Revisiting The Jakande Housing Model

Thirty-five years after Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande left office as the first civilian governor of Lagos State, his legacies in the housing sector are still speaking for him. Although most of the houses built by Jakande are today in distressed conditions due mainly to lack of maintenance culture, they are still housing many Lagosians.

With the coming of his administration in 1979, significant policy changes involving a more radical and integrated approach were adopted, in alleviating the housing problems in the state.

The major strategies adopted were: (i) Direct construction of housing on a massive scale, which was anticipated, would reduce the perennial shortage of housing, particularly for low-income groups.

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(ii) Establishment of the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA), in 1981, to provide an enabling environment for private initiative in housing provision, and open up new towns to accommodate the growing population.

(iii) Establishment of Lagos Building Investment Corporation, (later renamed Lagos Building Investment Company, LBIC), to encourage savings for building or purchasing of houses, and granting loans to prospective, qualified homeowners. These, along with the LSDPC and the State Department of Lands and Housing, were the main institutions involved in the development of housing policies and projects in the State during this era.

A relatively higher quantitative contribution came in only four years under the first civilian administration (1979-1983), which emphasized public housing. This period represents to date, the most dynamic in the history of public housing in Lagos State.

The housing programme in this era derived from a housing policy, based on a political ideology which recognized the right of every citizen to adequate shelter. As the implementation agency of the 1979-1983 housing programmes, LSDPC embarked on massive construction of low-cost housing estates.

The administration envisioned a programme of 50,000 housing units, out of which by 1983 when the military terminated the civilian regime, about 16,000 units (32 %) had been completed and allocated. Though the number was far below the target and grossly inadequate relative to the high demand for housing in Lagos, when compared to the combined efforts of its predecessors and successors, it made more contribution to the provision of 12 housing Estates in Lagos State.

To further the cause of its housing policy, the administration extended the staff housing loan scheme previously enjoyed by senior staff only, to low-income workers in Lagos State Public Service, who had worked for a minimum of ten years. The loans granted under liberalized terms of payment, enabled low-income employees to purchase housing units. Most of the existing public housing estates in Lagos, particularly in the low-income category, were implemented during this era.

These can be considered as the most representative legacy of the notion of public housing in Lagos and they constitute substantial interventions in the urban context.

The Jakande Estates in various parts of Lagos brought succour to many families when they were built in the early 80s

The estates were con­ceived as a solution to the peren­nial housing and accommodation problems in the acclaimed Centre of Excellence.

With this political masterstroke, the former governor’s name was etched in gold in the hearts of resi­dents of the state, and he became a reference point among his peers on how to address the housing needs of the people.

There was euphoria following the allotment of the estates in 1983, flats were got through lucky dips and lotteries and paid for at relatively low prices with the highest then going for N3, 000.

The initiative saved many families from relocating from Lagos and afforded them the opportunity of becoming landlords.

The estates were beautiful and the environments serene, well planned with internal access roads well tarred, to complement the luxuriating colours of paints on the blocks of flats, each owned by different landlords.

The prototype of the low-cost housing was replicated in different parts of the state, such as Oke-Afa, Isolo, Adeniji Adele, Abesan, Iyana-Ipaja,Iponri, Lekki, Ketu-Alapere, Amuwo-Odofin and other places had one form of the scheme or the other.

The implementation of the housing policy in Lagos, under Jakande offer a number of lessons that can help inform future choices. It is needful to develop alternative future scenarios for public housing in the next few decades to challenge the status quo and assist long term strategic planning.

Scenarios are not predictions of the future, but descriptions of alternative possible futures, which are used to stimulate thinking about the future and to test long-term strategic plans.

Source: Affa Dickson Acho with various sources

Why we are building REDAN House~chime

Reverend Ugochukwu Chime is the President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, (REDAN). In this interview with Affa Dickson Acho, spoke on the real estate sector as a tool for gainful employment, the fundraising for the new REDAN building,and other issues in the housing sector.

Can you give us a brief background of yourself?

I’m a Surveyor by training, I’m a management expert by training, I’m a development consultant by training, I started working in the public service from 1980, I’ve had 15 years’ experience working in the public service, retiring in 1995. I’ve served as Chairman of housing corporation, I’ve served as consultant to banks, including Federal Mortgage Bank, so all my years have been in the lands and housing development industry.so currently I’m serving as President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, and a Director in AG Homes Mortgage Bank.

Who is REDAN and what does REDAN actually do?

REDAN came into existence in 2002/2003, in response to the need for government to have an organised private sector investors who will be mandated to supply affordable housing for our citizens, the government under President Obasanjo constituted what we had the as the FMBN Technical board, under Professor Mabogunje,who now decided that, they should have this supply side organized into a group, whereby they can talk to them as a group and articulate themselves  to provide an enabling environment to create the needed growth in supply of affordable housing.

That was what led into the creation of REDAN, I happen to be the third president of the association, the first president was Alhaji Lateef Jakande, who was president from inception to 2009, after him we had Chief Olabode Afolayan, who was president from 2009 to 2015 February when I took over as the president and I’ll be handing over in February 2021.

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What will you say have been your major achievements as REDAN President?

