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BREAKING: Four Escape Death as Two-storey Building Collapses in Owerri

Four persons were critically injured on Sunday when a two-storey building collapsed in Owerri, Imo State.

The incident, which happened at 4:34pm at Number 10, Amaram Extension Street, less than a kilometer from Dan Anyiam Stadium, where the governor-elect held a nondenominational church service ahead of his inauguration next Wednesday, caused pandemonium in the area.

Our Correspondent who visited the scene saw rescue workers, which included policemen and residents, rescuing victims.

A policemen who does not want his name in print told our correspondent that four persons, including a female occupant, were rescued from the debris.

He said, “On arrival, we saw people already on a rescue mission. We quickly swung into action and rescued four persons.

“Two who are critically injured have been rushed to the hospital.”

One of the survivors, who identified himself as Paul, said he had to jump out of the building after he observed a strange noise.

He said luckily for him, immediately he jumped out, it gave way.

An eyewitness said, “This building has remained uncompleted for over 20 years. This highly unfortunate.

“The blocks have soaked water, leading to its collapse. Surprisingly, the owner left this place about 15 minutes ago.”

Source: Punchng

Rainstorms Destroy Hundreds of Homes in North-East Nigeria

Zaynab stands next to the remnants of her home she used to share with her six children before it was destroyed by early season rainstorms that brought strong winds and rain to north-east Nigeria.

“I was in the market in the afternoon when the storm came but my six children were inside the house,” said Zaynab as she prepares a meal to break the Ramadan fast. “We lost everything except for a mattress we found across the camp and a few cooking pots.”

As of Friday, May 24, 2019, 395 shelters in camps and camp-like settings in Borno State, including Zaynab’s, have been damaged or destroyed since heavy rains began at the end of April. A total of 41 camps hosting more than 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been classified as prone to flooding; some in hard-to-reach areas like Monguno, Konduga, Bama and others.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Nigeria will respond to the needs of displaced populations through a multi-sectoral rainy season emergency response plan. The Organization will prioritize its interventions toward households with children under five, pregnant women, elderly people and single female households.

IOM teams are being deployed to repair or strengthen shelters in case of flooding, sensitize people to flood risks and conduct shelter and infrastructure maintenance. Other small-scale community-driven mitigation measures include waste management in camps and building or repairing drainage canals.

Zaynab hails from a farming family from Guduf Nagadio in Borno State, the epicentre of ongoing conflict between Nigerian forces and non-state armed groups. Her husband was killed by armed men as they tried to escape violence three years ago. Since then, her family has resided in an IDP camp in Borno State, home to nearly 1.5 million IDPs.

Storms earlier this month displaced Zaynab’s family yet again. IOM’s Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) team have subsequently relocated them and other families to temporary shelters in the nearby town of Gwoza.

Borno State is affected by strong winds, storms and flooding on an annual basis. Yearly rains often ravage shelters where IDPs live, and cause blockage of water circulation pathways and drainage systems.

CCCM teams have constructed water pumps in the affected displacement sites where water ways or drainage systems are non-existent. Sand bags have been used in flood-prone areas to divert water from flowing into shelters or pathways.

“Preventive measures are key,” said Nadia Tithi, IOM Nigeria Shelter Programme Manager. “Urgent needs remain, and this year, we’re reinforcing more than 3,000 emergency shelters before the strongest rains hit,” she added.

Staff are also repairing structures where IDPs live and distributing nearly 4,000 emergency shelter kits throughout Borno and Adamawa States. The kits serve as a contingency measure and in some cases, have already been distributed to affected households.

With seasonal heavy rains come an increased risk of disease outbreak, particularly cholera, in north-east Nigeria. During the last rainy season in late 2018, the area saw nearly 100 cholera-related deaths. As part of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, IOM is conducting intensive door-to-door hygiene promotion and awareness raising campaigns to prevent the spread of cholera in communities.

IOM Nigeria’s rainy season emergency preparedness is supported by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Nigerian Humanitarian Fund. This support enables IOM to attend to the most acute needs of displaced populations. IOM is appealing for further funds to ensure a holistic response to the multi-sectoral preparedness needs in north-east Nigeria.

