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Land Use Act at 40: Time for abrogation

Forty years ago, (precisely March 29, 1978) a tipping point was reached in how land was thenceforth to be owned and administered in both urban and non-urban areas in Nigeria. The Land Use Decree (now Act) of 1978 came into being.

Consequent to this Act, “all land comprised in the territory of each State in the Federation is hereby vested in the Governor of the State and such land shall be held in trust and administered for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians in accordance with the provisions of this Act” the opening paragraph of the Act reads – Section 1 (i)

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Land, worldwide is a critical factor of existence & production making its ownership, allocation, distribution and utilization critical issues in the creation of wealth, social and economic wellbeing for both individuals and societies and in effect, making it a subject matter that cannot be overlooked.

Among key objectives of the Act were to remove the bitter controversies that arose over title to land, to assist the citizenry, irrespective of status to realise the ambition and aspiration of owning land within the country, to assist the government in the exercise of power of eminent domain or power to compulsorily acquire land for public purposes. The Act also intended to curtail the activities of speculators over land.

Forty years afterwards, can it be said that the Act has achieved its objectives? The continuous numerous calls from many quarters to amend the Act with plausible arguments that it has apparently failed in its objectives is an indicator as to the success or otherwise of the Act. In fact, one of the seven-point agenda of late President Umaru Yar’adua’s short-lived government was an amendment of the Land Use Act.

It is worth showing how the Act has failed in its objectives and made land ownership and title transfer even tougher. For starters, bitter controversies and conflicts still arise or exist over title to land; the Act has definitely not made it any easier for citizens to own land.

Sections 21 – 22 of the Act prohibits the alienation of either a customary right of occupancy or a statutory right of occupancy via an assignment, mortgage, transfer of possession, sublease, or otherwise without the consent of the Governor. The above stated provisions have resulted in a plethora of issues relating to transfer of property transactions. Coupled with this is the confusing provision that the Consent of the Governor should be obtained before the transaction is consummated.

Firstly, the process of obtaining the Governor’s consent is expensive. Many States have seen it primarily as a revenue generating activity and so the total cost of that exercise is sometimes as high as 15 percent of the deemed value of the subject property.

Further, even though there have been improvements to the process in some States, it still takes a long time to obtain the consent, which significantly delays the completion of land related transactions.

Additionally, the requirement to seek the Governor’s consent for mortgage transactions has also proved to be an impediment in the introduction of financial tools such as mortgage backed securitisation, which requires an element of certainty in terms of the rights to the underlying securities in the mortgages to be securitised.

As a result of the above stated issues, amendments have been proposed to alleviate the burdens currently faced by investors in the real estate market and to provide property investment incentives but not much has been achieved in this regard.

According to a survey carried out in 2012, the second greatest challenge facing 22% of Nigerians that wanted to invest in real estate was reported to be the difficulty in obtaining titles. This is followed by 18% that cite cost and time involved in regularizing real estate transactions.

This lack of understanding of the laws and procedures surrounding real estate and real estate transactions is borne primarily out of the poor workability of the Land Use Act.

Data from the World Banks Ease of Doing Business 2017, indicate that regarding property registration in Nigeria, it takes an average of 77 days to achieve. 59.7 days in sub-Saharan Africa and 22.4 days in high income Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Registering properties in sub-Saharan Africa in general and Nigeria in particular is evidently tough as demonstrated by the Report.

At an average of 10.10%, Nigeria is among sub-Saharan Africa countries with the highest cost of registration as a percentage of property value. The average in sub-Saharan Africa is 8.00% and 4.20% in high income OECD countries.

A quick scan of the report further reveals that property registration in some select countries – Nigeria ranked 182 out of 190 in 2016 and 182 in 2017, which shows there has been no appreciable improvement in the ease of registering properties in Africa’s most populous nation.

Still on property registration, in 2016, Kenya ranked 122 of 190, China 42, South Africa 100, Ghana 76, India 140, and Brazil 130. In 2017, Kenya moved a step up to 121, China stayed same at 42, South Africa went southwards to 105, Ghana came down to 77, India improved by two places to 138 and Brazil also improved by two places to 128. A cursory study indicates how much work needs to done to improve and make the regulatory framework conducive for registering property.