We found out that there were a lot of issues on the acceptance of REDAN across stakeholders institutions,some felt that REDAN had come to displace them, some felt they were not ready for REDAN to come into existence, and within ourselves also, we didn’t have an effective structure for succession ,we also didn’t have the necessary tools, we also didn’t have the relationship with critical institutions that will help us play our role, the role of supplying houses, to Nigerians and therefore whittling down the millions of housing deficit we have.

So what we decided then was to tackle all these issues head on, by restructuring REDAN to have a succession in place. Because before I became the president, any developer could come in and become the President of REDAN and that distorted the flow that was in existence. But now we have a succession plan, so that the person who will take over after me is already known, and the person who will take over thereafter, by that means, we have sustainability. Policies ideas and promises that we have made as an administration, we made sure that the constitution was amended and accepted by all. We have also been able to go on advocacy with builders so that they can see the veritable need to have REDAN occupy their place in the scheme of things among stakeholders.

That role could not be played by any other organisation, we have the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, who are the professionals who are playing in the industry, but they cannot replace the business entities that play there. Basically we are investors in the building supply value chain. So we went on advocacy to let the people know the role we are playing, and the role we need to play, that role hitherto was been played decades ago by government housing corporations and individuals.

We’ve also been able to engage in data collection, and management with CBN, World Bank and other organizations, because it will be a walk in the dark if you want to invest in the real estate sector without knowing where the houses are needed, what kind of houses, are they going to be affordable.

So we have been able to engage with them to create what we call Nigerian real estate data collection and management program, in conjunction with the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, CBN, Federal Mortgage Bank, NMRC and many organizations who are users of this sort of data, including Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission.

We’ve also been able to ensure that our members get the requisite skill set, by getting an MoU with the University of Lagos, via which our members will now be educated and informed about the value steps in land acquisition, land preparation to consultancy to deciding the use of the land and feasibility studies, economic survey to determine the type of houses, and how to integrate it to the financial issues and the financial intelligence that is required. We’ve been able to engage other partners to let them know where we can have a meeting point.

There have been issues of affordable housing, what solutions have REDAN proffered to solve this issue?

REDAN has proffered a cocktail of issues that will address affordability, some of them are within the ambit of REDAN, some of them are within the private sector, for instance, the issue of the cost of land and the issue of approval of building drawings, the issue of the transfer or title cost are within the domain of the state governments, now the issue of cost of funds is within the fiscal policy which is under the umbrella of the Federal Government, now the issue of building materials is also under the umbrella of the Private sector but these are manufacturers and trading organizations.

What we have decided to do, is to engage them meaningfully, both government and the private sector operators to know that we can have housing as a tool for huge employment generation, for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),and for other socio economic improvements that we need. If only each of us can take a shave in terms of the interest, can we the developers reduce the price, can also the building materials producers look into how they can get us building materials at good prices? Can government also be able to manage the land administration policies and ensure that they give access to land as well as reduce the transaction time and cost on issues that pertain to land.

If the Federal government decide to create an enabling environment, for Direct Foreign Investment (DFI)? Because there is a funding mismatch currently, you can use short term funds to create real estate investment, real estate is a long term project that goes on for about 2, 3, 4 years, so these are some of the issues that are beyond the control of REDAN members, but we have come to appreciate that we are the managers of the interest of these stakeholders. So we have decided to meet all the stakeholders to map out a plan that will lead to affordable housing and increased turnover in the number of houses.

What kind of questions should REDAN be asking political party candidates in the run up to the 2019 elections?

What we are trying to do is to interact with the candidates and interact with the electorates, and let them know that the real estate sector is a veritable tool for gainful employment for the populace and a vantage tool for us to create something for ourselves.

I understand you have a fund raising coming up for a new building for REDAN,can you shed more light on this?

On the 11th of December 2018,by 2pm at the International conference centre Abuja, we will be having a REDAN House launching, where we will invite REDAN members, developers and partners for us to sit down together, see how far we have come and see the necessity for us to be able to have a house for ourselves, a house whereby we can have  a library, where you can go to for information and data, it will be a shame for us to continue to build houses for people and not have a house that we can call our own, we’ve gotten a land, a very good land in a good location that will give us what we want. Already members of the EXCO, who brought out this vision have contributed the sum of 67 million Naira and that for me is mind boggling and it shows the level of commitment.

We are looking forward to raising over 300 million Naira to have the total package of the house and the infrastructure we need, my tenure will be ending in February 2021, and I intend to have that house completed so that my successor to the office of REDAN president will not have to use a rented apartment as we are doing now and we have also make provision for us to have a memorable plaque in front of the building for donors, and the six highest donors will have halls named after them, so that generations to come will know that these great men at a time when there was a clarion call for those who will rise and do the needful and build a house for REDAN, these ones responded.

SOURCE: Affa Dickson Acho

 

 

Nine Lagos Obas Who Rule The Real Estate Sector

In Lagos today, there are many first-class Obas who have a strong-hold in their various locations. Some of the influential and popular Obas, inherited the land thereby making them popular, rich and powerful. In this article that originally appeared in City People Magazine, we highlight nine popular Obas who play big in real estate.

 OBA IDOWU ABIODUN ONIRU
His Royal Majesty, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru is a first class monarch in Lagos. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential traditional rulers and one of the biggest land owners in Lagos. He was trained in the United Kingdom as an engineer before he became an Oba.

Oniru family used to have over 6,000 acres of land along the coast but had lost some acres from the colonial days. Presently, land at Oniru is one of the most expensive in Lagos. Currently, a plot of land goes as high as 150 million Naira.

