Kohath Housing Corporation and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company on Wednesday signed a deal to provide over 15,000 housing nationwide to low income earners.
Mr Teni Eleoramo, the Executive Chairman, Kohath Housing Corporation, said in Abuja that the partnership would help bridge housing gap in Africa, especially in Nigeria.
The Kohath is a promoter and developer of the “Land of Honey’’ (LoH) City Development and a leading player in the municipality development space in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Eleoramo said that 1,767 hectares of land had been acquired to provide affordable housing units to Nigerians.
He added that 180 hectares of this would be for the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) project for the provision of affordable housing for civil servants in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“This project has successfully weathered the storm of title and legal challenges, survived the arduous business environment of Nigeria.
“It is now ready to deliver its mandate of providing qualitative and affordable housing to Nigerians.
“We have decided to collaborate to deliver on the aspirations of ensuring that over 500 civil servants move into their houses within the next 12 to 18 months.’’
He said that the LoH building types would include a handful of single-family homes and a large majority of affordable housing development portfolios.
Responding, Mr Kehinde Ogundimu, Acting Chief Executive Officer, NMRC said the collaboration presents a huge opportunity to make a difference in home ownership in the nation’s capital due to challenges that the LoH development would help to solve.
Ogundimu said the partnership with Kohath would provide an opportunity for NMRC to support the Federal Government’s housing programmes in providing affordable housing backed by affordable mortgages.
This, he said, was in consideration of the fact that of all the challenges currently facing our nation today, very few are more urgent than the deficit of decent housing.
“Housing and economic analysts have all noted that without a stable and affordable home, low income families in Nigeria have little hope of a better livelihood.
“Hence, the availability of housing plays a key role in determining whether they can find well-paying jobs, send their children to school, get quality health services and access to reliable utilities.’’
The proposed building for the housing units is located at the Gude district, Apo, FCT, Abuja.
The signing of agreement between the two parties was witnessed by Directors and staff of FISH in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
In the last 10 months, from mid-2017 to the last quarter of 2018, there has been a positive shift in the property market in Nigeria with marginal reduction in residential vacancy rates across the country’s major cities of Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, close market watchers have said.
The market watchers, however, add that the reduction applies to properties in the low to mid-income markets where supply is not only low, but also sparse, while demand is high and growing in multiples.
The upper-middle to the high end markets are still struggling with over supply, low demand, high vacancy rate, falling rents, high rents payment default rate, and falling investment projections.
Northcourt Real Estate in its half-year 2017 market report notes that as at the last quarter of that year, vacancy rates in Lagos averaged 11 percent, down from 15.5 percent in H1 2017 and 32.87 percent at the end of 2016. In Abuja, it stood at a 7 percent average, down from mid-year’s 9.5 percent and 27.57 percent a year ago.
Analysts say that this reduction in vacancy rate can only explain the positive shift in the market, meaning that demand has moved from where it was 12 to 24 months ago and, by implication, underpins growing opportunities for investors, particularly for those playing at the mid-income market.
Tayo Odunsi, Northcourt CEO, points out in the report that, in a bid to maximize the value of their property, landowners looked more favourable to joint ventures with developers. He notes that Port Harcourt had the highest vacancy rates compared to Lagos and Abuja, averaging 12 percent. Like Lagos and Abuja, this rate climbed down from 13.75 percent at mid-2017 and 13 percent at the end of 2016.
This reduction in the vacancy rate, the analysts point out, is not only a function of growing demand for residences, but also a result of rising cases of conversion of residential properties in response to a growing demand for business promises and other commercial activities.
Ikeja GRA, a mid-income neighbourhood in Lagos, is a typical example of where the stock of residential houses has reduced due, in part, to conversions to office use while many others have either been sold or leased out. Isaac John Street, in that neighbourhood, stands out as one location where businesses have pushed out residents and taken over their homes on rent or lease.
Many other locations have been similarly affected. Following Lagos State government’s directive to transport companies to vacate the Jibowu area of the state for what it termed unwholesome activities, including obstructing traffic flow, these companies have swooped on the suburbs including Okota, Isolo, Ojota and Ejigbo axis to continue their business.
