Lagos Govt Reiterates Commitment To Reducing Housing Shortfall

Mr Gbolahan Lawal, Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State, on Wednesday reiterated commitment of the state government to creating enabling environment for economic growth through massive housing construction across the state.

Lawal gave the assurance during an inspection tour of some housing estates in Odo Onasa/Odo Ayandelu and Agbowa, both in Ikorodu division.

He said that Odo Onasa/Odo Ayandelu Housing Estate comprised 660 housing units which would soon be completed.

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

The commissioner said that two water treatment plants and a general sewage disposal were also being constructed to serve the estate.

He said that the ChoisCity Estate in Agbowa had been completed and would soon be allocated to the homeowners at an affordable price.

Lawal said that more housing units would still be constructed in the estate in future.

According to him, many housing units in other estates across the state will soon be ready for allocation to first-time homeowners under the Rent-To-Own or Rental Housing Policies of the state government.

“Our target is to construct 20,000 housing units in the state by the year 2020.

“The major focus is to ensure that Lagos residents have access to affordable housing units that are convenient, safe and within employment areas.

“It is also to reduce the housing deficit of the state which stands at about 2.5 million,” he said.

Lawal attributed the inability to meet the housing needs of Lagosians to the daily influx of people into Lagos.

He enjoined residents to always pay their taxes regularly to enable the government to meet its target in the provision of housing and other essential infrastructure in the state.

PCNI donates building materials to rebuild local government areas in Borno state

PRESIDENTIAL Committee on North-East Initiative PCNI and Victims Support Fund VSF has donated building materials worth millions of Naira to Borno state government to support the reconstruction of communities destroyed by insurgents.
Making the presentation to Governor Kashim Shettima, last weekend Vice Chairman of the PCNI. Tijjani Tumsah said a total of 298,000 pieces of timber, 59,710 ceiling boards and 20,865 bags of assorted nails were handed over to the government for use.

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

He said that the state was further assisted with 4,100 bundles of zinc and 2,400 bags of cement also as part of the PCNI’s intervention to the state to prepare homes for the internally displaced people IDP’S to return.

The distribution of the building materials was made particularly to nine local governments of the state where reconstruction works are ongoing to ensure that the people return as soon as it is safe.

According to Tumsah, ‘the distribution was based on populations of the local governments and damage assessment’ in council areas like Gwoza and Monguno which got 50,000 pieces of timber, 2,275 bundles of zinc, 2,650 ceiling boards and 350 bags of cement each.

Also, 48,000 pieces of timber, 2,275 bundles of zinc, 2,650 ceiling boards and 350 bags of cement were donated to Damboa local government because of the enormous damages were done to their residences.
Similarly, PCNI handed over health care facilities meant to furnish a hospital in Bama local government to the governor. Alh. Tumsah noted that the facilities, including x-ray machines and a total of 240 adult beds, among other items which will fully furnish the hospital.

Receiving, the items, Gov. Shettima thanked the presidential committee for the intervention, noting that it will help fast-track the ongoing reconstruction works and subsequent resettlement of internally displaced persons.

He further explained that his government is determined to resettle all displaced persons by May 29, 2018, having failed to do that last year.

‘Our government is determined to see that by May 29, we have resettled all displaced persons to their communities’, the governor said.

He called on the committee to extend similar interventions in its next tranche to other local governments of the state where reconstruction works are ongoing, including Askira Uba, Chibok, Konduga and Marte, among others.

Since its inauguration in 2016 by the federal government, PCNI has made several interventions across various sectors particularly in areas of reconstruction, education, healthcare and peace-building in the North East region.

Alh. Tumsah had re-echoed recently that 6 billion Naira has been spent in various intervention programs in the six states of the northeast region of Nigeria since the inception of the Theophilus Danjuma led committee.

RECOVERED LOOTS SHOULD BE DIVERTED TO HOUSING SECTOR- ADEBAYO

Barrister Festus Adebayo, is the President of Shelter Rights Initiative and the convener of Abuja International Housing Show. In this interview with TOPE SUNDAY, He bares his mind on some critical issues in the housing sector.

