Why mortgage access eludes many adult Africans

There are many reasons access to mortgage will continue to elude many adult Africans. Poverty is one of such reasons. There are others reasons which, experts argue, are as profound as poverty working against majority of the black continent population.

With low gross asset value of its real estate estimated at just €113 billion, Africa is said to be economically underweight with high-level poverty among its people, and this is in spite of its large population size. High level poverty is reason for the low standard of living and sub-human conditions in which some of the people live.

The continent’s €113 billion gross asset value of real estate represents only 1 percent of the world’s total value, pushing it very low relative to other continents. In Nigeria, for instance, the situation is bad. Only 5 percent of the country’s housing stock estimated at 13 million units are in formal mortgage.

The remaining 95 percent are said to be ‘dead assets’. But analysts see positive upsides in this because, according to them, this has made the continent an attractive prospect for investible funds in real estate.

Home ownership in most parts of Africa is almost a luxury because houses are available and are inaccessible and unaffordable to many people because of their high prices. These prices can only be afforded by a few who have the means.

The World Bank estimates that only 3 percent of the African population, about 15 percent of the world’s 7.3 billion population, has income viable enough to qualify them for a mortgage, underscoring the level of poverty in the black continent where some households live below poverty line.

Nigeria is the continent’s most populous nation and is touted as its largest economy, yet about 70 percent of its 170 million people lives below poverty line, which explains the low home ownership level in the country which is a little above 10 percent of the entire population.

It is also estimated that about 90 percent of houses in Nigeria are self-built with less than 5 percent of them in possession of formal title registration. Mortgage loans and advances in the country stand at 0.5 percent to GDP in contrast to 30-40 percent in emerging economies and 60-80 percent in advanced economies.

Major obstacles to mortgage finance also include dearth of long-term funds, absence of a secondary mortgage market, inadequate branch network of Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs), among others which is why a great deal of work remains to be done to grow housing finance in the country.

The growth of housing finance in Nigeria, according to Guillaume Roux of Lafarge Africa Group, needs the support of the small micro-finance institutions in their efforts to expand and diversify their offering, adding that the growth would also come from the large commercial banks which are becoming more and more attracted by the low to medium income segment of the housing market.

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

Roux’s argument was that both the micro-finance institutions and commercial banks need support to develop housing products and build up projects which would positively affect the low income segment, urging organization and institutions to help one another to achieve these goals.

Nigeria needs to grow housing finance through such initiatives as ‘Housing Micro-finance Academy’ which Lafarge launched in 2014 in partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and African Finance Development (AFD).

Training sessions need to be organized to promote housing micro-finance and develops the capabilities of banks in that field. Roux sees governments as critical stakeholders required to create the regulatory framework that would make the housing market work for the low income segment, noting that the setting up of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and the institutions for housing finance, including micro-finance and mass housing financing, with the support of the World Bank, is a good example of a platform which would facilitate the growth of initiatives there.

“This will progressively enable a decrease in interest rates in the mortgage industry. However, more support from the government is needed to lower the interest rates for the funding of affordable housing and social housing projects. Today, they represent a cost of up to 30 to 40 percent of the construction, which is borne by the end user”, Roux said.

It needs to be stated that there is a need to improve the affordability of construction itself in which case social housing projects should be setting the stage by showcasing new construction techniques that could improve quality, deliver faster and reduce the cost of construction.

African governments need to creatively innovate in order to improve the living standard of their people through the provision of affordable and mortgage-backed housing programmes. Also, the mortgage system has to be improved to make it not only accessible but also affordable.

UK Asset Forfeiture: Nigerian Property Owners Panic, Bombard VAIDS Hotlines

Nigerians, who own property in the United Kingdom, have inundated the Federal Ministry of Finance’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) hotlines with calls, causing the lines to crash on Friday.

Federal Inland Revenues Service (FIRS) and Ministry of Finance sources confirmed to our correspondent on Sunday that the unprecedented level of calls was not unconnected with the new UK regulation with regard to Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs).

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The sources disclosed that the confidential hotlines that were provided to enable the booking of appointments had received massive calls and frantic requests from tax payers in the last 72 hours, asking for extension of time to complete their VAIDS declaration forms.