“Many of the residential properties along the stretch of road from the popular Cele Bus Terminal to Ejigbo have been bought over and converted to bus terminals by these companies including big names like God is Good Motors, Libra Motors and GUO Motors which, ordinarily, would not have come there”, said Enyinnaya Okezie, a resident whose house was converted to an office on Okota road.
According to him, this development has pushed many of the affected residents of these areas further down the suburbs such as Ikotun, Igando, Okokomaiko and Badagry, piling pressure on the existing inadequate infrastructure and pushing up house rents on otherwise uninhabitable houses.
“On daily basis, we get enquiries from prospective tenants who have been displaced by businesses that have taken over their residences. Empty houses are now hard to find and rents have gone up significantly. Right now, we demand N200, 000 to N250,000 per annum for 2-bedroom apartments and between N300,000 and N4500,000 per annum for a 3-bedroom apartment”, confirmed Yemi Madamidola, an estate manager in Ejigbo.
Before now, he continued, a 2-bedroom flat was going for between N150,000 and N180,000 per annum while 3-bedroom apartment was renting for between N250,000 and N350,000, depending on the age of the house and the facilities available. “More and more people are now moving into this side of town”, he said.
Many locations on the island have also been torched by this development. Lekki Phase 1 tops the list. Admiralty Way, a long stretch of road beginning from the first gate of that highbrow estate, could better be called ‘Commercial Avenue’ now with well over 90 percent of the houses used as offices or shops.
Though this is good for investors and landlords because of the opportunities it comes with, it has some drawback. This is worsening the country’s housing situation. Due to lack of dependable data and the opaque nature of the property market, it is difficult to say with certainty whether Nigeria’s housing stock has increased or decreased from the estimated 13 million units. But the rising cases of property conversion to office use indicate that residential housing stock is being depleted.
The conversion cuts across the major cities. Already, housing situation in these cities has been bad. Lagos alone has 3 million housing units deficit which authorities of the state say requires about N8 trillion to close. The on-going conversion is making the situation worse as residents have to pay more on house rents with increased travel time.
She said the renovation loan was being managed by the loans board on behalf of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2015 by the two agencies.
The Executive Secretary explained that the loan was initiated to help public servants who were the major contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF)
“The labour unions have continuously complained that they have not gained anything from their monthly NHF contribution.
“So the two agencies decided to come up with this product of renovation loan, knowing that the NHF contribution of public servants is nothing to write home about.
“However, as of today, we have received 22,000 applications and we are paying them in batches on first come first serve basis and it is a short term loan for a period of four years,” she said.
Fika urged those who had applied and were yet to be paid to remain hopeful as they would get their loan soon.
The executive secretary pointed out that the renovation loan scheme was backed by law to ensure its sustainability.
Fika also noted that the loan emanated from the call by labour unions for the transfer of the monthly National Housing Fund contributed by civil servants to the board.
“The labour themselves, have been the ones clamouring for the transfer of the monthly NHF contribution from FMBN to the Loans board.
“The board then felt that it will be desirable if certain percentage of that contribution is released by the FMBN so that we can legally manage it and give account to the bank,” she said.
Ani-Otoibhi said that the ongoing project with about 12 different contractors has attained 80 per cent completion.
The newsmen reports that the inspection was part of the South-South Zone media inspection organised by the Ministry Power, Works and Housing.
The 64-unit housing project is located at Idumwen-Ehigie, along Benin-Auchi road in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the state.
“Since the inception of the project, more than 3,000 skilled and unskilled workers, including contractors, artisans, building materials suppliers, block moulders; food vendors and security guards have been employed.
“These people have impacted positively on the lives of the people and this is one of the objectives of the project.
“So, the objectives are to address and improve socio-economic conditions through employment generation, poverty alleviation and empowerment of people within the locality,’’ she said.
Ani-Otoibhi noted that the project, which started in March 2017, would finally be completed by June 2018.
She added that the project has also increased commercial activities in the state as well as enhancing development in the location.
