Akeredolu mobilises contractors to Owo-Ikare roads

Ondo State government has mobilized contractors to Owo/Ikare roads following outcries over the deplorable state of the road.Prior to the intervention, road users plying the route had gone through hardship and nightmares, which in recent past had turned to flashpoints for armed robbers and kidnappers.

However, works had begun on the road following the intervention of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the State Executive Council (SEC).
The State Commissioner for Works, Taofeek Abdulsalam, confirmed that RCF Nigeria Limited had begun work in one of the deadliest parts of the road, revealing that the reconstruction work would span across 10 to 11 failed portions of the road. He said, “We want to see how we can do a permanent solution to those portions, that’s what we are trying to do.

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The governor asked RCF to move to site immediately because these portions have become so bad and work has started for over a week now. They have started evacuating failed and are targeting December so that people can begin to enjoy it.

“The road is very important because it links people from the South West to the North. We had discussions with the Federal Government and they asked us to hold on. But we can’t hold on because our people are passing through those places everyday”.

On the rumour that the Ondo State Agency for Roads Maintenance and Construction (OSARMCO), has been disbanded, the commissioner said the agency would commence work soon. He noted that the agency is a creation of the law and only the state house of Assembly has the constitutional power to disband it.

“OSARMCO is doing palliatives, it is not meant to be constructing roads. What had been happening on those roads were palliatives but we are trying to put permanent solution to the failed portions.The challenges are more than what the agency can handle, that is why we have asked the company to assist. We have not given them money, but they are doing it based on the urgency”, he stated.

Aba-Port Harcourt road: FG pledges to release funds

Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, has assured contractors and motorists that government would soon release funds needed to complete the Aba/Port Harcourt Expressway.

Shehuri, who spoke during a visit to the site, stressed that government would soon look at the issue of compensation for affected landlords in the area with a view to making funds available to finish the project.He said the expansion of the road is necessary considering the fact that Port Harcourt and Aba are big cities, which need serious attention because of the high rate of commerce between Abia and Rivers states.

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“The road has the right design, there is no provision for dryness of funds, it has to be actualized”, the minister said. The Guardian gathered that the road project was awarded to Messrs CCECC Nigeria Limited contractor in 2014 as a -four lane road project but mobilization was not substantially paid until 2016 when the works fully commenced.

It was also learnt that work commenced on January 2016 after some owners of structures affected by the project were paid some percentage of compensation while expansion work on the road from 4 lane to 8 lanes was approved by the Federal Government in March 2018 with the same contractor.

But works have been slow because of Federal Government’s delay to release money to pay full compensation to owners of structures along the road.

Speaking with newsmen,the Federal Controller of Works in the State, Mr. Johnson Fadire, disclosed that after the approval, the contractor was paid and mobilised to site and work commenced but stressed that the major problem facing the project is payment of compensation to owners of structures whose building were affected from the initial four lanes to eight lanes.Fadire noted that some structures were not properly captured during the preparation of documents for expansion into eight lanes.

The situation he said is currently delaying the approval of the compensation estimate by the federal government. Project manager for CCECC Nigeria Limited, Gao Qiang, described the state of the road as terrible and urged government to expedite action.

Sanwo-Olu calls for improvement in Lagos Infrastructure

The Lagos State All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says there is an urgent need to improve on the provision of infrastructure in the state due to population growth.

According to him, one of the reasons pressure mounts on Lagos infrastructure is the continuous influx of people into the state daily, adding that the challenges are surmountable with innovative approaches and collaboration with residents especially the professional groups and business communities.

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“Our plan is to expand and improve on existing infrastructure project. Government is a continuum and we will continue with existing projects to the benefit of Lagos. Our focus remains ‘Towards a greater Lagos: A collective effort’,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu spoke at the annual end of the year dinner and award night, organised by the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, Lagos chapter, where he was represented by his running mate, Dr Obafemi Hamzat

He spoke on the theme, ‘Bridging the infrastructure gap: The Lagos we know’, saying that he would massively invest to boost the already existing facilities as well as initiate new ones across the state.

He said, “Lagos’ population currently is over 20 million, with a projected figure of close to 30 million in the next decade. This is despite its being the smallest State in Nigeria with a land area of 3,577 square Kilometres, which means 0.4 per cent of total land area of Nigeria’s 923,768 square kilometres.