Yet, this is a country, based on United Nations data, has a housing deficit of over 17 million units. To bridge this shortfall, 900,000 units must be added to the housing stock annually. But based on available data (National Bureau of Statistics) less than 100,000 are supplied.

The true and committed resolution of these issues must start with amendments to the Land Use Act. Section 15 of the Act provides that during the term of a Statutory Right of Occupancy, the holder shall have the sole right to and absolute possession of all the improvements on the land. Such right and possession only relates to improvements that the holder still cannot transfer, assign or mortgage without the prior consent of the Governor or would lose if in breach of terms and conditions of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Again, this clearly creates a problem of security of title because though it is conventional in Nigeria to grant a Certificate of Occupancy for a period of ninety-nine years. There is nothing in the Act that prevents the Governor from granting an interest of a lesser period. Section 8 of the Act only enjoins the Governor to grant a right of occupancy for a definite or fixed term. Where the right covers a short term then it amounts to economic risk to embark on massive improvements because of the atmosphere of uncertainty induced by the Section 16.

The Act has equally failed to curtail the activities of land speculators, as one of its objectives. Large tracts of undeveloped lands are still not under the control of the Governors of the States and land speculators are cashing in on this seeming lapse by holding down vast lands out of use until such a time as it would be very profitable to dispose on the market – a practice that hampers development in diverse ways.

Ruling family members in many communities (popularly called omo oniles) who control large traditional lands engage in land profiteering. They also create undue conflicts that result in costly land litigations and in many cases, physical clashes leading to deaths and sacking of villages. This a situation the Act was meant to curtail but has not helped in any way. The result is that the cost of land continues to rise astronomically and land speculation has become even more rife.

Concurrently, the harsh economic climate in the country with rising cost of living has put Nigerians in dire straits such that many who have access to land whether by inheritance, previous purchase, or by family or communal allotments and are more readily inclined to disposing them to meet immediate survival needs cannot easily do so because of lack of access to title. Though the land belongs to them they still have to approach the Governor of the State in which their land is situated to obtain title to facilitate a sale.

The same thing applies to using the land for economic activity. Many who own land cannot pledge them to the financial institutions for facilities to engage in commercial or manufacturing activities because of the torturous process of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy as spelled out by the Land Use Act.

Thus, the rich continue to accumulate more and more lands to the detriment of the dominant poor.The situation has been complicated by the politicisation of almost all public affairs and institutions in the country.

The fact that all land in the state is vested in the Governor of the State makes it very easy for land and title revocation (Section 28) to be used as a political weapon not minding the investments on same or the adverse consequences of such a decision on the investment climate of the country, state, economy or financial sector.

This singular power in Sections 1 and 28 of the Land Use Act has made many financial institutions wary of accepting real estate as a collateral asset in extending facilities to their customers.

The amount of compensation and method of calculation of same under the Land Use Act also leaves a lot to be desired. Section 29 (4) (a) allows for an amount equal to the rent paid to the Government as well as cost of improvements to the land. This negates or ignores the fact that the allottee could have acquired the land from its original allottee at a huge cost on the open market.

Even more, costly improvements may have then been undertaken on the land to increase its value from which ordinarily, the land holder should benefit.

Section 6 of the Act which states that the Local Government authorities can grant land for agricultural purposes is in reality not practicable. Many local governments exist today in Nigeria and function as appendages or extensions of the Governor of the State. They cannot grant such lease as envisaged by the Act to any agricultural concern without the consent of the Governor. Where such leases are granted, and a Customary Right of Occupancy is granted virtually no financial institution in Nigeria recognizes same as a legal document strong enough to use as a collateral.

The impact of the current policy on land may directly or indirectly be one of the major reasons why agricultural production has not moved from its current subsistence and basic level after nearly 60 years as a nation. The statistics indicate that nearly 80% of land in Nigeria is agricultural land and are being put into various types of agricultural production. Of this 80%, less than 5% is held by large scale farmers or farm holdings. The rest are owned by small families and individual holdings engaged in small scale cultivation of the lands using very archaic technology and sometimes no technology at all – just the basic hoe, cutlass and hired labour.