One of the most beautiful layouts and buildings in Lagos are in Oniru housing estates, not just because the Oba was trained as an engineer but because they employed some of the best hands in the real estate sector to plan the estate very well.

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OBA ADETUNJI AKINLOYE
His Royal Majesty, the Ojomu of Ajiran land is a big player and his name is synonymous to land. Oba Adetunji is a non-executive director of Cityscape International Limited and a foremost traditional ruler in all of the Lekki Peninsula. Oba Adetunji is a graduate of the University of Ife. He is the chairman of Royal Realities Limited, a Cityscape subsidiary; a real estate development company currently involved in the development of 2 private residential estates along the highbrow Lekki corridor in Lagos, Nigeria.

 OBA SAHEED ADEMOLA ELEGUSHI
Talk of class, elegant and wealth, Oba Saheed Elegushi has them all. He is one of the most respected kings in Lagos with a large expanse of land. Elegushi is at Ikate in Eti-Osa local government area of Lagos state. It is a 135 square kilometres land mass. According to history, the root of Eti Osa people can be traced to Olofin, who migrated from Ile Ife and settled in Iddo. Furthermore, Ikate is situated to the west of Eti Osa, about three kilometres from Igbosere Creek, near Mobil oil company’s headquarters.

 OBA OLUSEGUN RAFIU SALAMI
His Royal Majesty, the Onibeju of Ibejuland, Oba Olusegun Salami is one of the biggest monarchs/land owners in Lagos because of the new land acquisition going on in that area. Presently, a lot of real estate players have moved into the axis and over 100 hectares of land has been sold. Ibeju Lekki is a thriving community. It’s the new Lagos and gradually becoming the hub of Nigerian real estate activities. And that is why everybody is buying land there now because it’s one of the prime locations in Lagos.

 OBA TAJUDEEN ELEMORO
His Royal Highness, the Onitedo of Itedo is one of the big monarchs in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos, closely situated to Epe town. The custodian of land in this town is the Oba.The town is one of the few communities that shares borders with the  Free Trade Zone and that has been the destination of major real estate players.

 

OBA OLUMUYIWA OGUNBEKUN
His Royal Highness, Oba Olumuyiwa, is one of the monarchs in Ibeju Lekki area, a community that serves as the economic hub of the country and indeed West Africa sub-region due to the presence of the Free Trade Zone. Lekki community is originally in Ibeju Lekki; it is a small but growing community. Lekki is under Eti Osa east local government area. This town has a lot of resources but land has now become a big asset for the town.

 OBA ABDUL-GANIU ADEBOWALE
His Royal Highness, the Onise of Ise land in Eti Osa, Local Government Area. His community is enjoying the massive development going on in Ibeju Lekki, where the Free Trade Zone is situated. It is one of the communities benefitting from industrial growth under Oba Ganiu, who is in-charge of land in the Community. This king also has a lot of land at his disposal making him one of the biggest land owners in Lagos.

 OBA BASHIRU OLORUNTOYIN SALIU 

His Royal Majesty, Oba Bashiru of Oworonshoki town in Lagos, is a well-known Monarch but only a few people know he plays big in the real estate sector. Oworonshoki is a town before the 3rd Mainland bridge. Presently, over 160 hectares of land is under reclamation by Kabiyesi.
Three companies are working hand in hand to make sure the project is completed in time. Few months back, Kabiyesi. A plot of land in Oworonshoki, now sells as high as 30 to 40 million Naira.

 OBA HAMZAT ATIKU
His Royal Highness, Oba Hamzat Atiku, is one of the most powerful Paramount rulers in Eti Osa. Land has always been the source of income to his people because of the investment in that axis. Presently, more investors are moving there for investment.

SOURCE: CITY PEOPLE MAGAZINE

 

Olajumoke Adenowo: Nigeria’s Top Female Architect

Olajumoke Olufunmilola Adenowo, is an award-winning African architect, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is also a public speaker, radio host and author. She is the founder of the boutique architecture and interior design firm AD Consulting, based in Lagos, Nigeria. CNN described her as “Africa’s Starchitect” and The Guardian (Nigeria) has described her as “the face of Architecture in Nigeria”. In 2018 she was recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as one of the most inspirational women in architecture today.

Adenowo has been featured in the world’s foremost architectural journal Architectural Record and has spoken at summits and conferences including the Global Women’s Forum and Harvard Business School (African Business Club). She hosts a syndicated radio show on leadership “Voice of Change”

Olajumoke Adenowo’s life is one of numbers. She enrolled at the University of Ife at just 14. Five years later, she had her first degree in architecture, and by 23 she was employed and designing her first building. Three years later, she set up shop solo, and two decades on she is one of Nigeria’s most accomplished architects.

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Always an overachiever, the ambitious builder — once described as the “face of architecture in Nigeria” — has dedicated her illustrious career to re-imagining her homeland’s landscape.Involved in the design and construction of over 70 buildings, she has brought institutional facilities, epic 2,500-seat auditoriums,  residences, estates and cutting edge corporate offices to life.

Adenowo’s hugely successful career is no doubt a reflection of the dreamer’s passion for her craft, and her success has been confirmed by numerous architectural accolades awarded to her.