Source: By By Dipo Olowookere

Pentagon Agrees to Set up Tent Housing near Border for some 7,500 Migrants

Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to construct temporary tent housing facilities for 7,500 adult migrants to alleviate what the Pentagon described as an ongoing humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border.

Maj. Chris Miller, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said in a statement late Wednesday that the temporary facilities would house “single adult male and female aliens” processed by Customs and Border Protection and turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Pentagon will loan and erect tents on prepared land identified by DHS, and conduct site assessments over the next two weeks to determine the scope, cost and timeline to construct the temporary housing facilities in Arizona and Texas, Miller said.

“Military personnel will not operate the facilities and will only erect the tents,” Miller said. “Operating the facilities remains the responsibility of DHS.”

Officials will be conducting the site assessments in the Tucson and Yuma sectors in Arizona and near the Tornillo, Donna, Laredo and Del Rio ports of entry in Texas, according to Miller.

DHS is asking the military to erect the temporary housing because the federal agency is facing limited capacity to house the large flow of migrants who are being apprehended by Border Patrol after coming over the southern border into the United States.

The flow of migrants over the southwestern border with Mexico has been spiking, straining an already stretched system for processing and housing those who are apprehended. The influx has led to what officials are describing as an emergency due to the overwhelming number of people in custody.

CBP detained 109,144 migrants in April, a 6 percent increase from the previous month, and the largest number to cross the border in a month since 2007. Nearly 45,000 unaccompanied children have crossed into the United States in the past six months alone.

Source: washingtonpost

Access Bank Threatens to Publish Names of Debtors in Newspapers

The management of Access Bank Plc has given all its delinquent debtors two weeks to pay up their due obligations, emphasising that failure to adhere to this directive would come with severe consequences.

In a publication today on Punch Newspapers, the lender said this warning also goes to debtors of the defunct Diamond Bank Plc.

Business Post reports that in March 2019, Access Bank and Diamond Bank officially merged together to become an enlarged banking entity.

In the notice seen by Business Post, the financial institution warned that if after the two weeks grace period the “incorrigible debtors” fail to comply with this directive, it would be forced to publish their “names in newspapers.”

The bank said “all debtors will be sanctioned by the CBN and banned from participating in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange and Securities Exchange Markets, and registered on the Credit Risk Management Systems (CRMS) Bureau as bad debtors making them, their directors and related entities illegible for any credit in the Nigerian Financial Markets.”

Access Bank said it was determined to take further actions “against such delinquent individuals and companies as we may consider necessary and shall relentlessly pursue full recovery of all our debts.”

Below is the full statement signed by the management of Access Bank Plc.

Please be informed that Access Bank Plc is set to publish the list of all its delinquent debtors, associated persons, directors and entities. This is in line with the directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

All Access Bank Plc (including former Diamond Bank Plc) debtors are directed to pay up their due obligations in order to avoid punitive actions being taken against them. Please note that we shall publish out debtors’ names in newspapers in two weeks.

Similarly, in the event that these obligations are not fulfilled, we shall take such further actions against such delinquent individuals and companies as we may consider necessary and shall relentlessly pursue full recovery of all our debts.

Furthermore, all debtors will be sanctioned by the CBN and banned from participating in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange and Securities Exchange Markets, and registered on the Credit Risk Management Systems (CRMS) Bureau as bad debtors making them, their directors and related entities illegible for any credit in the Nigerian Financial Markets.

For incorrigible debtors, who continue to pose a risk to our system, we will use all means available and collaborate with our colleagues in the industry to ensure that they are excommunicated from the banking system.

Consequently, we hereby advise all out delinquent debtors to take this publication seriously and ensure that all debts are settled promptly.

Source: Businesspostng

UK and Kenya Host Research Symposium on Affordable Housing

In recognition of this, the UK and Kenya co-hosted a two-day symposium on affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure on 21 and 22 May at Strathmore University, supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund and the UK Collaborative on Development Research.