Output is therefore very limited and even with that low level of output, nearly 70% of harvest is lost before it reaches the markets and targeted consumers.

Yet, each of these small farm holdings own their farm lots but because of the Land Use Act they can hardly obtain proper legal registered title to same to enable them access credit facilities with the financial institutions using these same farm lands as collateral. As a result of their inability to access financing they cannot employ technology by way of tractors etc to farm larger expanses of land, improve and increase output. Because of the lack of access to finance the small farm holdings cannot invest in technology to preserve harvest until it reaches consumers and the result is huge wastage and losses annually.

In conclusion, the objectives of the Land Use Act were no doubt lofty and well-intentioned but it has turned out to be defective in many respects. The time for a review in tune with current realities is long overdue. Fettered with institutional failure, dearth of political will and inherent defects, the law has not been able to achieve most of its set objectives.

Notwithstanding, the desire for economic development through effective, fair and equitable utilisation of land and land resources can still be attained if the law is holistically amended to overturn certain anachronistic and antithetical provisions and replaced with realistic and effective policies that would put Nigeria on the part of economic progress.

Chudi Ubosi

Ogundimu now MD NMRC

A new Managing Director has been appointed for the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC). He is Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu.
The appointment of Mr. Ogundimu, who is the Chief Finance Officer, (CFO) is in acting capacity.

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He was appointed following the retirement of the pioneer MD, Prof. Charles Inyangete having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years. Prof. Inyangete was at the helm of affairs for three and a half years. Professor Inyangete joined the company in November 2014, following the incorporation of NMRC as a key component of the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme (NHFP) funded under a US$300 million IDA Facility from the World Bank Group.

During his tenure he saw the growth of the company from a 3-man start up charged with launching unto a nascent and very challenging Nigerian Mortgage market with a clear mandate to grow the primary and secondary mortgage markets and promote home ownership in Nigeria to one which has made significant strides in the industry and recognised as a sector leader.

He superintended over NMRC’s first mortgage-backed bond issuance in July 2015, which was the first of a N440 billion bond issuance programme backed by a conditional guarantee of the federal government.

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The N8 billion raised from that exercise was deployed to the refinancing of legacy and new mortgages of NMRC member banks that conform to NMRC’s uniform underwriting standards for the formal sector. .Professor Inyangete was a proponent of the value chain approach to tacking the challenges facing a market comprising multi-faceted and complex operators, systems and processes along a supply and demand continuum.

FG’s housing policy stimulating economic growth –Fashola

When the present administration came to power it vowed to address Nigeria’s dilapidated infrastructure, and three years running, it has made giant stride, HAKEEM BELLO writes.
The NHP programme in FCT


The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, last Thursday undertook an inspection tour of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) National Housing Programme site declaring that the Buhari administration’s infrastructure renewal policy was achieving the envisaged purpose of boosting socio-economic development.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the inspection, Fashola said the proof of the impact of the policy on the populace was no longer a matter of conjecture but could be seen and experienced by the people working at the various project sites, be they Power, Works (Roads) or Housing, across the country as well as those selling food, clothing, household items and other human needs in the markets, who were also experiencing the boost in trade and commerce.

The project as job provider
The minister, who cited as example some workers he interacted with during the course of the inspection, declared that the actual beneficiaries of the much touted huge budgets allocated to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, were the workers carrying out various tasks at the project sites, suppliers of construction materials, food vendors and others, who, according to him, would then take the money to the markets where the traders would also take their shares.
He declared, “It is no longer what I say that matters; the trueth is that the Buhari administration’s infrastructure renewal policy is really getting to where it should be getting; in the hands of the real workers; Fidelis and Ibrahim (the workers he interacted with at the site) the two carpenters I have talked to, represent those people, the foreman that I also spoke to, the 30 labourers who are mixing concrete, ordinary people who may never get to see the President but who the President is impacting by his policies and programmes. That really is the story”.


