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UN-Habitat picks Minna, Suleja for $1.9m pilot Smart City project

The most comprehensive state urban redevelopment initiative to come on stream in recent years is underway in Niger State.
This followed the conclusion of preparatory activities signaling the commencement of the four-pronged Niger State Urban Support Programme (NSUSP).


The NSUSP is expected to deliver, by September 2019, the pioneer state-level urban development policy in the country as well as Integrated Development Plans for Minna, the state capital and Suleja, where plans for an adjacent new pilot Smart City are also to be developed.
The joint initiative is being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Government of South Korea, with a project development cost of $1,920,000, which is jointly shared between the Niger State government and UN-Habitat.
A statement from UN-Habitat said the pilot Smart City which is to be developed near Suleja along the proposed bypass between Minna-Suleja Road and Zuba, on Kaduna-Lokoja Road, will essentially ease the development pressure on the city.

NIN now mandatory for land allocation in FCT – Minister

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has made the National Identification Number (NIN) mandatory for land allocation within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This was made known by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muhammad Musa Bello when the Director General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Engr. Aliyu Aziz visited him in Abuja on Thursday.


The minister, according to a statement by NIMC, expressed the need for every land allocated to be matched to an individual through the NIN, in order to track and prevent multiple allocations of land and ensure fairness and equity in the allocation process.
He commended Engr. Aziz for the increase in enrollment figures and measures he has put in place to ensure safety of data of Nigerians and legal residents in the National Identity database (NIDB) while ensuring credibility and integrity of data collected by NIMC.
The minister also commended the ongoing harmonization efforts noting that it was a step in the right direction to check duplication of functions amongst data collecting agencies.

Producers in marginal increase of cement prices in Lagos, Ogun, others

Another round of increase of cement prices have been carried out by cement and allied products manufacturers, which may worsen the plight of prospective homeowners.The recent move, according to industry watchers were carried out by Dangote Cement Plc, a leading producer of cement in the country and Lafarge cement as well as others under the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN).
The Housing News research shows that in locations such as; Ikeja, Ojokoro, Egbeda, and Ogba areas of Lagos State and Ibafo and Mowe axis in Ogun a bag of cement now sells between N2, 550, N 2, 600, N2, 650, and N2, 700 across all brands.As expected, the manufacturers of cement-based materials, such as blocks and concrete products like paving stones, have used the slight increase in the prices to hiked their products.

Speaking on the situation, a cement dealer, Mr. Sunday Ilesanmi attributed the increase to the hike in price effected from the factory for almost a month now. According to him, N50 has been added per bag, which has forced cement sellers to also jack up the price in order to maximise profit. Ilesanmi said, ”The customers selling cement for us told us that it has increased by N50 and so they added to the price at which the sell for us. It has been on for almost a month now. We used to sell at the rate of N2, 600 before but it is now N2, 700

“They told us that the increase is from the factory. Perhaps, the prices of the ingredients used in production have increased thereby giving room for the hike in price”.
“We used to buy 100-bags before at the rate of N260, 000 in addition to the cost of transportation. We gain like N100 per bag from it aside that we will pay for our store. This situation is applicable only to Dangote cement because it is the most popular brand in the industry that builders demand for”.

He stated that the price increase only affected a particular popular brand in the market stressing that there is the need to reverse the price to bring back hope for improved construction in the housing sector.“With the increase, we still sell, but sales have been very dull lately. I used to sell like 70 0r 80 bags per day before, now it is difficult to record 50-bag sales per day. The producers should put machinery in motion that would bring about fall in price to help us increase demands from our customers. It is in the olden days that cement was sold for N1, 400.00 when we had up to three or four brands but now the price of the only popular brand is not affordable to our customers”.

Another dealer in Lafarge cement, Atoyebi Jide revealed that the price per bag is lesser by N50.00 compared to the popular brand in the market, which has made customers to demand for such product. He lamented that the increase in demand for the Dangote brand has forced him to also deal in that brand.He said, “Government needs to make heavy investment in the cement production sector so that prices would not be too costly for Nigerians who intend to become proud home-owners”.

Responding to the hike in price, a major distributor of Dangote and Lafarge cement in Ibafo-Mowe axis, Mrs. Rose Aziegbe said that it was sold at N2500 two weeks ago before the sudden hike.She said her enquiries over the cause of the hike did not revealed any reason unlike last year, when the manufacturers blamed the increase on hike in diesel and gas.