Besides these business-based achievements, her work with women pushing for gender equality. Adenowo hosts her own radio show mentoring women — has seen her receive several commendations from the likes of the United Nations Information Centre over the years.

Here she reveals to CNN how she designs both functional and beautiful structures across the continent, her top tips for success and why she wants to inspire the next generation. Upon graduating at an early age, Adenowo quickly found work at Femi Majekodunmi Associates architectural firm where she impressed her boss — then the President of the International Union of Architectects — with her passion and enthusiasm. The work ethic she displayed opened up great opportunities for the rising designer who was soon asked to create the Federal Ministry of Lands in Abuja. “I was always ready. I would be at the office at 11pm on Sunday when other girls are dancing or something. I think my boss saw my passion and he gave me a chance,” she says. “If we had more mentors like that in Africa, I believe the younger generation would blossom faster.”

At 25, Adenowo decided to go it alone and start her own company, AD Consulting. It was a big risk to undertake but her reputation as one of Nigeria’s most prominent architects proves that sometimes you have jump into the unknown. “The office was a little bigger than three chairs. It was myself and a young boy who sat in the corridor but I started anyway because I believe that you do what you can with what you have, where you are.”

Adenowo explains that to build a great building, you have to have an omniscient outlook. “You have to know history, you have to understand culture, sociology, anthropology. You need to know physics, you have to understand chemistry to a point. You have to understand art and the history of art to be a really good architect,” she says. “Good architecture is about the spirit of the age. If you look at a pyramid, it talks about one man’s quest to be immortal … It’s 4,500 years old and we still see them. We can no longer forget those pharaohs because of architecture.”

On 3D designs she said”My buildings all have a fourth dimension and the fourth dimension is time. Each space I design changes in time. I design lighting schemes in such a way that by night the building is a totally different entity from what it was in the morning. I design buildings in such a way that as you move through the space, you experience something new at every step.”

On passion,she said”The passion comes from my clients. I feed off their energy… I would do anything for my clients to make sure that their buildings come out the way they should.” Despite juggling a prosperous career and a family at home, Adenowo still finds time to mentor women through her weekly radio show. She also founded the Awesome Treasures Foundation in 1999, which helps mentor women and young girls. “We believe the greatest need of Africa is leadership, vision. Strong people who are ready to give their all to say, ‘this is the way’, and Awesome Treasures is here to address that need, to raise transformational leaders.”

Adenowo may have achieved great success but that doesn’t mean she’s resting on her laurels. “It would be a dream come true if I have the opportunity to design a building that would define Nigeria’s identity. The way you see the Tour d’Eiffel and you think Paris, the Empire State Building and you think New York.”

SOURCE:CNN

How Housing Can Determine Educational, Health, and Economic Outcomes

 

Many social issues stem from a history of unstable, unaffordable, and poor-quality housing. Research shows that housing is the first rung on the ladder to economic opportunity for individuals and that a person’s access to opportunity is intrinsically linked with that of the community at large. As the gap between rents and incomes widens, it is critical that professionals in fields outside housing—including health, education, and economic development, among others—understand its central importance.

The following research shows how housing can create better educational opportunities for children, contribute to healthier people and neighborhoods, and build stronger economic foundations for families and communities.

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How housing affects educational outcomes

Children who live in a crowded household at any time before age 19 are less likely to graduate from high school and tend to have lower educational attainment at age 25.
Living in poor-quality housing and disadvantaged neighborhoods is associated with lower kindergarten readiness scores.

Homeless students are less likely to demonstrate proficiency in academic subjects. Passing rates for English language arts, math, and science exams are lower among homeless students than among their housed counterparts.

For typical households in the Fremont Unified School District, the impact of school quality on housing prices is more than three times greater than the impact found in studies in other regions. This impact matches the cost of private education for a child, suggesting that home prices act as tuition for in-demand public schools.

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Near a high-scoring public school, housing costs 2.4 times as much, or roughly $11,000 more a year, as housing near a low-scoring public school.

In one study in New York City, improvements in a school’s test scores are associated with higher home values and increased spending on residential investments (whether by owners or developers). Improving a school’s scores by one standard deviation was correlated with a 1.8 percent increase in housing values. Housing and financial instability often lead to children moving to poorer schools.

How housing affects health outcomes

Compared with New York City residents who stay in gentrifying neighborhoods, displaced residents who move to nongentrifying, low-income neighborhoods have significantly higher rates of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and mental health–related visits for about five years after displacement.

Being behind on rent, moving multiple times, and experiencing homelessness are associated with adverse health outcomes for caregivers and children and with material hardship.
Households with poor housing quality had 50 percent higher odds of an asthma-related emergency department visit in the past year.

People with mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability are less likely to receive responses to inquiries about rental housing and less likely to be invited to inspect available units.

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Renter households with children are more likely to have asthma triggers in their homes than owners. They are also more likely to have at least one child with asthma.

In a study of single-parent families living in violent neighborhoods, parents met or exceeded the national average for self-reported physical health but fell below the mental health average. Forty percent reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression and reported higher levels of stress from worrying about financial instability and concern for their children’s well-being.
In one study, older homeless adults who obtained housing during the study reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who were still homeless at follow-up.

How housing affects economic outcomes

Black per capita income is lower in regions with higher levels of economic and black-white segregation.There is a positive relationship between high levels of automobile ownership and estimated rates of foreclosure and mortgage default, suggesting that transportation costs affect housing affordability.

