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Buhari Re-Appoints Ipaye, Ojudu, Dipeolu, Ime Okon

Ipaye who was former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State works from the Office of the Vice President.

The President has also approved the re-appointment of Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to President on Economic Matters; Mrs Maryam Uwais who retains her position as Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme as well as Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters.

Ade Ipaye reappointed as deputy chief of staff

Also, re-appointed is Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, who will now serve as the Special Adviser to the President on Ease Of Doing Business.

Equally, President Buhari has also appointed Ime Okon as Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, as Senior Special Assistant on Education Interventions, Mr. Louis Odion as Senior Technical Assistant on Print Media, and Mr. Ajuri Ngelale as Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs in the Presidency

In Wisconsin Swing District, a Range of Views on Immigration

RACINE, Wis. — In this old manufacturing city that supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, dislike for President Donald Trump runs wide and deep. Images of crying children at the Mexican border typically serve as Exhibit A on the list of grievances that Democratic voters cite against the president.

Many of those voters also express strong views opposing illegal border crossings, often rooted in their own family stories of coming to America. If you want a chance at the American dream, they say, you should play by the rules.

“I think everybody should come in the right way, just like our ancestors did,” said Christy Cowles, 59, a retired city worker who is a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Voters like Cowles present a conundrum for Democrats on the sensitive topic of immigration. While many Democrats express a desire to ease the way for aspiring immigrants, party leaders also worry that an immigration agenda that shifts too far left could alienate voters in tightly contested states like Wisconsin, ranging from avowed liberals like Cowles to coveted swing voters.

In the first round of Democratic debates in June, candidates staked out aggressively liberal positions on immigration, with near-unanimous support for decriminalizing illegal border crossings.

The idea was first advanced by Julián Castro, a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who is among those scheduled to be onstage Wednesday night in the second set of debates. Jeh Johnson, the head of homeland security during the Obama administration, criticized the concept as tantamount to permitting open borders. Since then, another candidate, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, also slated to appear Wednesday night, said he would virtually eliminate immigration detention.

In a sign of the escalating concerns within the party, several Democratic governors this month expressed alarm about open-borders rhetoric. And a document recently circulated to House Democrats from party consultants advised a more moderate approach — suggesting the party emphasize a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants who “work hard and pay their taxes” but also stress the importance of secure borders.

“Beyond policy, the best frame on immigration acknowledges the problem and talks about solutions — both addressing border security and a path to earned citizenship,” read the memo, which was addressed to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

A recent Gallup poll found that immigration tops the list of issues that Americans view as important. Trump’s demands for a wall at the Mexican border, as well as tighter restrictions on immigration, have emerged as an emotional issue in the presidential campaign. The president and his supporters have called Democrats soft on enforcement; Democrats counter that the wall and inhumane treatment of those seeking asylum are antithetical to core American values.

There are few places where the topic is more contentious than in Wisconsin, a swing state where it has been used as a cudgel against Democrats, even in local races for positions with no role in federal immigration policy.

Rob Grover, a Democrat who ran for the state Assembly last year, said he was surprised when a flyer paid for by the Wisconsin Republican Party suggested he wanted to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Grover, who describes himself as conservative on immigration issues, said he had never expressed such a view. He lost his race in western Wisconsin.

Immigration has also emerged as an issue in other state races, with right-leaning appeals that appear designed to inflame anti-immigrant passion, according to Ben Wikler, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, who blamed huge last-minute spending around immigration and other issues for defeating the Democratic candidate in this year’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election. Special interest groups on both sides of the race reported spending more than $4 million in an effort to sway its outcome.

With its Democratic city center and a surrounding rural area that skews Republican, Racine County often swings from one party to another, serving as a national bellwether in predicting the outcome of presidential races. In 2016, the county voted for Trump.

And in this swing district, some local Democrats have speculated that immigration helped torpedo their efforts last year to win the congressional seat held by former House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to Fabi Maldonado, a Racine County supervisor and immigration advocate.

