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Professional standards: NIA president tasks architects’ body, ARCON on discipline

By Kingsley Adegboye

For architects to remain relevant within the sub- sector of the construction industry, as well as abreast with developmental issues that border on transparency and discipline among members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, the professional body and its regulatory body, Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON, have been charged with the responsibility of instilling discipline and ensuring high professional standards in the practice of architecture.

Speaking with journalists at its National Secretariat, Abuja, during a media parley recently, the President, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Festus Adibe Njoku, noted that the achievement of the institute and Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON, since their inception, no doubt, speaks volumes, urging the two arms of the profession to break new grounds on some areas that are pertinent to the growth of architecture profession in Nigeria.

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Meanwhile, NIA president has disclosed that his institute has commenced work on a Nigerian affordable housing project for the common man, using local materials in order to make the houses affordable for the low income earning group in the country. Making the disclosure in Abuja recently, Njoku said: “We want to build a sample in Abuja. The walls might be made of mud and not blocks but when it is plastered and painted, nobody will know the difference. We want people to know that they can build a house with local materials without spending too much. The materials will stand the test of time. We will solve the problem of high cost of building for the poor man. It is the best approach to solving housing deficit in Nigeria.” Njoku, who lamented erosion of standards among architects, tasked ARCON to check the trend and instill discipline in the profession not minding whose ox is gored. He said: “The Institute will channel its energy towards the issue of discipline in the practice. This is one hydra-headed monster that has been gradually eating deep into the fabric of this profession.”

According to Njoku, the need to infuse discipline, professional ethics and transparency in the process therefore calls for concerted efforts by NIA and ARCON, if practitioners are not only to remain afloat in the profession, but to ensure professional standards in the practice. Commenting on the necessity for collaboration with the Federal Government, state governments, their agencies and institutions such as the political class as well as local and international relevant consultancy associations for the much-needed synergy that would facilitate the desired built environment on sustainable basis, NIA boss said there is need for continuous parley and interaction with mass media more than ever before to showcase interventionist programmes and achievements to the public.

On job creation, he said: “Job creation is one area that NIA more than any other body in the built environment profession, has greater responsibility. A lot of young architects graduate from institutions of higher learning every year, and most of them end up joining others already in the job market. I therefore enjoin professional architects to use all machineries at their disposal to create job opportunities for our teeming young professionals.” The president said there is need for continuous education of its members and public enlightenment on their responsibilities to the policymakers, sister associations and the general public.

6 feared dead, scores injured as one-storey building collapses in Lagos

No fewer than six persons were feared dead and scores injured yesterday after a storey building collapsed in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Panic reportedly broke out as the building situated on 9, Abeje Street, Morikaz Road, came falling down in the busy locale.
Housing News Lagos correspondent  gathered that the building had been marked “distressed” by the state government officials before it finally caved in yesterday.

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Aside from the deceased, those who were injured were rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, for treatment by the Lagos State Ambulance Service, LASAMBUS.


At the scene, emergency officials, including the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, were sighted combing different parts of the building to rescue victims that could be trapped in the rumble.
Although eyewitnesses put the death toll at the six, LASEMA in their statement confirmed two deaths.


“The Agency received a distress call via the emergency toll-free number at about 10:48 a.m, concerning a building at No. 9 Abeje Street Morikaz, Agege. This ease up the rapid activation of the Agency’s Response Team to the scene of the incident,” said LASEMA General Manager, Mr Adesina Tiamiyu.
According to Mr Tiamiyu, investigation carried out by the LASEMA Response Team at the scene of the incident revealed that a distressed storey building suffered partial collapse at the backside.

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“Unfortunately, two persons (female adult, Toyin Ogundimu, 35 years and a young girl, Sherifat Olalere, 11yrs) lost their lives to the incident and one male adult (Mustapher Salaudeen) was rescued and treated at the incident by the ambulance crew.
“The LASEMA Response Team, NPF (Dopemu and Agege division), Lagos State Building Control Agency LASBCA, Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps LNSC, Taskforce, LASG Fire Service (Agege division) and LASAMBUS were the responders at the scene.