“Again, let me repeat; when you hear that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has the largest budget, this is what happens to the budget. We are just a conduit for moving it on to the people of Nigeria through contracts that are awarded, works that are done, payment that are made, concrete that is mixed, woodwork that is done by carpenters, iron rods that are bound together by labourers; so that is what happens to that budget. This is the destination of the budget”, he said.
Fashola further explained that from the workers, the money would get to the markets where they would go to buy food, household and other needs thereby passing the money to market traders and business men who would also use the money to meet their diverse needs both at home and in their other commitments. “That is the economy”, he said.

Its sustainability
On how the programme could be sustained in order to ensure continuous jobs and employment for artisans and other skilled and unskilled workers as well as business men, the minister said, “There is no going back on this. This is proof of concept. You would have seen in Oyo, Osun and Kwara last week where all our Directors went, the same thing is happening. We also have this thing going on in Kano and Kaduna where I was last week. In the last year, we stopped at sites in Gombe, Taraba and this is all over the country. But we need to prove that this concept works”.
“When we finish, what we want to establish now is to ensure that people accept this 24 apartment design in this part of the country and that they can pay for it. Then you will see more of this. You will, probably see ten, twenty going on at the same time. So that is when the Housing Economy really takes full bloom”, he said.

More business for suppliers
Fashola advised business men and women to be ready to supply the market with household accessories such as curtains, carpets, bedding and household furniture pointing out that when people buy houses they would need those items to equip the houses. “The tailors and foam makers must get ready as well because the new house owners will need bed sheets and mattresses”, the minister said.
Reiterating that the programme is currently on-going in 33 states of the country, Fashola declared, “So this is the full ecosystem of the national economy that we are beginning to get back to”. He urged journalists to propagate the news of the Housing programme to Nigerians, who, according to him, are the ultimate beneficiaries adding that they should report what they have observed.
Interacting with the project supervisor earlier, the minister was told that there are 30 labourers currently working at the site, made up of carriers and masons; there are also 10 carpenters and 10 iron benders as well as five plumbers and six electricians, he said, adding that many other people come daily at the site to do businesses like supply of food and other needs of the workers.
Workers’ testimonies
One of the workers at the site, Ibrahim Haruna, told the minister during an interaction with them that he joined the site last month because he wanted to gain more experience and also because the pay for the work was good. Ibrahim, who said he joined the company from doing carpentry work on his own, added; “Now I have more experience on the work and the pay is very good and very attractive”.
Another Contractor, who also interacted with the minister at the site, told him that he has about 95 workers doing different jobs at the site adding that with government paying them regularly, they have no challenges hindering their work.

The brief about FCT’sproject
Located at Dukpai area of Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, the National Housing Project, which covers an area of about four hectares, consists of two components one of which is made up of buildings of 3 condominiums of three floors each wiTheach condominium having four one-bedroom flats, 16 2-bedroom flats and four 3-bedroom flats totaling 24 flats and 72 flats for the three condominiums. The second component, according to a project brief signed by the Project Team Leader, Arch. Fashoranti Toyin, consists of infrastructure such as roads, electricity and motorized borehole.
The brief also showed that three contractors, Messrs City International Limited, Sonjay International, and Malami Pawa and Sons Limited are handling the building component of the contract while Messrs Sassads Trading and Construction Co. Limited, Umka Nigeria Limited and Muhsin Limited are handling the Infrastructure component.

Experts converge for sustainable infrastructural development

Experts drawn from the local, continental and international infrastructural industry will converge in Lagos from Wednesday 28th to discuss sustainability in infrastructural for national development in a 3-days Series which will run through to Friday, March 30th to discuss on ways Nigeria can develop its infrastructure and mark the 7th edition of the International Conference on Infrastructure and Development in Africa (ICIDA).

The theme for this year’s edition ‘The Complexity of Infrastructure System: What are We Fixing’ seeks to look at Africa’s infrastructural gaps and proffer solutions towards ameliorating the challenges in the sector using comparative analysis with modern innovations with emphasis on economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The event is in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and Bells University of Technology, Ota, Nigeria, while the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu will function as the host of the event.

“We are bringing these people to partner with us to see what could be done to improve the situation of things generally. The conference will also bring about the recent research developments so that we will see the effect of this on infrastructural development unlike where you just have policymakers and government functionaries coming to give you policy papers; this is a departure from that,” Nurudeen Bashorun, chairman, Local Organising Committee said in a statement made available to Housing News.