The Democratic candidate, Randy Bryce, had been arrested while protesting Ryan’s position on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which delays deportation and allows work permits for immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

“There was internal fighting in the Democratic Party over whether he was too open about supporting illegal immigration,” Maldonado said. “Some of that might be true, but you have to be for immigration rights if you want Latinx voters to turn out.”

Cowles, the retired city worker, said that her forebears arrived in Racine a century ago from Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Germany, joining a wave of European immigrants who settled this lakefront city 30 miles south of Milwaukee. African Americans arrived during the Great Migration and, more recently, the Latino population has swelled to about 20%. The city has largely embraced its multiethnic mosaic. Tortillas are sold on the same block as kringles, the Wisconsin state pastry introduced by Danish immigrants. The Racine City Council recently endorsed the idea of permitting driver’s licenses for unauthorized residents.

Interviews with more than a dozen Democrats and left-leaning voters revealed disagreement on immigration. Some favored more relaxed policies and others urged caution, recalling stories passed down through generations about how their ancestors struggled to find sponsors before arriving on Ellis Island.

Kevin Hughes, who retired from a factory that makes shampoo, said he favored more liberal policies. “Everybody is going somewhere else to try to make a better life for their family,” said Hughes, 59. “Why would you want to criminalize that?”

Maria Haenel, 35, who was born in Illinois to Mexican parents, held a similar view. “Even if immigrants that have come over the border, even if they don’t have papers, they should be given a chance to get a work visa, or a student visa, or some type of help to stay here and be able to live the American dream,” said Haenel, a caregiver for older adults.

Yet some members of Racine’s Mexican American community said they worried about opening up borders too liberally. Lewis Mendoza, 68, takes pride in the contribution of Mexican people to the Wisconsin economy, particularly in the dairy industry, where a high percentage of workers are believed to be unauthorized.

“There was a time when blue-eyed, blond-haired people did that job,” said Mendoza, a Democrat who voted for Clinton. “You don’t see any white people anymore. It’s all Mexican people. What are you going to do if you send them back?”

But Mendoza, a veteran who has worked as a dishwasher in Racine restaurants alongside unauthorized workers, also expressed skepticism about migrants who enter the country illegally. “As far as just jumping over a fence or something, I don’t know about that. I’m a little leery about that,” he said.

Racine is known for its ethnic festivals, many held on the shore of Lake Michigan.

A lakefront fair last week sponsored by the Roma Lodge, an Italian welfare association, featured fireworks, Frank Sinatra music and a dinner of mostaccioli and ravioli. Jim Faraone, a former board member of the organization, was in charge of selling lottery tickets to raise money for local health charities.

Faraone, a Vietnam veteran, is a swing voter, having supported both Barack Obama and Clinton, but also Ryan, a Republican. He also expressed skepticism about an overly broad border policy.

“They shouldn’t be here unless they came in legally; it’s the only way,” said Faraone, 77, whose father immigrated from Italy and developed the home building business that Faraone later operated. Echoing Trump, Faraone expressed fear that other countries were offloading “murderers and other criminals” into the United States.

Ginny Ziolkowski, 70, also said she swung from one party to another, most recently supporting Obama and Clinton, but before that President George W. Bush. As for Trump, “I personally can’t stand him,” she said as she took in the view at Racine’s lakefront.

But Ziolkowski, whose husband was a Racine County executive — a lakefront park here bears his name — said she leaned conservative on immigration issues and opposed providing health care benefits to unauthorized migrants, another idea some candidates endorsed during the first debates. It’s clearly an issue the Trump campaign thinks works in its favor; on Tuesday, it released a new advertisement blasting Democrats for supporting the idea.

“I feel they need to come in legally if they want to live here,” Ziolkowski said. “And they should not be getting education, health care and other benefits.”

Source: Pulse.ng

No New Project Until Old Ones Are Completed- Gov Bello

Gov Abubakar Bello of Niger says he will not initiate new projects until those initiated during his first tenure are completed.