Tiamiyu after ensuring the immediate evacuation of other occupants of the building, however, advised Lagosians not to ignore wreckage and cracks they notice in their buildings.
He urged residents never to hesitate in calling the emergency toll-free line 112/767 to report on time to forestall tragic incidents that could lead to avoidable deaths.

Bank loans to real estate soar but housing deficit lingers

Mortgage and commercial banks’ lending to the real estate sector has continued a steady growth in the last three years despite the downturn in the economy, a sectorial breakdown of banks’ credit to the private sector has shown.
Banking credit to private sector data sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and a survey of developers showed that the banks seem to have turned on the tap for private developers, state housing corporations and housing cooperatives over the past three years despite a perceived slowdown in demand for real estate products and services in the country.

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A year-on-year analysis of the NBS data showed that in 2015, banks’ exposure to the property market stood at N2.49 trillion, rising to N2.93 trillion in 2016. The availability of credit to real estate took an immediate upturn post 2016 hitting an all-time high of N3.12 trillion in 2017.
Between 2015 and 2017, a total of N8.6 trillion was loaned to the real estate sector, a figure which is more than the credit given to both the agriculture and education sectors put together (N6.87 trillion).
Housing News reports that the rise in banks’ credit to the real estate market may not be unconnected with the upsurge in inflation rate and subsequent recession that hit the country’s economy between the third quarter of 2016 and second quarter 2017.

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The fall in the value of the Naira meant higher import cost and corresponding increase in local prices of building and construction materials which are mostly imported.
A slowdown in new constructions was expected, likewise reduction in the demand and supply of properties as well as a rise in mortgage rates to reflect the prevailing interest rates but the data showed that developers’ appetite for loans did not slump.
The property market in Nigeria relies heavily on most times mortgage and commercial banks’ debt to fund estate development including land acquisition and infrastructures.
The data showed that although the banks’ lending to the real estate sector in the last three years is nowhere compared to their yearly exposure to the oil and gas, manufacturing or T r a d e/ G e n e r a l Commerce sectors, the preference for credit to the real estate sector over agriculture and education put together is an indication that banks are no longer shying away from lending to an untapped real estate sector.
But it seems the huge credit facilities to the sector are having minimal impact as the mind-boggling housing shortfall in the country continues to widen.


There are still increasing number of uncompleted estate projects across the major cities of Abuja, Lagos and Portharcourt. Those which manage to get completed remain unoccupied by individuals.
A property developer who preferred anonymity said some developers have mastered the art of accumulating huge debt with mortgage banks, such that after obtaining loan facilities from banks to build estates, they instead divert the funds into other non-productive and non-regenerative activities.
According to him, some developers complete the estates, sell the housing units and decline to remit the sales proceeds to the bank.


The Chief Executive Officer of Jedo Group of Companies Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko said these were part of reasons why the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) suspended giving estate development loans (EDLs) to estate developers about three years ago.

The EDL is a facility granted by the FMBN to private developers, state housing corporations and housing cooperatives to bridge the housing deficit through mass production of houses for ownership.
The FMBN within the week said it has achieved the recovery of N621 million from both non-performing construction finance and mortgage loan portfolios.


“Due to the pressure placed on debtor-customers, nine developers have so far submitted loan repayment plans as exit strategies for EDLs granted to them,” the bank said.
According to Wamako, “The issue is that it is a product of politics. There were some developers who were able to get estate development loans but on political ground. They are not developers and for that reason they don’t perform,”
“Someone would come as a senator, use his office and get a loan and therefore paying back is now a problem,” he added
Nigeria reportedly has housing deficit of about 17 million but Wamakko believes the deficit is far above that figure.
“It is even more than 20 million, the 17 million is inaccurate. Are you only talking about the houses in Abuja and don’t care about Lokoja or Kano. Housing deficit is more than 17 million,” he said.