“The National Bureau of Statistics had reported that about 260,000 people come into Lagos daily, and that only about 20 to 25 per cent goes back to their original places. Hence, this huge migration influx to the city is overstretching the existing infrastructure and facilities. Therefore, there is an urgent need to be innovative in providing infrastructure in the state.”

Sanwo-Olu stated that he would also work on waste management, transportation and water resources among others.

He added, “Our plan will be to build an inter-modal transport system by integrating road, rail and water transportation in Lagos to solve the problem of commuting within the metropolis.

“Therefore, we will move very fast to complete the ongoing blue line rail pr oject from Okokomaiko to Marina and in the process aggressively pursue the rehabilitation of Lagos -Badagry Expressway and explore the realisation of the red line from Agbado to Marina. In preparing for rehabilitating various inner roads, the three Asphalt plants will be turned around and made ready to put people to work in order to make our roads motorable throughout the year.”

He said the government would consolidate on the waste management system by getting the Lagos State Waste Management Authority to function better on its mandate as the regulator, while the Private Sector Participants would be made to respond better in waste collection.

“We have plans to turn waste to sustainable wealth. This we will do by incentivising waste sorting by our people,” he said

NMRC Refinanced N18bn housing loans in 2018 – Ogundimu

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company has refinanced mortgage loans totalling N18bn as at December 2018. The company confirmed the amount in a statement issued in Abuja.

NMRC is a Central Bank of Nigeria licensed mortgage liquidity facility with the core mandate of developing the primary and secondary mortgage markets by raising long-term funds from the capital market, thereby promoting affordable home ownership in Nigeria.

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NMRC was incorporated on 24th June 2013 and obtained its final license to operate as a non-deposit taking financial institution from the CBN on 18th February 2015.

The statement said that the refinancing of the N18bn housing loan was in line with the company’s mandate to promote affordable home ownership in the country.

This, it added is being achieved by leveraging funding from the capital market to deepen liquidity in the primary and secondary mortgage markets.

It said the company refinances mortgage loan portfolios of its member primary mortgage lending and commercial banks that comply with its uniform underwriting standards.

The statement said the deployment of the N18bn to refinance mortgage loan portfolios of member lending institutions has helped to boost liquidity in the Nigerian housing market, thus enabling mortgage lenders to provide more housing loans and encouraging long-term mortgage loan creation.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NMRC, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu in the statement said that the company is working hard to further boost its refinancing operations.


Stakeholders are doing everything to open up the mortgage market-Akinlusi

Niyi Akinlusi is the Chief Executive Officer, Trustbond Mortgage Bank Plc. and President, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria. In this interview, He revealed that stakeholders are doing everything possible to open up the mortgage market

A lot of Nigerians still prefer to buy houses with cash despite everything that has been done in the mortgage industry; why is this so?

I think it is cultural. A lot of our people feel that if they cannot feel it, it does not exist. They feel the cash. But I think all we need is more education and enlightenment. That is why we encourage people to take a mortgage, which doesn’t give cash but it will encourage them to understand and appreciate the fact that all transactions cannot be cash based.

It will take some time, but as more people are incorporated in terms of financial inclusion, things will continue to change.

There have been various initiatives over the years; how effective have they been in addressing the challenges of the industry?

A lot of things have been done and are being done. The latest is the Nigerian Mortgage Guarantee Company coming up and working with the Central Bank of Nigeria, World Bank, mortgage banks in Nigeria and other stakeholders. The idea is that if you take a mortgage loan and it becomes a bad loan, the company will pay half of the loan.

This is a major initiative and I am sure that by next year, the company will begin operations and this will reduce non-performing loans for mortgage banks and even commercial banks and also incentivise mortgage banks to grow and give out more loans.

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As a major stakeholder in the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, most of the issues that were raised by that company are yet to be realised, four years after. What is your view on this?

A lot is being done. One of the issues we had was titling. We must say that four years down the line, we have two states that have signed the mortgage model foreclosure law. Lagos has signed; Kaduna has also signed it. So, I must say that we may not have made the progress we expected but we are making progress.

