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NSE President Says Buhari’s Order On Local Content Will Reduce Capital Flight

The President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr Kunle Mokuolu, on Monday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s executive order on local content would drastically reduce capital flight.

Makuolu said in Lagos that the order would boost the capacity of local engineers to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria.

He, however, urged Buhari to ensure that the order was obeyed to prevent Nigerians from continuously developing other economies and neglecting their own.
The order was signed by the president on Feb. 5 to encourage local content and initiatives in the economic sector.

The order, tagged “Executive Order 5’’, is to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
The order also prohibits the ministry of interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.

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

It, however, notes that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.

According to Makuolu, it is wrong for a foreigner to sign a contract with the Nigerian government.

“What is done globally is for government to give the job to citizens and allow them determine whether they have the capacity or not to execute the project.

“Those who doubt the capacity of local engineers is like questioning the capacity of a woman to get pregnant.

“If we are not given the chance to prove our competence in our country, am I going to London, America or Ghana to prove myself?

“I can only prove myself and get experience in this country and the time will come when those people who are not competent will leave.”

He said that corruption was the origin of the practice of giving out jobs to foreigners, hailing Buhari for reversing the trend.

“Have you ever seen a man who would say my children cannot eat so give the food to foreigners who know how to eat?

“When you get your nationals to execute projects, you are only doing yourself a favour because whatever benefits foreigners bring would be wiped out later.

“There is no structural facility that would not need improvement.

“If you get a foreigner to execute projects when you are buoyant, he would not remember your commitment when you are broke, that is why government must engage its nationals and encourage in-house capacity.”

Mokuolu said that the NSE would soon open branches abroad and set up a database for Diaspora engineers in order to create opportunity for exchange of ideas for the development of Nigeria.

New strategy to build cities tops World Urban Forum agenda

Four billion people likely to move to urban areas globally before 2050 Urban demand for resources could rise by 125 per cent without intervention

As urban areas around the world continue to grow, cities are placing an increasingly heavy burden on the environment.

Policymakers should therefore treat resource efficiency as equal in importance to climate policy if they want to move towards a sustainable future, according to a new report from the International Resource Panel.

The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization calls for a new strategy to meet the needs of 21st-century urbanization, one that would result in cities that are low carbon, resource efficient, socially just, and in which people can live healthy lives.

Unless the world’s urban areas make optimal use of their resources, cities will soon demand far more resources than the planet can sustainably provide, placing a huge burden on agriculture, energy, industry and transport. In the next 30 years, 2.4 billion people are likely to move to urban areas, bringing the proportion of the global population living in cities by 2050 to 66 per cent.

The annual amount of natural resources used by urban areas could grow from 40 billion tonnes of raw materials in 2010 to 90 billion tonnes by 2050, an increase of 125 per cent, if changes are not made to how cities are built and designed.

The report, the 25th from the International Resource Panel, an eminent group of experts set up by UN Environment in 2007 to examine natural resource use, was one of two summary reports launched at the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (WUF9).

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

Slightly more than a third of urban growth is expected to come from three countries: India (expected to contribute 404 million new city-dwellers), China (292 million) and Nigeria (212 million). At the same time, currently one in three urban residents lives in a slum or informal settlement, often without access to proper housing or basic services.

The increase in urban population will require the building of new cities and the expansion of existing ones. Building and operating these new cities, and supporting the urban lifestyles of those who live in them, requires billions of tonnes of raw materials, such as fossil fuels, sand, gravel, iron ore, wood and food.

Historically, existing cities have been spreading at a rate of two per cent a year, increasing global urban land use from just below one million square kilometres to 2.5 million in 2050, and putting agricultural land and food supplies at risk.

To achieve a transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient, socially just cities, the report recommends: ONE: Monitoring the flow of resources entering and leaving the cities to understand the local situation and to help develop resource-efficient strategies.

TWO: Planning cities to have compact growth, to avoid urban sprawl and so economize on the square kilometres of asphalt, the concrete, the electricity and the water wasted in spread-out cities; Better connections by efficient and affordable public transport (light rail, bus rapid transit) and liveable neighbourhoods where design encourages people to walk or cycle.