According to him, government can bridge the gap by providing intervention fund for housing development just like it has done for the health and agriculture sectors.

Low household income and challenges of homeownership

One of the major challenges of homeownership in Nigeria is household income which is very low among most families. The challenges are deepened by the frustrating poverty level in the country which experts say is endemic in about 70 percent of the country’s population.

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

In most cases, when concerns are raised about the housing demand-supply gap estimated at 17 million units, homeownership level which is below 15 percent and the total housing stock said to be a little above 12 million units, not much is said about the source of housing finance in the country.

It is estimated that housing finance by public authorities in Nigeria is about 10 percent; mortgage banks contribute about 2 percent, while contribution from banks and other institutions is insignificant, hence the recourse to own savings by most families for their housing needs.

Contrary to what obtains in the advanced economies of the world, where housing finance is synonymous with mortgage and the main way of building or buying and owning homes is by applying for and accessing a mortgage facility, home seekers in Nigeria generally resort to household income or money saved by individuals.

This is, perhaps, one of the few countries of the world where homeownership is achieved almost 100 percent from own savings or through communal and co-operative efforts which is not supposed to be.

In Lagos, for instance, a city of about 20 million people where about 80 percent of the population lives in rented accommodation, unconfirmed report has it that the construction of about 86 percent of the housing stock in the city was funded from household income.

In a comparative analysis of what obtains in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, Sonnie Ayere, CEO, Dunn Loren Merrifield, noted at a forum in Lagos that in South Africa, mortgage contributes about 40 percent of housing finance while in Ghana, our much smaller West African neighbour, the contribution is 3 percent.

Low mortgage contribution to housing finance in Nigeria is because of the cumbersome and unfriendly land administration in the country, making it rank highest in property registration and construction permits difficulties.

The country is ahead of all other African countries in procedures legally required for registering property. It takes almost 360 days to register property here as against Ghana’s less than 10 days. In Lagos, the cost of registering property was, before now, about 15 percent of the value of the property.

Also before now, getting a property registered in Lagos involved long and cumbersome procedures, that required about eight stages and 30 steps for each of the lender and the borrower and this is part of the major reasons for the difficulties in getting mortgage for housing finance.

This contrasts with what obtains in other economies including Ghana and South Africa. Ghana, before now, had a dysfunctional land administration, long and expensive procedures that lasted up to five years and involving six different agencies supervising which resulted in inefficient state land bureaucracy and customary tenure.

When, however, the country’s government instituted reforms, property registration was cut to 34 days and queues at the lands commission disappeared, making it possible for the mortgage sector to thrive.

In Egypt, government identified high fees and inefficient government agencies that hindered the formalisation of real estate as a major issue and sorted it out by reducing property registration fees; simplifying the property registration process, thus encouraging citizens and companies to obtain titles.

To make mortgage contribute significantly to housing finance in Nigeria, governments at both the federal and state levels should start discarding multiple verification payment, deployment of Global Information Services (GIS), making payments with a single receipt, improving capacity building and significant investment in technology.

Developers and mortgage providers say this is a way for the mortgage industry in Nigeria and, according to Hakeem Oguniran, managing director, UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) plc, there are five drawbacks to housing finance including cost, character, capacity, collateral and conditions.

Oguniran said at a real estate event in Lagos that the problem with land registration was with the Nigerian system, explaining that the system was people-driven and not process-driven. He recommended that there should be one-stop-shop for perfecting title and should be made business-like.

Abimbola Olayinka, MD/CEO, Resort Savings and Loans plc, says the Land Use Act should be used to empower the people and not as an economic and political tool by state chief executives, adding that the Act should be taken away from the constitution so that it could be easily tinkered with.