The distributor said although it may appear as a marginal increase, it will indeed affect projects as many people had already made their budgets before the increase.
According to her, the increase has already manifested in reduced sales.Also a member of Ogun State Block and Concrete Makers/Cement Dealers (OSBCOMA), Obafemi -Owode Local council; Zone, Alhaji Afeez Taofeek said the increase in the price of cement started about three weeks.

He said as at March, the product was sold for N2, 500 but as at second week of April, the association learnt that Dangote and Lafarge have added N50 from the factory and subsequently the product is being sold for as high as N2, 600 at retail sales points.Giving detailed analysis of the trends for the year, he said their association was happy with the price, which was hitherto reduced last year it was selling N2, 700 per bag before it was slashed to even N2450 in some places.

He said: “The experience is quite alarming this year. We have seen so many instabilities in the prices of cement. This year alone, from January, we bought cement for N2, 200, N2, 450, even N2, 700. For the past six months, it was horrible, but from December to ending of March 2018, prices have remained constant at N2, 500.


But now as a result of the hike in prices sales of blocks sales have dropped because we are selling nine inch block at 230 now against N220, while six inch block goes from N160 to N170.“We learnt from the factory that the cost of production has caused the undulation of prices.

“If government can come out with policies that will reduce manufacturers’ difficulties in accessing their basic production necessities, it could caused a reduction in the prices”, he added.

Sources close to Dangote told Housing News Correspondent  that the manufacturers are facing increase in operational costs and security threat in some parts of the country, which affected their projected revenue.According to the sources, instead of retrenching staff, the companies have to adopt the slight increase to remain afloat. Housing News Correspondent could not reach the spokesperson for Lafarge Cement.

Residential vacancy rate drops across cities following improved economy- Report

The number of empty spaces in residential buildings across major cities in Nigeria has dropped following the slight improvement in the nation’s economy, a new report on real estate has revealed. The Centre for Affordable Housing estimates that $360 billion is required to solve the national housing deficit which is 10 times the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, adding that the housing deficit for Lagos State alone is put in excess of three million units and will require approximately N8 trillion to resolve at $10,000 per unit.

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

According to the report, to attend to this, there are ongoing initiatives by the Federal Government to increase housing supply by initiating mass housing projects across 33 states of the country. The project would engage over 650 contractors to deliver 2,736 units, employing 54,680 people in the process. It noted that working with the results of opinion polls and interviews, the project’s strategy is to construct bungalows with courtyards in the northern part of the country and blocks of flats or condominiums in the South, stressing that the experts, however, seem unconvinced, citing the slow pace of work, as designs for different regions in the country remain the only visible signs of progress. In addition, it said various states have created different initiatives to curb the housing gap in their respective constituents with Lagos State partnering with the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company, NMRC, and private developers to deliver 20,000 housing units by the end of 2018. The report further revealed that Kaduna State Government has similarly embarked on an affordable housing programme and passed a law to establish the state’s Mortgage and Foreclosure Authority to facilitate speedy foreclosures on defaulters to its home-ownership scheme in partnership with the mortgage institutions. “As it stands, vacancy rates in Lagos averaged 11 per cent down from 15.57 per cent in half 2017 and 32.87 per cent at the end of 2016. Developments that had slowed in much of Lagos began receiving some attention as developers gradually moved back to residential sites as the economy turned for the better. “The stock of residential units in the Ikeja GRA area reduced in part due to conversions to office use while many others were either sold or leased out. The improved economic situation also encouraged the completion of many housing projects. Even the high-end 15-storey Afren Tower in Eko Atlantic received its first tenant in August 2017. “Vacancy rates in Abuja stood at a 7 per cent average, down from mid year’s 9.5 per cent and 27.57 per cent a year ago. In a bid to maximise the value of their property, landowners looked more favourable to joint ventures with developers,” the report stated.

It said the oil sector, long a favourite of luxury leasing, remained below its former earning capacity and was unable to sign many leases, and so was the case for their supply chain such as consultants, allied services and others, maintaining that other sectors that had long contributed to the demand for high-end developments were also down. It pointed out that property owners continued to be flexible with their terms in order to hold onto existing tenants with rents being reduced by up to 25 per cent in some instances, arguing that this state of affairs is similar to what was observed in the Ikeja GRA, as lease flexibility was seen not only in amounts paid and lease terms, but also in length of stay. According to the report, the fast growing business community in the Lekki Phase 1 and Oniru axis saw a demand from middle-income earners seeking to live close to work place, pointing out that standard three-bedroom homes, which are more readily available in these areas, tend to lease with a range of N2.5 million to N4 million per annum. “But the growing demand is for one or two-bed condos. This is the trend with other residential communities at borders of CBDs or commercial hubs, across the country. Service charge pricing and collection is increasingly a contentious issue in many of the gated estates and multi-tenanted developments. Landlords could manage with nil increments in rents but found it difficult running their facilities due to defaults in service charge payments. “Port Harcourt had the highest vacancy rates compared to Lagos and Abuja, averaging at 12 per cent.