Other factors are resource-efficient urban components, such as car sharing, electric vehicles and charging point networks, efficient energy, efficient waste and water systems, smart grids, cycle paths, energy-efficient buildings, new heating, cooling and lighting technology as well as infrastructure for cross-sector efficiency, such as using waste heat from industry in district energy systems and industrial waste materials in construction, such as fly-ash bricks.

The report also recommends establishing a new model for city governance and politics that supports imaginative business propositions and experimentation.

“There are already far too many people around the world who are already being poisoned by breathing dirty, dangerous air in the cities they live in, and it’s alarming to see that this trend is set to worsen,” said UN Environment chief Erik Solheim.

“We can and need to do far better. We can design better cities, where people can walk or cycle instead of having to use cars, where waste is recycled rather than burned or tossed into landfills, and where everyone can access clean fuels and energy.”

In October 2016, representatives from 167 countries joined together in Quito, Ecuador, to adopt the New Urban Agenda, a United Nations agreement to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable amid rapid urbanization. WUF9, is a continuation of the efforts to implement the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, His Excellency Najib Razak, opened the World Urban Forum in an official ceremony today with participants celebrating the energy building for implementing the New Urban Agenda.

Speaking at the opening, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Shariff said: “With its genuine openness and inclusive nature, the World Urban Forum is a chance for stakeholders from all over the world to contribute to the global conversation about our cities and human settlements.”

The World Urban Forum opened with more than 25,000 registrants from 185 countries attending more than 500 events and was celebrated as the most inclusive to date with 90 per cent of least developed countries represented.

Stakeholders Chart New Path for Financing Low-Income Homes

With housing production estimated at 100, 000 housing units per year, experts in housing industry have called for adequate housing finance for the low-income group, which constitutes larger part of the population.

According to them, the lowest recorded interest rate on a mortgage in Nigeria is 19 per cent, as of September 2016, while mortgage access requires at least a 25 per cent down payment and mortgage penetration is at 0.58 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However to change this narrative, the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Nigeria (hbs) and Arctic Infrastructure (AI) last week convened a training programme in Lagos on “Public Private Partnership for Affordable Housing and Housing Finance”.

At the training attended by representatives from the relevant government establishments, private sector housing developers, civil society organizations, community groups, academia and professional associations, stakeholders noted the acute challenge in fundraising for housing projects.

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

They said, there is need to enthrone sustainable housing finance models in order to meet the housing needs of the low-income groups.

While noting the continuous increase in population and the impact of cities like Lagos, which has been dubbed the “mega-city of slums”, they called for more innovative ways to get funding through public private partnership for housing projects.

Leading discussions on Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Housing Projects, Executive Director at the Center for Ethics and Sustainable Development, Dr. Olajumoke Akiode, said Nigeria is one of the many countries that have adopted PPP in the provision of housing at various levels of government across the country.

According to her, the PPP in housing provision started in Nigeria in the early 90s, after the 1991 National Housing Policy, which supported and promoted private sector participation in housing provision.

However, in practice these, she noted, have not always been achieved due to inadequate risk assessment and management as one of the major reasons for failures of PPP in housing.

“Like any other construction business, PPP arrangement is prone to risk. In fact PPP projects are perceived to have more inherent risks due to the involvement of many stakeholders with varied interests in addition to the economic, political, social and cultural conditions where the projects are to be undertaken.

“This, therefore underscores the importance of risk management in PPP projects which have been adjudged to be riskier than the traditionally procured projects”, she added.

Dr. Akiode however mentioned transparency, respect to the contracts’ specifications, value benefits to stakeholders, thorough risk analysis and stakeholder’s engagement as some of the factors for ensuring success of PPP.

Also, the Country Director of Cromwell Professional Services International, Mr. Sola Enitan, who facilitated the housing finance session, said over time, housing in Nigeria’s urban centres has been a subject of concern to every government as there always seem to be a shortfall.

This, he said, is especially true for Lagos as a state leading to several reforms and policy measures, which have addressed the housing needs to an extent.

He however, listed lack of strong political will, economic limits, ideological limits, lack of provision of construction materials, administration of construction process, nature of labour process, system financing as some of the limitations.

“Of all these limitations, it has been agreed that the one that stalls the effectiveness of most housing schemes is lack of a political will. When this is addressed, then financing a housing scheme will not become as tedious as it is in recent times”, he added.

By Bertram Nwannekanma

Enitan outlined innovative building technology, tax holiday, off-taker mandates and removal of negative equity syndrome among others as, some of the strategies to be considered in enthroning sustainable housing finance models for Lagos and Nigeria in general.