He recommends that land administrators should adopt what he calls three-one-three strategy for land registration, explaining that “land titles should be perfected in three days at one central place, and at the cost of 3 percent of the value of the land”.

Chuka Uroko

Government should provide affordable homes through rental housing scheme

FESTUS ADEBAYO is a lawyer and an advocate for strategic partnership in bridging existing deficit in quality and affordable housing in Nigeria. He spoke to DAVID OLANIYI on the up-coming 12th Abuja Housing Show and other issues in the sector.

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

With the increasing roles the private sector are playing in housing provisions, do you consider government as doing enough in terms of support and enabling business environment. What would be your suggestions for government towards improving on this?

Government needs to do much more. By this, I mean create the enabling environment for a level playing field for private sector investors. Government must make huge in infrastructure. This also informed our theme for this year. ​More than half of all of Nigeria’s housing is estimated to be substandard – either built out of compliance with building codes, or illegally on someone else’s land, or both.  This must be formalised somehow.  The path is complex, and the risk of granting undeserved amnesty is great … but cities must formalize, and the longer it is delayed, the more damage the delay does to urbanisation and national growth.

Considering the humongous challenges Nigeria has in the housing sector, what are the immediate solutions that stakeholders can adopt?

Government must key into the Nigerian Housing Finance Programme; Government must create a rental housing association model for providing affordable homes ; diversify FMBN from supply oriented to demand oriented; create a national urban regeneration; allow state governments to obtain nationally owned land.​

A major area of concern for the industry is the provision of affordable, timely and quality housing, adopting mechanism for building technology and training of artisans in the built environment. How do you think these issues can be effectively tackled?

The country must look inwards and promote local industries; encourage our universities and polytechnics to do research through focused and sustained funding; support agencies responsible for research and development; ​be less dependent on importation of building materials.

Countries are adopting the green house revolution in their housing sub-sector, do you think that the time has come for Nigeria to follow suite. How would the involvement of experts engender this innovation?

Before you can go green, you must first have the standard brick and mortar. This can be a medium term plan. To achieve this, however, government must invest heavily in infrastructure – stable electricity, functional sewage/sewer system, available water nationwide, less dependence on energy from oil / gas. Then there must be public awareness and advocacy programs to sensitize ​citizens. New homes being built henceforth should embrace solar energy technology.

When you look at the real estate sector, one will see that the industry is encumbered with the challenge of absence of reliable data, how best can this be solved?

The Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company; Federal Mortgage bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Housing Finance Programme are presently working on this project. In addition, the Federal Goverment should encourage organisations and other private sector players who have done extensive studies in this regard.

The 12th Abuja Housing show holds in  few months’ time , what prompted the theme:  Driving Growth & Sustainability in Nigeria Housing and Mortgage Markets –  Improving Structures & Policies for Impact.  What new dimensions do you intend to introduce?

​The theme for this year’s Show is focused and deliberate. Over the years, Abuja Housing Show has transitioned from local, to regional and now international. ​For Nigeria to be competitive with developing nations in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, it needs to improve its housing – total supply, housing quality, and housing affordability and Mortgage system – which grossly lags behind other sectors of the Nigerian economy relative to these countries to which it aspires.

Developers are encountering some challenges. Has the Abuja International housing show helped them to solve these challenges?

Abuja International Housing Show is arguably the country’s top bridge  builder in terms of bringing together an array of diverse interest groups from same industry, under one roof. We have been able to achieve this by encouraging and promoting strategic partnerships and collaborative partnerships across all board. Recently, NMRC and OPIC entered into an alliance to and signed a MOU to build affordable housing in Sagamu. The idea was conceived when senior executives of both organisations met during the 10th Abuja Housing Show. We can also report from the turnout of estate developers who have come to register that on yearly basis transactions worth billions of naira are being made on our platform from buyers to developers, buyers to home interiors manufacturers, Mortgage seekers to mortgage banks.