In Kaduna today, it takes less than one week and three per cent for you to perfect your title and that is very important; it is also part of the ease of doing business. A lot of things are being done and we will get there.

The NMRC has impacted and will continue to impact because we now have growing loans. Monies given by mortgage banks through the NMRC are to improve homeownership and this will continue to impact the society.

As the president of MBAN, how do you think the mortgage market can be opened up more for investment?

There are a lot of things that need to be done; a lot is being done now and we are making progress. It has been slow but steady. One of the things that need to be done is the de-risking of the market. For any market to be opened up, you need to de-risk it. That is when funds can come in.

It is only when you de-risk that you can dimension the market and evaluate it. It is similar to a country; when there is the stability of the government, a lot of countries go for investment as opposed to war-torn countries.

Nobody wants to run the risk of losing their capital and that is possible in an unstable environment. So, we need to de-risk the mortgage market. A lot has been done and in efforts to de-risk the market, the CBN with other stakeholders such as MBAN, NMRC and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria came up about two or three years ago with underwriting standards for people who are in formal employment.

If you go to a mortgage bank, they know what the standards are and how to evaluate. But we also know that the market does not comprise of only those in formal employment. A lot of Nigerians are self-employed; a lot of people are in entertainment and so on. So, people who are self-employed that constitute a large part of the society but because of the instability in their income, they cannot get access to mortgage, they have to be captured.

In a bid to de-risk the market, the stakeholders also came up with underwriting standards for those in this category. The CBN working with other stakeholders came up with underwriting standards to capture them.

Thirdly, there are people in the country, who by virtue of their faith will not accept mortgage because of the interest. So there is also an underwriting standard for non-interest housing finance. All of these make it a lot easier to dimension and evaluate the risks in the mortgage market.

Another thing that is being done is the strengthening of existing operators in terms of operational guidelines. If mortgage banking is profitable, more people will invest money but if it is not, people will not invest.

So the CBN is strengthening the operations of mortgage banks so they can earn a commensurate return on investment, which is the only way it will be sustainable. If not, the business will not be sustainable and the operating environment will not be friendly.

And to make the environment friendlier, stakeholders also came up with what is called Mortgage Model Foreclosure Law and this law has been passed by both Lagos and Kaduna. It makes it a lot easier to perfect your title; it has also reduced the time and cost of getting these titles.

If you have these titles, it makes it easier to get a mortgage and if you owe, the foreclosure law helps to sell the property because if you are defaulting, it increases the number of non-performing loans in the system.

Also, we have the Nigerian Mortgage Guarantee Company coming up by next year and the idea is that if you owe a mortgage bank and you fail to pay, the guarantee company will pay half of it. So it helps mortgage banks to create more mortgages because someone has got their back so to say.

These are some of the things that will attract capital to the industry.

There seems to be so many initiatives created recently in the industry. Would there not be overlapping duties?

They do different things. NMRC will fund the mortgage. Long-term funds are important when it comes to a mortgage. In other countries where you have advanced mortgage industries, you have long-term mortgage loans of 20 to 25 years. These are funded from the capital market where long-term funds are issued. That is the problem the NMRC is trying to solve; it issues bonds in the capital market for 10 to 15 years and uses these to refinance mortgage banks.

If a mortgage bank gives you a loan, for instance, the NMRC will refinance that mortgage after six months to enable them to continue giving mortgages. But NMRC will only give the money after the mortgage has been created.

The Mortgage Warehouse Funding Limited is there to provide short-term local currency and competitively-priced funding to mortgage banks in a bid to enhance their mortgage origination.

Most people do not have mortgage bank accounts and therefore it is difficult for mortgage banks to sort out mortgage funds. In commercial banks, people always deposit money so it is easy to get funds but mortgage banks do not have that kind of privilege to provide short-term funding to investors.

So, the MWFL goes to the market, raises money and gives to the mortgage banks to create mortgages, which will work for about six months before the NMRC will do a refinancing

When it is becoming a bad loan, the guarantee company then comes in.

How effective have all these been?

NMRC has been operating for three years and has been working. The only thing is we have a high deficit. MWFL and the guarantee company will start from 2019.

What is the current volume of annual mortgage origination since these initiatives began?