Earlier, the Project Director of Arctic Infrastructure, Mr. Lookman Oshodi said the training becomes necessary in view of the acute challenge being faced by stakeholders in fundraising for housing projects.

He emphasized that the training programme exposed the participants to innovative and creative approaches of financing projects rather than full focus on conventional system.

On her parts, Mrs. Monika Umunna of Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Nigeria said the training was convened to strengthen the understanding of participants on PPP structuring, approaches, potentials and challenges now that many housing projects in Nigeria are being packaged using the PPP model.

Some of the participants at the programme expressed satisfaction with the new knowledge obtained including crowd funding for housing project, need for compensation fee or rejection fee for the bidders that are not successful in the bidding process and layers of housing acquisition loans and support mechanism that could be available in an organized but diverse housing market such as Lagos.

BSTAN Charges FG to Provide Housing for IDPs

Property developer has expressed dissatisfaction over inability of political office holders to provide adequate housing for Nigerians.

The Managing Director of Bstan Homes, Bekky Damilola-Oke urged politicians to provide houses for internally displaced persons as well as train them.

Lamenting the increasing rate of IDP camps across the states, she said government should pay adequate attention to the housing sector, which could boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) by 40per cent.

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

She stressed that Bstan Home has put in place measures to reduce homelessness in the country through the provision of mass housing for Nigerians.

Damilola Oke pointed out that in its bid to assist access its houses, the company had carved out the Bstan Savings and loans that enable people who are part of the cooperative acquire their mortgage loan at zero percent interest rate.

She said although the state and the federal government are doing their best, but there is an urgent need for private players investment in the sector.

According to her, the reason there are empty housing estates across the country is the inability of Nigerians to secure mortgage loans due to high interest rate.

He also blamed developers for building houses, which are not affordable.

“Most families are faced with problems of paying rent or having shelter over their head, but the moment they can access a good housing program with zero interest rate, then you have solved 50 per cent of problems of many Nigerians, it would increase standard of living in the country, reduce death rate, improve employment”, she said.

Why mortgage access eludes many adult Africans

There are many reasons access to mortgage will continue to elude many adult Africans. Poverty is one of such reasons. There are others reasons which, experts argue, are as profound as poverty working against majority of the black continent population.

With low gross asset value of its real estate estimated at just €113 billion, Africa is said to be economically underweight with high-level poverty among its people, and this is in spite of its large population size. High level poverty is reason for the low standard of living and sub-human conditions in which some of the people live.

The continent’s €113 billion gross asset value of real estate represents only 1 percent of the world’s total value, pushing it very low relative to other continents. In Nigeria, for instance, the situation is bad. Only 5 percent of the country’s housing stock estimated at 13 million units are in formal mortgage.

The remaining 95 percent are said to be ‘dead assets’. But analysts see positive upsides in this because, according to them, this has made the continent an attractive prospect for investible funds in real estate.

Home ownership in most parts of Africa is almost a luxury because houses are available and are inaccessible and unaffordable to many people because of their high prices. These prices can only be afforded by a few who have the means.

The World Bank estimates that only 3 percent of the African population, about 15 percent of the world’s 7.3 billion population, has income viable enough to qualify them for a mortgage, underscoring the level of poverty in the black continent where some households live below poverty line.

Nigeria is the continent’s most populous nation and is touted as its largest economy, yet about 70 percent of its 170 million people lives below poverty line, which explains the low home ownership level in the country which is a little above 10 percent of the entire population.

It is also estimated that about 90 percent of houses in Nigeria are self-built with less than 5 percent of them in possession of formal title registration. Mortgage loans and advances in the country stand at 0.5 percent to GDP in contrast to 30-40 percent in emerging economies and 60-80 percent in advanced economies.

Major obstacles to mortgage finance also include dearth of long-term funds, absence of a secondary mortgage market, inadequate branch network of Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs), among others which is why a great deal of work remains to be done to grow housing finance in the country.

The growth of housing finance in Nigeria, according to Guillaume Roux of Lafarge Africa Group, needs the support of the small micro-finance institutions in their efforts to expand and diversify their offering, adding that the growth would also come from the large commercial banks which are becoming more and more attracted by the low to medium income segment of the housing market.