The symposium brought together more than 200 policymakers, leading researchers, business and civil society delegates to explore the potential for new innovative collaboration on affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure.

Hosted at the request of the UK-Kenya High-Level Oversight Board on Science, Technology and Innovation, the symposium showcased how strong partnerships between UK and Kenyan stakeholders are delivering innovations in housing and urban development – from changing how people apply for mortgages, to using technology to turn plastic waste into pavements.

Among those in attendance were the British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, Chief Administrative Secretary Ministry of Transport Hon Chris Obure, Housing Secretary State Department of Housing and Urban Development Patrick Bucha and Katherine Muoki Director of Infrastructure, Science, Technology and Innovation, State Department of Planning.

Speaking at the event, British High Commissioner Nic Hailey reiterated the UK Government’s commitment to progress on affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure.

He said:

“The UK is proud to support the Big 4 agenda in Kenya, and to work with the Kenyan Government to address the challenge of delivering affordable housing for all. To deliver on this policy priority, we need to leverage research, technology and innovation, and this joint symposium is doing just that.

Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin said:

“Affordable Housing and Sustainable Infrastructure are challenges everywhere, so it is good news that the UK and Kenya are working together to turn world-leading research and innovation into practical solutions to benefit us all.”

Mr. Peter Okwanyo, Secretary Administration, State Department for University Education and Research, Ministry of Education said:

“Research, Science, Technology and Innovation presents a unique platform for the generation of new knowledge to overcome barriers to affordable housing, healthy cities, resilience and affordable urban infrastructure.

Affordable housing is recognized as an enabler to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UK-Kenya Partnership is a powerful tool for application in the enhancement of their attainment.”

Dr Jaideep Gupte, GCRF Challenge leader for cities and sustainable infrastructure said:

“Ensuring urban residents have access to affordable and adequate housing is one of the big issues in Kenya. Building new houses is only part of the solution which also involves providing access to health and education services, safe public spaces and to the jobs and opportunities that are replete in cities.

Recent GCRF investments support Kenya-UK collaborations doing cutting edge and policy relevant research on issues ranging accessing healthcare to embedding disaster risk management into urban development.”

The symposium was organized by the Governments of the UK and Kenya with support from the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund and Strathmore University. The symposium showcased innovative housing technologies and research from around the world.

A joint statement from the UK and Kenyan Government UK-Kenya Housing Symposium Joint Statement (ODT, 500KB) following the symposium announced a commitment to continue working together on affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure research, policy and practice in Kenya.

Source: Africanews

A silver lining: Most Americans still view housing as a good investment

A majority of Americans – 65% – think it is still a good idea to invest in a home, according to the latest survey of consumer expectations of housing by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

While this hasn’t changed much from last year, the attitudes of younger Americans have, as respondents from this generation were less enthusiastic about housing as an investment and a greater share of them labeled it a bad investment.

This gives credence to a recent Wall Street Journal article suggesting that that wave of Millennial homeowners everyone is anticipating may turn out to be no more than a ripple as a number of factors – including banks’ reluctance to make small loans and a general preference toward urban life – seemingly make homeownership less appealing for the younger set.

According to the survey, a majority of renters still think getting a mortgage is difficult, but things may be improving as the share of those who considered it easy rose above 21% for the first time in at least five four years.

Home price expectations have fallen, though, the survey revealed, with the one-year outlook down 1% from last year and the five-year outlook down nearly the same.

In contrast, rent expectations held steady, with the average one-year rent increase expectation hovering near 7.3%.

When it comes to homeowners, the probability of refinancing dropped from 8.8% last year to 8%, while the probability of investing at least $5,000 in the home over the course of one and three years remained at last year’s relatively high level, the NY Fed said.

Economists at the NY Fed said homeownership in the next decade will depend primarily on mortgage credit conditions.

“Barring a change in the economy, the nation’s aging population will likely push up homeownership since older households are historically much more likely to own,” they wrote. “Further, the majority of current renter households would rather own; nonetheless, tight credit and other constraints, including the high prevalence of student debt, mean that many of these same renters see it as unlikely that they will ever be able to enter into homeownership.”