Bashorun, disclosed that this year is unique with the presence of professionals, practitioners and academic all under the same roof with the main aim of dissecting infrastructural problems at the same time, profound sustainable solutions to them.

Reacting to the team’s decision to have the event in LASPOTECH, Bashorun explained that the conference seeks to position the polytechnic globally because LASPOTECH is the only polytechnic in ICIDA, adding that it will help expose the polytechnic and bring about development in terms of educational development.

“For this year’s edition, no fewer than 1,000 participants are expected to grace the conference and over 70 papers have been reviewed and found suitable for the presentation that will impact on the African continents,” Bashorun added.

At the end of the event, a resource document will be produced, forwarded and circulated for concerted efforts at achieving the discussed objectives for National development as far as Infrastructural sustainability is concerned, he said.

Keynote speakers for the event include; Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister for Power, Works & Housing; Aare Afe Babalola, president/founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) while the Lead speakers include – Nurudeen Rafindadi, managing director, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Abuja FCT; U.G. Muhammed, managing director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Maitama District, Abuja; Adekunle Oyinloye, managing director, The Infrastructure Bank; Chidi Izuwah, director general, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Abuja FCT among others.

Taking Nigerian affordable housing narratives beyond borders

With over 170 million people, Nigeria, the most populous country in black Africa is plagued with housing problem.
This issue has been a thorn in the flesh of various governments as moves towards addressing the ugly phenomenon repeatedly failed.

In 1991 for example, the Nigeria housing deficit was seven million. It increased to 12 million in 2007, 14 million in 2010 and currently over 17million units.

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To resolve the deficits, various governments through national development plans made frantic efforts in ensuring adequate mass housing, especially in urban areas. Like every administration before, the present Government’s effort is still fall short of meeting the nation’s housing expectations.

For instance, contrary to its promise in 2016 to build 5,000 housing units for workers in the public sector in the 36 states every year for the next three years, the government seem to have deviated from that direction as it announced last August, that it had commenced 2,736 new housing units in 33 states across the country.

In the same year, the government initiated Nigeria Housing Fund Programme (NHFP) under the Social Investment Fund of the Federal Government, in which N100 billion was set aside for its commencement. It is a scheme coordinated by the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure access to housing finance by prospective homeowners.

The Federal Government has also earmarked N35.4 billion for housing in the 2018 budget for its workforce under the National Housing Programme.

It is pertinent to state that with the enormity of the nation’s housing problems, the 2018 budgetary allocation seems inadequate.

In view of this repulsive trend, the World Bank, in 2016, projected that it would cost the country about N59.5 trillion to address the housing deficits in the country.

About 108 million Nigerians are estimated to be homeless, based on an average family of six people per housing unit. The Bank projected that the country required about 700,000 housing units every year to curb this deficit.

With the prevailing situation, it is apparent that the real estate sector required aggressive private sector intervention.

One of the notable real estate companies to have made meaningful impact in the sector and also achieved giant stride in resolving the housing deficit in the country is Homework Development and Properties Limited.

The Lagos-based real estate company has not only shown its capacity to deliver affordable quality products, but has taken its success story outside the shores of the country.

The company also demonstrated that it could offer subscribers, within and outside the country, value for money through its affordable quality products, when it participated at the 2017 yearly conference of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

Through the event, the firm restored the trust foreign investors once had in Nigeria’s real estate sector and promoted the recent positive developments in the real estate industry.

ANPA members, who have benefited from the services of the company, specifically requested that Homework participate in the conference in order to expose the Nigerian success story to diaspora.

According to the Director of Homework Development and Properties Limited, Jide Adekola, an architect, the ANPA conference provided a platform to change the perception that foreign investors would not get value for money or might get scammed in Nigeria.

The event, he said, also created the awareness that there are professionals in the sector with the expertise to provide quality products in due time.

“The change in perception, which we have created, would in no small measure boost businesses and increase the volume of foreign direct investments that can engender increase in gross domestic product of the country, “Adekola said.

He added that Homework would also take part in the annual conference organised by the National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America and other subdivisions within the United States.