In Detroit, strong efforts by residents, coupled with support from community development organizations and external assistance, led to increased neighborhood housing prices in middle- and working-class neighborhoods that lost value in the foreclosure crisis. Residents’ efforts were less effective in higher-poverty neighborhoods with lower rates of owner occupancy.

The need for access to good jobs in central locations that is driving the lack of affordable housing shows that access to housing and access to opportunity are inextricably linked, which affects future intergenerational mobility.

Places with higher job accessibility by public transit are more likely to attract low-income households that do not own cars but have at least one employed worker, demonstrating that job accessibility by transit affects housing location choice.

Economically healthy cities tend to have higher rankings on economic, racial, and overall inclusion than distressed cities.

Federal housing assistance—from housing vouchers, to welfare-to-work programs, to financial coaching and incentives, and more—improves lives. Housing policies can be a tool to fight poverty and create upward mobility, making assistance a worthwhile and imperative investment in America’s future.

Veronica Gaitán

NIA 4th Distinguished Lecture Series to celebrate Arc. Gabriel Aduku’s excellence in the Nigerian Architectural community

 

The President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Arc. Festus Adibe Njoku has said that the NIA is set to recognize and celebrate the immeasurable impacts of Arc. Gabriel Yusuf Aduku in the Nigerian Architectural Industry at its 4th Distinguished Lecture Series to hold on September 24th, 2018 at the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre, Abuja.

In a chat with HousingNews Correspondent earlier today, Arc. Festus explained that the distinguished lecture series is an annual event which was established as an avenue for past presidents to impart the knowledge they have acquired over the years to members of the association.

He made it known that as it’s the custom of the association; this year’s mantle has fallen on Arc. Gabriel Yakubu Aduku FNIA, PPNIA, OON a past president of NIA and the Principal Consultant & Director of Archon Nigeria Limited, to lecture the architectural community and Nigeria at large.

“… Arc. Gabriel Aduku is going to deliver this year’s lecture, somehow it’s like a parting gift to the profession where he will impart to us, what he want us to remember him for.” he said.

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The President added that the lecture series is “a time to give back to society… as a past president you must have gone through many stages and gathered many experiences right from the state chapter …so let him impart those ideas to the profession and to the society as we are celebrating his excellence by having him give us a distinguished lecture series”

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Also present in the chat session was Arc. Sunday Echono, Vice president of the NIA and the Chairman of the 4th distinguished lecture series committee. The NIA Vice President told HousingNews that the event will be a full program where excellence will be awarded and Arc. Aduku’s Book titled “Beyond simple lines” that “articulates his design philosophy, his accomplishments and the architectural culture that his firm has been able to establish and propagate in architectural economy” will be launched.

Arc. Sunday described Arc. Gabriel Aduku as “a man of many parts, he has led us as the president of NIA, ARCON, and if you look at the footprints he is someone who has played very key roles in our architectural economy. He is the first president from the northern part of the country and his firm Archcon Nigeria Limited is one of the top architectural firms in Northern Nigeria responsible for developing well known architects in northern Nigeria.”

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“His firm has been in operation for over 50years and has been producing so many architects who have gone on to also do lots of projects and a lot of that will be on display at the event” he added

Arc. Sunday enjoined friends, well wishers and every professional in the construction industry to come and join the Nigerian Institute of Architects to celebrate Arc. Gabriel Aduku an icon in the Nigerian architectural community.

“it is a period where we celebrate accomplished architects who have served the profession very well and also being a role model to the sector.” He said.

Wilson Ifeoma, HousingNews, Abuja

£2bn fund for building low-cost homes, Theresa May declares

Prime minister to call on associations to help end social housing ‘stigma’ that sees tenants treated as ‘second class citizens’

Housing associations will be handed £2bn in new funding to help them build low-cost homes, under plans set to be announced by Theresa May tomorrow.

The prime minister will tell associations they will be allowed to apply for money for the next decade in a bid to give them greater financial security.

Ms May will also call on housing providers to help end the stigma around social housing that, she will say, sees many politicians “look down on” people who live in low-cost homes.

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She will tell a conference of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, that “the most ambitious” providers will be able to bid for government money to last them until 2028-29.

The money will come from housing budgets in the next spending review period – the details of which are not expected until next year.

Ms May is expected to say: “You said that if you were going to take a serious role in not just managing but building the homes this country needs, you had to have the stability provided by long-term funding deals. Well, eight housing associations have already been given such deals, worth almost £600m and paving the way for almost 15,000 new affordable homes.

“And today, I can announce that new longer-term partnerships will be opened up to the most ambitious housing associations through a ground-breaking £2bn initiative. Under the scheme, associations will be able to apply for funding stretching as far ahead as 2028-29 – the first time any government has offered housing associations such long-term certainty.

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“Doing so will give you the stability you need to get tens of thousands of affordable and social homes built where they are needed most, and make it easier for you to leverage the private finance you need to build many more.”

Ms May will demand associations “achieve things neither private developers nor local authorities are capable of doing” and call on them “to take the lead in transforming the very way in which we think about and deliver housing in this country” by “taking on and leading major developments themselves”, rather than simply buying properties built by developers.

She will also ask associations to help end the “stigma” around social housing, admitting that too many people, including politicians, “look down on” people who live in low-cost homes.

“For many people, a certain stigma still clings to social housing. Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority”, she will say.