As a Lawyer, what led you into advocacy for housing development?
The situation is not interesting, if you go from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, you will see the way people are living. In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), many empty houses are not occupied. During weekends, the traffic is less congested, which points to the fact that people move to the outskirts from the city; because they can’t afford rents in the city. A situation where a civil servant can’t afford to own a house after 25years in the civil service is very pathetic. As a lawyer, it is the poor condition of living by many Nigerians that’s made me an advocate for housing development in Nigeria. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria demands that government should provide shelter for its citizens, but when government is not living up to its responsibilities, some of us have to rise and remind the government of this particular duty. It is the importance of housing that has led me to the position I find myself today- an advocate for Nigerians to be housed.

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

With the efforts you have put into organizing the annual Abuja international Housing Show and your advocacy work, are you satisfied with housing development in Nigeria?
My objectives have not been achieved. Alhaji Lateef Jakande the former governor of Lagos state built 30,000 low cost houses during his tenure. He is still alive and will not be happy that no government has come near since he built those 30,000 low cost houses. He was the first and last to have ever done that in the history of Nigeria. So, my objectives have not been achieved.

However, we’re creating the awareness every day and we’re sending signals to the local, state and federal governments. We’re engaging government agencies in charge of housing every day, the National Assembly members, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Mortgage Bank, primary mortgage institutions that are in the system. As I speak with you, the only thing we’ve been able to achieve is the engagement and awareness we’re creating that is bringing some of them to respond. Today, we can boast of the Ministry of Housing in some states in Nigeria. It was never the case before.

The only set back we have is at the federal level, where we used to have Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, but all of a sudden, the APC government changed it to Ministry of Works, Power & Housing. All the ministries were merged under Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. But states like Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Enugu, Rivers and many other states in the northern part of the country have specialized ministries whose responsibility is on housing because they see it as important. So with this we can say we have achieved something in that regards. The advocacy will continue until the appropriate authorities do the right thing by providing affordable housing and affordable mortgage system to Nigerians. We won’t stop until a graduate can walk into the nearest mortgage bank and get himself enlisted to own a house.

What is your assessment of the APC led government at reducing Nigeria’s housing deficit?
I score them average. There is no pass mark for them. As the APC government plans to return to power 2019, Nigerians are interested in what the government has done in the area of housing. It promised and failed, so the government should go to the drawing board and tell Nigerians why it failed and proffer solutions because a lot of Nigerians are living in slums and need better houses.
But what is the way out of this huge housing challenge that Nigeria faces?

The housing deficit in the country is more than 17million housing deficit, but the factor responsible is the lack political will by successive governments in Nigeria to give the housing sector the desired attention. If there is a political will on the part of the government, it would have demonstrated what it did or what it is doing in Agricultural sector too.


The Anchor Borrowers Scheme policy was formulated and implemented for farmers to get loan at nine percent to make accessible and affordable and stress free for farmers. If it is extended to housing, it will therefore be easier for a developer to take a loan and build at a lesser rate. Developers building at nine and 23 percent respectively will have different results. So, if the government has the political will, it would have told CBN what to do. It is just to send letters to the commercial banks for every unused fund, pension money or money recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to be diverted to the housing sector at six percent or single digit interest. Any developer that has evidence of financial capability should be given access to land. Development control should stop granting building approval as a source of making money. Instead they should facilitate housing development. The money people pay for building approval, interest rate etc. are some of the reasons houses cannot be afforded by the people who need them.

Experts in the built environment are now advocating for subsidy for the sector. What is your take on this?
Maybe they are talking about intervention fund. Subsidy is a scam, as we see in the petroleum sector with queues everywhere in our filling stations. We are clamoring for intervention funds for the housing. It must go beyond the level of National Housing Fund. The latter is a deduction of 2.5 percent of basic salary of workers every month and that is what Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria is managing. What we are saying is that government should be committed so that people can have access to a pool of funds to borrow. The money could come from one percent of our budget or from pension fund or from the unclaimed money in banks or billions being recovered by the EFCC. They should be made accessible to Nigerians for affordable housing. For Nigerians to benefit from the anti-corruption regime of buhari, the government should divert the recovered money to the housing sector.

