating rent is most unattainable because since the government did not build any of the houses, it will be near impossible for the same government to put a ceiling on the pricing. It is only what one can control that one can regulate. About five or six years ago, the Lagos State government promulgated laws aimed at regulating tenancy. Most experts saw the government efforts in that direction as white elephant job as no landlord will be willing to subject himself to any external regulation.

Unknown to many landlords in Lagos, the Tenancy Laws of Lagos State, which came into force on August 24, 2011, have provided a panacea for the rising cases of disputes arising from tenants’ inability to pay rents. Section 13, Subsection (1) of the Tenancy Law also prescribes the length of notice to be given where there is no agreement between the landlord and the tenant to determine the tenancy, which are; a week’s notice for a tenant at will, one month’s notice for a monthly tenant, three months’ notice for a half-yearly tenant and six months’ notice for a yearly tenant.

READ: Expert Urges FG to Exercise Strong Political will to address Housing Deficit

However, Subsection (2) of Section 13 further provides that in the case of a monthly tenancy, where the tenant is in arrears of rent for six months, the tenancy shall lapse. In other words, there would be no need for a landlord to issue a notice to quit on the tenant; what will be issued is a seven-day notice of owner’s intention to recover possession.

The position of most property experts is that you don’t regulate what you don’t have. In the opinion of Mr. Chudi Ubosi, an estate surveyor and valuer and a Continental President of International Estate Surveyors & Valuers Federation, regulation of tenancy in the country is an unusual situation. According to him, “available statistics show that housing deficit in the country is more than what is being brandished by semi-experts. The 17 million deficit is not real and cannot be substantiated because most reliable experts are saying that by now our deficits should be about 20 million or above 22 million. 

UN statistics has it that even at 16 million deficit, for Nigeria to clear this deficit, it needs to produce at least 750,000 units of housing every year. Nigeria needs to be able to do that so that in another 20, 30, 40 years, even if that figure remains the same, it will clear the housing deficit by 15 years. Yet we have 16 million and in today’s Nigeria, production is less than 50,000 units of housing in the whole of the country. Nigeria has a situation where even with that 50,000 units of housing, a lot of them are geared towards the luxury end of the market and not towards the low income end that need the products majorly. 

There is a situation where there is enormous pressure on the existing housing stock. What that means is that demands far outweigh the supply. The implication of that is that property prices will continue to be high. If property prices are high, whether for sale or lease, government cannot regulate it. If it decides to put in regulation, what it will have is creating a black market, which means when you come to lease my house, I will give you government price to sign on the paper but under the table, I will tell you, you need to pay this extra. So these are things that experts see as basic economics that everybody should understand and appreciate. 

READ: The Core Objective of the Abuja International Housing Show

Yes, government has a role to ensure that its citizens are housed but the role should focus more on creating the environment that will enable people to invest more in real estate. Reduce the bureaucracy and cost of getting get building approval; reduce the cost of getting titles to land; make it easy for people to get land without having to apply to the government for allocation, which will never come. Or you will go and buy from a family that doesn’t have title and as soon as they collect your money, the man you bought from disappears and a new set of people reappear to tell you you bought from the wrong person. So these are the dynamics of the things that concern real estate. Government’s regulation of tenancy is therefore an exercise in futility.

Going by the Lagos State Law that empowers tenancy regulation, Section 13(5) of the Tenancy Law, Chapter T1 , Vol. 10, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, allows a landlord to give a  tenant seven-day notice of intention to recover  possession as in Form TL5 in the schedule to this Law. Such law is only applicable in a tenancy, which has a fixed  term, and once a tenancy has a fixed term, it only requires seven-day notice after serving an intention to recover possession. The landlord will then file a claim in a magistrate court and the court bailiff will serve same on the tenant.

After servicing the claim, trial will begin where the tenant and the landlord are expected to adopt their written addresses before the court will give judgment on the matter. The sheriff will execute the judgment, especially when the tenure has expired or the tenants are unable to pay rents. This, she said, is different from the previous practice where the landlord is required to serve a six-month quit notice after which he starts with the seven-day notice of intention to recover possession. 

READ: Why alternative investments thrived above global real estate market in 2017

This law is not obtainable in most other states of the federation but since it is enacted in Lagos, legal experts and experts in the real estate industry are watching to see how it would be enforced. The law is made to quicken the process in view of the court congestion and it must be on fixed tenure. Experts who studied the law and promulgated it advise landlords to have fixed tenure in their agreement to quicken the process. The law was enacted in 2011 but full compilation of all Lagos laws was done in 2015. 