Bello gave the assurance when he inspected ongoing projects at the state House of Assembly complex in Minna on Thursday.

John Healey on Grenfell, Boris Johnson and Labour Housing Policy

You’re becoming something of a Housing conference and exhibition veteran. Are there any years at the event that have particularly stuck in your memory?

My first CIH [Chartered Institute of Housing] conference was in 2009. It was my first week as the new housing minister and officials advised against me accepting, saying: “The CIH conference is full of the field’s experts. It’s too soon to do this.”

I told them: “That’s exactly why I should do it.”

I remember being cross-examined by Mark Easton on stage, several days into the job. The CIH members have rightly proved a tough crowd for me at conferences ever since.

You’ve been vocal in accusing the government of not acting fast enough on fire safety since Grenfell. What makes you think Labour would have done better?

We understood from day one that a national disaster of the scale of Grenfell requires a national response from government.

We’ve had to urge action from ministers on every front, as only government can tackle the problems that Grenfell exposed – from getting unsafe ACM [aluminium composite material] cladding removed, to testing other suspect cladding systems, to guaranteeing residents a stronger voice, to overhauling the building safety system.

More than two years on, Conservative ministers still haven’t taken these vital steps.

Boris Johnson looks set to become prime minister. How do you think this could affect housing policy?

Making predictions in politics is a fool’s game, especially in these Brexit-dominated days. I wouldn’t bank on Boris Johnson to win.

I certainly wouldn’t bank on him to fundamentally changing Conservative housing policy. His track record is full of promises made, then broken.

In London, he promised to end rough sleeping in three years, but it more than doubled while he was mayor.

What housing policy would you implement first if Labour wins office?

We’d set up a new, fully fledged housing department to recognise the scale of the housing crisis. We would knock heads together in Whitehall and lead a housing drive on all fronts, from an end to rough sleeping, to legislation for private renters, to building a million truly affordable homes.

Source: Insidehousing

2020 Democrats Offer Up Affordable Housing Plans Amid Surging Prices

If you listen carefully, you’ll hear something unusual on the presidential campaign trail this year. Democratic candidates are talking a lot about the lack of affordable housing, an issue that rarely, if ever, comes up in an election. They’re trying to tap into a growing national concern, as well as a potential voting bloc.

Several of the candidates have offered extensive plans that they say would address the housing shortage that is affecting millions of low and middle income voters. They’ve proposed everything from refundable tax credits for overburdened renters, to spending billions of dollars on new affordable housing. They’ve also raised the issue as a prime example of racial and income inequality, another focus of the Democratic campaigns.

“It is not acceptable that, in communities throughout the country, wealthy developers are gentrifying neighborhoods and forcing working families out of the homes and apartments where they have lived their entire lives,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who’s running for the Democratic nomination, wrote recently in the Las Vegas Sun.

And California Sen. Kamala Harris was met with cheers at a gathering of housing advocates in Washington, D.C. earlier this year when she said, “The right to housing should be understood to be a fundamental right, a human right, a civil right.”

All of this is music to the ears of Diane Yentel, executive director of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

“We’ve seen candidates talking more about the crisis and the solutions than we have I think in entire presidential campaigns in history,” she says.

Yentel says in the past, she and other advocates would listen to presidential debates and town halls waiting for the candidates to say anything about the affordable housing shortage, “and just sort of hang on for any word even remotely related to housing. Like, oh, he said ‘community’ or he said ‘house.'”

But until this year, she says they never heard about housing policy or possible solutions.

An aerial view of homes under construction at a housing development on January 31, 2019 in Petaluma, Calif. As housing prices surge around the country, Democratic presidential candidates are offering plans to address the shortage of affordable homes and apartments.

Yentel thinks it’s a reflection of the severity of the problem. Rents around the country have been rising faster than wages and almost half of all renters now have to spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing. About 11 million of those households spend more than 50 percent of their incomes on rent. Low-income families feel the most pain, but the problem has also started to creep up into the middle class.

