COREN appoints Joseph Odigure as registrar

The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria has officially announced the appointment of Prof Joseph Odigure as the new registrar of COREN effective March 2019.

According to COREN, Odigure’s appointment was confirmed at the council’s 160th Ordinary Council Meeting that was held in December 2018.

Odigure takes over from Kamila Maliki, who served two terms as registrar of COREN from March 2013 to March 2019.

Until his appointment, Odigure was a lecturer in the Chemical Engineering Department of the Federal University of Technology, Minna.

He was born on October 2, 1959 in Onitsha and attended the Belarus National University of Technology, Minsk, Belarus, from where he obtained M.Sc in Chemical Technology of Binding Materials and Refractories in 1986.

Odigure is a registered engineer and a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. He is also an honorary fellow of the Australian Institute of High Energetic Materials, as well as a fellow of the Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering.

His working career started at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he did his one year compulsory National Youth Service in 1990 and was later employed as lecturer 1 in 1991 and rose to the rank of a professor in the chemical engineering department of the same university.

Odigure served in various administrative and managerial capacities in public and private universities, as well as in national and international committees.

Source: Punch

Experts says “Only Government can end Building Collapse”

Except the government makes a commitment to go tough on enforcement of relevant laws, the scourge of building collapse may not end soon, experts in the built environment have said.

They noted that the cause of the recent collapse on Lagos Island which claimed no fewer than 20 lives was not different from the causes of previous ones in the same area and other parts of the state as well as the entire country.

Some of the building construction experts,lamented that the menace of building collapse had remained because the regulatory bodies lacked the will to enforce laws.

They explained that while the issues had been overflogged and the causes known to almost everyone in the society, only the government had the power to go tough on errant developers, landlords, traditional rulers, thugs or anyone found contravening planning laws or engaging in activities that could lead to the collapse of a building.

“I have visited several sites of collapsed buildings on Lagos Island, these buildings have similar causes and the major reason is that the buildings were not properly constructed. When you talk of quality, many of them were lacking in the area of workmanship and material. Lagos Island also, especially this Ita Faaji area, used to be a swampy area which should not take five-storey buildings,” the 1st Vice -President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Mr Kunle Awobodu, said.

Awobodu, a former President of Building Collapse Prevention Guild, described the problem of building construction on Lagos Island as huge, adding that those in the government knew the unfortunate situation.

“So how could a serious government official allow some kind of development in that area, I believe it is either as a result of compromise or they have some other issues we don’t know about. When you talk about regulations, I think there has been so much negligence. The government has tolerated illegal development. Regulation failed or became too tolerant to have encouraged shoddy development,” he said.

He stated that as a matter of urgency, the Lagos State Government should suspend construction of any kind of building, especially residential on Lagos Island to forestall more disasters.

The President, Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers, Mr Eddy Atumonyogo, said there had been a lot of actions and inactions on the part of the government and other stakeholders that had promoted collapse of buildings.

“If faulty designs are approved for construction, there will be a collapse. If design standards are not enforced during construction, there will be a collapse. If fake materials are not detected and are used in construction, it will lead to a collapse,” he explained.

On March 13, a four-storey building on Massey Street, Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island, collapsed in the early hours of the day, killing at least 20 pupils and other tenants, with many others injured.

The incident was one of several cases in the area and in Lagos as a state as well as other parts of the country.

It is estimated that there had been over 100 cases of building collapse in the last seven years with Lagos recording the highest number of both collapsed buildings and number of casualties.

According to Awobodu, the persistency of building collapse in Nigeria brings to fore two categories of failure: those buildings that lacked durability due to past construction errors and buildings that collapsed before maturity, under construction due to design error or substandard human and material resources.

He stated that the cost of conducting structural integrity test and subsequent demolition remained a major reason why old buildings still collapsed and killed occupants while circumvention of due process was responsible for the collapse of buildings under construction.

A Past Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Builders, Lagos State Chapter, Mr Olatunde Jaiyesinmi, said if the government was serious about curbing the problem of building collapse, the professionals in the built environment should be listened to.

“The laws setting up these professional bodies specify their roles in the industry.  If these roles are adhered to, building collapse will be minimised if not eliminated,” he said.

Jaiyesinmi, who is also a former chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos Branch, said about 11 years ago, the then governor of Lagos State had assembled all professionals in the built environment and charged them to proffer solutions to the issue of building collapse.