It will be recalled that the UK Government had last week introduced a new law that requires foreign owners of properties in the country to explain the source of their funds or risk forfeiting them to the Government under UWOs.

According to the new law, the UWOs can be obtained for any property or combination of properties valued at just £50,000 (about N25 million) or more, for which the owner is unable to explain legal source of funds.

Our correspondent learnt that data already in the possession of the VAIDS Office in Federal Ministry of Finance reveal that many UK property owners have under paid their taxes before transferring funds overseas to buy property.

“Concerted efforts are ongoing to restore the hotlines following the crash on Friday.

“Most of the calls received are from high net worth individuals, including company executives, bankers and even a governor. All seem to be in panic over the prospect of losing their investments,” said a source within the VAIDS Office.

The official noted that some of the apprehensive Nigerian property investors in UK stormed the Federal Ministry of Finance last Friday without appointments, requesting to see the Minister and also the Head of the VAIDS Office.

The source explained, “Most of the enquiries are about seeking assurance from the Nigerian Government that the VAIDs programme can protect them from potential asset forfeiture to the UK Government. Others requested to know if their names had appeared on the lists from overseas.”

Efforts made by our correspondent to speak with the spokesman of the Minister of Finance, Oluyinka Akintunde, were unsuccessful. Text messages sent to him were yet to be responded to as at the time of filing this report.

The UWO law, coupled with the revelation that many foreign governments are automatically sharing bank and property information with Nigeria, has resulted in an upsurge in enquiries about the VAIDs programme.

VAIDS allows Nigerian tax payers to restate their income and assets without limit and thus could potentially allow those who own property that cannot be explained by their previously declared income to regularise by declaring and paying the correct taxes.

Stop Transaction On Area Councils’ Titles, FCTA Advises

Abuja – The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has expressed regret over the illegal activities of touts and advised the public to desist from transaction on plots of land allocated by the Area Councils until title regularization process is concluded.

The FCT Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary and Chairman of the FCT Land Use & Allocation Committee(LUAC), Mr. Chinyeaka Christian Ohaa made this disclosure at the weekend during the meeting of the Committee in Abuja.

He stated that this action has become necessary to reduce the knotty cases of illegal land activities being perpetuated at the Area Councils of the Territory and thereby defrauding unsuspected members of the public.
According to him, “The confirmation of titles of the Area Councils can only be conducted after completion of the ongoing Area Councils’ title regularization exercise, and therefore the general public is hereby advised to desist from transacting on the said titles until conclusion of the regularization exercise”.

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

Mr. Ohaa remarked that by the virtue of Section 297 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Sections 18 & 1 (3) of the FCT Act respectively has absolutely vested the entire 8,000 square kilometers of the land in the Federal Capital Territory to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and is being managed by the FCT Minister under a delegated responsibility.
He further stated that, “the Administration has observed that with the recall of Area Councils’ Zonal Land Managers and Zonal Planning Officers back to the mainstream, as well as the suspension of Land allocation by the six Area Councils of the Territory, the illegal activities still persist”.

The Permanent Secretary however recalled that the FCT Administration in 2006 had directed the Area Councils to discontinue allocation of land and requested that they update and forward their records of allocations to AGIS for the commencement of the title regularization for thorough cleaning and validation.

He therefore regretted that the Administration has spotted some illegal allocation papers being backdated by fraudulent ex-FCT officials and ex-Land officers at the Area Councils; fake letters of allocations and Certificates of Occupancy in circulation as well as Farmers, Village Heads, Community Heads selling land in the Area Councils, thereby duping unsuspecting members of the public.

Mr. Ohaa warned the general public to be wary of these illegal activities by fraudulent people; reiterating that all lands in the entire Federal Capital Territory is vested in the FCTA and can only be accessed through application to the Hon. Minister.

The Permanent Secretary used the opportunity to announce that the FCT Administration has several thousands of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) as well as Rights of Occupancy (R of O) for Federal Capital City (FCC) titles unclaimed in the Department of Lands Administration and therefore, called on the beneficiaries to come forward with necessary documents for collection.