“For voters who are in the rental housing market, the cost of housing is as big an economic stressor as virtually anything else,” says Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, whose polling has found housing costs are an issue in every region of the country, as well as in cities, rural areas and suburbs.

And, he says, the concern is growing. When Garin asked voters in 2016 if they thought housing affordability was a problem where they lived, 39 percent said it was a fairly serious or very serious problem. This year, that number is 60 percent.

“That’s quite a change over the course of one election cycle,” he says.

Perhaps of more interest to candidates, 75 percent of all voters this year say they would be more likely to vote for someone who has a plan to make housing more affordable, which may explain why candidates are lining up to offer plans.

“People are experiencing an affordable housing crisis whether they’re Republican or Democrat, whether they live in a red community or a blue community, and whether they’re middle class or they’re working poor, whether they’re white or black,” says Julian Castro, who was the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama and announced his housing plan this week. He says it would not only address the lack of affordable housing, but would effectively eliminate homelessness in eight years.

Castro would provide housing vouchers to all families who need help. Right now, only one in four families eligible for housing assistance gets it. He would also increase government spending on new affordable housing by tens of billions of dollars a year and provide a refundable tax credit to the millions of low- and moderate-income renters who have to spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing.

Among the other proposals:

  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren would also provide a refundable tax credit for overburdened renters. She also calls for a $500 billion federal investment over the next ten years in new affordable housing. She says her plan would create three million new units and lower rents by ten percent. Warren would also give grants to first-time homebuyers who live in areas where black families were once excluded. “Everybody who lives or lived in a formerly red-lined district can get some housing assistance now to be able to buy a home,” Warren told attendees at the She the People Presidential Forum in Houston this spring.
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker would provide financial incentives to encourage local governments to get rid of zoning laws that limit the construction of affordable housing. He would also provide a renter’s tax credit, legal assistance for tenants facing eviction and protect against housing discrimination, something he’s made part of his personal appeal. “When I was a baby, my parents tried to move us into a neighborhood with great public schools, but realtors wouldn’t sell us a home because of the color of our skin,” Booker recounts in an online campaign video.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris has also introduce a plan for a renters’ tax credit of up to $6,000 for families making $100,000 or less.
  • New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has signed on to both the Harris and Warren plans, which have been introduced as legislation.

One challenge for Democrats is finding a way to pay for their ambitious and costly plans. Warren and Castro have both said they would repeal some of the tax breaks enacted two years ago for corporations and higher-income individuals.

President Trump has argued that those tax cuts are helping the economy, which in turn helps all Americans. The administration has said it hopes to increase the supply of affordable housing by providing tax incentives for construction in economically distressed areas, called Opportunity Zones, and by eliminating restrictive zoning laws.

Another challenge for Democrats is getting low-income renters out to vote. They’re generally younger and more transient, and tend not to turn out as much as wealthier homeowners.

That’s a concern for Charise Genas of Boston, who was at a candidate forum in Washington, DC this week sponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign.

“I even pulled my kids by their ears saying, ‘You’re voting,’ and they tell me ‘Ma, my vote don’t count.’ I say ‘That’s a lie, Every vote counts,” says Genas.

She thinks the lack of affordable housing is the number one issue for many voters this year, including herself. Genas says her grown children currently have their own places to live, but “they’re saying, ‘Ma, I might have to come home because the rent is so high.'”

Source: NPR

Bank chiefs to go tougher on bad debtors

The Committee of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria has said that there is an urgent need for all banks to cooperate and collaborate to identify and go tougher on chronic debt defaulters.

The committee said this would go beyond publishing names of such defaulters in national media (which is inevitable), but involved all banks speaking with one voice, sharing information about those entities, and refusing to do further business with them until they settled their obligations.

The bank CEOs condemned the actions of bad debtors who now resorted to smear campaigns against banks and their chief executives in order to either delay repaying loans or avoid meeting their debt obligations completely.