Like Lagos and Abuja, this is also down from 13.75 per cent at the mid point of 2017 and 13 per cent at the end of 2016. The market has been described as not vibrant and landlords have dropped rents marginally to maintain existing tenants. “To Let boards are fast becoming a major feature in the city especially in mid to high-income localities. Purchasing power has dropped and tenants are choosing to maintain their current locations by negotiating favourable rents. There is a clear lull in the demand for luxury apartments of all sizes. “The effect of the gradual improvement in the economy is yet to influence spending in the city. To help curb the financing challenges of housing, the Mortgage Warehouse Funding Limited MWFL, was launched in Q3 2017 to provide short-term pre–financing in local currency to mortgage banks to strengthen their mortgage origination capacity. “The body essentially sits between the PMBs and the NMRC. To provide short- term financing, the MWFL intends issuing investment grade Commercial Paper under an initial N20 billion scheme. Some major activities in the residential space in the period under review include the listing of Mixta Nigeria’s N4.5bn guaranteed bond for affordable housing on the NSE. Odu’a Investment Company inaugurated a 4,400sqm for those in need of smaller sized offices. “To better avoid paying out-of-reach rents, businesses have continued the trend of moving to residential property and converting them to offices. Such property offer the advantages of exclusivity and lower management costs.”

By Kingsley Adegboye

Pension fund: Why administrators avoid investment in real estate

Administrators of the fund raised from the contributory pension scheme (CPS) are deliberately avoiding investment in real estate, citing low returns on investment and illiquidity of real estate as an asset class.
The administrators, who also cite poor and unreliable real estate assets valuation, explain that an estimated 8 percent annual return on investment and about 5 percent annual rental yield, do not make real estate an attractive investment asset class, adding that the assets cannot be converted easily to cash when the need arises.

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA
Longe Eguarekhide, managing director, AIICO Pension Managers Limited, who disclosed this at a lecture in Lagos, also revealed however that discussions were ongoing between pension fund administrators and primary mortgage operators on how contributors to the pension scheme could access part of their retirement savings for use as equity contribution for mortgage loans.


From 2004, when the contributory scheme came into being, contribution has been quite significant and has progressively grown from N5.4 trillion a couple of years ago to N7.5 trillion at the moment, coming from contributors who represent a little above 4 percent of the country’s 170 million population.
These contributors are predominantly employees of over 200,000 employers of labour in both the public and private sectors of the economy, while the amount so far contributed is managed by operators, including 21 pension fund administrators (PFAs), seven closed pension fund administrators (CPFAs), and four pension fund custodians (PFCs).


The fund is meant to be invested in high yield investment asset classes in various sectors of the economy, but the administrators insist that, “even though real estate is a secured and relatively high yield investment asset class requiring long term and low rate funds, pension funds cannot be invested directly in it for reasons stated above.”


They also cite policy and regulatory framework among other challenges, explaining that housing policies in Nigeria have the characteristics of being inconsistent and poorly coordinated. “Lack of political commitment and differing approaches between sovereign and sub-national entities are also part of the policy challenges,” Eric Fajemisin, CEO, IBTC Pension Managers, said at a forum in Lagos.
He cited the National Housing Fund (NHF) managed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), which had a total collection of well over N2 trillion, but was yet to fully realise its goal.
The Land Use Act of 1978, which rests the power to allocate and revoke land on the state governors, is one of the regulatory challenges, which, Fajemisin said, was slowing down process of obtaining titles to ownership of land and also making property registration not only costly, but also difficult.
Pension funds administrators, like other investors, see opportunities in the housing sector, which, apart from being supported by favourable demographics, also presents investment opportunity valued at N56 trillion by the FMBN.
The country’s over 170 million population with over 80 percent of this number living in unplanned settlements under poor living conditions; only 13 million housing stock with only 5 percent in the formal mortgage, make the housing sector an investment destination, but not for the pension administrators.
“Housing or real estate generally can play a special role in the economic dialogue in Nigeria as it can generate employment, increase productivity, raise standard of living and alleviate poverty”, Fajemisin admitted, adding that unlike UK, US, China, Korea and Singapore where home ownership levels are 78 percent, 72 percent, 54 percent, 52 percent, and 92 percent respectively, home ownership is only 10 percent level in Nigeria.