“Solutions were proffered, but government had no will power to implement them,” he added.

Atumonyogo, however, stated that apart from the government which had a major role to play in enforcing building regulations, there were other actors in the industry such as developers that also needed to act responsibly.

Awobodu stated that some of developers had said they did not have confidence in most of the buildings they ignorantly constructed in the past.

He said such builders had said they would not mind a situation where such buildings could be pulled down for safety purposes but the challenge had always been who would bear the cost of demolition and where the occupants of such building would be accommodated.

But apart from developers, the experts also called on the government to pay more attention to manufacturers and importers of building materials.

They alleged that some importers of building materials were guilty of encouraging factories in China to produce low quality materials that did not conform with the specifications of standard building materials.

The President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr Lekwa Ezutah, said no aspect or detail of building construction should be treated with levity.

“All legislative provisions must be reviewed by the National Assembly and strictly observed, failing which appropriate sanctions must be meted to defaulters,” he said.

On the way forward, the experts said the government especially the Lagos State Government should intensify effort towards urban regeneration in older parts of the city such as on Lagos Island, and also employ more officials to monitor construction of new buildings as well as renovation of older ones.

“The government should find a way of relocating the residents in the areas around Lagos Island towards urban regeneration. It requires huge financial resources because you can’t demolish people’s buildings without providing alternative accommodation but it has to be done. If not, more buildings will still collapse,” Awobodu said.

Ezutah opined that the government, as a matter of urgent necessity, should commission professional planners to carry out in-depth studies of cities with a view to recommending sustainable policies and plans to address the matter.

He stated that cities were the engines of growth in any society; hence matters that affected their viability and liveability should be priorities to the government and all stakeholders.

He also called on the professionals who either build or undertake to supervise buildings on the need to verify the brand, quality, and quantity of materials used for buildings.

“Professional bodies need to step-up in their responsibilities to sanction members who compromise standards. The implementation of Site Analysis Report and Environmental Impact Assessment are to be strictly undertaken for every development,” he said.

Atumonyogo also called on the governments at all levels to ensure they had registered structural engineers in the building approval and control agencies.

“They must ensure that buildings above two floors, and buildings to be erected on poor soil, must be designed and supervised by registered structural engineers. Legislation must be passed to back up this practice. Structural engineering is a specialist branch of civil engineering. We have had enough of these avoidable deaths and the time to act is now,” he added.

Source: Ihua  Maduenyi

Budget for Power, Works and Housing

The power, works and housing (PWH) sectors play vital roles in the growth and development of any economy such that getting it right in these sectors (alongside a few other sectors like education, health, agric., transport and services) almost guarantees the development of such economy.

These three sectors (PWH) represent a huge share of the infrastructural needs of Nigeria as a country and rightly so, there have been investments into these sectors by way of budgetary allocations and through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

The question is: are investments into these sectors enough to address the needs of the teeming Nigerian populace? We shall take a look at this by analyzing the Federal budgetary allocations to these three sectors with a special focus on the proposed 2019 FGN budgetary allocation to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (PWH).

The proposed 2019 budget for the Federal Ministry of PWH is a total sum of N408.028 billion. This proposed sum represents a 5% of the overall 2019 FGN budget proposal of N8.826 trillion. T
he proposed sum (N408.028 billion) represents a 2.84% decrease from the actual sum allocated to the Federal Ministry of PWH in 2018 (N682.959 billion) and also represents a 2.88% decrease from the actual sum allocated to the ministry in 2017 (N553.713).
In terms of capital to recurrent allocation balance, the ministry’s trend of budgetary allocation, between 2016 and 2018, has been between 92-96% for capital expenditure and between 4-8% for recurrent expenditure. For 2019, the proposed sum is dis aggregated into 92.41% and 7.59% for capital and recurrent expenditures respectively.
This trend of allocation is in order considering that the constituents sectors under this ministry require huge capital investments.

However, there is room for improvement looking at the current level of infrastructural deficit in the country. For power, a little over 60% of Nigerians have no access to electricity while the others that do have, do not have steady supply.

In addition, there is problem of transmission capacity as the current transmission grid cannot carry more than 5,500 MW.