“We have some security challenges arising from community issues but we have not experienced theft because we employed day and night security guard in the site.’’
The road contractor, Mr James Okafor said that the company has been able to clear the soil and would be filling the soil immediately after evacuation.
“The project has impacted on me positively because I have been able to foot my bills, take care of my family.
“The project has also helped me to settle some other financial challenges, which I was not able to do before the commencement of the project.
“More than 10 people are working under our company and we intend to employ more people. We have surveyors, engineers among others working with us.
Okafor noted that non mobilisation of fund was one of the challenges facing the company presently.
He appealed to the government to release more fund for the project as soon possible to enable them meet the deadline for the completion of the project. “One thing is to award a project; the second thing is the supervision while thirdly is the completion of the project.
“The government should do the needful by following up the project and releasing money as and when due,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, a food vendor at the site, Mrs Regina Ibe commended the Federal Government for creating means of livelihood for some of them through the project.
“I make between N27, 000 to N35, 000 daily from this place. The money I generate has helped me to take care of my children education and I have also bought a land for my family to build our own house.
The newsmen reports that installation of 500KVA transformer and supply of electricity by Messrs Rosco Progenitors Synergies Ltd. is also on course.
The purpose of the media inspection is basically to access the level of progress made on the project in the South-South Zone and to access the level of infrastructure to complement the housing units.
Also, the media inspection was to access the economic impact made by the programme to the Growth of Domestic Product ( GDP ) in the country.
The managing director said that every NHF contributed by civil servants was refundable with interest once they attained 60 years.
Dangiwa made this known in an event in abuja
The theme of the summit was: “Attracting Foreign and Local Investors, for Housing Construction and Acceptable Business Models for Infrastructure Development and Equity Plan Scheme for Mortgage Financing In Nigeria’’.
Dangiwa, represented by Mr Oladapo Fakeye, said that the summit was critical to bridging housing deficit in Nigeria, as it would generate solutions for the development of Nigeria’s housing sector.
He called on government to prioritise housing for low income earners as many Nigerians could not afford to own a house.
“High poverty rate of 70 per cent has hindered many Nigerians from owning their own houses,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Governor of Bauchi State, Alh. Abdullahi Abubakar, said that Nigeria needed 700 million houses before 2050.
According to him, the UN projects that population growth will increase to 400 million by 2050.
He noted that Bauchi had a backlog of 600 housing units as many housing projects were abandoned for about 15 years.
The governor said that the abandoned houses had been completed and would be allocated in May.
Abubakar also said that the state plans to address the unemployment challenge through housing.
In his remarks, Mr Oguntuase Kingsley, the Commandant Housing, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said that housing was one of the most fundamental human needs after food. Oguntuase noted that many public servants could not afford a house because their salaries were very small.
“You and I know that our salary is low, cost of living has made things very difficult.
“With all these traditional responsibilities on our shoulders, in terms of taking care of extended family, this makes it impossible for us to afford houses,’’ he said.
He called on the government to encourage private developers by making access to land easy for them, adding that it would go a long way in tackling the housing deficit in the country.
He said that shelter was a major challenge in Abuja and as private developers, their aim was to address the challenge by providing low income houses.
“The aim is to enable them synergise and harness with our foreign technical partners, to see how we can solve a major challenge in Abuja.
Built environment professionals comprising builders, developers, engineers, architects and others who gathered at the grand opening of Royal Ceramics’ Centre called “Royal Experience Centre” in Lekki, Lagos last week, have renewed call for affordable housing with the use of local building materials, taking into consideration abundant natural resources of the country.