It will be better to evaluate that when the MWFL and NMGC have started operations. These are things that will encourage people to take more mortgages.

There appears to be low awareness about how mortgages work here in the country. What are stakeholders doing about this?

Yes, there is low awareness but there are also efforts to improve on that. There is a CBN programme called My Own Home. The World Bank and MBAN are also involved to educate people on what to do. Culturally, people don’t want to borrow money because it may mean they are not content with what they have.

There are a lot of engagements and more will be done; not only in English but in local languages to get people to know more about mortgage .

A lot of people have lost trust in the system because of past experiences. Is anything being done to gain back trust?

Yes, this is why we are talking about engaging people to let them know what is going on. For instance, at the FMBN, for you to get a mortgage, you must have a contribution but people may not have savings but they want to take a mortgage. So the FMBN has made it such that if you need N5m, you don’t put down payment but above N5m it is 10 per cent equity. This is part of making money accessible.

Part of what we are saying is that you can also have access to your Retired Savings Account; you can access part of it and get your mortgage. So, a lot of things are being done; awareness is work in progress. It can never be too much. People need to know about the system and have faith in it.

The informal sector, for instance, is a big market and they can take loans. There is now instalment loan for housing; there is provision for housing microfinance too. Stakeholders are trying to make the market demand-led not supply-led; people can’t just be building houses and hope people will buy. But if it is based on the amount you can afford, people will buy.

The government is also trying to recapitalise the FMBN to strengthen the system.

Interest on mortgage also seems to be a big issue, is anything being done about it?

There are a lot of initiatives to reduce it. It is a major issue and efforts are being made to bring it down. There are a lot of things going on behind the curtain which will be made public soon.

Now we are tackling the issue of access to long-term funds and down payment and others. We are also tackling the issue of titling; the other one to follow will be the issue of interest rate.

Is there a particular rate stakeholders are pushing for?

We cannot talk about the figure for now because it is determined by a lot of things such as inflation. There is nothing like a targeted rate. The only thing is to make it affordable. If it is not a single digit like that of the FMBN, then it should be lower double-digit.

Shehu Shagari:Why Former President Rejected Presidential Palace

At a road intersection linking Emir Yahaya Road, Rijiya Dorowa and Kofar Atiku in Sokoto, is a narrow way popularly called Lungu in Hausa Language. On both sides of this obscure road, are old   houses made of mud but plastered with cement. From that side of Sokoto metropolis, the old Post Office, popular Marina Police Station, prison and even the Sultan Palace could be accessed.

Virtually all the buildings on the lane have rustic charm, revealing that the area is part of the old Sokoto city, populated by natives. Of the property in the countrified scenery, only a storey building looks different. That the house is somewhat striking, does not imply that it is an architectural masterpiece. Of course, it is the only storey building on the street, but only the regular presence of  policemen at the frontage makes one curious.

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Opposite the house is an old-fashioned house formerly made of mud, which was the first property, former President Shehu Shagari built in Sokoto, before erecting the storey building. Yes, a house made of mud! But the structure on Shehu Shagari Crescent Road, which is also known as Gidan Shagari, among the local folk, is regarded as the only property built by Nigeria’s first Executive President. Knowing the self-enrichment legacy of African leaders, it is indeed, pleasantly shocking.

Shagari had been a lawmaker, minister, and  Chairman of Peugeot Automobile Limited,  before becoming President at the age of 54, but many people believed he didn’t have the legacy of greed and impunity.To paraphrase his eldest child, Capt Bala Shagari, rtd,“he is never greedy and he is a person who never solicits anything or position, only gets it purely on merit.”The former President resided at the property until 1995, when the government of the late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha, rtd, built a befitting home for him in an upscale area, Sama Road. Gentle mannered and principled, Shagari exemplified modesty while in government and outside government. Just the way these virtues are not lost to Nigerians, they are considered priceless by family members.

For instance, when comments were sought  from his grandson, President of Nigerian Youth Council, Bello Shagari, his response simply captured the former President’s simplicity. “When he was sworn in as the President, he decided to take the Vice President’s residence instead of the one meant for him because he felt the residence meant for the President was too luxurious for him and his family,” he said.