For housing, it was reported by the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance Africa that Nigeria has about 17-20 million housing deficit. In addition, not all contributors to the National Housing Fund are able to get funds to meet their housing needs.

In the works sector, the poor state of roads in the country is reflective of the level of funds needed to ramp up the developmental efforts being made. In all, the available budgetary allocations and other infrastructural investments in these sectors have not been enough

Source: ThisDayLive

National Assembly passes new housing law, to impose over 200% of personal income tax on low income earner

The National Assembly has passed a new law, the National Housing Fund (Establishment) Act 2018. The key provisions of the Bill include the following:

  • Mandatory 2.5% contribution of monthly income by employees earning minimum wage and above in public and private sectors
  • 2.5% of income by self employed individuals
  • 2.5% on cement, locally produced or imported
  • Employers are to deduct and remit the contributions monthly
  • Penalty for non compliance of up to N100 million for corporates and N10m for individuals
  • Sanctions include cancellation of operating licence of banks, insurance companies and PFAs for violations
  • Withdrawal by contributoirs who have attained the age of 60 years or 35 years of service to be at interest rate of 2% per annum
  • The Fund and any refund of contributions are exempted from payment of taxes

10 reasons why the proposed law is a bad idea:

  1. The contribution is regressive as it taxes the poor more than the rich. For instance, minimum wage earners will pay about 250% of their personal income tax (PAYE) to the NHF monthly
  2. Making all employers liable to deduct and remit the contributions monthly (without a threshold) will worsen the ease of doing business and Nigeria’s paying taxes ranking
  3. Cost of borrowing will increase as banks are required to invest a minimum of 10% of their profits at 1% above current deposit rates
  4. Increasing the tax burden without addressing other fundamental issues like land regulation, REITS framework etc is not consistent with the 2017 National Tax Policy
  5. Imposition of the 2.5% levy on cement is a tax on property development which will make housing even less affordable
  6. The 12 years statute of limitation is too long, this increases the risk to employers and encourages laxity on the part of government
  7. The penalty regime is draconian, excessive and not commensurate with the violations
  8. The requirement for PFAs to invest pension funds in the scheme means less returns for pension contributors which will erode value for pensioners
  9. The return of 2% per annum for contributors withdrawing after attaining 60 years of age or 35 years of service is far below inflation rate and grossly insufficient to compensate for time value of money
  10. The exemption from tax clause is badly worded, it means refunds are exempt but contributions are taxable

The National Housing Fund (NHF) was established by the NHF Act of 1992 to facilitate the mobilisation of funds for the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians. Unfortunately, 27 years after, affordable housing for Nigerians remains a dream.

While the proposed law may be well intentioned, availability of funds will not of itself address the myriad of challenges facing the housing sector which centre mostly on policy and regulations. Nigeria should therefore adopt a holistic approach to the issue of which affordable financing is only a component.

The fact that there is no marked progress to show for the 27 years of establishing the NHF is proof that Nigeria’s housing problem cannot be solved by simply throwing more money at the problem.

Source: Pwc Nigeria

‘Many trapped’ as building collapses in Ibadan

A two-storey building has collapsed in the Bode area of Ibadan, capital of Oyo state, leaving many of its occupants trapped.

A resident disclosed this to TheCable late Friday, saying the incident happened around 5:50pm.

Sympathisers are currently at the scene, making efforts to rescue victims before the arrival of government officials.

Men of the fire service who arrived the scene were said to be helpless as they have no equipment to rescue victims.

Some of the victims reportedly called friends and relatives via telephone.

Bode is after Molete bridge in one of the largest cities in West Africa.

The incident comes exactly 48 hours after a three-storey building collapsed in the Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island, killing at least 12 persons, including nine children

Source: Cablenews

Collapsed building: Lagos shutdown 45 unapproved schools, buildings

The Lagos State Government yesterday shutdown 45 unapproved schools and buildings on Lagos Island following collapse of a three-story building at Ita-Faji which killed several pupils.

The Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) deplored its officials across the nooks and crannies of the state to enforce the sealing up and removal of all illegal and distressed structures and unapproved schools.

The General Manager, LASBCA, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde said the sealing of distressed structure came up as a follow up to the building collapse which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday at Ita Faji, Lagos Island where pupils were part of occupants and affected victims.