What other problems would you say is confronting the sector?
The cost of building materials is also creating problems for developers. When cement is sold at #2,400 per bag, how is it possible to talk about affordable housing? Can’t we search for an alternative to cement? What is our research Centre’s doing? Do you mean that after many years in the established research Centre’s our Professors can’t provide alternative to cement, that we can’t build a house without cement? That’s the reason Abuja Housing Show every year brings people all over the world, especially countries that are doing very well in the area of housing, like Malaysia, Singapore, Canada etc. We bring them to Abuja Housing Show to rub minds with them on how to do it better.

‘ARCON dissolution case: We never took ARCON to court – NIA President

The president of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, Festus Adibe Njoku, an architect, has disowned recent publications in Nigeria’s newspapers that the institute took its regulatory body, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON, to court.

Making the clarification in Lagos at the weekend, Njoku, who was elected president of the institute in November last year, explained that four individuals, namely: Arc. Tonye Braide who is the immediate past president of NIA, Arc. Abimbola Ajayi, Arc. David Majekodunmi and Arc. Dike Emmanuel, in their individual capacity, went to court, challenging that the regulatory body, having been dissolved, according to them, does not have the power to invite them to a disciplinary hearing, insisting that at no time, between last year and two years ago, did NIA take ARCON to court.

According to him, as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, they have a right to go to court as individuals, but that at no time did the Council mandate them to go to court and that there was no time they stated that they were representing NIA.

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

“Even the judgment did not say NIA but only mentioned these four people. The story in itself is correct, but the headline is what is not correct and I would want this corrected. If you are saying four officials of NIA took ARCON to court, then you have a correct heading. NIA never took ARCON to court, neither did it say that ARCON has been dissolved.

“Rather, four members of NIA went to court to say that ARCON has actually been dissolved and they lost the case. So, kindly correct it that NIA at no time took ARCON to court. The judgment you are talking about is with four members of the institute that took ARCON to court and they lost it. Putting it under a general NIA is very wrong,” Njoku clarified.

He narrated that “It all started when the immediate past president, Tonye Braide, set up an education board that introduced people who just did their exams in 2014 to be in examination board in 2015. The regulatory body in turn, faulted the act and requested that the people be removed from the examination board. This, however, was not granted, leading to the regulatory body not recognising the examination.”

He stressed that it affected the September 2016, March 2017 and September 2017 sets. “The regulatory body now said, we want to see all the documents pertaining to the exam; their registration and project. Since, I came in as president on November 25, those documents were sent to the regulatory body by December 22nd for them to go through the process of qualifying them for the exam. The moment they finish, they will register the candidates who are found qualified.”

Responding to whether the action of the regulatory body does not constitute a bottleneck to candidates, he remarked that you don’t say because somebody is suffering too much and go ahead to pass him. ARCON, he maintained, would be the one to register those candidates as well as be the one to give them a number that qualifies them to practice.

He stated further that henceforth, the body will not be conducting two exams, but one, adding that after the clearing of the backlogs that caused the problem, the exam would take place anytime within the year (2018).

ARCON, he said, has not finally come up with registered candidates, pointing out that they cannot go further until they are registered. He said that is the process of reuniting the institute, he noted.

NIA president stated that they would reposition themselves as the pacesetters of the profession within the continent, having suffered credibility setback recently. “Once we have done that, we would regain the respect that the country commands,” he noted.

KUALA LUMPUR DECLARATION ON CITIES 2030

We, the participants of the Ninth session of the World Urban Forum — representing  national, subnational and local governments, parliamentarians, civil society, older persons, women, youth, children, persons with disabilities, grassroots groups, indigenous peoples and local communities, private sector, foundations and philanthropies, international and regional organizations, academia, professionals and other relevant stakeholders — gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to localize and scale up the implementation of the New Urban Agenda as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Led by a strong spirit of collaboration, creativity and innovation, we share our aspirations for the future of Cities 2030 as the Cities for all where no-one and no place is left behind.

To this end, we call for the deployment of all efforts, means and resources available towards the operationalization of the concept of cities for all, ensuring that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.