FRSC partners FMBN on Housing Renovation loan

By Tukur Muntari
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has entered into partnership with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) on providing Housing Renovation loan to its personnel across the country.

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

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi disclosed this in Kano while presenting land title documents to 150 staff of Kano State Sector Command of the FRSC that benefited from the Post Service Scheme.

He said already, no fewer than 600 staff of the organisation had so far benefitted from the Housing Renovation loan since the partnership was established.

He said under the partnership, interested staff members would be given a maximum of N1 million loan with single digit interest.

He said that this would enable them renovate their houses.

He disclosed that the FRSC had acquired land in Katsina State for the FRSC post service homes.

He said that the lucky beneficiaries would soon be presented with their allocation papers.

Oyeyemi urged officers and men of the commission to increase their savings under the Post Service Scheme.

He said that would enable them have something to fall back on after retirement from the service.

“You must plan your life so that when you retire, you will have something to fall back on but if you don’t plan well, the future will be bleak.

“This is the practice in the military,” Oyeyemi said.

The Corps Marshal promised to continue to give priority attention to welfare of his personnel.

He warned them against unguarded utterances and indulging in partisan politics.

“You are uniform officers of the Federal Government so you must conduct yourselves in accordance with the law guiding the operations of the organisation.

He also charged officers and men of the service to shun rumour mongering and all other acts capable of denting the image of the organisation.

Earlier, the Kaduna Zonal Commander, Mr Bulus Darwang commended the Corps Marshal for fulfilling his promise to the staff under the post service home scheme.

He said the staff from Kaduna State were the first set of personnel under the zone to benefit from the land allocation.

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to Housing News commended the Corps Marshal for initiating the programme.

They said it would go a long way in assisting them to build their own houses before retirement.

Stage is set for West Africa’s Largest Housing Expo

The 12th Abuja International Housing Show…This year will set a new record with more than 250 Exhibitors from 17 countries.

Abujahousingshow is the ultimate meeting point for Real Estate Development Industry Leaders, Housing Finance Executives, Senior Policy Makers and Investors to Collaborate, Build Partnerships and Shape the Future. A massive gathering of Exhibitors, Entrepreneurs, Service Providers in Real Estate, National and International Speakers, Financiers and Investors from different parts of the world to network for the betterment of Humanity and Mankind.

From award-winning International Housing Finance Experts, to Home Grown Subject Matter Experts — explore the breadth, variety, and vitality of the West Africa’s Housing Community, meet Developers, Lenders, Manufacturers, and take advantage of Expo-only ticket offers and giveaways.

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

One of our goals for the Expo is to let audiences know about the depth and the breadth of Nigeria’s Real Estate Industry. Help us reach this goal by helping us spread the word!!!

This years Speakers include:

Debra Erb – MD Housing Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Dr. Xing Quan Zhang – UN-HABITAT (United Nations Human Settlements Programme)
Sonnie Ayere – Founder Dunn Loren Merrifield Group
Ahmed Dangiwa – MD Federal Mortgage Bank Of Nigeria
Ugochukwu Chime – President Redan Nigeria
Abubakar Suleiman – CEO Sterling Bank
Kecia Rust – Executive Director CAHF
Agnes Tokunbo Martins – Central Bank of Nigeria
Simon Walley – World Bank
Jide Odusolu – CEO Ogun State Property & Investment Corporation – OPIC
Dr. Chii Akporji – ED Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company
TPL Umar Shuaibu – Abuja Metropolitan Management Council
Kayode Omotosho – Executive Secretary Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria
Adeniyi Akinlusi – MD TrustBond Mortgage Bank Plc

Physically Challenged At Mercy Of Public Infrastructure In FCT – Presidential Aide

Dr Samuel Ankeli, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, says the over 3,500 public infrastructure constructed in Abuja, are not friendly to the People Living with Disability (PLWD).

Ankeli said this at a sensitisation workshop on the importance of Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN) for Data governance, disability and social welfare on Thursday in Abuja.

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

The aide attributed the exclusion of PLWD to accessing the facilities to lack of proper data for planning and execution of those projects.

“We don’t know how many people living with disability; most time, we guess and rely on foreign organisations to give us figures about our people.

“This has made life difficult not only for people living with disability but for people in governance,’’ he said.

He, however, called on governments at all tiers to plan for PLWD whenever they are constructing any project.

The aide said the objective of the workshop was to project a system that would make the country to generate its own data for effective planning and development.

“You will agree with me that we cannot plan without data, we need to distance from a system of development without planning.

“The present situation is what we are looking at, when we plan blindly without data.