The stakeholders who commended West African Ceramics Ltd, leading manufacturers of ceramics tiles in Nigeria for its consistency in producing quality tiles that can match the standards of their foreign counterparts, and for opening of the Lekki mega showroom, agreed that the outlet will service the housing needs of Lekki residents particularly in terms of interior finishing. The theme of the forum was Experience the Art of Finishing in S’Tile. In his keynote address, the President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria, REDAN, Ugochukwu Chime, emphasised the need for use of local building materials in the country if affordable housing is to be truly achieved, adding that the cost of building is a significant component of housing provision as it constitutes approximately 56 per cent of the total cost of the project. According to REDAN boss, “any effort to reduce cost is a tonic to availability and affordability of home ownership to Nigerians. “Given the generally low income level among off-takers for housing products, we are therefore extremely keen on how cost of houses can be brought to minimal level, hence our interest in taking advantage of any opportunity, including uptake of new and emerging technologies to reduce the cost of construction.
“It is on this premise that we find this effort of Royal Ceramics cardinal and imperative. This is because from our foray to their factory in 2016, we found out that most of the raw materials used are locally sourced. This has assisted in reducing the cost of their products without reducing the quality. And with their very high quality products, they have demonstrated their contribution to not only national economic growth but helped to reduce cost of housing.” Corroborating his counterparts in a paper presentation entitled: Engineering Affordable Housing with Local Products, President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, Adekunle Mokuolu said that to make affordable housing possible, favourable legislation that would make land available and affordable should be put in place by the Federal Government while there should be provision of efficient low interest mortgages, efficient and cost effective primary infrastructure, enforcing the local content policy and executive order 5, empowerment of would-be home owners, rejuvenating moribund industries and solving the Ajaokuta Steel project equation. According to the NSE president: “Everyone has the right to a decent shelter and improved well-being. However, the housing deficit will continue to grow except deliberate and commensurate measures are taken to tackle it head- on. The first step is to tackle the high cost of building by either subsidising the cost of building materials or crashing it.
“How best can this be done other than taking full advantage of the enormous local materials available through intensive research and understanding how they could be used for developing decent low-cost housing? Affordable housing can be achieved, but not much will be done if the status quo remains unchanged. We can right the decades of wrongs today if we are determined. The best time to do so is now. Let us turn to local products both in human capital and natural resources.” Declaring open the Royal Experience Centre located along Lekki-Epe Expressway, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB, and chief host of the event, Kenneth Nduka, said the establishment of the experience centre will indeed serve as a unique distribution outlet of West African Ceramics Ltd to service the housing development requirements of the Lagos Megacity project of the proactive government of Lagos State. Nduka added that the centre will equally wet the appetite for high taste and good quality finishing by highbrow property developers and occupiers along the Victoria Island/Lekki axis and beyond. He stressed that the array of uses to which tiles are put in a building project ranges from the artistic, decorative, flooring, walling, roofing, ceiling and through to structural and even illuminations and signage. In all these uses, appropriate specification and proper application remain the essential yardstick for the attainment of the desired functions it will perform and the right purposes it will serve in a building. The General Manager, West African Ceramics Ltd, Mr. Bhaskar Rao said the Royal Experience Centre initiative is a response to support government’s efforts in resuscitating local production through effective distribution network to ensure that products are available at the right time, right place, and at the right price and the delivery of the products in a way that encourages consumers to cultivate and sustain the ‘Buy Nigeria’ behaviour.
Rao added that this is because they do not just buy products, but the collective experiences of product quality, affordability and reliability delivered, just as they also acquire product knowledge and application, unmatched customer services as well as all the functional attributes of the product.” According to him: “The mega experience centre serves beyond a showroom where tiles are displayed, but a hub designed to enlighten customers about the applications of various designs and types of tiles in a building project and to create an unprecedented shopping experience for customers obtainable overseas. The showroom is an initiative to strengthen dealer relationship and channel management in a way that consumers would experience tile shopping different from the norm obtainable in developed societies.
Though it is difficult to determine the exact figure representing Nigeria’s housing deficit, real estate developers association of Nigeria (REDAN) says addressing the deficit even at the current 17 million units estimate will catalyze the productive sectors of the economy.
Building more houses to close the demand-supply gap would require an active manufacturing sector that will supply cement, roofing sheets, nails, iron, glasses for windows/doors, cladding materials; professional service providers, artisans, skilled and unskilled labour including bricklayers, carpenters, tilers and plumbers.