“How these factors – demographics, preferences, and constraints – play out over the next decade will determine where the homeownership rate lands,” they concluded.

Source: By Jessica Guerin

New Mortgage Loans Slowed in Canada but Overall Value is Still Rising says CMHC

The number of mortgage loans in Canada grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter as housing activity cooled, according to a new report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, but the value of all mortgages is still rising.

There were 223,000 new mortgage loans in the last three months of 2018, which is 4.8 per cent lower than the same period a year ago, the CMHC said.

“While indebtedness of Canadian households remains elevated, growth in the volume of mortgage activity slowed in the last quarter of 2018, partly reflecting lower housing market activity,” said Geneviève Lapointe, senior market analyst at CHMC in the report.

“Despite high debt levels, delinquency rates remain low and the number of highly indebted and more vulnerable consumers has decreased.”

Borrowers with a low credit score accounted for less than one per cent of new mortgage loans, the CMHC said.

But, even as the number of loans fell, the average value of all mortgages in Canada reached $209,570 in the fourth quarter, which is more than three percent higher than a year ago.

The CMHC said the national trends mirror what happened in Toronto and Vancouver — the country’s largest and most expensive housing markets.

While the number of transactions for home sales fell last year on higher borrowing costs, slower economic growth and recent mortgage regulations, the average house price in Canada is still “historically elevated,” the CMHC said.

“This explains, in part, why the average balance of new loans remains higher than in the overall mortgage market.”

Mortgages accounted for about two-thirds of all debt held by Canadians, according to the government agency.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned policymakers in Canada not to ease mortgage stress test rules introduced last year, because household debt remains high.

Mortgage holders take on more debt

Added to that, the CMHC said household debt rose faster than income last year — leading the debt-to-income ratio to hit a record high of 178.5 per cent in the fourth quarter.

A big driver of this was Canadians with mortgages taking on more debt, the CMHC said.

“Their average outstanding balance in credit cards and lines of credit grew at a faster pace than in 2017, except for HELOCs (home equity line of credit) and auto loans, which increased at a slightly slower pace,” the report said.

“These trends were also observed among consumers without a mortgage.”

Canadians with a mortgage had an average balance of $9,054 in other debt, which rose 3.6 per cent from the same period in 2017. The average balance of debt for those without a mortgage was at $7,460, which was up five per cent from a year ago.

“Consumers kept increasing their other debt burden, and therefore, [increasing] their vulnerability to a shock in the longer run,” the report said.

Source: Cbc

Demolition: Traders demand N5m compensation from Dunamis Church

The last has not been heard of the demolition of shops by the Dunamis Church security. The shop owners are now demanding N5 million from the church for their demolished properties.

Some of the traders, said that the total cost of their property is over N5 million and the church should compensate them before they would vacate the place. Chinedu Opara claimed he was one of the 49 traders that lost properties in the demolition. While he lost over N150,000, other 48 traders lost more than that:

“It was last two weeks, Sunday, March 23, 2019, that one security man who works under Dunamis had some misunderstanding with one woman called Mama Emma. In that process he threw the woman’s wares away and the woman held him by the throat. When they were separated, he threatened that they were going to burn down all the shops in the area.

“The same Sunday evening, another of the security came to me and revealed to me that they were planning to burn down our shops. I thought it was a joke. On Monday morning we discovered that all our things had been burnt.

“Later, when the senior pastor saw some people crying he promised to settle us adding that he had set up an investigation panel to investigate the matter. One day we were sitting down here, some policemen came and said that we should come and make some statements. By then, they had handed those people (culprits) over to the police. 

“When we went to the police station, among the whole people that were on duty that day, it was only one security man that they arrested. I made some statements and they said that we should come back and that the River Park DPO would like to see us.

“When we went there, I was detained. I was the victim. They said that they have been warning me to remove my container here and I refused. I was there till evening before I was released and warned to remove my container. One of the Hausa men doing ‘mai shai’ had been settled. Some women here are now stranded. I am just managing to come here.