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

Roux’s argument was that both the micro-finance institutions and commercial banks need support to develop housing products and build up projects which would positively affect the low income segment, urging organization and institutions to help one another to achieve these goals.

Nigeria needs to grow housing finance through such initiatives as ‘Housing Micro-finance Academy’ which Lafarge launched in 2014 in partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and African Finance Development (AFD).

Training sessions need to be organized to promote housing micro-finance and develops the capabilities of banks in that field. Roux sees governments as critical stakeholders required to create the regulatory framework that would make the housing market work for the low income segment, noting that the setting up of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and the institutions for housing finance, including micro-finance and mass housing financing, with the support of the World Bank, is a good example of a platform which would facilitate the growth of initiatives there.

“This will progressively enable a decrease in interest rates in the mortgage industry. However, more support from the government is needed to lower the interest rates for the funding of affordable housing and social housing projects. Today, they represent a cost of up to 30 to 40 percent of the construction, which is borne by the end user”, Roux said.

It needs to be stated that there is a need to improve the affordability of construction itself in which case social housing projects should be setting the stage by showcasing new construction techniques that could improve quality, deliver faster and reduce the cost of construction.

African governments need to creatively innovate in order to improve the living standard of their people through the provision of affordable and mortgage-backed housing programmes. Also, the mortgage system has to be improved to make it not only accessible but also affordable.

UK Asset Forfeiture: Nigerian Property Owners Panic, Bombard VAIDS Hotlines

Nigerians, who own property in the United Kingdom, have inundated the Federal Ministry of Finance’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) hotlines with calls, causing the lines to crash on Friday.

Federal Inland Revenues Service (FIRS) and Ministry of Finance sources confirmed to our correspondent on Sunday that the unprecedented level of calls was not unconnected with the new UK regulation with regard to Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs).

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

The sources disclosed that the confidential hotlines that were provided to enable the booking of appointments had received massive calls and frantic requests from tax payers in the last 72 hours, asking for extension of time to complete their VAIDS declaration forms.

It will be recalled that the UK Government had last week introduced a new law that requires foreign owners of properties in the country to explain the source of their funds or risk forfeiting them to the Government under UWOs.

According to the new law, the UWOs can be obtained for any property or combination of properties valued at just £50,000 (about N25 million) or more, for which the owner is unable to explain legal source of funds.

Our correspondent learnt that data already in the possession of the VAIDS Office in Federal Ministry of Finance reveal that many UK property owners have under paid their taxes before transferring funds overseas to buy property.

“Concerted efforts are ongoing to restore the hotlines following the crash on Friday.

“Most of the calls received are from high net worth individuals, including company executives, bankers and even a governor. All seem to be in panic over the prospect of losing their investments,” said a source within the VAIDS Office.

The official noted that some of the apprehensive Nigerian property investors in UK stormed the Federal Ministry of Finance last Friday without appointments, requesting to see the Minister and also the Head of the VAIDS Office.

The source explained, “Most of the enquiries are about seeking assurance from the Nigerian Government that the VAIDs programme can protect them from potential asset forfeiture to the UK Government. Others requested to know if their names had appeared on the lists from overseas.”

Efforts made by our correspondent to speak with the spokesman of the Minister of Finance, Oluyinka Akintunde, were unsuccessful. Text messages sent to him were yet to be responded to as at the time of filing this report.

The UWO law, coupled with the revelation that many foreign governments are automatically sharing bank and property information with Nigeria, has resulted in an upsurge in enquiries about the VAIDs programme.

VAIDS allows Nigerian tax payers to restate their income and assets without limit and thus could potentially allow those who own property that cannot be explained by their previously declared income to regularise by declaring and paying the correct taxes.

Stop Transaction On Area Councils’ Titles, FCTA Advises

Abuja – The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has expressed regret over the illegal activities of touts and advised the public to desist from transaction on plots of land allocated by the Area Councils until title regularization process is concluded.

The FCT Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary and Chairman of the FCT Land Use & Allocation Committee(LUAC), Mr. Chinyeaka Christian Ohaa made this disclosure at the weekend during the meeting of the Committee in Abuja.

He stated that this action has become necessary to reduce the knotty cases of illegal land activities being perpetuated at the Area Councils of the Territory and thereby defrauding unsuspected members of the public.
According to him, “The confirmation of titles of the Area Councils can only be conducted after completion of the ongoing Area Councils’ title regularization exercise, and therefore the general public is hereby advised to desist from transacting on the said titles until conclusion of the regularization exercise”.