Shodeinde stressed that the sealing up of the illegal buildings within the metropolis became necessary to prevent further occurrence of calamities of such magnitude.

He said the agency would work with the Office of Education Quality Assurance under the Lagos State Ministry of Education and other relevant agencies of government to achieve the desire result of conducive, safe and secure environment for learning for the teeming population of students in the state.

Shodeinde stated that the era of illegal conversion of buildings would soon be a thing of the past as the Agency would come out hard on all building owners using residential buildings for commercial purposes without going through proper procedure.

The General Manager, however, appealed to all Lagosians to work together with the government by informing the agency about distressed buildings and illegal construction or conversion within their area of residence.

“We need to be our brothers’ keeper by doing the needful to avert unavoidable calamities and invariably saving lives and properties of fellow Lagosians,” he stated.

Source: PmnewsNigeria

Demolition o f Dilapidated Structures Begins in Lagos

The Lagos state government has started pulling down buildings marked for demolition in Lagos Island.

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) are currently demolishing some houses at Freeman street in Ita Faji.

The development comes two days after a three-storey building on Massey street in the same area, caved in.

Twelve people, including nine children, were killed in the incident while 50 were rescued.

When he visited the area after the collapse, Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor, said some landlords had been resisting the demolition of defective buildings.

He said this time around, the government was prepared to pull down such structures.

“We have been carrying out a lot of integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we bring the structures down,” he said.

Source: CityPeopleNg

Untold Story of How Lagos Building, Housing Children Collapsed

Tragedy struck in Lagos on Wednesday when a three-storey building housing a children’s school collapsed at Massey Street, Lagos Island.

In addition to the pupils of Ohen Nursery and Primary School, the building also accommodated tenants before it caved in at about 10 a.m., witnesses said.

At least 40 pupils, including 10 dead bodies, had been pulled out of the rubble as at Wednesday afternoon, according to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).

“We were in the market, when we heard ‘gboom,'” said Yemisi Bankole, the deputy head of Itafaaji market.

Ohen Nursery and Primary School occupied the first and second floors of the collapsed building while residents live on the ground floor.

Upon the collapse of the building, many men in the neighborhood rushed to the scene and were able rescue few pupils before the arrival of LASEMA officials and other rescue teams.

Many pupils and teachers, however, are still trapped in the rubble as at Wednesday afternoon.

Casualties and corpses have been taken to nearby private and government hospitals, witnesses said.

As 2.19 p.m. when a PREMIUM TIMES reporter was at the scene, three children were rescued, one them unscathed. The second child was lifeless while the third one was struggling to remain conscious.

Akinwumi Ambode, the governor of Lagos state who visited the scene some minutes past 3 p.m. said it was unfortunate thing that such a school existed in the building.

He said the government would provide maximum support to the victims which includes paying the hospital bills.

“It is evident that Lagos state is not aware of such school, it is illegal and the culprits will face the law,” Mr Ambode said.

Adesina Tiamiyu, the general manager of LASEMA who was present at the scene told journalists that people living in the area had been very helpful as they had begun rescue operations before his team’s arrival.

He said they are still working to ensure that those that are still trapped get rescued.

“Parents will be allowed to identify their children, we’ll not stop until we are sure that there is no one left in the building.”

He further said once the rescue mission has ended, the actual figure will be revealed.

Many parents were seen crying in front of Massey Children Hospital situated on the same street.

A resident who identified herself simply as Shekinah, said she never knew there was a school in the collapsed building because the government had marked the building more than three times.

“Government has marked it several times but they’ll only patch it and put tiles after bribing the officials,” another woman who declined to say her name added.

Ayinke Busari, a friend to a parent at the school, said that she is there in place of her friend, Taiwo, who had been taken home to take care of her baby.

“She has seven children in the school, two have been found but they are yet to locate the remaining ones. We’ve sent her home because she has a baby,” Mrs Busari said.

‘Quite unfortunate’

While commiserating with families of those who had lost their loved ones, Mr Ambode described the incident as quite unfortunate.

He said there are “two floors sunked into the ground.”

“The first observation is that the foundation of this building is an old one. Like what you have seen , two floors have gone under the ground. It is only the pent house and the other floor that children have been rescued,” the governor said.

“So far what we have been briefed is that they have rescued about 35 pupils, some already dead. But we were earlier informed it was a school.