During a meeting in Lagos to review what it called the “harassment and criminalisation of banks’ CEOs by law enforcement agencies,” the body noted that chronic bank debtors were now in the habit of enlisting law enforcement agencies including police, judiciary and state securities to harass and criminalise banks’ CEO, which was unacceptable.

The committee noted that the loan defaulters were known to have abused court processes as well as using social media to propagate their smear campaign against the banks.

A communiqué issued after the meeting noted that the activities by the law enforcement agencies and the bank debt defaulters were capable of adversely affecting the banking system through the CEOs’ reputation among international banks as well as destroy the economy.

They, therefore, called for the issue to be checked and managed.

In order to tackle what the body saw as an emerging threat to the banking business in Nigeria, the Committee of Banks’ CEOs outlined a five-step resolution of actions that banks would need to take.

The resolutions and planned actions were arrived at after members discussed and considered different options for dealing with the issue.

To avoid the kind of crisis that rocked the banking sector 10 years ago, the CEOs urged all agencies and stakeholders to step up and help fight the inherent menace of chronic loan defaulters.

According to the CEOs, the banking industry is the backbone of the Nigerian economy; therefore, it was the responsibility of all stakeholders, regulators, police, judiciary, corporate organisations and media to help save it from activities of delinquent debtors.

The group resolved that all cases of defaults would be presented and passed through the Bankers’ Committee Ethics Committee just as it intended to work with legal councils and come up with ways and strategies to manage related cases effectively without disrupting businesses and the system.

Nigerian bank’s non-performing loans stood at N2.245tn as of the end of September 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The NBS revealed that in the period under review, the country’s gross loans stood at N15.861tn, while loans (after specific provisions) stood at N13.332tn.

According to the NBS, as of the end of June, non-performing loans stood at N1.939tn while gross loans and loans (after specific provisions) were N15.50tn and N13.587tn respectively.

The Asset Management Corporation had recently published a list of defaulters that it termed as delinquent debtors. They allegedly owed about N906.1bn.

Zimbabwe to initiate new rural housing policy

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – Zimbabwe is set to roll a project that will see the building of better houses that are strong and durable in rural areas, African Daily Voice has learnt.

According to The Herald, this was revealed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa during his recent tour of Chimanimani to assess the damage inflicted by Cyclone Idai, which has claimed more than 100 people, displaced thousands and left hundreds of houses destroyed.

Mnangagwa said there was need to have properly constructed houses, as haphazardly constructed ones had contributed to the significant loss of lives in the area.

“We have lost lives due to sub-standard construction of houses,” he said. “Our housing construction should change forthwith and Government will also assist in this regard. We want stronger structures to save lives.”

Most of the houses that were destroyed failed to withstand the strong rains and winds, a situation attributed to the building material used that made them weak.

Until now, Government had little input in the building of houses in rural areas, resulting in people constructing their homes using poor materials that cannot withstand harsh weather conditions.

Some of the houses in rural areas are built using pole and dagga or bricks and dagga, without other reinforcement building materials like cement.

Houses in the rural areas are also built in dangerous places like mountain slopes, valleys and river banks, a situation that make their occupants vulnerable to natural disasters like floods and mudslides.

This was because rural housing has been on the periphery of planning and President Mnangagwa’s pronouncement yesterday is expected to change the status quo.

The situation in the rural areas is in sharp contrast with the strict supervision of house construction in urban areas, where city engineers have to approve every stage of construction.

Certain specifications are set for urban houses and the strict monitoring has resulted in strong structures that last longer.

Source: Africandailyvoice

Why property markets slow before elections

With election dates set and machinery put in motion, it is possible that activity in the property market may improve in the months to follow. It is not unheard of for the property market to reach a bit of a standstill leading up to a national election.

Owing to the uncertainty that builds around this time, many investors prefer to keep their finances liquid until the future of the economy becomes more stable. Sellers will have to keep this in mind when putting their property on the market over this period.

