We’ll Demolish All Markets On Major Road Corridors, FCT Minister Insists

MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, on Tuesday, insisted that all markets on FCT major road corridors would be demolished.

He made this disclosure when he led top management staff to the demolished Gosa market on Abuja Airport highway.

Malam Bello, who had earlier held a meeting with all stakeholders in his office before the visit to the market, also set up a committee to saddle with the responsibilities of bringing normalcy to the community, assuring the traders and villagers that open markets would still be allowed in the communities to function as it was customary to operate open markets.

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He said it has been agreed that all roads on major road corridors, especially on Abuja airport highway would be relocated gradually, while that of Gosa would be immediate.

The minister, therefore, showed the stakeholders the location of the new Gosa market, therefore, the traders to move into the new location. He said the old market has to go because it has spilled into the road, causing nuisance and danger to road users and traders.

Malam Bello then instructed community leaders to take ownership of the markets, provide adequate security and ensure enforcement so that traders do not encroach on roads anymore.
Speaking on behalf of the stakeholders, Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Adamu Candido assured that they have agreed with the community to protect the road corridors to ensure that they don’t cause nuisance on the roads.

He assured that AMAC would not collect taxes or any kind of levy on the new market till the market stabilizes in the near future.

On his part, Chief of Gosa market, Mr. Wakili Estiphanus, expressed satisfaction over the FCT administration’s decision to relocate them not far from their hitherto trading place.

He disclosed that basically, twice a week, people from within FCT and neighbouring states carryout trading activities during market days, which are Mondays and Fridays.
According to him, “we’re happy with the relocation to the new site, what we are concerned with now is the clearing. The FCT minister has assured us that between tomorrow (today) and next, the place will be cleared, to enable us move in.

“And if the place is cleared, we will be eager and excited to move to there, and continue our trading activities,” he stated.

It will be recalled that the demolition of the market ignited a demonstration, on Monday, which resulted into blockage of ever-busy Abuja Airport expressway for more than four hours, thereby, subjected the travellers on serious hardship.

FMBN to MBAN: Refrain from delaying disbursement to developers

The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Arch. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, has warned the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of Nigeria (MBAN) to stop delaying the disbursement of funds to developers.
Dangiwa, who gave the warning at a tripartite meeting between the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mortgage Bankers’ Association of Nigeria (MBAN) and Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN) in Abuja recently, said disbursements should be made once such funds are received.

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He further warned that it would not hesitate to sanctions aany mortgage banker that defaulters.
Dangiwa also urged members of MBAN to minimize the Turn Around Time (TAT) even as he charged REDAN to come up with affordable housing models and avoid unilateral changing of building designs, specifications and scope.
Non-availability of funds had been identified as some of the problems confronting the built environment in the country.
Similarly, experts and stakeholders have called for improved funding for the industry to tackle the huge housing deficit in the country, which had been estimated at 17 million.

Why housing estates in 10 states remain unoccupied
The Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank (FMBN), Arch. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, has identified affordability as the major reason housing estates built by the bank in 10 states remained unoccupied.
Dangiwa said the development was affecting genuine housing programmes despite efforts to construct cheaper homes, many of them remained inaccessible.
He stated this recently at a meeting with 9-member the delegation led by the President of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG), Engr. Kashim Ali, to FMBN headquarters, in Abuja.
The MD stated that there are plans to partner with state governments to fix the infrastructural aspect of the projects in order to reduce the entire cost.


He also said efforts were ongoing to commence implementation of the rent-to-own initiative.
While noting that the bank is the last resort for the common man, he disclosed that the Bank will partner with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to design cheap homes, reduce housing cost to ensure affordability.
“In order to assist homeowners, we realize that that factor of affordability mentioned has been a stumbling block. We currently have estates in more than 10 states that have not been occupied.
“They are being built at a cheaper rate. But despite that, people cannot access the mortgage. We are looking at two ways to address it. This housing development project for Nigerian workers, we are trying to encourage the state governments to do the infrastructure for us to reduce the housing cost.
“Second is the rent-to-own initiative. We have finished the paper, it’s just to implement it. We are discussing with the state governments to key into it.”