Though not a follower of the late leader of the Talakawa political ideology, Alhaji Aminu Kano, the former President cared less about comfort or luxury. That was why in January 1986, he was cleared of any personal involvement in corrupt practices, despite being accused by the Buhari regime of being corrupt.The regime which toppled Shagari had alleged that government officials conspired to collect about  $22  million in kickbacks on a  $333  million contract with a French construction company, Feugerolle Nigeria Ltd. But the Justice Samson Uwaifo review panel, declared that Shagari was unaware of the bribes. Instructively, the panel, which was instituted by the then Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, dismissed the argument that Shagari should be held accountable for offenses committed by his aides.

At the time, the former President had been detained in a government guest house in Lagos for two years. Opinions may be divided on how well Nigeria fared during his stewardship, but there is a consensus that he was an incorruptible leader. Like Abraham Lincoln, who in a speech to the US Congress, said: “we cannot escape history; the fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation.”

Facility Management expands as Real Sector slows down

There is noticeable slowdown of the nation’s real estate industry that has affected its contribution to the nation’s GDP, but on the flip side, the facilities management sector has witnessed rapid expansion.

The Chief Executive Officer, Global Property & Facilities International Ltd (GPFI), Dr. MKO Balogun stated this at a parley with journalists in Lagos, recently.

Balogun shared some insights on the economy, the Real Estate industry, Facilities Management sector and on his Company – Global PFI Ltd. He stated that “The Real Estate industry has continued to slow down largely due to oversupply in commercial and retail sectors, inappropriate supply in the residential sector. The latest GDP figure shows negative growth of -2.68% at the end of October 2018 and the Q3 contribution to GDP dropped from 7.09% in Q2 to 6.88% in Q3.”

However, he said the facilities management sector “is rapidly expanding globally, regionally and locally with growing awareness, acceptance and the global market is changing with global players strengthening their presence in Africa with merges and partnerships. Clients expectation has increased and demand for FM value has also increased away from service.

“The out – going year will also go down as a significant year for the sector with the launch of the 4 FM ISO standards, ISO 41011:2017, 41012:2017, 41013:2017 and 41001:2018; to ensure uniformity in the way FM is seen, appreciated, valued and implemented by both clients and providers, with the new FM definition which states that FM is an organisation function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and productivity of the core business.”

On activities in the sector, he said “In Nigeria, we launched the National FM body – Association of FM Practitioners Nigeria, AFMPN, the final approval of the FM bill 2018, as well as the Federal Ministry Power, Works and Housing’s draft National Policy on Maintenance of Public.”

Giving his company’s background, he said “Global Property & Facilities International Ltd – GPFI, was established about 18years ago as the first fully defined and classified Facilities Management company in Nigeria. The company has over the years evolved through mergers, acquisitions, and share restructuring, from her humble beginning as FMC (Facilities Management Company of Nigeria) to WSP FMC after the partnership with WSP, the Global Engineering company, merger with Domme FM Ltd in 2012 and change of name in 2014 to Global Property and Facilities Management Limited.

“The company is gradually becoming a Pan African company with operations in major Africa cities of Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire, Cameroon and Kenya. We are an ISO 2008:2015 certified company. We remain committed to providing world class real estate service to our clients all over Africa.

“As a company, we have grown well, improved, created new solutions, innovative ideas and support for our clients, suppliers and put our employees at the highest level of focus. We have created and sustained the following industry initiatives; Newsletter – Bringing global and local FM knowledge, news and ideas to Africa; Academy – ProFM Credential Africa center; Technical Training; Support for Industry; Social impact initiative; Creating maintenance economy; Introduced robots across all our work scope; Cleaning; Swimming pool Management; Gardening etc.”

The company, he said has also received some Awards, stating that “As a company, we have been recognized as the best FM company in 2018 in the following categories; Best Property & FM Company of the year 2018–Acquisition International, London; Best FM Company of the year 2018 – Real Estate Excellence Awards; Global Leading Quality FM & Infrastructure of the Year 2018 – Global Quality Awards; and Africa’s Most Innovative Leading FM company of the Year 2018 – Awesome Awards.