“And on the outside, many people in society – including too many politicians – continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home.”

She will add: “We should never see social housing as something that need simply be “good enough”, nor think that the people who live in it should be grateful for their safety net and expect no better.

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“Whether it is owned and managed by local authorities, [tenant management organisations] or housing associations, I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home… Our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens.”

Ms May used her speech at last year’s Conservative Party conference to announce £2bn of new investment in low-cost housing – enough to build 5,000 new homes per year – although this was criticised as being significantly less than is needed.

No 10 said the new £2bn was in addition to the amount announced last year.

However, Labour said the latest cash injection would not be enough to reverse the impact of previous cuts to housing budgets.

John Healey, Labour’s shadow housing secretary, said: “Theresa May’s promises fall far short of what’s needed.

“Any pledge of new investment is welcome, but the reality is spending on new affordable homes has been slashed so the number of new social rented homes built last year fell to the lowest level since records began.

“If Conservative ministers are serious about fixing the housing crisis they should back Labour’s plans to build a million genuinely affordable homes, including the biggest council house building programme for over 30 years.”

Benjamin Kentish

“You Can Enjoy Rental Income without Owning a Property”

Founder of Africa’s Property Investment Group, Mr. Chudi Kalu, in this interview with Mary Ekah, speaks about investing in the real estate business as the surest way to building and securing one’s future, providing insights and latest money-making tips in the property market in Africa, among other issues

How would you describe Nigerians attitude towards investment in real estate?

So far we have realised that people fear that the recession in the nation will stop them from investing in property. But that is not the case because a lot of people are already taking advantage of real estate investment because they know that the way to come out of any form of recession is when they enjoy consistent cash flow. So a lot of people are investing in real estate at this particular time.

That is why we have been holding a lot of seminars and workshops lately aimed at opening the minds of investors to how they can change their financial levels for better by investing in real estate, the opportunities that are available to people and how ordinary individuals can take advantage of the investment opportunities available within the real estate sector without having to break the bank. And I think that for real estate industry to grow in Nigeria and for property business in Nigeria to be activated properly, investors should come in; and we cannot always expect foreigners to invest in real estate in Nigeria, we the local people should take advantage of the opportunities around us.

You have had series of conferences and workshops on real estate lately, what is the driving force behind all these?

We at AFPING are trying to give everyone an opportunity to invest in high quality real estate investment. Presently we have projects in Surulere, Yaba, Ijesha amongst other areas in Lagos and elsewhere. We also have some UK projects that we are pursuing at the moment. Anybody can take advantage of these opportunities and you don’t necessarily have to live in the UK to invest in the UK. To this end, we have been doing a lot of coaching on real estate investment and how people can take advantage of the rental market. We are particularly focused on educating people on how they can enjoy rental income without owing a property of your own.

People keep wondering if this is possible. It is actually very possible if you understand how it works. Now because of the challenge of buying property in certain areas, a lot of people have lost money because of “Omo onile” and they bought property expecting that some of those property will appreciate but after 10 years, they probably do not know where the location of that property is and at the end they would realise that they must have been duped. So it is better to play within a particular market where you can easily take advantage of. Now how do you participate in the Lagos market for example without getting your hands burned? At least we can see the population.

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When I see the Lagos traffic, I get so excited and then some people wonder why I am so. I feel so because as long as there are people within town, rent will continue to go up. And what drives rental income for landlords is the number of people that lives in a particular area. And how do I as an individual participate in that game without actually owning a house is what we have been able to figure out at these seminars and workshops. When you go round that, you see a lot of property that are empty and also property that the landlords do not have the required funds to put them in good shapes because they probably do not have a regular income and yet the property is within a good location.

All one needs to do is to invest in such property and renovate for better rental charges while both the landlord and investor share the profits. So, as an investor, you do not have to buy the property to share in the profits, All you need to do is just to invest some money for its renovation and then in return get huge rental income. That is what we coach people on during the seminars and workshops that we have been holding lately and you don’t have to be an expert in the industry before you can earn rental income but all you need is to have a little fund on ground.

According to statistics, we have 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria and if every household pays a hundred thousand naira from the 17 million housing deficit that we have in this country that will be more than 17 billion naira annually. So I would say that the deficit we are facing in the housing sector is an opportunity and not a curse.

And it is those people who see the opportunity within that market that would take advantage of it. If they say we have about 17 million housing deficit, what it simply means is that you have 17 million families who are ready to pay only for kind of houses they can afford, so that means that if anybody has the houses that fit their needs, they would be willing to pay. So the deficit is an opportunity for only those that see it as a business opportunity and can then thrive on it.

So it is a missed opportunity for me if I do not invest in such market. So real estate is a big market not just for the developers but also for people who can see opportunity in that area and grab it and this can only be achieved when I use my money to do renovations on some of these properties on ground.

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Many people have properties but they are still poor merely because they are not thinking creatively nor taking advantage of the immense problem of housing deficit and then convert that problem to their own advantage; and that is what our seminars and workshops are all about. We are trying to teach people how they can take advantage of the housing problem in Nigeria. Every problem is clothed with opportunity and how you take advantage of that opportunity is what this is all about.

How would the common man who could hardly save the miniature income earn benefit from this?