However, having the election date set should help the market become slightly more active. Without a specific date around which to work, many buyers choose to wait until they know when to expect more political certainty in our country. With the date set, we might begin to see a slight uptake of buyers who are comfortable to begin the process of shopping for a suitable property in the hopes of finding one by the time elections have come and gone.

Nevertheless, sellers should not expect an instant turn around in market conditions until a few months after the elections. The uncertainty that plagues investors over this period is not the results of the election themselves as much as it is the behaviour of the political parties leading up to and following the election. It is widely perceived that policy decisions tend to be more favourable leading up to an election and can change post-election. Investors, both foreign and local, are therefore likely to wait a few months both leading up to and following an election period to see if any policy changes come into effect that might affect their return on investment.

Foreign investment
Foreign investor confidence is another factor during an election period which tends to slow down activity in the property market. Unsure of how citizens will react to election campaigns and election results, foreign investors tend to adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach when it comes to investing until they can be more certain of political stability in the country. This is why we also tend to have fewer foreign buyers and a drop in number of sales within the luxury market over this time.

All things considered, those who are even slightly optimistic about our future should take the plunge and invest now. Given that we are in a buyer’s market, it is likely that investors can pick up properties at lower prices now than if they wait for the election apprehension to subside. Provided that all continues to run smoothly with these elections, as I predict it will, there truly has not been a better time to invest in South African real estate than right now.

Source: BizCommunity.com

Emefiele Still CBN Governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed claims that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele has been sacked.

Responding to enquiries from The Nation on Monday, the Director Corporate Communications of the CBN Mr. Isaac Okorafor told The Nation that “the governor is in his office working. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Another official of the CBN also told The Nation Correspondent that “there is nothing like that, the governor is here, his tenure expires in June.

In fact he has functions to attend to tomorrow, one of which is to meet with stakeholders in the cotton value chain on Tuesday March 5, 2019.”

Register to be part of the conference at the 13th Abuja Housing Show click here

An online medium had reported on Monday afternoon that the CBN governor has been sacked by the presidency and given two weeks to clear his table and “handover to an unnamed successor.“

Source: NationOnline


How Buhari won Atiku in Lagos

President Muhammadu Buhari has won the Presidential election in Lagos State, by defeating his rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with a 132,798 vote margin.

Buhari and Atiku The margin was lower than the 160,143 votes with which Buhari defeated Jonathan in 2015 in the megapolis. Buhari then polled 792,460 votes, while Jonathan got 632,327.

In the latest results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Yaba area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Monday afternoon, Buhari polled 580,814 votes to beat Atiku, who got 448,016 votes in keenly contested election.


While Buhari won in 15 Local Government Areas of Lagos, Atiku won in five councils, heavily populated by South East residents.

The full result:

Ibeju/Lekki LG

APC: 12,179

PDP: 9,222

Lagos lsland LG

APC: 27,452

PDP: 7,396

Apapa LG



Ikorodu LG

APC: 40,719

PDP: 21,252


Epe LG

APC: 17,710

PDP: 13,305

Ikeja LGA

APC: 23,638

PDP: 21,518

Badagry LG

APC: 21,417

PDP: 17,936

Agege LG

APC: 36,443

PDP: 16,497


APC: 20,963

PDP: 25,216

Ifako Ijaiye LG

APC: 33,419

PDP: 18,100

AAC: 674

Mushin LG

APC: 43,543

PDP: 20,277

Oshodi/lsolo LG

APC: 29,860

PDP: 28,806

Lagos Mainland

LG APC: 22,684

PDP: 15,137

Ojo LG

APC: 24,333

PDP: 29,019

Surulere LG

APC: 30,621

PDP: 31,603

Somolu LG

APC: 28,418

PDP: 21,978

Kosofe LG

APC : 39,216

PDP: 28,715


APC: 16,670

PDP : 34,312

Ajeromi Ifelodun

PDP: 31, 971

APC: 28,153


PDP: 44461

APC: 65,206

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