“As well as our CEO, in the following categories; Best FM CEO Award in Nigeria 2018 – AIA of London; Best FM CEO of the Year 2018 – Real Estate Excellence Awards; African FM Personality of the year 2018 – African Institute Leadership Excellence

“We will continue to drive the industry in Africa to attain Global standard through our work, learning and development, information sharing, conferences and seminar engagement etc.,” he said.

Platinum Mortgage Bank, Others Bag FMBN Award

For its unwavering commitment in packaging and timely disbursement of NHF Loans, Platinum Mortgage Bank has bagged an award of excellence from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

Platinum Mortgage Bank was awarded alongside Mutual Alliance Mortgage Bank, SERVICOM, Sedona Business Consult, and some staff of the bank for their outstanding contributions in 2018

The award came amid applause at a ceremony which held at the FMBN Head Office, in Abuja. The event was witnessed by top management staff and Executive Directors of the bank.

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Speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director of FMBN, Architect Ahmed Dangiwa, said,

’’Platinum Mortgage Bank has performed very well in terms of packaging and disbursing NHF Loans as at when due, and in terms of customer service to our customers who are the NHF contributors’’.

He explained that the overarching goal of the award is to create consciousness among mortgage banks to go beyond paying lip service to customer service strategies and intents but to establish deep and lasting connection with customers.

According to him, it is also a drive to reward companies that meet the awards assessment criteria and to ensure that mortgage banks who strive to offer top notch services are transparently lauded for their efforts.

On the performance of the FMBN in 2018, he explained that the bank has performed well in the year under review.

He said, ’’We have performed well in 2018, to the extent that it has become one of our best years’ in terms of sensitization of NHF, in terms of providing mortgage loans, in terms of delivery of service and in terms of delivery of projects and services improvement.

Some of it is the equity contribution which we have just revised, also the rent-to-own scheme. For some of our estates which are in various stages of completion in the different states of the federation, any NHF contributor can move in as a tenant, and at the end of the year it becomes their own’’.

Responding on behalf the awardees, the National coordinator of SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, In her remark, said the recognition by FMBN is  heart-warming, and an incredible honour to be celebrated with an award that validates awardees , and their dedication to service delivery.

The FMBN MD, also thanked his executive management team and staff of FMBN for their support, contribution and hard work that is driving the very important work to restructure FMBN. He pledged to play the leading role in tackling the very high housing deficit but also building a strong and robust mortgage finance market.

Affa Dickson Acho

The current administration has spent more in building infrastructure—OSINBAJO

VICE President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had spent a total of N2.7 trillion on infrastructure since assumption in office, adding that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that money belonging to Nigerians are not stolen but used for nation building.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo further hinted that the country was earning 60 per cent less than what it was earning in the past 10 years, adding that despite this low earning, the current administration has spent more in building infrastructure than any other government in the country today.

Buhari’s reelection, sure ticket for Yoruba in 2023 – Osinbajo The Vice President made the disclosure at the palace of the Ovie of Ughelli, Oharisi III during a courtesy visit to the monarch on the enumeration exercise of the Trader Moni Scheme in the Ughelli main market which will commence disbursement in January, 2019 with 30,000 beneficiaries getting N10,000 each.

Deji Adeyanju’s detention till February worrisome, intervene; Imagwe begs NJC “Today, N2.7trillion is what we are spending on building infrastructure. The question we ought to ask previous government is, where were they? What did they do with the money if today we are still building the Itakpe-Warri railway line which was established 35years ago as well as the Kaduna Hydro project which also was established 40years ago?,” he stated.

How efforts to solve housing deficit causes inter-professional rivalry in the sector

Faced with over 17 million housing deficits and 108 million Nigerians estimated to be homeless, based on an average family of six people per housing unit, the country is in dire need of solutions to its huge housing needs.

Expectedly, professionals in the sector are looked up to, in mapping out strategies for mitigating shortfalls in the sector. However, the evolution of specialization in the industry has brought about inter-professional rivalry among the key players in the sector.

Regrettably, instead of prompting increased development, there has been concerns as to who does what and who is not trained to carry out a particular responsibility.

According to sector’s observers, intra-industry rivalry among the players has slowed down expected growth.

Overtime, there has been issues of overlapping of roles and responsibilities which require finding a common ground on such peculiar matters.