About 350 exhibitors from UAE, China, India, Turkey, Philippines among others have confirmed participation in this year show or call it International Housing Festival in July.

The Vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo will be special Guest of honour. We will be having governors, ministers, commissioners from all the 36 states at this year’s event. Our partners include Federal Mortgage bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, African Union for Housing Finance, Nigeria Housing Finance Programme, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Building, Association of housing corporation of Nigeria, Ogun state Government, CBN FSS 2020, AFP Julius Berger, Brain and Hammers ltd, Dangote cement , Hall 7 Real Estate, Urban shelter ltd Royal Ceramics ltd, Solignum, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council  and all other major professional bodies in the Nigeria Housing and Construction Industry.

This year Abuja International Housing show will be live on African Independent Television.

Homes of the Future: Pros and Cons of Mobile Houses

Modern architecture is exciting and container boxes and mobile houses fit right into the picture of homes of the future. With the trend of container homes and mobile homes, it is possible to own a home without breaking the bank.
Accommodation problems in Nigeria remain a real challenge as the country struggles with a housing deficit of over 17 million units. The nation currently has a construction capacity of about 250,000 housing units each year. At this rate, it would take 68 years to provide accommodation for all Nigerians.

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The way forward is to re-imagine the real estate industry in Nigeria. The closest Nigeria has come to witnessing this phenomenon are shipping container homes. The architectural trend has arrived and holds great potential for smart homes, Artificial Intelligence and home automation. The typical dimensions are 20 and 40 feet but there are a number of speciality containers. This means you can choose to have a 10-foot container or one that’s 45, 48 or even 53 feet tall.
“Not long after starting, we moved to Lagos and got to know and meet a number of talented architects, interior designers and landscaping professionals, some of whose works have been featured on the site. It’s been a challenging, enlightening and exciting journey and we hope that it inspires you every step of the way. We have a lot to learn, but our aim remains the same, so, we’re taking it one step at a time,” explained Michael and Uzoezi Johnson of Livin Spaces.

Before you make that decision to buy a mobile home, you should know the advantages and disadvantages of owning one.
What is a Mobile home?
A mobile home is a prefabricated structure. It is built in a factory on a permanently attached frame before being transported to a site; either by being towed or on a trailer. Mobile homes can be used as permanent houses, for holiday or temporary accommodation. They are sometimes left permanently or semi-permanently in one place but can be moved.

Mobile homes have many names. They are also known as any of the names below:

Prefabricated homes
Modular homes
Trailer
Prefab homes
Residential caravans
Trailer homes
Shipping container homes


Something Special About Container Homes You Probably Don’t Know
Containers are made out of corten steel, which is a weathering steel. When you see rust on a container, which you probably see all the time, it is not traditional rust that you would see on mild steel. It’s actually creating a protective patina and barrier that protects the steel underneath. This is why containers are put on a ship and rot away from all the sea water.

Advantages of Mobile Homes
1. Speed of Construction
One of the biggest advantages of prefab homes is the fact that they can be assembled really quickly. It removes delays that are associated with unfavourable weather conditions. They are constructed in a warehouse and assembled on the site as opposed to traditional on-site development. “Our main focus is to provide housing solutions for the lower middle class of Nigeria. it is possible to own a home without breaking a bank. The essence of using modular architecture is for speed, affordability and access,” said Kanyin Ademuson, the Founder Seventh Space.

2. More Affordable Than Standard Homes
Shipping container homes are far more cost-effective to build than your typical house. Container homes offer you a flexibility of options. With this, you can choose to either use a single container or more than one depending on how elaborate the design you have chosen is. The cost of buying a container and getting it converted into a home is not as high as building with concrete and wood.

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3. You Can Move Them Around
This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of prefab homes. In Nigeria, a single container can be relocated to different sites. In cases where you use multiple containers, moving them around might prove to be a challenge. Mobile homes are not easy to relocate but it does not change the fact that you can move them from one location to another.