In his remarks, the NESG President asserted that the federal government has the constitutional mandate to provide shelter for Nigerians before talking of security and food.
He blamed stakeholders in the sector for relying on the statistics of 17 million housing deficits rather than providing more reliable data to enable proper planning and development.
He also called for the inclusion of the real estate developers and financiers in the National housing council in order to assist in the development of designing housing policies.

Land Use Charge Amendment: Stakeholders Stage Walk Out On Lagos Assembly Speaker, Members

The Lagos State House of Assembly’s(LAHA) Public Hearing on the state new Land Use Charge (Amendment ) Law, 2018 went rowdy on Tuesday as some stakeholders staged a walk out.

Stakeholders walked out after the House declined to yield to calls for the postponement of the exercise by the stakeholders.

The stakeholders include the members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, Joint Action Front (JAF) and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).

The aggrieved, who started chanting “No, no, we no go pay land use charges, we no go pay” walked out from the Lateef Jakande Hall of the Assembly Complex, the venue of the event.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa had hardly completed his address, where he told the stakeholders that the exercise was in response to people’s call, when Mr Adesina Ogunlana, Chairman, NBA, Ikeja Branch raised a point of order.

Ogunlana informed the House that the stakeholders got the notice of the public hearing late and could not get a copy of the law to be amended, hence, they were calling for a two-week adjournment.

“Yesterday,(Monday, we received a letter inviting us today for this programme as well as a copy of the amendment at our secretariat of the NBA, Ikeja Branch.

“What we did was to write a letter to the Honourable Speaker informing him of the necessity for an adjournment of this public hearing.

“It is gratifying to note that the Speaker and other honourable members of the House are interested in our views and the views of others and that we should not come to a compromise.

“What we did was to first go back to the cabinet office to look for the law being sought to be amended, that
law is not even with the government.

“Even in this House, I have made enquiries, and we cannot even get a copy of the law.

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“The truth of the matter is that the amendment sought, and a copy of the law must be given to the stakeholders, if we are going to have meaningful contributions.

“The huge task of evaluating the legality and the general operational dynamics of this law vis-a-vis the amendment is clearly an assignment beyond the space of 24 hours or a similar period of time.

“Our humbly request is this, if we may be permitted to counsel, we request the adjournment of this public hearing in no less than two weeks,” he said.

Ogunlana said that such an adjournment would allow stakeholders have adequate time for cogitative and comparative study of the proposed amendment as well as the qualitative and comprehensive submission via memoranda.

He said that if the exercise continued it would be counter-productive at the end, saying that “what is what doing at all is what doing well.’’

According to him, there is no way the stakeholders will have meaningful contributions if they do not have copies of the law and enough time to study it.

He said that the group would return to the street on Thursday for protest against the law.

Also speaking with NAN, Mr Abiodun Aremu, Secretary of the JAF, Lagos State said that the group would mobilise residents against the law.

“We are not pleased with the processes. The will of the people prevails at all times. The JAF has a record of defending the poor in Lagos State.

“We are not satisfied; they should meet us on the streets because the people will not pay this. We are going to mount a campaign that people will not pay.

“Every bad law must be rejected by the people. You can make a law and once they are not acceptable to the people, they won’t obey.

“This money is not payable, it is not acceptable and we must resist it,” said.

According to him, public hearing is not the same with public consensus and the first line is to consult with the people.

Mr Joseph Onaguwa, the Secretary for the CDHR, Lagos State said: “This House has disrespected the people by declining to add two weeks for us to have a copy of what they want us to discuss.

In his response, the speaker said that the stakeholders still had ample time to come and submit their memoranda on the amendment after the public hearings.

Earlier, the speaker had urged the stakeholders to make contributions on what was acceptable to them, saying what the state was getting from the Federal Government was not enough to take the state anywhere.

“We are here to discuss and reach a compromise on what is acceptable. In making your contribution, remember Lagos State and its huge population.