We believe that global, regional, national and local implementation frameworks of the New Urban Agenda being formulated since its adoption should be supported by key enablers capable of unlocking positive transformation, such as:

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

  • Strengthening the role of subnational and local governments, urban governance systems that ensure continuous dialogue among different levels of government and participation of all actors, and increasing multilevel and cross-sectoral coordination, transparency and accountability.
  • Encouraging sharing of creative solutions and innovative practices which enable a shift in mindset necessary to drive change.
  • Building inclusive partnerships and strengthening age and gender responsive environments to ensure meaningful participation and engagement at all levels.
  • Adopting integrated territorial development, including through appropriate urban planning and design instruments, to ensure sustainable management and use of natural resources and land, appropriate compactness and density, diversity of uses, and revitalization of cultural heritage.
  • Deploying monitoring and reporting mechanisms, including assessment of impacts, that encourage best practices for effective policy making.

We draw attention to the persistent challenges faced by our cities and human settlements, such as:

  • Limited opportunities and mechanisms for youth, women and grassroots organizations, as well as other civil society organizations, local, subnational and national governments, international and regional bodies to work together in planning, implementation and monitoring;
  • Inequitable access to the city, including to decent jobs, public space, affordable and adequate housing and security of land tenure, safe, efficient and accessible public transport and mobility systems, infrastructure and other basic services and goods that cities offer;
  • Insufficient protection from human rights violations, including forced evictions, and inadequate inclusion of people living in poverty, persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups in urban planning, design, and legislation processes;
  • Gender inequalities in urban economic and leaderships spheres.

We recognize that today we face emerging challenges that require urgent actions, including:

  • Recognizing that crises are increasingly urban, which calls for inclusive urbanization tools adapted to local contexts and to the nature of natural and human made disasters and conflicts, as well as to guide humanitarian assistance, fast track recovery, and contribute to building and sustaining peace.
  • Managing the complexities of increased migration into cities, at all levels, leveraging positive contributions of all and using more inclusive planning approaches that facilitate social cohesion and create economic opportunities;
  • Understanding the impact of new technologies and potential of open and accessible data, which require governance and design models that help to ensure no one is left behind;
  • Addressing growing social and cultural inequalities, lack of access to economic opportunities, that are increasingly manifested in cities.
  • Responding to environmental degradation and climate change concerns.

Actionable recommendations

We, the participants of the WUF9, leveraging the advantage of the Forum, which convenes thousands of decision makers, key actors, stakeholders and communities, generated a wealth of ideas.

We encourage the acceleration of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda through:

Frameworks

  1. Encourage the formulation of implementation frameworks for the New Urban Agenda at all levels, including monitoring mechanisms, providing a coordinated space for an effective contribution from all stakeholders, aligning to the efforts and actions of the 2030 Agenda and other international, regional, national, subnational and local development frameworks.
  1. Support the creation and consolidation of inclusive platforms and agendas for dialogue among all levels of government, decision makers and stakeholders such as regional, national and local Urban Forums and committees that can strengthen policy review and assessment of impacts. These can also foster exchange of experiences and cooperation, as well as scaling up voluntary commitments and actions from all partners.
  1. Further develop and advocate for integrated territorial development, which includes integration of sectoral policies, institutions and investment; integration among the different spheres of government; spatial integration across the urban-rural continuum; improved coordination across actors; and enhanced alignment of national, subnational and local policies with international agendas.
  1. Adapt innovative and robust mechanisms for the diversification and expansion of the means of implementation, to cater for complex and integrated approaches promoted by the New Urban Agenda. Technological innovations and improvements, research, capacity building, technical assistance and partnership development, among others, may require enhanced resourcing.

Governance and partnerships

  1. Adopt multiple collaborative governance mechanisms that actively engage national, subnational and local governments, all groups of society, including youth, women and grassroots organizations and particularly the excluded, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. This work in solidarity is critical to promote more buy-in and co-responsibility in the activities towards sustainable urban development, and to ensure the sustainability of the results.
  1. Promote multi-stakeholder constituency-based coalitions to use the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to better prevent, prepare, and respond to urban crises.

Innovative solutions

  1. Foster a culture of creativity and innovation to be embedded in the way cities and human settlements operate.
  1. Develop monitoring and data collection mechanisms, including community generated data, to enhance availability of information and disaggregated and comparable data at city, functional urban areas and community levels. This would promote informed and evidence-based decision making and policy formulation, assessing progress and impact at all levels.
  1. Create an enabling environment and develop capacities for scaling up of good practices including municipal finance, sustainable private and public investments in urban development and job creation, and generating value while advancing the public good.
  1. Adopt accessibility and universal design as core principles into national, subnational and local action plans for implementing the New Urban Agenda through inclusive, accessible and participatory processes and consultations.