4. You Don’t Necessarily Need to Buy Land
Unlike conventional homes where you have to either buy a house or buy land and then build a home, a mobile home can be set on a land that isn’t necessarily yours. It’s important to reach an understanding with the landowner though especially if he/she is a trusted friend or relative. In other cases, you can own the mobile home but lease the land itself. What this means is that you can easily buy a mobile house without buying a plot of land to build. The option here is to lease the space your home would occupy.

If you own the land, things just get better and more convenient for you.

5. They Offer You More Flexibility
Mobile homes come with a peculiar flexibility that allows you have one on a land that you own and remove it in the future if there is a need to do so. They are semi-permanent, which means they are not stuck in a particular location.

6. Not Prone to Forces of Nature During Construction
Mobile homes are constructed in a controlled environment, which means you don’t have to halt construction during the rainy season or rush it due to seasonal weather changes.

Disadvantages of Mobile Homes
1. They Tend to Depreciate in Value
Traditional homes in Nigeria typically appreciate in value over the years but the same cannot be said for mobile homes. One of the things that make conventional homes appreciate in value is the land on which it is built. The value of the land has a direct impact on its value. For mobile homes, however, the owners are not necessarily the owners of the land.

The value of a mobile home would only increase over time if the owner of the mobile home also owns the land on which it sits. Mobile land also depreciates because it is considered a ‘personal property’ and not ‘real property,’ which refers to land and anything permanently attached to it.

2. They are More Expensive to Finance
If you intend to construct a mobile home with a loan, you would attract more interest rates than if you had opted for a typical mortgage.

3. You Still Deal With a Landlord
This would apply to you if you do not own the land on which your mobile home sits. What this means is that you can still be evicted like a typical tenant if your relationship with the landowner goes sour.

4. Not Easy to Resell
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your mobile home, getting a buyer might not be the easiest thing especially if you do not own the land on which it currently sits. Moving a mobile home might end up costing you much more than you think. The exception to this disadvantage is if you are selling both the mobile home and the land jointly.

 

5. Prone to Damage
In the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane or an earthquake, your mobile home is prone to damage. Depending on the severity of the natural disaster, your home can fall over or get damaged.

Mobile homes especially shipping container homes provide an affordable alternative to Nigerians. There are huge opportunities for those who have home needs as well as investors in the real estate market. You should pay close attention to the cost options open to you as well as the property law and how they impact your plans.

Our position on the Senate’s rejection of KDSG request for World Bank loan-kaduna state Govt

Since assuming office in May 2015, the Kaduna State Government has focused on promoting jobs, social justice and prosperity. These aims are being pursued through programmes aimed at economic development, social welfare, jobs, security and reforming governance. These priorities are captured in the State Development Plan, 2016-2020, and the foundational document of this government, the Restoration Programme, the Kaduna State-specific version of the APC manifesto on which we campaigned.

The manifesto commits this government to promote equality of opportunity by expanding access to Education and Healthcare, to support our farmers, create pathways for job creation and provide everyone with land a transparent way to acquire valid title.

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Under the leadership of Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Government has implemented financial reforms aimed at ensuring that the resources of the state are expanded and applied to delivering services for ordinary people. This government closed about 470 government accounts and moved all public funds to the Treasury Single Account, followed by the introduction of Zero-based Budgeting which helped to infuse realism into the annual budget.