By Toyin Adebayo

NEED FOR COLLABORATION AMONG STAKEHOLDERS IN THE HOUSING FINANCE / REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT SECTOR

Despite growing optimism and bright forecasts following the introduction of various investment-friendly policies by the government to drive the growth of the property sector in the past decade, the sector’s performance in 2017 was rather disappointing for the housing finance / property development industry in general, and for the federal government in particular.

The Nigerian Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to decent accommodation, but the state has largely failed in securing this right amid rapidly rising demand. Demand is driven not just by national population growth, but particularly by the influx of domestic migrants to the industrial heartland of the country – Lagos, as well as to the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja.

Nigeria requires approximately 800,000 new housing units every year, according to numbers being thrown around. In addition, the country needs to address a backlog of some 17million units, which will provide decades of work for real estate developers. High mortgage rates, down payment requirements, taxes and recordation costs, and the increase in building raw material prices continues to make it even more difficult for middle-low income consumers to own a home in Nigeria. Another obstacle is the poor implementation of deregulation policies initiated by the federal government at state/local government level. Most local governments complicate or delay the permit application process and impose illegal levies on housing projects.

Robust data is fundamental to successful policy formulation for Affordable Housing. In Nigeria, budget deadlines and political decisions force policymakers to endorse programs without a system for monitoring and evaluation.

Private Sector Stakeholders, in particular, must COLLABORATE and support all efforts towards the establishment of a Housing and Real Estate Data Bank, whose primary role is to collect, collate and analyze data on housing supply and demand and serve as a think tank for the housing stakeholders: public and private housing providers, academics, and civil society organizations.

In addition, the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) must COLLABORATE with regulatory authorities with a view of engaging the services of “THOROUGH BRED” mortgage experts who will be able to provide international best practices that strengthen credit assessment, mortgage underwriting, and risk management practices.

Furthermore, it has been established that modular structures, where major components for walls and roofs are produced off-site and assembled on-site, can reduce both the cost and time of construction. This should be rigorously pursued.

Finally, sluggish advancement in the provision of low-cost housing could be blamed on red tape and graft. As mentioned earlier, affordable housing policies are initiated at the national level, while their implementation rests largely with state & local authorities, and coordination between the two levels of government is often left wanting. Real Estate Developers continue to complain that overlapping regulations and other bureaucratic hurdles affect particularly the low-cost segment, driving a lot of companies to alter their focus to the middle-income segment instead. Most, however, remain committed to the low end of the market.

Adekunle Faleti

NIOB honours Govs, former head of service, Mbaka others at 20th investiture

The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has honoured Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra, Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa, former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, MS Amal Pepple and many other eminent Nigerians who have contributed in the growth of housing sector.

The Merit Award event was held on Friday in Abuja on the sideline of the 20th investiture of NIOB President, Mr Kenneth Nduka.

According to the institute, Gov. Obiano received Responsive Leadership Award in recognition as a people friendly, paradigm changing and his development of economic and infrastructural amenities in Anambra state.

Gov. Al-Makura was given a Strategic Leadership Award in recognition of his smart initiatives for the strategic provision of essential infrastructure an adaptive built environment to boost the future growth and development of Nasarawa state.

MS Amal Pepple was bestowed with Gold Merit Award in recognition of her dedicated and unassuming labour of love in loyalty, commitment and good conduct in her service for the growth of the nation.

Emmanuel Mbaka was recognised with a Merit Award for his efficient housing delivering through the engagement of professionals for mortgage financing and project monitoring.

Speaking with the Newsmen, Engr Emmanuel Mbaka expressed satisfaction towards the nice gesture of the institute in appreciating his contributions in the sector.

He however promised to continue to contribute his quota to the development of the built environment.

(NAN)

NIOB President pledges training, certification of Artisans, Craftsmen

The newly inaugurated President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has pledged training and certification of needed Artisans and Craftsmen in building trades to encourage professionalism.

The NIOB President, Mr Kenneth Nduka made the pledge at his investiture as the 20th President of the institute in Abuja while listing his five-point agenda to boost the sector.

Nduka said that his tenure would take advantage of the awarding body status granted the institute by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to promote increase training and certification of Artisans and Craftsmen.

“It is through diligence, manipulative dexterity, basket of experience and utmost attention to details secured from the dirty jobs of skilled craftsmen that designed specifications are interpreted and transformed three dimensional realities by builders.