There is a scheme we have been doing for over four years now, where by certain people can put funds together to own high quality real estate investments. For example, there is a particular project somewhere in Ikeja that requires about N22 million. Now, if I come together with like 10 other people and together we raise N22 million, we all can buy and renovate that particular property and start enjoying cash flow from it. It simply means that 11 of us will share the profit based on the returns we get per year. That is what we are currently offering people right now, taking it to the market place, so that people can take advantage. We have already people buying into the idea and investing in real estate.

This also means that if I want to invest in a property in Lekki, I don’t need to have all the money for the property to invest in it, but it simply gives me an opportunity to invest in high quality real estate investment that may take me so many years of savings to be able to invest. So, we don’t just want to make opportunity for only those who can afford to buy plots of lands to make money, we also want those who have little means to also be able to invest in properties and make money. Why is it that it is easier for plumbers to own houses while a banker remains a tenant for a very long time? This is so because the plumber is thinking in terms of cash flow while the banker is thinking in terms of building and owning and so he waits for so long till he is able to save a huge amount to buy or build a house.

This is information that people in this sector may hardly want to give out so freely. So why and how are you doing this?

I have been using every platform available to me. I have been using the social media a lot to create awareness and I have been crazy about it and I know a lot of people that have taken this raw information and duplicate it for their own benefits and presently are having numerous properties around town.

This is to tell you that this actually works. It is better we cover this nation with success than preventing people from being successful because a lot of people have success but hide the secret of their success from others. The real estate market is too wide for me to hide anything. We have over 17 million people having housing problems in Nigeria; even I alone cannot serve half a million people. The market is too wide so there is no need for competition.

We hold seminars regularly on this. We just concluded one last week called the Rental Income Plan. It is all about helping people to understand how they can do these things on their own. People can be part of this by registering on our website, www.afping.com. We are thinking of holding these conferences at least once in two months, where we gather people in a class to learn. They don’t have to be real estate experts but those who are ready to take the opportunity in the real estate sector.

Husband and wives can also take advantage of this. We also do one-on-one training, leading people by their hand and helping them to explore the real estate market. And if someone says he doesn’t have the time because he has a regular job, then he/she can invest with us and grow with us. And investing in real estate is predictable, tangible and indestructible. That is why I am inviting everybody to do it and you don’t necessarily have to invest with me, you can do it on your own. I started doing this when I didn’t even have full information about the sector but for the fact that I had opportunities. So those whose eyes are opened to opportunities can take advantage of the real estate market.

How do you guarantee security for such investments and is the training free of charge?

Some amount of money is attached to the trainings because we bring in experts to coach these people. And the training one gets involved in also determines the amount one pays. When it is a class, that is a group of people, we give discounts. So the fee ranges from 50,000-750,000 naira depending on which class you want to attend. We also do executive class whereby after the class, you can pick a particular property and we would guide you by the hand, that means that we would follow you to where the property is, secure the property, negotiate the deal with the property owner and then show you by example how we do it.

And talking about security, we have, in the last seven years, been privileged to have sold more than 2,000 plots of lands; so what we do is that the same way we secure people’s property is also the same way we secure people’s investments. So you are not investing into any real estate project that is not insured. We are working with several insurance companies to ensure that people’s investments are secured and that they do not lose their investments in case of negligence on the part of the developers. So that is one of the ways we are guarding against people experiencing loss in their investments.

This Day

FMBN, NHIS, PenCom AND PENSIONERS

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) are three major institutions that have profound influence in the way the welfare of Nigerian workers, retirees and pensioners is shaped.

The three institutions share certain features in common: one of the features is that Federal Government employees are automatically enrolled as contributors to the pool of money meant to make it easier for them to meet their need for housing and basic health care while still in service, and periodic pension payments on retirement, respectively.

The amount of money deducted from the salary of each worker as contribution to each of the trio is decided without any consultation with the worker. This feature, which negates the principle of participation, is also common to the three organisations.

The decision on how and when any worker can benefit from his own money deducted and lodged with them ostensibly to further the welfare of the worker is left to the three powerful institutions to choose. This is another shared feature.

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To illustrate, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria may only advance loans to a worker to build or renovate or purchase a house when its management deems fit to do so, not necessarily based on the urgency of the need of the worker to have accommodation. Likewise, the NHIS, in addition to severely limiting the type of health care accessible by workers, it totally denies retired contributors access to its services regardless of the extent of their need for such services.

They are denied, even at the point of death. On its part, the National Pension Commission is supposedly constrained by the Act establishing it to pay Federal retirees a single kobo out of their Retirement Savings Accounts, even in the face of starvation, except after the Benefit Redemption Fund is activated in favour of the retirees. Some people perceive this arrangement as absurd.

The way and manner the three institutions operate need to be tampered with a human face; with empathy and in the context of the spirit of the humane intention that justified the establishment of each of the three institutions.

While the PenCom was busy earlier this week talking to Directors of Pension Operations, frustrated retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme, which the Commission oversees, were crying out loudly for attention and payments of their pensions in several states of the country. So unsettling.

In the case of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, its Managing Director told State House Correspondents after his meeting with the Vice President of Nigeria that a fresh approach toward facilitating house ownership has taken off, thus raising hope on future housing projects for thousands of beneficiaries with zero equity subscription. This is a good initiative, but the reported case of 2017 and 2018 retirees who are still patiently waiting for the refund of their contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF) by the FMBN should be treated with the urgency it deserves. September is especially significant as school children resume, and the refunded money can be handy for many in paying school fees.