Adding voice to the matter, former chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Monday Onyekachi Ubani, had posited that the law has reduced cases of getting judgment behind the tenants as it criminalises it.

by Maduka Nweke.  Source: Sunnewsonline

Lagos Demolishes 21 Buildings On LSDPC Land

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, on Thursday demolished 21 buildings erected illegally on government’s land meant to develop mass housing around Ogudu area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

The parcel of land measuring 7.6 hectares at Abule Shoko area, Ogudu is said to belong to the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, LSDPC, meant to develop mass housing project of the state government.

Officials of LASBCA stormed the slummy area in the morning and began immediate demolition as residents scampered to get out their belongings.

The state government said it issued quit notices to residents of the area one year ago and followed it up with another notice four months ago, but noted that residents refused to vacate their apartments.

General Manager, LASBCA, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde said government had a plan to use the parcel of land which belonged to it for mass housing development, adding that the affected buildings had been marked for demolition a year ago.
He said residents encroached on the land illegally and that LASBCA was reclaiming the land for mass housing development.

Read More: The Core Objective of the Abuja International Housing Show

“We came here to remove the structures as we have marked them a year ago. The last exercise was four months ago. These structures are not habitable,” he said, saying that residents never got government’s approval for such illegal development.

“Our duty is to ensure that government’s land is not encroached on. The land belongs to the LSDPC and we won’t be here if the land does not belong to them. This land is part of the Rent-to-own programme of the state government,” he said.
Residents of the area lamented the demolition of their structures, saying that they were giving short notice by the government.

A landlord, whose property was demolished, Mrs Kehinde Thompson said she acquired the land from ‘Omo onile’ 20 years ago and erected her structure, but noted that she had no certificate of occupancy on her property.

According to her, government served them notice in October 2017 and later came with another notice of evacuation on Wednesday and then came this morning to demolish their structures, saying the action was unfair.

Another landlord, Patience Ibrahim lamented that the time giving by government was too short, saying it was not possible for residents to get accommodation within 24 hours in view of the one day notice given to them by government.

Court awards $10 million damages against Shoprite for contract breach

After seven years of legal battle, a Lagos High Court, Igbosere has awarded the sum of $10 million against South African retail giant, Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited and its business partner, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited for a breach of contract entered with a Nigerian firm, AIC Limited in 1998.
In a landmark judgment delivered by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo on November 30, 2017, but exclusively obtained by The Guardian yesterday, the court held that the defendants were in breach of the agreement when they (Shoprite and Supermarkets) went secretly behind AIC Limited promoted by Chief Harry Akande to establish Shoprite outlet in one of the locations earlier shown to them by the claimant.

The court also held that the claimant was duly entitled for compensation for such a breach and awarded the sum of N1million against Shoprite as cost of the action as well as an interest at the rate of 10 per cent per annum effective from the date of judgment until final liquidation of the entire sum.
According to the court, claimant has, as a follow up of South Africa meeting of April 16, 1998, incurred expenses, which included preparing and registering Shoprite-AIC Limited. Preparing feasibility reports, applying and procuring visas for the defendant’s representatives that visited Nigeria on May 27, 1998 as well as organizing another meeting at its own expense slated for its office in Victoria Island on May 27, 1998.

In the suit marked LD/488/2010, filed by AIC counsel, Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), the company through its promoter, Chief Harry Akande has sought for a declaration that by virtue of its agreement with the first defendant (Shoprite Checkers Limited), for a joint venture to be formed by the claimant and the defendants is entitled to exclusively operate and manage the first defendant ‘s Shoprite brand in Nigeria and elsewhere in the coast of West Africa except Ghana.

The claimant among several claims, asked for an order of court for payment by the first defendant the sum of $2.23 million another N13.6 million as special damages and 50 per cent of $92.3 million as loss of profit it suffered as a result of the incorporation of Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (second defendant) by the first defendant for the flagrant breach of the agreement for the period 2005 to 2009.

The claimant said that the agreement was breached when the first defendant sidelined it and incorporated the second defendant in flagrant breach of the contract.But the first defendant through their counsel, Funke Adekoya SAN, contended that there was no joint venture agreement between the claimant and the first defendant.

The defendant contended that the claimant has failed to discharge the burden of proof, but attempting to support its week case and argument by piecing disjointed material together.The defence, which called five witnesses, urged the court to dismiss the claims for the claimant’s failure to adduce concrete evidence of non-execution of a joint venture agreement.

In the suit, the defence in their addresses dated April 4, 2016 and adopted by counsel, formulated two issues for resolution, namely; has the claimant established the existence of a joint venture agreement or any other agreement between it and the first defendant.The court was also asked by the parties to resolve whether the claimant has established any claim against any of the defendants.