For instance, the Quantity Surveyor is a specialist in cost related matters as well as in feasibility studies and labour costs.

But engineers could also handle these jobs especially, when quantity surveying is seen as a branch of cost engineering and part of International Cost Engineering council. Another area of contention is on the issue of professional competence on plant, equipment and machinery (PEM) valuation. The profession duly recognized by law to carry out valuation of all assets and produce a value is estate surveying and valuation.

The scope of valuation includes, lands and buildings, furniture and fittings, office equipment, plant, equipment and machinery. The inclusion of the latter in the valuers scope of work is the causative factor of the feud.

President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Rowland Abonta said members of the institution are the only professional body enabled by Nigerian law to practice valuation and put stamp and seal concerning the value of any kind of assets.

He said over many years ago, the engineers had threw up a challenge wanting to do valuation explaining that the challenge first came up in their attempt to do NEPA asset valuation but the matter was taken up to General Kontagora, who was then the minister of Works, Power and Housing.

He noted that the ministry had to seek the view of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) to confirm who has the professional capacity to carry out valuation.

“The RICS, then confirmed that it is the members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers that are registered are the ones empowered to put value on any asset”, he said.

Abonta observed that the best engineers could do is to provide what is called, a technical report on ‘Plants and Equipment’ which would be interpreted and be made use of in arriving as to the value of assets.

Mr. Victor Adekunle Alonge, the Chairman of the Abuja branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the chairman, Professional Practice Committee, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON), supported Abonta’s position.

According to him, engineers cannot be valuers as they are not trained to be, estate surveyors and valuers will not be engineers, so engineers can never be valuers.

Alonge, who spoke recently with The Guardian, said as far as the law is concerned, the only profession entitled to actually put value on assets, whether engineering or power and marine assets is the estate surveyors and valuers.

According to him, the turf is wide enough for all of us to practice and collaborate. No profession can exist in isolation. We need to work together.

He said, “There is no absolute reason why engineers should continue to dissipate energy unnecessarily on this issue, rather they should start looking at how we can work together to optimize the value of our national assets for the benefit of the people”.

But the immediate past president of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr. Anyaeji Otis said the problem with NIESV has been on since early 2000.

He said: “ We have been having issues because they feel that engineers should not do valuation. But the law says otherwise. The law recognises engineers as valuers. If you go to Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) Section 137 it is there. Section 137 of the law describes professionals, who are valuers as accountants, surveyors, engineers and auditors.

If you also go to Engineers Act, the description of practice of engineers, valuation is also there. When we actually took the matter to Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), they eventually ruled that there is no exclusivity in terms of any of those professions mentioned in the law. That all of them have the right in those perspective specialised areas. So they felt not satisfied with that but that is not what we go by, we go by what the law says”, he added.

In a tacit acquiescence with Otis’ position, a former Chairman of the Apapa Branch of NSE, Dr. Ombugadu Garba noted, “As a professional Engineer, you know that an estate developer cannot value equipment. When you give an estate surveyor and valuer, an equipment to value, he might not be able to understand the real value of that equipment because he doesn’t have the required engineering knowledge.

On costing, Otis said when it comes to highways, railways, airports, refineries, sewage plants, electrical and plumbing works in the building, it is the engineers that estimate those costs.
“Even quantity surveyors are not even brought in properly even in their own areas when all these costs are determined. Economists just do what they have to do. The thing is that economist does not estimate projects cost, it is the engineer that estimates project cost and where buildings are concerned, and quantity surveyors are involved”, he said.

Speaking on the issue, the Chairman, Lagos Chapter of NIQS, Ayuba Akere said efforts are being made to ensure that there is peace and harmony among professionals in the built environment.
According to him, all professionals are united under an umbrella called, the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN).

He said, “The main aim here is to have a common voice to tackle issues of national interest. That can only be achieved if there is harmony within professionals of different backgrounds. Acrimony can be seen if one professional group is trying to do the work of another group. Rather than looking for areas of conflict, what we should be clamouring for should be how to jointly face challenges that are of common interest to all professionals thereby ensuring that each professional group remains relevant and none goes into extinction”.

He stated that the core duties of each professional group are now available at almost next to nothing on online.

“A touch on relevant applications will give you desired results”, he added.

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