“Besides the National Building Code, assigned the role of supervising the activities of building trades Artisans and Craftsmen to professional builders. My tenure will increase and sustain the training of Artisans. ’’

On his five-point agenda, he noted that there should be a general advocacy on the professional roles of builders especially as related to cost effective, timely and collapse free buildings that would satisfy need of mankind.

“In this regard, we shall constructively engage fellow industry stakeholders, all arms of government, building products manufacturers, NGOs and the media towards achieving professionalism in the built environment.

Nduka stated that the institute would sustain the attitude of periodic competence and skill development seminars and workshops for members and relevant industry stakeholders for the enlargement of frontiers for effective response on building projects.

“This will help to encourage members to achieve professional validation and secure recognition,’’ he added.

The president affirmed that the institute would pursue the completion of its proposed Centre for Building Excellence, located in Lugbe, Abuja to achieve a one stop address for all building related solutions.

Nduka further said that the institute would yield the array of experts to spine public policy making efforts squarely in support of the best interest of the industry and within the constraints of verifiable transparency through effective contributions associated with the built environment.

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“In the current democracy dispensation, policy makers have the challenge of leveraging on the perspectives of lobbyists’ agenda to discern the most equitable and the best policy choices that will address the demands of the moment.

“Achieving this expectation often requires the inputs of professionals like builders, to gain insights into particular issues for selecting suitable policy options’’.

Congratulating the newly inducted executive members of the institute, he appealed for their implicit support to steer the leadership mantle for the development of the country.

In a valedictory speech, the immediate past President, Mr Tijjani Shu’aib urged the newly inaugurated president to imbibe continuity for social economic growth to thrive.

Shu’aib called for the completion of the institutes’ programmes such as its affordable housing projects on 50 hectares of land applied and qualified for since 2015.

“Since Oct. 2015, we have applied and qualified for the grant of 50 hectares of land for the purpose of affordable housing project at the Mass Housing Department of Federal Capital Development Authority.

“This is to pave way for builders to actively participate in the National Housing Programme, showcase professional competence in infrastructure and housing development as well as avail builders opportunity to own homes when approved.

“The institute has been shortlisted for the grant but it is awaiting the FCT Minister’s approval,’’ he added.

He called for the revitalisation of several chapters of the institute including Enugu, Kastina, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Bauchi states.

The expert also called for unbundling of graduate registration into the institute to make it possible for graduates from accredited intuitions to be formally inducted into the graduate cadre within the University or College once their results were approved.

The highlight of the event was the presidential merit award given to some eminent Nigerians who have contributed immensely in the housing sector.

NIOB tasks FG on definite policy to engage local professionals, contractors

The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has urged the Federal Government to evolve a definite policy to engage local professionals and indigenous contractors for involvement in the capacity development of industry practitioners.
The NIOB President, Mr Kenneth Nduka, at his investiture as the 20th President of the institute said in Abuja on Saturday that it became imperative because of the ever-changing socio-economic and technological environment.

Nduka appealed to the Federal Government to show greater faith in exploring how best to add good value to societal expectations for policy making undertakings to be advantageously harvested.

“The professional institutions like the NIOB have to be rightly situated as lighthouses guiding the members, the industry and general public from bad practice, corruption, indiscipline and bad governance,’’ he said.

In order to improve operational governance, he pledged that the management and administration would be subjected to periodic audit scrutiny to sustain administrative effectiveness.

He also frowned at the lack of political will on the part of all levels of government to effectively situate and enforce a statutory provision that would professionally drive activities in the built environment sector.

He said lack of political will had exposed the built environment and the industry to confused operational rhythms, wasteful resources deployment, and dysfunctional delivery outcomes.

“This has compromised environmental health and safety, caused proliferation of sick buildings, resultant indulgence to high maintenance cost, prevailing sickening culture of building collapses and pathetic loss of lives and values
“NIOB is one of the seven professionals uniquely charged with the responsibility of training and re-training of registered potential builders who will deliver infrastructure for safe, healthy, sustainable, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and collapse-free buildings,’’ he said.