“We have been short changed and there is nothing for us than to look inward and seek more revenue to develop our state.

“What we are getting from the Federal Government is not enough. We have begged, we appealed and moved motion for special status for Lagos State and nothing happened.

“So we have to look inward and think of what we can do to move Lagos forward. We can’t do it alone without you.

“Fine, what we have presented might be outrageous and exorbitant.

“Let’s come home and think of what will be acceptable but not to the detriment of our children who are the future, we must think about,” he said.

The hearing went ahead after the stakeholders had staged a walk out.

Housing Loan Scheme Will Give Succour To Public Servants ―Dogara

THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara on Tuesday stated that the Bill to amend the Federal Government Housing Loan Board to administer housing loan scheme to public sector workers would bring succour to public servants by bridging the housing deficit and increasing productivity in the public sector.

Dogara stated this in Abuja while declaring open a public hearing on the bill organised the House of Representatives Committee on Public Service Matters

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The Speaker who was represented by the House Minority Whip, Hon Yakubu Bada explained that the amendment, when it scaled through, would make mortgage facilities more accessible to public servants at lower interest rates than the ones offered by commercial banks.

According to him, “this Bill has come at a right time to give succour to civil servants opportunity to have access to housing scheme for the purpose of owning a house. Research has shown that as at September 2016, the lowest recorded interest rate on any mortgage in Nigeria is 19 percent and requires 25 percent down payment.

“The question is how many civil servants can afford a mortgage under such harsh conditions? It is our objective that when this Bill becomes law, most civil servants will have access to a house of their own. I sincerely believe that this Bill will go a long way in bridging the housing deficit and increasing productivity in our public sector.”
The Speaker pointed out that it was on record that most public servants could not secure accommodation in Abuja due to high cost of rents, with majority of civil servants living in Nasarawa and Niger States and commuting to work in Abuja every day from long distances, thereby having an effect on productivity that was better imagined than experienced.

He recalled that during the 2017 Housing Summit organised in Abuja by Housing Circuit Magazine in partnership with other stakeholders, it was revealed that as at 1991, when the National Housing Policy was enacted, Nigeria had a housing deficit of seven million units but as at today, the housing deficit had grown alarmingly to seventeen 17 million and would continue to grow.

The Speaker, therefore, urged the stakeholders to proffer solutions on how to administer the Housing Scheme for Federal Public Officers in order to reduce and or eliminate the overall housing deficit in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Gogo Bright Tamuno disclosed that the amendment and the public hearing became necessary in order to expand the scope of the law so as to be able to accommodate those Agencies such as the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC among others‎ that were not in existence at the inception of the law.

Lagos Declares 28-day Limit for Processing Building Approval Permit

Gboyega Akinsanmi

In a move to improve the state’s ease of doing business, the Lagos State Government has pegged the period within which building approval can be processed to 28 days, saying it has waved title documents as a condition for obtaining approval.

The state government has also issued a six-month notice to enable all property owners, who have built without approval regularise their approval documents, noting that it will not charge any penalty within the window of six months.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting he addressed at the weekend to sensitise the residents of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, Lagos.

Ogunleye addressed the stakeholders’ meeting alongside the General Manager of the state Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA), Mr. Funmi Osifuye, warning against erecting buildings without perfecting approval documents.

At the meeting, Ogunleye lamented that many residents of the state had not been obtaining approval before erecting their buildings, a practice that violated the state Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, 2010.

Citing implication for public safety, the commissioner disclosed that the process of obtaining building approval “has been made easy. Any person with intention to erect structures within the state will secure building approval within 28 days.

“Between March 1 and August 31, we will not charge any penalty for those who had erected their structures without a building permit. We purposely created that six months grace period for landowners to obtain their building permit.”

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Also speaking at the meeting, the general manager explained reasons for the six-month grace to enable property owners perfect their approval documents, noting that the opportunity was “to assist property owners protect themselves.”