It is also planning to hold similar exhibition and talks in Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries with large population of Nigerians

Homework had also ensured quality and affordability in its projects, which were showcased at the West Africa Property Investment (WAPI) summit last at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Responding to accolades from stakeholders and visitors to its stand at the summit, Adekola said the company’s projects were driven by passion to offer affordable quality homes to Nigerians.

“The company is driven by passion to create world class estates, which sets it apart in the industry. It delivers unmatched quality services to its clients through the provision of great architectural works in serene environments,” he said.

According to him, Homework intends to resolve the housing problem in the country through affordable mini estates of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with innovative architectural designs.

He said the company intended to deliver on the projects within a short period and that the affordable mini estates would be spread across the country. “There is a new demand for these apartments and there are people that need them for investment and related purposes since they are affordable.”

Also, a Director of Homework Development and Properties Limited, Chima Emerueh, said the company has made remarkable progress through its products located at Banana Island, where it has a small gated community of terraces and semi-detached duplexes.

He said the firm also plans to replicate its luxurious and quality products in other places like; Ajah, Yaba and other parts of the mainland.

Following the success recorded so far, Homework intends to explore opportunities in other West African countries with products within the reach of the people.

“Most people in Africa are looking for low cost houses and because we have done it in Lagos, we will do same in countries in the sub-region,” Emerueh assured.

Loans Board Calls For Transfer Of Monthly National Housing Fund Contributions

Mrs Hannatu Fika, Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), on Tuesday called for the transfer of the monthly National Housing Fund contributed by civil servants to the board.

Fika made the call on Tuesday in Abuja, during the Public Hearing on “A bill for an Act to amend the Federal Government Staff Housing Board to administer a housing loan scheme for Federal Public officers and related matters.”

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She explained that the fact that public servants contributing to NHF are not getting any benefit from the contribution necessitated the call for the transfer.

According to her, public servants were the surest block of workers, who contribute to the NHF.

“In order to address the concerns of public servants, the FGSHLB in partnership with the Federal Mortgage Bank, came up with the N1 million renovation loan at most.

“If the partnership like that of the renovation loan is legislated through certain percentage of the contribution of workers being willingly and legally allocated to the board either quarterly, monthly or yearly nobody will raise an eyebrow.

“After all, it is the contribution of public servants and we will be assisting the FMB in solving their challenges because we are both federal government agencies working with different mandates to meet the housing needs of Nigerians,” Fika said.

She noted that the proposed amendment seeks to remove some obsolete provisions in the Act, making the board more efficient to achieve the housing policy of the present administration.

The board also sought amendment to eight areas of the enabling act, namely; sections 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,13 and 14.

It also outlined willful delay or obstruction of a diligent inspection or investigation of information supplied for loan approval as an offence.

It, however, stated penalties for anyone who contravenes the provisions of the act to be convicted, fined or dismissed from service depending on the offence.

Earlier, Mr Yakubu Dogara, Speaker House of Representatives, said that the bill had come at a right time to give succor to civil servants.

Dogara, represented by the House Minority Whip, Mr Yakubu Barde, noted that Nigeria had a housing deficit of 17 million.

He added that most civil servants cannot afford houses in Abuja due to high cost of rent, thereby making them live in Niger and Nasarawa states from where they come to work every day.
According to him, the distance from their work place to their houses affects the output of their jobs negatively.

“It is our objective that most civil servants would own a house of their own when this bill becomes a law, to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria,” Dogara said

In his address, Mr Gogo Tamuno, Chairman, House Committee on Public Service Matters, said that housing was a basic need of man that cannot be over-emphasised.

Tamuno added that the proposed amendment was to expand the law and cover the areas that were not covered.

“The law we are here to amend was inherited from the military; its last amendment was in 1976 that was over 40 years ago.

“No matter how properly articulated a law that has stayed over 40 years will definitely need amendment.

“We are here to expand the law to cover areas not covered earlier or newly introduced.

“For example the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Scheme (FISH) was not captured but its operating within the ambits of the law,” Tamuno said.

The chairman assured Nigerians that the final draft of the amendment for presidential assent would be in the interest of public officers.

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.

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

“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

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

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.

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