“Four of my fridges and my goods were burnt.  I lost over N150,000 But the total loss was almost N5 million  and we were about 49 people that were affected.”

Reminded that the church supported some members to start businesses in the area, Opara said he did not benefit from any money and that no one that he knows in the area is a beneficiary of the fund:

“I have been here since three years even before Dunamis came here.  I am not aware that they gave somebody money to set up business.Yes the chairman and some people here are members but they have not given anybody any money to start business here.”

Another victim, Mrs Faith Michael, said: “On Tuesday morning, one of the traders who arrived around 5am called me on phone and said all our goods had been burnt. Before then, there was one security man that told me that they would burn our shops and that everybody should move everything.

“Behold when we came here on Tuesday they had burnt everything, both my provision and my drink. I borrowed money to start afresh. I lost over N70,000.” About refund, which the church promised:  “They have not refunded any money. They are not even saying anything. They said we should write our names. Since we wrote it, almost three weeks now we did not hear anything.”

The spokesman for the church, Pastor Victor Stephen reacted in a statement: “Our attention has been drawn to a video clip circulating the cyber space concerning traders’ property being burnt down by Dunamis Church at the new headquarters.

“We wish to state, though with dismay, that the Church, Dunamis, was not responsible for that kind of act and can never be. Dunamis is geared towards the restoration of human lives and destinies and can never be associated with such heinous acts to indigent persons.

“It is also worthy of note that some traders selling outside the church premises were empowered by the church as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to set up their own businesses. It would therefore be mischievous for anyone to assume that Dunamis would authorise such an act.

“Please disregard this malicious propaganda, Dunamis is not responsible. Thank you and God bless you.

Source: Sunnews

BREAKING: Nigeria May Slide to Another Recession – CBN

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, has expressed fears that Nigeria may slide into another recession if measures are not taken to tackle the high rate of unemployment and other economic crisis. Emefiele said this today at the University of Benin, while delivering a lecture titled “Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Monetary Policy Under Global Uncertainty”.

According to him, Monetary and Fiscal Policy Authority must rise up to the challenge to begin to think of what can be done to tackle the situation.

The CBN governor said: “From some of my concluding remarks, you may have observed whether you like it or not, there is global uncertainty that will unfortunately most certainly, lead to another crisis.

“The question could be, how are we, as Nigerians, particularly our leaders, I am talking of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Authority, how are we preparing our country for the next set of crisis?” He said “we have luckily exited recession.

We have seen inflation pending downward to about 18.72 percent in 2017 to about 11. 37 percent today. We see reserve moving up, exchange rate stabilizing but unfortunately, we still have issue and those issues bother on unemployment rate.”

He assured that CBN will continue to take proactive approach in mitigating the likely adverse effects that may emanate from external headwinds.

Source: Dailytrustng

Site Engineer, Five Others Trapped under a Collapsed four-storey Building in Onitsha

Six persons were feared trapped on Wednesday under the rubble of a four-storey building that collapsed in Onitsha, Anambra State.

The incident happened on No. 7, Ezenwa Street, Onitsha. An eyewitness said eight persons were under the building when the four-storey building under construction caved in at about 1.45pm.

The source said those trapped were six labourers, including the site engineer. It was gathered that the building was owned by a lawyer.

The Divisional Police Officer for Onitsha Central Police Station, Ifeanyi Iburu, led a team of security operatives to the scene.

Other rescue teams were Red Cross officers and other security agencies.

Sympathizers and passersby also joined in the rescue mission.

Confirming the incident, the Chairman, Red Cross Society in Anambra State, Prof. Peter Katchy, said the rescued casualties had been rushed to the hospital for medical attention.

He said, “One of the persons rescued by Red Cross is in the intensive care unit at Holy Rosary Hospital Waterside, Onitsha; while another is at the General Hospital, Onitsha.

“Four are still trapped under the debris of the collapsed building, including the site engineer.

“The Excavator and an Earth Moving Vehicle have just arrived now.”

Source: Punchng

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