Within the six-month window, Osifuye said property owners could approach the government with land receipt and obtain the required government permit, noting that the state government was determined to encourage residents seek building approval before erecting their structures in any part of the state.

He added that the state government “has waved registered title as condition for obtaining building approval. The law stipulated that before anyone could erect a structure, such a person must obtain development permit. The government now accepts family receipt as condition to erect structures across the state.”

Ogunleye also lamented proliferation of oil tank farms in the state, noting that the state government would probe their operations due to implication for public safety and failing to comply with environmental impact assessment guidelines.

 

He said the state government’s decision to embark on the investigation was “to protect residents from fire disasters that might emanate from the tank farms during explosions.”
He explained the decision of the state government to investigate tank farm operation, noting that it “has already embarked on the study. And soon, we will come up with a very comprehensive approach to get everything under control in Lagos.”

He said the ongoing investigation “will address the apprehension often expressed on tank farms in the state. The proliferation of filling stations has made residents express worry over it considering the inflammability of petroleum products.”

ASO Savings denies $250m equity capital

The Management of ASO Savings & Loans Plc is aware of the recent news in the print and electronic media suggesting that Milost Global Inc is set to inject $250M equity capital into ASO Savings & Loans Plc.


“We dismiss this claim and wish to state that ASO had at no time issued any notice to Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as purported in the media. ASO Savings & Loans Plc has not entered into any agreement with Milost Global Inc. Members of the public are implored to disregard the false news that has pervaded the media,” the statement said.

“Any change to ASO’s business structure or operations will be duly communicated by the Bank through the appropriate channels. ASO will continue to strive to be the Mortgage Bank of choice and explore innovative ways to meet the housing needs in Nigeria.”

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Mortgage bankers coerce governors on Foreclosure Law

In a bid to deepen mortgage penetration and promote home ownership among citizens, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of Nigeria (MBAN) is mounting pressure on state governors to adopt its Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law in their localities. Speaking with New Telegraph in Lagos, MBAN President, Mr. Adeniyi Akinlusi, said the establishment of the law has become necessary in order to entrench mortgage finance in the country.

He said the association had been engaging state governments and exploiting the Governors’ Forum on the establishment of mortgage and Foreclosure Law in order to make use of home ownership as a bridge for financial inclusion and insurance penetration to boost states’ internally generated revenue (IGR).

He lauded Kaduna State government for being the first to pass MBAN’s Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law, adding that this step has propelled the state to access $250 million facility from the World Bank in support of its efforts in trying to loosen the economy.

This step, he said, would make Kaduna State’s economy liquid, guarantee attraction of capital and ensure that citizens, especially residents of Kaduna, have access to loans to buy houses. On benefits inherent in establishing a Foreclosure Law by states, Akinlusi said: “What it does is that in terms of timing and in terms of cost, it is faster for people to perfect their title. It is also cheaper in terms of cost.

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“These are things that affect mortgage rates and risk premium; it also affects the meeting time for conclusion of transactions.” Besides, Akinlusi said that passage of Mortgage and Foreclosure bill into law by state governments would have positive effects on ease of doing business. He said: “What Kaduna State government has done is call the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law. It is being recommended for all the state governments as well. They should take a cue from it.

“On the back of this giant steps being taken by Kaduna State government, we are engaging with other states, we are even engaging the Governors’ Forum to see how we can use home ownership as a bridge for financial inclusion, for insurance penetration, for increasing even the IGR because we know that in most of these states, what they have in common is huge informal sector.”

The MBAN boss explained that the informal sector contained 65 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that major concern was how to move these people into mortgage finance. Akinlusi said: “We are looking at how we can move them in because, for each house you finance, you create at least 70 jobs, 35 directly and 35 indirectly.

“This is also a big way towards reducing unemployment rate, which stands at 20 to 40 per cent.” Housing experts have identified complications in enforcing mortgage contracts and foreclosure on properties in Nigerian courts as one of the serious impediments to adequate housing delivery in Nigeria.