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

Mr. Ohaa remarked that by the virtue of Section 297 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Sections 18 & 1 (3) of the FCT Act respectively has absolutely vested the entire 8,000 square kilometers of the land in the Federal Capital Territory to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and is being managed by the FCT Minister under a delegated responsibility.
He further stated that, “the Administration has observed that with the recall of Area Councils’ Zonal Land Managers and Zonal Planning Officers back to the mainstream, as well as the suspension of Land allocation by the six Area Councils of the Territory, the illegal activities still persist”.

The Permanent Secretary however recalled that the FCT Administration in 2006 had directed the Area Councils to discontinue allocation of land and requested that they update and forward their records of allocations to AGIS for the commencement of the title regularization for thorough cleaning and validation.

He therefore regretted that the Administration has spotted some illegal allocation papers being backdated by fraudulent ex-FCT officials and ex-Land officers at the Area Councils; fake letters of allocations and Certificates of Occupancy in circulation as well as Farmers, Village Heads, Community Heads selling land in the Area Councils, thereby duping unsuspecting members of the public.

Mr. Ohaa warned the general public to be wary of these illegal activities by fraudulent people; reiterating that all lands in the entire Federal Capital Territory is vested in the FCTA and can only be accessed through application to the Hon. Minister.

The Permanent Secretary used the opportunity to announce that the FCT Administration has several thousands of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) as well as Rights of Occupancy (R of O) for Federal Capital City (FCC) titles unclaimed in the Department of Lands Administration and therefore, called on the beneficiaries to come forward with necessary documents for collection.

By Toyin Adebayo

NEED FOR COLLABORATION AMONG STAKEHOLDERS IN THE HOUSING FINANCE / REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT SECTOR

Despite growing optimism and bright forecasts following the introduction of various investment-friendly policies by the government to drive the growth of the property sector in the past decade, the sector’s performance in 2017 was rather disappointing for the housing finance / property development industry in general, and for the federal government in particular.

The Nigerian Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to decent accommodation, but the state has largely failed in securing this right amid rapidly rising demand. Demand is driven not just by national population growth, but particularly by the influx of domestic migrants to the industrial heartland of the country – Lagos, as well as to the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja.

Nigeria requires approximately 800,000 new housing units every year, according to numbers being thrown around. In addition, the country needs to address a backlog of some 17million units, which will provide decades of work for real estate developers. High mortgage rates, down payment requirements, taxes and recordation costs, and the increase in building raw material prices continues to make it even more difficult for middle-low income consumers to own a home in Nigeria. Another obstacle is the poor implementation of deregulation policies initiated by the federal government at state/local government level. Most local governments complicate or delay the permit application process and impose illegal levies on housing projects.

Robust data is fundamental to successful policy formulation for Affordable Housing. In Nigeria, budget deadlines and political decisions force policymakers to endorse programs without a system for monitoring and evaluation.

Private Sector Stakeholders, in particular, must COLLABORATE and support all efforts towards the establishment of a Housing and Real Estate Data Bank, whose primary role is to collect, collate and analyze data on housing supply and demand and serve as a think tank for the housing stakeholders: public and private housing providers, academics, and civil society organizations.

In addition, the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) must COLLABORATE with regulatory authorities with a view of engaging the services of “THOROUGH BRED” mortgage experts who will be able to provide international best practices that strengthen credit assessment, mortgage underwriting, and risk management practices.

Furthermore, it has been established that modular structures, where major components for walls and roofs are produced off-site and assembled on-site, can reduce both the cost and time of construction. This should be rigorously pursued.

Finally, sluggish advancement in the provision of low-cost housing could be blamed on red tape and graft. As mentioned earlier, affordable housing policies are initiated at the national level, while their implementation rests largely with state & local authorities, and coordination between the two levels of government is often left wanting. Real Estate Developers continue to complain that overlapping regulations and other bureaucratic hurdles affect particularly the low-cost segment, driving a lot of companies to alter their focus to the middle-income segment instead. Most, however, remain committed to the low end of the market.

Adekunle Faleti

NIOB honours Govs, former head of service, Mbaka others at 20th investiture

The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has honoured Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra, Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa, former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, MS Amal Pepple and many other eminent Nigerians who have contributed in the growth of housing sector.