“If you go to Ministry of Women Affairs and ask about the figures of PLWD in IDPs they will not know; if you also go to the NEMA the same thing.

“We have to get to a level where we press a button and get the data we want for any purpose.’’

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is inclusive and there is no inclusive government without data governance.

In his presentation on Data Governance, Dr Anthony Uwa, National Coordinator, BRISIN, said data generation was key to data governance and that it covered every aspect of the economy.
BRISIN is an integrated system for the collection, storage and distribution of information to support the management of the economy.

The project was initiated under the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration while the Goodluck Jonathan administration inaugurated a Technical Committee for its implementation.

BRISIN is targeted at tapping into all aspects of the nation’s economy and bringing about developmental and economic growth in the country through the use of data collection of people and information.

Data received will be used to plan for the management of the nation’s resources.

Uwa, also Managing Director of Dermo Impex Limited, told the stakeholders that BRISIN would build five focal data points in the country that would grantee data governance.

He listed the points as demographic data, social data which include disability, security data and economic data as well as labour and employment data.

“These integrated data form the base for national data governance businesses benefit from data governance because it ensures data is consistent and trustworthy.

“This is critical as more organisations rely on data to make businesses decisions, optimise operations, create new products and services and improve profitability,’’ the official said.

Oyo To Demolish Illegal Structures

The Oyo State Government has assured that strategic actions were being taken to stop the proliferation of illegal structures in the state, saying that illegal structures would no longer be allowed.

The Director General, Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control, Waheed Gbadamosi, gave the assurance while leading a task force on illegal structures and filling stations to Oyo and Ogbomoso on an enforcement exercise.

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

He explained that the purpose of the exercise was to ensure that the pace setter status of the state was maintained in its physical planning aspect, stressing that this prompted the team to spread its tentacles to Oyo and Ogbomoso to remove some properties illegally built and those constituting a nuisance to the neighborhood.


According to Gbadamosi, “During the exercise, it was observed that the state planning laws are not being obeyed by the people living outside the state capital. Our people believe that the arm of the law cannot reach them. The vision of the present administration is to set a world class standard that does not condone illegal physical development in the state.

“Illegal structures portend great danger to the people. Some people built under the power lines while some have constructed their filling and gas stations in highly residential density environment without giving room for any space. This is not too good for the state and as government; we are working round the clock to militate against natural disasters.


We want people to support this cause by adhering to the state planning laws,” he added.

He stressed that the 1978 Land Use Act provided that all lands within the territory of each state solely belonged to the state government, hence, any physical development that is being carried out in the state must be granted approval by the state government.

Demolition: Court Adjourns Hunkuyi’s N10bn Suit Against Kaduna Govt

A Kaduna State High Court on Thursday adjourned the N10 billion suit instituted by Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC- Kaduna) against the Kaduna State Government till June 5.

The Court, presided over by Justice Muhammad Lawal-Bello, adjourned the matter to determine the jurisdiction application raised by the respondents in the suit.

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

Hunkuyi had on March 15 approached the court to demand for N10 billion damages against the state government for alleged illegal demolition of his house at 11B, Sambo Road, Kaduna.


Joined in suit was the state Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) “for illegally and unlawfully demolishing his house”.

The court had then adjourned the case to March 26, following the request by the defence counsel (from Kaduna State Ministry of Justice) that they needed time to enable them to enter their defence.

The applicant’s counsel, Prof. Yusuf Dankofa, among others, prayed the court to declare that the respondents (Kaduna State Government and KADGIS)’s action in arrogating to themselves the power to sanction the applicant was illegal, even if he had defaulted in payment of either ground rent or land use charge or for any other reason .

The applicant had said the action constituted a gross violation of his Fundamental Human Rights as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and “therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.”
He prayed for “A declaration that the purported takeover of the applicant’s property located at No 11B Sambo Road Kaduna by the Respondents on the basis of purported non-payment of ground rent/land use charge or for any other reason is wrong, illegal and unconstitutional.”

Hunkuyi also prayed for an order of the court “setting aside the purported take over of the applicant’s property.”

He, therefore, requested for “an order of this court mandating the respondents to pay the applicant N10 billion “being aggravated, punitive and general damages against the respondents jointly and severally for the violation of his human rights.”

ustice Lawal-Bello had earlier adjourned the suit to April 19, to allow the defense counsel present his written address.


However, at the resumed hearing of the suit on Thursday, the defense counsel, Musa Kakaki, Assistant Director Civil Litigation in the state, said the court had no jurisdiction to hear the suit.

Kakaki, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the suit.

Justice Lawal-Bello, however, adjourned till June 5 to rule on the jurisdiction application.

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