We, the participants of the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum, recognize the value of the Forum convened by UN-Habitat as an inclusive platform to collect inputs from a broad range of stakeholders and to feed these into annual and quadrennial reporting on progress in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

We call to further develop the role of UN-Habitat as a focal point in the United Nations system to support all countries and mobilization of stakeholders in the implementation, follow up and review of the New Urban Agenda, including through scaled up normative support.

We thank the Government of Malaysia, the City of Kuala Lumpur, and UN-Habitat for organizing the Forum, and commit to provide continuous cooperation to the next hosts, the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the city of Abu Dhabi.

Kuala Lumpur, 13 February 2018

Surveyors harp on facility management, specialisation

To improve the nation’s economy, estate surveyors have stressed the need to ensure that viable stock of infrastructure is constantly functional and sustainable.

According to them, this could only be sustained through appreciation and enthronement of facility management profession in the national lives.

They called for the establishing of a positive correlation between the infrastructure and economic development.

According to them, the more robust and qualitative infrastructure, the better; the depth of such nation’s economic development.

Setting the tune on the theme: “Facility Management and Economic Development in Nigeria’, at the 24th John Wood Ekpenyong memorial lecture held in Lagos by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Values (NIESV), a past president of the institution, Mr. Dosu Fatokun, said infrastructure as a catalyst for development needs to be well managed to drive development.

Expressing dismay over Nigeria’s low ranking in human development index and public infrastructure gap as contained in some comparative critical macro economic and social indicators, Fatokun said, all hands should be on deck in terms of feasible ideas to develop her infrastructure with a view to promoting the desired economic development of the nation.

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

Although, it is said that Nigeria has exited recession the reality, the facility management expert said, is that people are still suffering, hence the urgent need to galvanise the economy through facility management.

He said: “Based on our experience on real estate infrastructure, we will propose that appropriate facility management functions should be gainfully employed for other types of infrastructure within the country”.

He also called on Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) to lobby the federal government to declare and dedicate a month in the year for infrastructure condition certification.

During this month, he said, appropriate professional bodies should be constituted into sub-groups to undertake technical visitations to representative of key infrastructure facilities in the country and issue yearly beneficial reports to government particularly on the operation and maintenance cycle stage of the respective infrastructure.

According to him, the report will complement the oversight function of the National Assembly and could provide useful and desired inputs for yearly capital expenditure budget of the nation.

Expounding further on the theme, NIESV president, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi said the topic was chosen because facility management will enhance, improve and sustain economic development.

According to him, since infrastructure is key for any economic development, there is the need to ensure that existing infrastructure is maintained and kept in good use.

Dr Patunola-Ajayi stressed that the lecture was instituted 24 years ago to appreciate the contributions of the founding fathers to the profession, especially using the first president, Ekpenyong as symbol.

The late Ekpenyong, who schooled at the prestigious Methodist College Uzuakoli and University of London have put the structure that had made estate surveying practice popular all over the world.

In related development, the institution urged members to focus more on specialisation rather than the general practice.

According to the body, such diversification would promote human capacity development, boost distinction in practice, improve member’s contributions to the profession and the society in general.

Dr. Patunola-Ajayi, spoke at the 2018 Fellows’ Induction and Awards held in Lagos.

He urged the 46 new inductees and honourary members to take the lead in laying the foundation for specialisation.

Stressing that human capacity is paramount in the delivery of services, the NIESV president advised them to shun act that could constitute precarious liability in the course of practice.

He said that the induction forms the highest grade of admission of membership into NIESV stressing that before they were considered, members must have been associate for 10-years.

Those honoured at the ceremony for their infrastructural strides and contributions to NIESV include; the special guest of honour; Alhaji Femi Okunnu, chief of staff to Governor of Imo State; Uche Nwosu, Air Vice Marshal Moses Akinsanmi, Governor of Gombe state and institutions such as Julius Berger PLC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Dangote Group among others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New strategy to build cities tops World Urban Forum agenda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stakeholders Chart New Path for Financing Low-Income Homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Bertram Nwannekanma

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

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

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

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

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

BSTAN Charges FG to Provide Housing for IDPs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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