As a major stakeholder in the built environment sector, the NIOB president noted that the body owed both Nigeria and Nigerians a lot in building products with the application of technology and prevailing global practice.

He listed other challenges of the building industry as spiralling population explosion, galloping inflation, uncoordinated rural to urban migrations, inadequate provision of housing and infrastructural facilities and a dearth of artisans and craftsmen.

The expert said others were ever-evolving technological challenges, invasion of the sector by quacks and charlatans, interloping built environment professionals, corruption at all levels, undue politicisation and manipulative interventions on professional roles.

He called for a more standardised approach to ethics and public interest and more pooling of resources amongst all the segments of public and private governance and policy structures.

Akin Akindoyeni, a Professor of Building, called for a proper regulation of the sector due to the urgent rise of corruption, lack of prosecution of defaulters and empowerment of statutory laws.
“NIOB and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigerian (CORBON) have made several efforts to eradicate the canker-worm called quackery in the system but it is always a flop because of lack of government support.’’

The professional, however, condemned quackery in the system and warned those indulging in the acts who were not in any way registered builders to desist from it.

Concern mounts as Lagos’ new land use charge takes effect

With the signing into effect of the amended Lagos Land Use Charge Law, 2018, the state government has given legal fillip to the implementation of the law alongside its local government areas.
The new legislation replaces Land Use Charge Law, No. 11 of 2001. The government has justified the amended law, saying it was aimed at eliminating multiplicity of property taxes and levies, as they relate to both the state and local governments.


However, property investors and developers have expressed concern about basing the charge on capital values of property rather than on rental income. They argued that this aspect of the law was a disincentive for investment in property, in a state with over 3 million housing deficits.
“At a time when governments in other jurisdictions are putting measures in place to encourage investment in the housing sector, the Lagos State government is still piling charges on developers with their new Land Use Charge, which is now on capital values and not rental income,” Hakeem Oguniran, MD, UACN Property Development Company (UPDC), who spoke at a real estate summit in Lagos Tuesday, said.
Oguniran, who noted that the structure of the Nigerian economy was not in favour of real estate and the investors, said basing the land use charge on capital gains was inappropriate at a time when many houses were empty because they could not find buyers or tenants.
Lagos has a large chunk of vacant buildings across the various segments of the market including residential, commercial office space, retail malls and industrial warehouses. Until the last two quarters of 2017, when the economy improved, residential vacancy rate in the state was as high as 37 percent, while both office space and retail malls averaged 30 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
The recent sale of high yield Treasury Bill by the Federal Government was also seen as a major discouragement to investment in real estate. Bolaji Edu, CEO, Broll Nigeria, described it in an interview with BusinessDay as government’s systematic way of “crowding out private investors.”
The law applies to real and landed property in Lagos, and seeks to consolidate all property and land-based rates/charges into a single property charge. Under the new law, which was signed by Governor Akinwumi Ambode on Thursday, each local government area in the state would be the collecting authority for land use charge within their jurisdictions.
The charge is payable on all property except those exempted under Section 12 of the law. The exemptions include property owned and occupied by a religious body and used exclusively as a place of worship or religious education.
Other exemptions include public cemeteries and burial grounds as well as property used as a registered educational institution certified by the commissioner of finance to be non-profit making, palaces of recognised traditional rulers in the state, and any property specifically exempted by the governor by notice published in the state official gazette.
The new law further provides that exempted property becomes subject to land use charge if the use of such property changes to one that does not qualify for exemption.

Under the law, land use charge payable on any property is arrived at by multiplying the market value of the property by the applicable relief rate and annual charge rate using the prescribed formulae.
Adeniji Kazeem, state commissioner for justice and attorney general, explained the rationale behind the law.
According to Kazeem, the amended law reflects the state government’s efforts to tackle the issue of multiplicity of property taxes and levies between the state and local governments, especially as the imposition of land use charge on a landed property implies that all other state laws that impose tax on properties would cease to apply to such landed property.
BY JOSHUA BASSEY

Ambode Signs Amended Land Use Bill and 6 others into Law

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday signed seven important bills into law among which is the law to guarantee 24-hour power supply in line with the vision to attain a 24-hour economy and make the State globally competitive.