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The sum total of this article is that the Acts establishing the three institutions, which came into being to preserve and advance the welfare of their contributors, should be usefully flexible: in the case of the FMBN the zero equity approach is good, the rent-to-own concept is wonderful with lower interest charges; the NHIS establishment Act deserves amendment to extend access to basic health care to pensioners who were contributors. The PRA 2014 should be revisited to make it possible for retirees to access part of their savings while remittance to their RSAs from the Benefit Redemption Fund is processed.

The three institutions should be the drivers of the process of making their operations flexible in the interest of their clients.

Salisu Na’inna Dambatta

 

ELECTION SEASON: Time to demand Political Aspirants plans on actualizing Affordable Housing for its electorate

 

 2019 election is barely a few months away and political aspirants have started strategizing how either to be elected or re-elected to serve. Political campaign posters are now beautifully decorating the walkways and streets with beautifully crafted promises that we have only being seeing in writing and far from actualization.

Elected office holders at the federal and state levels eyeing political posts in the forthcoming elections will soon parading press releases of their public services to the electorate; some of which we have already started seeing.

Keen observers will notice that politicians have started collaborating and cooperating with their godfathers, forming alliances, making deals, moving camp from one party to the other, fashioning new political parties and courting political rivals. Not forgetting to mention last minute political aspiration declarations notwithstanding the mind blowing price of political nomination fees. Less I forget, it was said that even state governments who have not been able to pay the salaries of civil servants in their states are single handedly buying presidential nomination forms for others.

Contrary to expectations that a democratically elected government will engender development, this cannot be said to be so for many Nigerians. Unfortunately, events have proved that democracy does not bring about socio-economic development by default. Socio-economic development would only play an important role in sustaining democracy.

Over the years, lawmakers and those in authority have recoiled from talking about one major increasing difficulty Nigerians have been dabbling with; the saddening issue of not being able to afford a decent roof over their head which they can proudly call theirs.

Affordable Housing is essentially necessary to the extent that, in some countries it is equated with human right. This is because habitable housing discourage anti-social behavior, promotes healthy living, efficiency, and general well-being of the populace. Housing does not only serve as an asset to the individual and Nation, it also provides man with cover and security. Therefore, the provision of affordable housing at a large scale remains a challenge to most countries particularly those in developing country like Nigeria. It has become increasingly glaring that most urban population live in dehumanizing housing environment, while those that have access to average housing do so at abnormal cost.

Sad to say majority of Nigerian Civil Servants after toiling and putting in their vibrant years in service cannot boast of a home to call theirs when it’s time for them to retire. Parents battling with school fees, ensuring adequate feeding and clothing of their immediate families and in some cases meeting the needs of extended families; despite all these, they still have to think and strategize on ways to pay for house rents. Even youths who are usually the centre of manipulations during this election period cannot even boast of future strategic plans to own a home of their own no matter how small.

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Notwithstanding, worthy to note are the recent initiatives of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) on the Rent to Own Scheme and the uprising of affordable housing and mortgage policy formulation being put in place by joint efforts of private investors in the built environment and the Federal Government. Even the “Not Too Young to own a Home” initiative which is a homeownership initiative for youths amongst many other initiatives are still struggling to come alive.

Just as stated earlier, it is pertinent to note that it is only a democracy flavored with good governance that will accelerate economic development.

It is on this premise that certain extra effort be made and we ensure its not business as usual for these aspirants, there is need to stir up agitations on why housing issues and housing policy are not on Nigeria’s political radar screen, and what we can do to put them there.

Majority of these politicians seeking the votes of electorate have mansions to their names and cozy beds to lie on while the electorates whose votes are to bring them to power are struggling with house rents, high cost of lands and properties. Recently a FCT Housing Committee has been set up to investigate the issue of illegal land allocations in the FCT. Is it only in the FCT that such investigations be made? Aren’t there similar cases of such across the federation?

It is high time the electorate take their stands and demand from these aspirants what they intend to do to ensure that affordable housing is achieved in Nigeria. Enough of “I will”, Enough of intelligent guesses, detailed mapped out strategies that shows a promising future for affordable housing in Nigeria with the relevant platforms already in place should be shown to the electorate not the usual promises of “Poverty will be eradicated when voted into power” and that “there would be a full stop to corruption.”

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The nation is in an election season, and glittering generalizations should not be allowed without demanding for specifics. As politicians make flowery promises, the electorate must as a matter of utmost necessity demand for specifics from politicians to enable them determine those who have ideas about the roles they intend to play in government in 2019.

The citizens must be courageous to ask questions from any political aspirant as to how he or she intends to solve the problems bedeviling the nation in all sectors of the economy especially on affordable housing. Nigerians are fed up with any politician who says “I’ll achieve restructuring of Nigeria in 6 months, if elected President”. Such a politician should be challenged by the electorate to say in concrete terms what he or she means by restructuring, why it is necessary and how he or she intends to go about actualizing such a campaign promise.

The media and civil societies have a duty to set agenda for public debate and create issues bordering on national development in this election season. Any politician that makes a promise must be courageous to let the electorate subject his campaign promises to thorough debate before elections to avoid blaming his or her predecessors when elected.

Wilson Ifeoma Nonye – HousingNews, Abuja

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