“It is not technically a school but a residential building that is actually accommodating an illegal school so to speak.

“All we are trying to do is to continue this operation. Our response team are already here. We have gotten another crane to be able to go deeper down and rescue more children.”

Source: Ifeoluwa Adediran

Buhari appoints two Executive Directors for NSIA

President Buhari has appointed two Executive Directors for the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA to help it further push its developmental roles in the economy.

Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli who also doubles as the Chief Operating officer of NSIA is being reappointed as Executive Director for a second term and Aminu Umar-Sadiq, the Authority’s Deputy Head of Direct Investments, has been appointed, for the first time to the NSIA Board.

The appointments follow the realignment in 2018 of NSIA’s strategy with a pivot towards domestic infrastructure, as reflected in the allocation of 50 percent of future contributions to infrastructure investments.

“These appointments strengthen the Authority’s executive team and are consistent with our focus on maintaining a broadly representative leadership team and workforce so as to ensure that the institution remains a key participant in Nigeria’s economic transformation.” Jide Zeitlin, Chairman, NSIA Board of Directors said in a mailed statement.

“Both appointees are committed professionals who, along with other talented colleagues, have been instrumental in NSIA’s development.”

In 2018, the NSIA Board established for the first time a Direct Investment Committee for review and oversight of investments in core domestic infrastructure sectors such as motorways, agriculture, healthcare, power, and education.

Recent NSIA initiatives that reflect this increased focus on domestic infrastructure include the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) which will fast-track the completion of five infrastructure projects of national priority, namely: Abuja-Kano Roadway, Second Niger Bridge, East-West Roadway, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Plant.

NSIA is also galvanizing investments in tertiary healthcare and has invested in the development of the LUTH Cancer Treatment Centre while developing advanced diagnostic centres in AKTH, Kano and FMCU, Umuahia. The NSIA also co-sponsored the establishment of InfraCredit, a specialized financial guarantor that facilitates the financing of domestic infrastructure assets by domestic pension funds.

Ojekwe-Onyejeli was first appointed an Executive Director in October 2012 and served as the Chief Risk Officer until 2017 when her role was expanded to that of Chief Operating Officer. She has a wealth of experience spanning nearly three decades.

Joinng the Authority from Barclays where she was Director and Head of Operational Risk and Control at the Bank, overseeing 15 countries across Africa, Middle East and Asia. Ojekwe-Onyejeli held senior roles at Citibank prior to Barclays,

She received a degree in Chemistry from the University of Lagos, and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management in the UK.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and also a qualified Chartered Financial and Tax Accountant and also an Alumna of both the Oxford and Wharton Executive Management Programs and has attended many director-level programmes in leading institutions globally.

Umar-Sadiq has significant experience in investment banking, private equity and public finance, including his most recent role at the NSIA where he served as a Senior Vice-President and Deputy Head, Infrastructure.

Since joining NSIA, Umar-Sadiq has led the development, execution and management of critical domestic infrastructure projects in the agriculture, healthcare, roads, real-estate and power sectors. Prior to joining the NSIA, he worked in mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley focused on the Energy and Utilities sectors.

He also worked with Denham Capital Management, an oil and gas, mining, and power focused private-equity fund. A Bauchi-State academic scholar, Aminu holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering Sciences from the University of Oxford.

Umar-Sadiq is an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow, a Nigeria Leadership Initiative Associate and a Mandela Washington Fellow.

Speaking on behalf of both appointees, Ojekwe-Onyejeli said, “We are honored to be appointed and look forward to continuing our work with the Board, Governing Council and employees in helping to lead the execution of NSIA’s strategy.”

Source: Business Day

It’s Official: We are recruiting, NNPC confirms

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC) says it has opened its portal for recruitment of fresh graduates and experienced professionals into the system.

Mr Ndu Ughamadu, its Group General Manager, (Public Affairs Division), confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the portal for the recruitment was opened on Wednesday.

The recruitment portal address is https:/careers.nnpcgroup.com

“The portal was opened today and I have received hundreds of inquiries weather it is correct or not.

” We are going to recruit people from different engineering fields , especially fresh graduates and equally in the administrative areas,” he said

Ughamadu said that recruitment would be in three categories of fresh graduates, senior officers/ supervisory cadre and managerial cadre.

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