We backed these up with legislation to improve the generation, utilisation and management of government revenues. Among these new laws are:
1. The Fiscal Responsibility Law, 2015
2. Public Finance (control and Management) Law, 2015
3. Tax (Codification and Consolidation) Law, 2015
4. Public Procurement Law, 2016
5. Pension Reform Law, 2016

The government also established a number of new agencies to strengthen the institutional framework for these reforms. Among these are:
1. KADIPA: for investment promotion
2. KADGIS: to manage land and digitise the land registry
3. KADIRS: the internal revenue service, to
4. Kaduna State Bureau of Pension
5. Kaduna State Public Procurement Agency
6. KADFAMA

These reforms have ensured that in each of our full budget years, this government has achieved unprecedented levels of capital spending. For instance, in 2016, we recorded capital expenditure of N62.2bn. This government has also doubled the amount it collects as internally-generated revenue. IGR grew from N13.56bn in 2015 to N23.02bn in 2016, representing a 70% growth. In 2017, IGR reached N26bn. This government

In 2014 and early 2015, we had campaigned about the poor state of Kaduna State public schools and hospitals. As soon as we took office, the problems we had campaigned about became our responsibility to resolve. And we were shocked to learn in our first week in office that at least 50% of our pupils sat on floors because of a lack of classroom furniture. We also received briefings indicating that apart from lacking doors, windows, roofs, toilets and water, many of our schools also had unqualified teachers.

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In response, Governor El-Rufai declared a state of emergency in education and started to fix schools and buy furniture. After fixing almost 10% of our over 4200 primary schools, the government realised that it would need a minimum of N60bn just to fix primary schools. A lot more would be needed to actually build new schools that can have enough classrooms, staff rooms and other facilities. There was no doubt that we would need support to raise the required resources.

The Governor took an album that out Budget and Planning ministry had compiled showing pictures of our schools, and shared it with the federal Minister of Finance, and subsequently, our development partners, including the World Bank.

That is how the conversation that led to the World Bank loan started. The World Bank scrutinised Kaduna State and they are convinced we meet their standards. We have healthy Fitch ratings B” Credit Rating with Stable Outlook.In November 2016, Fitch Ratings assigned Kaduna State a long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of “B” and a National long-term rating of A+(nga) with stable outlooks).

Having checked our laws, our accounts and our performance, the World Bank was convinced that Kaduna State merits their support. Therefore, on 20th June 2017, the World Bank announced that it has decided to provide a budget support facility of $350m to Kaduna State. Our Commissioners have appeared before the relevant committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and presented detailed explanations for the rationale and the purposes of the loan. Our delegates were commended for the quality of their presentations. Nobody in those committees of the National Assembly can honestly claim not to be aware of the justification and the purpose of the loan. In fact, the House of Representatives endorsed the loan. When our officials appeared before the Senate, no questions were asked.

The excuse given on the floor of the Senate as to the size of the loan is baseless. The creditor and the ratings agency have adjudged that Kaduna State can sustainably manage the credit which has a 10-year moratorium and a 40-year repayment period. The State average monthly FAAC allocation for the preceding twelve months is N3.295bn, while our current monthly debt service is N467.12mn. Also, the monthly debt service forecast of the FGN Budget Support Facility of N14.169bn with a moratorium of 18months and World Bank Loan of $350mn with a moratorium of 10years are N191.767mn and N98.843mn respectively.

If the State is to repay all loans today, the total debt service would be N757.735mn representing 23% of total deductions as a percentage of total allocations. This is less than the threshold for sub-national borrowing which is capped at 40%. In view of this, Kaduna State is within the sustainable debt level.
What the Senate displayed was elevating the ego of some of its members above the demands of public policy. As the three senators from Kaduna State spoke, it was apparent that they have put their personal frustrations above the right of the people of Kaduna State to decent investment in human capital development through good schools and hospitals, and better quality of life and accelerated economic growth through the provision of infrastructure.

The Kaduna State Government is grateful to the House of Representatives for its kind endorsement of the request. We march on with theb task of governing the state, and we shall continue to enjoy the support of our development partners.

Buhari Inspects Eko Atlantic City, Says ‘I’m Truly Impressed’

Gboyega Akinsanmi

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday inspected Eko Atlantic City built on 750 square kilometres.

The city is adjacent to Victoria Island and designed to solve the acute shortage of real estate in Lagos State.