The Merit Award event was held on Friday in Abuja on the sideline of the 20th investiture of NIOB President, Mr Kenneth Nduka.

According to the institute, Gov. Obiano received Responsive Leadership Award in recognition as a people friendly, paradigm changing and his development of economic and infrastructural amenities in Anambra state.

Gov. Al-Makura was given a Strategic Leadership Award in recognition of his smart initiatives for the strategic provision of essential infrastructure an adaptive built environment to boost the future growth and development of Nasarawa state.

MS Amal Pepple was bestowed with Gold Merit Award in recognition of her dedicated and unassuming labour of love in loyalty, commitment and good conduct in her service for the growth of the nation.

Emmanuel Mbaka was recognised with a Merit Award for his efficient housing delivering through the engagement of professionals for mortgage financing and project monitoring.

Speaking with the Newsmen, Engr Emmanuel Mbaka expressed satisfaction towards the nice gesture of the institute in appreciating his contributions in the sector.

He however promised to continue to contribute his quota to the development of the built environment.

(NAN)

NIOB President pledges training, certification of Artisans, Craftsmen

The newly inaugurated President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has pledged training and certification of needed Artisans and Craftsmen in building trades to encourage professionalism.

The NIOB President, Mr Kenneth Nduka made the pledge at his investiture as the 20th President of the institute in Abuja while listing his five-point agenda to boost the sector.

Nduka said that his tenure would take advantage of the awarding body status granted the institute by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to promote increase training and certification of Artisans and Craftsmen.

“It is through diligence, manipulative dexterity, basket of experience and utmost attention to details secured from the dirty jobs of skilled craftsmen that designed specifications are interpreted and transformed three dimensional realities by builders.

“Besides the National Building Code, assigned the role of supervising the activities of building trades Artisans and Craftsmen to professional builders. My tenure will increase and sustain the training of Artisans. ’’

On his five-point agenda, he noted that there should be a general advocacy on the professional roles of builders especially as related to cost effective, timely and collapse free buildings that would satisfy need of mankind.

“In this regard, we shall constructively engage fellow industry stakeholders, all arms of government, building products manufacturers, NGOs and the media towards achieving professionalism in the built environment.

Nduka stated that the institute would sustain the attitude of periodic competence and skill development seminars and workshops for members and relevant industry stakeholders for the enlargement of frontiers for effective response on building projects.

“This will help to encourage members to achieve professional validation and secure recognition,’’ he added.

The president affirmed that the institute would pursue the completion of its proposed Centre for Building Excellence, located in Lugbe, Abuja to achieve a one stop address for all building related solutions.

Nduka further said that the institute would yield the array of experts to spine public policy making efforts squarely in support of the best interest of the industry and within the constraints of verifiable transparency through effective contributions associated with the built environment.

READ: ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

“In the current democracy dispensation, policy makers have the challenge of leveraging on the perspectives of lobbyists’ agenda to discern the most equitable and the best policy choices that will address the demands of the moment.

“Achieving this expectation often requires the inputs of professionals like builders, to gain insights into particular issues for selecting suitable policy options’’.

Congratulating the newly inducted executive members of the institute, he appealed for their implicit support to steer the leadership mantle for the development of the country.

In a valedictory speech, the immediate past President, Mr Tijjani Shu’aib urged the newly inaugurated president to imbibe continuity for social economic growth to thrive.

Shu’aib called for the completion of the institutes’ programmes such as its affordable housing projects on 50 hectares of land applied and qualified for since 2015.

“Since Oct. 2015, we have applied and qualified for the grant of 50 hectares of land for the purpose of affordable housing project at the Mass Housing Department of Federal Capital Development Authority.

“This is to pave way for builders to actively participate in the National Housing Programme, showcase professional competence in infrastructure and housing development as well as avail builders opportunity to own homes when approved.

“The institute has been shortlisted for the grant but it is awaiting the FCT Minister’s approval,’’ he added.

He called for the revitalisation of several chapters of the institute including Enugu, Kastina, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Bauchi states.

The expert also called for unbundling of graduate registration into the institute to make it possible for graduates from accredited intuitions to be formally inducted into the graduate cadre within the University or College once their results were approved.

The highlight of the event was the presidential merit award given to some eminent Nigerians who have contributed immensely in the housing sector.

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