“Catalyzing this sector is imperative because the market is available”, said Ugochukwu Chime, REDAN president, who spoke at the opening of West African Ceramics Limited Royal Experience Centre in Lagos recently, insisting that effective demand needed to be enhanced and matched to off-taker affordability and supply.
Chime noted that Nigeria was yet to realize this potential and advised that the country should design an effective implementation guideline with the involvement of critical stakeholders in the value chain.
“Addressing the housing deficit will have a game-changing impact on our society and our communities”, he added, noting that globally, there is a strong consensus that the development of the housing sector is important for stimulating economic growth and job creation in any economy”, he said.
Cost of construction is a significant component of housing and, according to a national housing board (NAHB) 2017 survey report, the cost is as high as 56 percent. This cost is determined by land, finance and cost of funds, labour and building materials.
Others are infrastructure including primary and secondary, cost of land titling and registering property, and affordability gap. “We realise that to attain affordability for all classes of prospective homeowners, we must isolate and attenuate the cost of these input factors. And this WACL has devoted their energy and talent to doing over the years”, Chime stated.
He reasoned that any effort to reduce the cost of housing was a tonic to availability and affordability of home ownership to Nigerians, adding that given the generally low income level among off-takers for housing products, developers were keen on how cost of houses could be brought to minimal level.
Developers, he said, were interested in taking advantage of any opportunity, including uptake of new and emerging technologies to reduce the cost of construction and it was on that premise that we found Royal Ceramics’ efforts cardinal and imperative.
WACL’s production technology is one in which most of the raw materials used are locally sourced. This has assisted in reducing the cost of their products without reducing the quality. And with their very high quality products, they have demonstrated their contributions to not only national economic growth, but also helped to reduce cost of houses.
Expectation is that the new experience centre will help the discerning customers, developers, professionals in the built industry and project owners to choose their tiles and marble/granite.
The centre which is a multifaceted showroom and hub will give the feel of ‘finish in S’tile’, thereby giving due value for money to the owner. It will give the exact concept of how the design will align with the taste and aesthetics initially conceived by the homeowner.
The centre’s design and interior configuration will assist to bring product information, including sample, availability, brand and delivery closer to the end-users. Being a one-stop shop solution for everything tiles, wall, flooring, roofing and allied products, this novel approach will help in upscaling WACL products’ market share and reach.
Speaking during an inspection of the NHP in Southsouth and Southeast states, she hailed the Federal Government for creating jobs and empowering people through the programme.
Ibe said she bought the plot at N250, 000 and supported her family.
She said: “Since the Federal Government opened this place, I have been selling well. I make a profit of N38,000 and sometimes N35,000, depending on the market. I am really grateful to God. God will bless you people.”
Mrs. Pat Omorodion, a supplier of sharp sand, granites and other building materials, recalled how she supplied materials for the three-storey condominium as well as three-bedroom and two-bedroom flats at the site.
She attributed her increased earnings to the project, stressing that such project should be replicated in the state.
“This project has put food on our table. So, we appreciate it. You know we are handling the condominium, so they bought many granites. I say kudos to them.”
NHP’s National Team leader Mrs. Ebemeata Ani-Otoibhi said the project would be completed in June.
It includes eight three-bedrooms, 14 two-bedrooms and a condominium.
She said about 3,000 people were engaged, while there was full compliance with local content such that iron, windows, doors, burglary, among others, used for the construction were locally sourced and provided by Edo residents.
“In this state, the quality of materials and specifications is good. The bottom line is, everything we are using is made in Nigeria, from the cement to the door, they are all locally made,” Ani-Otoibhi said.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has assured investors of its determination to ensure early completion of the Industrial Park phase 2 at Idu to make it ready for use by local and foreign investors. The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello gave the assurance at the FCT Day of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs in Abuja recently.
The 245-hectare Park is expected to provide over 170 industrial plots of land for various categories of investors from manufacturing to retail marketing which will create thousands of jobs. The discussions identified the uncompleted access road to the Park as a major hindrance to prospective investors. The FCT Minister and the State Minister for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, agreed to work together to mobilise funding for the completion of the road.