Other major drawbacks include limited access to housing and mortgage financing, slow bureaucratic procedures in land administration and high cost of land registration, difficulties in delivering affordable housing to low and middle income households wherein lies the greatest demand for housing, high rate of population growth, high rate of rural-urban migration and exorbitant cost of construction materials.

Buyers in focus as Lagos, NMRC, MWFL commit to building affordable housing ecosystem

Home buyers, especially first timers, are the focus of a new push and commitment by the Lagos State government, the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and Mortgage Warehouse Funding Limited (MWFL) to build an end-to-end ecosystem for affordable housing.

Nigeria has a staggering housing demand-supply gap conservatively estimated at 17 million units which finds explanation in the affordability gap in the housing market. House prices are too high for the greater number of people which is also explained by the high cost of land, funds, building materials and even labour which is imported in some cases.

These challenges formed the nucleus of discussions at a one-day workshop in Lagos jointly organised by Lagos, NMRC and MWFL, primarily focused on providing access to affordable housing for residents of the Lagos State which has over three million housing deficit burden.

The creation of mortgages provided the compass for deliberations, as well as construction finance and interest rates. There were insights on pre-financing, financing and refinancing stages of the pathways to affordable housing just as the creation of a Fund 5 with the Pension Commission in the form of a ‘Pension Contributors’ Housing Fund’ was also highlighted.

A communiqué issued at the end of the workshop highlights some of the decisions, contributions, recommendations and approaches to building the ecosystem that will make affordable housing happen.

According to the communiqué, Gbolahan Lawal, Lagos commissioner for Housing, canvassed expanding the housing finance frontier and also advocated the need to think along the lines of addressing lender risks and costs to help market expansion as well as deal with constraints to accessing mortgages.


On his part, Sonnie Ayere, MWFL’s chairman, also assured that MWFL was positioned to bridge the funding gap through short term pre-financing of member mortgage banks for a period of six months prior to refinancing by NMRC.

Ayere described the ecosystem as one that will propel mutual benefit to stakeholders and, ultimately, the first-time home owner. He stated that a significant reduction in the high interest rate to bridge the affordability gap coupled with active contribution of both formal and informal sectors in pension funds will create an opportunity for more houses to be developed at affordable costs.

To galvanise all these contributions and bring them to fruition, the communiqué recommends that there should be concerted efforts in the housing sector to educate the populace on the numerous opportunities of becoming homeowners.

The proposal for a Fund 5 should be further explored to devise the best approach to overcoming potential hurdles while the Model Mortgage & Foreclosure Law (MMFL) should be adopted in Lagos State to strengthen investor and financier confidence in the recovery of invested funds in the event of default.

To ensure mass production of houses, the communiqué also recommends adopting a technology for producing housing units at record speed, reduced cost and time, noting that inclusion of the informal sector is critical and all avenues to shepherd in this huge demography should be devised and implemented.

Already, there are some reliefs which, the communiqué says, could be harnessed to boost the ecosystem and, ultimately, close affordability gap. “The National Pension Commission as a regulator does not object to creating an additional fund; however the commission needs to set a framework for the mechanics and the environment for this to take place”, the communiqué says, suggesting that, for a Fund 5, the regulators and operators need to discuss all the issues extensively to ensure that the proposition is workable.

The Lagos State Pension Commission explained the objectives in the state, which is to ensure that pensioners are able to own their own homes. The state’s pension law is being amended to reflect a position that allows the pension contribution to serve as equity contribution for mortgage. The state government has so far remitted over N80 billion for retirement scheme and has an arrangement to allow contributors to draw up to 25 percent of their pension contributions to part-finance their mortgages.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) disclosed that it has instituted a public awareness program titled ‘My Own Home’ (na me get am) where prospective home owners can approach their banks, declare their income and get advice as to the appropriate structure/home type they can subscribe to.

It was noted that several houses built are not affordable and developers are urged to conduct market feasibility to get necessary intelligence that would reflect the real needs of the people which in turn leads to the construction of affordable housing that match established needs.