In the resolving two issues set before him, the trial judge in a 57 paged judgment held that there were business discussions between parties leading to meetings held both in South Africa on April 16, 1998 and at the claimant office in Victoria Island on May 27, 1998, which amounted to an agreement.

It was also the affirmation of the court that the first defendant sent representatives, who flew into Lagos in furtherance of the on-going business discussion and were conducted to some specific locations, like Lekki Roundabout, Lekki Peninsula, near Victoria Island, Trade fair Complex, Lagos National Theatre, Iganmu and others.

The court also looked at extracts from the meetings in South Africa and Lagos before reaching a conclusion that the two meetings took place in 1998 prior to the establishment of Shoprite out let in Nigeria in 2005.

The compliant has averred that sometime in 1997, it conceived of a business idea of developing and establishing mega stores/ retail supermarkets in Nigeria similar to Shoprite Chain Store Supermarket in South Africa and Sainsbury Supermarket of the United Kingdom for profit and further enhance its good will and reputation in the Nigerian Business community.

This led to several meetings between parties and entering into a joint venture agreement, which was to exclusively operate Shoprite Checkers’ brand in Nigeria and elsewhere in west coast of Africa except Ghana.

Why alternative investments thrived above global real estate market in 2017

Global real estate markets witnessed diminishing returns in 2017, which gave room for investment diversification, a development which led to the expansion of the frontiers of the real sector, a newly released report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed.

The report, conducted by the Investment Risk Forum (IRF) of the RICS – comprising of more than 40 of the world’s most influential real estate investors, came a decade after the crisis in real estate hit the world.

The forum was established in 2015 to foster industry leadership and to share best practice, with the aim of enhancing the industry’s approach to risk management.

In the new report, which draws on responses to an extensive survey with follow-up interviews, the group explores whether lessons from previous cycles have been learnt to mitigate future risk.

eProperty News quoted TC Chetty, RICS Country Manager in South Africa: “The report aims to highlight some of the trends and perspectives which influence risk management in real estate investment, and is designed to stimulate further discussion and act as a foundation for ongoing leadership in this field.
“A number of issues were raised, among which included concerns surrounding the availability and consistency of cross-border property data, a challenge which is becoming acuter as the industry grows internationally and especially as investment volumes grow in emerging markets.

“Besides, advances in risk management have come at a time when real estate investment has reached new all-time highs, with yields noticed to have been compressed and competition for returns is fierce.

“Against this backdrop, investors are observing a growing risk appetite, with moves into alternative, non-traditional assets becoming increasingly widespread,” said Chetty.

A 2017 McKinsey report also reflected this momentum of alternative investments toward non-traditional asset classes such as student housing, data centres, healthcare offices, medical facilities and assisted-living communities.

This move to alternatives is changing the risk profile of investments as hotels, student accommodation, healthcare and the private rented sector behave very differently from traditionally core assets such as offices, hotel accommodation and housing sector.

Alternative investments operate under different business models with different types of investors. However, when understood correctly, these assets create new opportunities for investors, as observed by the report, which also highlights a trend towards greater flexibility in the way properties are designed, managed and leased by occupiers.

Co-working, flexible space is becoming more prevalent in the office sector, building on models. As a result, leases are becoming shorter and more flexible, with covenant strength being tested in new ways. For investors, the opportunity to acquire assets with long-term tenants in place is becoming less prevalent.

Another challenge that was considered is that driverless cars will be a reality in the not too distant future, so investors with multi-storey car parks in their portfolios are now thinking about the risk and opportunities.

The IRF notes that in 2017, the sector appears much better placed to manage and mitigate risk. Experiences of the last downturn have prompted material changes in the way investors are set up to weather complex and volatile markets. However, there are several areas, which the industry needs to tackle to improve risk management.

Firstly, the industry needs to ensure that comparable real estate market data is available across borders as there is a lack of quality benchmarking data in many markets.

“The industry also needs to improve institutional knowledge sharing to ensure new generations learn from the experience of previous cycles and share innovative thinking, market insight and best practice.

“As a priority, we need to share lessons with new generations of employees, in particular on liquidity management, integration of research in the risk management process, and practical approaches to risk management.”

Dataset such as total returns are available in some developed markets but there is a need to capture this information more systematically around the world. As a result, the IRF suggests there should be greater accessibility to indices that can enhance benchmarking and the ability to manage risk prudently.

In addition, common standards that underpin real estate information would ensure property data is more transparent, comparable and meaningful across markets, to allow better and informed decisions on investment risk.

Adds Chetty: “The Forum concludes that there is a need for greater leadership and best practice in risk management systems and processes, drawing on lessons from other investment sectors.

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