Buhari inspected the city, which was conceived to save Victoria Island from ocean surge, alongside the National Leader of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, among others.

After inspecting the emerging coastal city for about two hours, Buhari said he was extremely impressed with the project, which he said, was capable of transforming the Nigerian economy.
The president said he was equally impressed with the number of jobs the project would generate and the effect the development of the Eko Atlantic City would have on the nation’s economy.

“I am extremely grateful to those that agreed to invest so much in our country. I am really grateful to those who accepted to invest in our country with the aim to get a secured area. The Eko Atlantic City is good for operations.

“The city is capable of handling big business and investment throughout Africa. I am truly impressed with what it is capable of bringing,” the president, who is on a two-day visit to Lagos, said.

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

Nigeria Institute of Architects Develop Blueprint to Meet Housing Needs

The Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) has developed a blueprint in partnership with state to meet housing needs, the president, Adibe Njoku, has said.

He said one of the solutions to the housing problem was involvement of the private sector as a leading driver.

Njoku, who spoke in Abuja, on the institute’s efforts to reduce the housing deficit, said the government could intervene by strengthening the capacity of the institute toward building an efficient market.

He said NIA has begun a campaign “on this new initiative, meeting the government as part of an enlightenment programmes toward ensuring the success of the innovation geared towards making houses accessible.

The NIA president said the initiative was informed by the need to initiate new measures of housing delivery and create jobs for youths.

Presenting the blueprint to reporters, Njoku said the geometric growth of cities, fast growth of towns, availability of housing raw materials and rising population of employable professionals in construction, were conditions favouring mass housing development.

According to him, NIA has delivered models, such as architectural social housing, architectural commercial housing and public private partnership on which a successful partnership can be built with the Federal Government.

Njoku said NIA was promoting a new concept in mass housing with a template based on mass production to build houses.

“This will create an architectural chain in the production process and open access to an array of small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs’) funding at single digit interest rate for component fabrication that will culminate in housing development.”

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

The NIA president urged the Federal Government to collaborate with architects and other professionals to fashion out strategies toward solving the housing shortfall.

Ekiti Govt. Compensates Victims Of Demolished Houses With N400m

The Ekiti Government said it had paid N400 million as compensation to people whose houses were demolished so far in the ongoing demolition exercise in the state.

The State Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Tayelolu Otitoju disclosed this during a press conference in Ado-Ekiti on Friday.

Otitoju explained that government’s action on the demolition was not to deliberately render residents homeless, and thereby make life difficult for them, as being insinuated.

He said that the exercise was part of the Urban Renewal programme of the present administration, aimed at giving Ado Ekiti, the state capital and other major towns a facelift that would make it wear the toga of a real state capital.

Beneficiaries received between N100,000 to N2 million as compensation, depending on the nature and size of the structure because, some of them were either built with mud while others were modern houses.

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

The Commissioner disclosed that more than 300 houses had so far been demolished under the exercise in Ado Ekiti, Ikere Ekiti, Efon Alaaye, Omuo Ekiti, Ise Ekiti, Emure Ekiti and Ijero Ekiti, among others.

He said the relatively high number of houses demolished by the present administration was as a result of the rapid development going on in the state.

He emphasised the level of development witnessed in the state in the last three and a half years adding that it was a confirmation of the determination of Governor Fayose to improve the lot of the people.

Otitoju said that government embarked on the project to ease traffic congestion and adhere to urban policy of any civilized society.

The Commissioner, however announced that government would not compensate owners of demolished houses that were built on waterways noting that the recalcitrant property owners had treated several government notices of contravention with disdain.

He warned developers in the state against further construction without approved building plan and enjoined interested developers to henceforth avail themselves with the status of any plot of land before the purchase.

He added that necessary title deeds must first be obtained from the Ministry before commencing construction in order to prevent avoidable embarrassment in future.

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