The Laws are Lagos State Electric Power Reform Law, Amended Land Use Charge Law, School of Nursing Law, Cooperative College Law, Cancer Research Institute Law, Amended Customary Court Law and the Yoruba Language Preservation and Promotion Law

Speaking on the import of the new laws, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem said the development was a great day for the State as it signpost the commencement of the journey to further advance the dividends of democracy to the people.

He said: “This is a great day; the Governor has just signed these bills into law and this shows that the House of Assembly is working in tandem with the Executive. It also shows that Lagos is working. These laws are going to benefit the people of Lagos State and this is what the people are looking for in terms of the dividends of democracy.”

Giving details on the benefits of the Power Sector Reform Law, the State’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olawale Oluwo said the law would allow the State Government to intervene in major areas of the power value chain to the overall benefit of the people.

He said: “One, the law puts the government in a position to be able to extend our guarantee to private sector participants who will come and generate power for us and by this guarantee, we are putting the balance sheet of our State on the table and assuring investors that as they generate power, they will get paid.

“Second, is to help the distribution companies to upgrade their infrastructure because if they generate the power and their infrastructure is still where it is today, clearly they will not have the capacity to carry the incremental power. The third area of intervention is that it empowers us to be able to open up the gas market in Lagos so that we can have gas on a consistent basis and that is how we can attain the 24-hour power supply.”

Speaking further, Oluwo said the law would also enable the State Government to collaborate with the distribution companies to collect tariff from customers efficiently in a way that the said guarantee would not crystallize, while in the area of enforcement, the law will prevent power theft.

According to him, ”What has happened today is that the first power theft law in Nigeria has been signed today by Governor Ambode and this is the first time any government in Nigeria will institutionalise the power theft law.

“It criminalizes power infraction. What we have seen before is that people tamper with and bypass meters and at the end of the day they are arrested and nothing happens but the new law provides for jail terms as well as fines and all sorts of forbearance such that if you tamper with electrical installations, if you import fake electrical materials into this State, you are liable to be prosecuted,” Oluwo explained.

Speaking on the other laws, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan said the signing of the laws aptly confirmed the commitment of Governor Ambode to institutionalize and enshrine good governance.

“Among the bills is the Amended Customary Law which is very important because for a long time the Customary Court system in the Local Government has been shut down because of the bill and with this revision, the Customary Court in Local Government will spring back to life and that means that many of the activities in the Local Government which require arbitration and dispute resolution which had been in abeyance so far will now come back in full stream.

“Another one is the Yoruba Promotion bill and for the first time it will become normal for you to be admitted into any of our tertiary institutions with a credit in Yoruba language and Yoruba will now become a major requirement for you to engage in normal business communication in Lagos State. This is a clear and conscious commitment to the position which Lagos State prides Yoruba language as the cultural vehicle for us to be able to articulate our position and it also shows that Lagos has furthered recognised the importance of language as a vehicle for development,” Bamigbetan said.

NSE Solicits Partnership With LASG On Infrastructure Projects

Mr Akin Akintola, Chairman, Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has solicited partnership with the Lagos State Government to enhance infrastructure development in the state.

Akintola made the appeal in an interview with Housing News on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that the professional body was willing and ready to collaborate with the government in order to contribute their quota to quality project delivery in the state.
Specifically, the NSE appealed to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to allow the body to participate in the ongoing construction of Agege Pen Cinema Flyover situated on Agege-Ogba Road to guarantee quality.

Akintola said the NSE had approached the state in the past to serve the government free at all levels to guarantee quality and safety of projects.

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“The professional bodies are not being involved, which is not good enough and I am appealing to the Lagos State Government to please, for God’s sake, involve us, the professional bodies.

“Let government tell us its plans so that we would be able to give out professional input. Today, I don’t know of any professional body that is close to government.

“We are supposed to fill the gap but the unfortunate thing is that it is not happening.

“And we want to appeal to government to please involve us; we are not asking for money, we are asking for partnership. If they can give us that, I think things would go better,” he said.

Akintola also appealed to the state government to include professional engineers in the committee investigating a recent gas explosion that claimed some lives about two week ago to forestall future occurrence.

“We as professional body are not there to castigate government but to add value, we are supposed to be like their (government’s) protector,’’ he said.

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