The communiqué also harps on securitization as a veritable means of ensuring affordable public housing and bridging the housing deficit. The NMRC is looking to put modalities in place to ensure its funding programme can metamorphose into a full securitization model.

Important note was also taken of the Nigeria Housing Finance Program (NHFP) aimed to provide awareness. This is important to achieve a paradigm shift so that prospective homeowners focus on properties they can afford to buy. NHFP also promotes responsibility by encouraging mortgagors to be consistent in repayment of loans. The developers need to join NHFP in promoting the paradigm shift and educating the public on how to achieve a realistic target audience.

CHUKA UROKO

Abonta emerges NIESV president

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), has elected Mr. Rowland Abonta as its president.

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His emergence was announced at the institution’s 48th Annual Conference held in Ibadan. The election also saw the second vice president, Emmanuel Wike emerge as the first vice president while Mr. Johnbull became the 2nd vice president.

Others elected are Bature Ali Muhammad (Secretary) include Shola Abeji (Assistant National Secretary); Monday Ahiwe (Publicity Secretary); Saheed Makinde (Assistant Publicity Secretary); Olowokere Fatima (National Treasurer) and Balogun Mutiu (Asst. National Treasurer).


Unofficial members include Isa Jatto, Agbalaya, Mark Emmanuel, Prof Muhammad Nuhu, Fadoju , Alao Emmanuel, Prof Bioye Aluko, Cosmas Ezeh, Kunle Awolaja and Victor Ayeye.

NIQS seeks stricter project monitoring to curb corruption

BPP to review contracts for building projects
Except the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) adopt stricter monitoring strategies of projects, the high level of corruption going on within the construction industry would remain unchallenged, quantity surveyors have said.

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The body under the aegis of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) made the revelation in Abuja when a delegation of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the institute led by its President, Obafemi Onashile paid a courtesy visit to the Director General, BPP, Mamman Ahmadu.

The institute noted that the limiting of BPP’s oversight to due diligence at pre-award stage of projects only and non execution of project monitoring duties at the actual execution of the projects on site is still making massive corruption to persist on government projects with attendant negative consequences on the economy.

Onashile said for BPP to make a much better impact in delivering value-for-money for the nation, it must take its oversight influence beyond the pre-award of contracts. Even throughout the construction phase of the projects that they had earlier authorized to ensure that approvals are not circumvented through the possible corrupt compromise of either quality standards or the specified sizes of such projects or both in order to reduce the actual costs without passing the cost reduction to the government.

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The NIQS boss also called for the introduction of forensic audits for very large and complex completed projects within six years of their completion to ensure that another independent layer of scrutiny is brought to bear on the investment in the project as obtains in disciplined economy like the US.

Onashile further implored the BPP to look into the development of another alternative form of contract to the currently existing BPP form of contract, which whilst working very well for civil engineering projects is quite deficient for building projects that comes with peculiar and different administrative procedures.

While acknowledging the improvement of the BPP in fast tracking due diligence processes and ensuring faster commencement of government projects, the NIQS President called for the engagement of more quantity surveyors as staff of the agency to enable it discharge its responsibility of oversight of public procurement efficiently and effectively.

“We believe that as experts trained to provide total cost and procurement management of capital projects from conception to completion, we have vital roles to play in prudent costing of projects, procurement management and project monitoring to ensure better earned value for money,” Onashile said.

He called for collaboration between the BPP and the NIQS as well as its regulation body, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) through availing sponsorship for cost researches being undertaken by QSRBN/NIQS in the forms of construction cost database research project and also construction costing softwares development.

In his response, Ahmadu commended the NIQS for its readiness to partner with relevant agencies of Federal Government to reduce cost of construction projects and ensuring compliance with best practices.

Ahmadu admonished the NIQS to set up stiffer penalties for any of their professional members that may be found guilty on corruption charges on any project and to bar such member from ever practicing as a professional of the Institute.

He confirmed that the BPP is already in the process of procuring the services of a transaction adviser to review and advise on the alternative form of contract that will best suit building projects.

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