Increased property development opportunities, capital appreciation seen in Lagos-Ibadan railway

As the Lagos-Ibadan railway line nears completion, real estate investment analysts say there are potentials for expansion and investors are already taking position to tap from the opportunities of capital appreciation of existing investments along that corridor and the door of new estate developments to open on back of the project.

Hinging the prospects of an additional market on the rural-urban migration of professionals, job-seekers and entrepreneurs’ attraction from other states to the heavy commerce commanded by Lagos, the industry stakeholders project that the rate of estate developments along the inter-state rail track will double in the next five years, especially in value.

They also bank on the capacity of the infrastructure to give a new lease of life to businesses, entertainments, culture and life that can stimulate high-density development of properties along the line.

The toast of real estate industry on the route would be in locations such as Isherri towards Arepo, Asese, Ogere in Ogun state further down towards the big city of Ibadan.

Therefore, for whoever has the capacity, the time is here to acquire properties in those areas because in the next couple of years, the rental income to be generated on those properties will keep appreciating.

“Considering the congestion in Lagos, it makes more sense that people live outside Lagos, even if they transact businesses in Lagos. The introduction of the rail system is going to ease traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and aid movement of goods and services from Lagos to Ibadan and vice-versa,” Deji Fasuwon, managing director, Propertymart, told us.

“It is going to encourage developers to look outside of the city centre of Lagos and begin to move towards Ogun and Oyo states, precisely Ibadan, and develop projects there, where people can live and commute to and from Lagos easily,” he added.

The helmsman at the burgeoning real estate investment company cited opportunity for developers to begin to build housing estates along the corridor such that people will be able to build their businesses.

Affirming the appreciation in real estate value to be generated from the rail line, Kunle Awobudu, former president at the Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB) posited that the area was potentially a prime haven for investors  anticipating future returns

“Once the rail line is completed, it will attract a lot of interest. I don’t think they will regret it. The only prayer is for Julius Berger construction company to increase pace of construction,” Awobudu told BusinessDay,  noting that the rail project would ensure  unhindered access to key neighbouring cities such as Ibadan, Ijebu-Ode, Benin, Abeokuta and Lagos.

The construction of rail transit infrastructure usually improves conectivity of communities like those on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The route connecting Lagos to both neighbouring southwest states and far-off states in the south-south and south-east of the country is one of the most notorious for fatal accidents and is typically fraught with high congestion of vehicles and loss of productive hours in traffic.

The 132 kilometre rail line is a N458 billion project facilitated by N386 billion Chinese loan and N72 million equity requirement from the federal government. It received real boost in 2017 following the Kemi Adeosun, the former minister of Finance release of Nigeria’s total counterpart payment.

Due to the competition to be part of the economic activities in Lagos, the road infrastructure is overburdened. But experts see the untoward trend lowering with the coming on stream of this major transport infrastructure.

BusinessDay finding shows that rents on some high-profile estates along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway were already hitting well above N1 million per annum, particularly within the OPIC area of Ogun state.

On the average, since Lagos is the centre of attraction, value proposition will also be benchmarked on proximity to Lagos. But with increased accessibility promised by the rail line, property value will enjoy competitive rates based on distance from Lagos.

Estates have been developing along the Lagos-Ibadan corridor long before the rail project was started. The route is a major development corridor in Lagos. Others are Lagos-Badagry expressway, Lekki-Epe, Ikorodu Road and Abule Egba – Abeokuta.

“Of all, Lagos-Ibadan is the fastest growing after the Epe corridor and more promising. Because of that, real estate investments have been growing there”, said Akinola George, a real estate expert.

Source: By  Temitayo Ayetoto

Diezani, Badeh, Fayose, Dasuki, Yuguda, 65 others forfeit 214 properties to FG

The real estate was recovered from over 70 individuals and seven firms who were prosecuted for various financial crimes, including money laundering.

A breakdown of the recoveries obtained by SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday, showed that 179 properties were recovered through interim forfeiture court orders.

Thirty-five of the properties have been finally forfeited to the commission while two, including a hotel belonging to Ima Niboro, former spokesman to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, were returned voluntarily.

Other prominent Nigerians who lost their properties through court forfeiture orders include a former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke; ex-National Security Adviser, Dasuki Sambo; former minister, Iyorchia Ayu; the late Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh and a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd.)

Others were former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, ex-Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, Col. Bello Fadile (retd.) and a former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema who had 20 properties under interim forfeiture.

 

The list also included George Turner whose 17 properties in different parts of Bayelsa State were placed under interim forfeiture; former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu and Garba Birni-kudu who had 14 properties under interim forfeiture.

 

Similarly, the commission recovered three properties, including a seven-storey building under construction in Gudu district, Abuja, belonging to one Emmanuel Ozigi and two others, while six properties located in different parts of Ibadan, Oyo State, were recovered from one Oni Ademola.

Five choice properties were recovered from Alison-Madueke; they include a multi-storey building on Banana Island, six flats in Ikoyi and 21 mixed housing in Yaba, Lagos; 16 terrace houses in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and 13 terrace duplexes in Mabushi, Abuja.

The anti-graft commission also obtained a final forfeiture order in respect of buildings in Ikorodu, Agege, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Cranbel Court, Citiview Estate, Arepo, which were recovered from Jamiu Anifowoshe and forfeited to the Lagos State Government.

Real estate consisting of seven buildings located on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Victoria Garden City, Ikota, Port Harcourt, Lekki and Utako, Abuja, were also recovered from Obasuyi Osasoghie and forfeited to First Bank Plc.

Between January and April, 2019, the EFCC had recovered N3.2bn (final forfeiture) from Amosu who paid N2.2bn; Olugbenga Gbadebo, N190.8m; Solomon Enterprise, N101m and Paul Boroh and 16 others, who coughed up N686.7m cash.

Last year, the agency recovered 141 vehicles; 44 bank accounts; one barge; farmland; four filling stations; two hotels and 47 parcels of land which were considered proceeds of crime.

By Adelani Adepegba

New Minimum Wage 2019: What does it mean for an Average Nigerian?

Almost every Nigerian can attest to the fact that the cost of living is currently higher than it was in previous years. Similarly, they express worry over the recently approved minimum wage. While public education from the government about this aspect of the economy is lacking, Nigerians can have their fears resolved by seeking information.

 

Understanding the implications of the new wage bill is necessary for every Nigerian citizen and resident regardless of their social status.

What does minimum wage mean?

Minimum wage refers to the least amount of monthly remuneration that a person should receive for their labour. The amount is set after the government and the union of labour hold talks and agrees on the final figure. It applies to every worker regardless of whether they are in the private or public sector. Typically, the national min wage is reviewed and adjusted periodically. When was the minimum wage in Nigeria implemented? Hassan Sunmonu was the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) when the debate regarding minimum wage began.

 

Following his election into this position in 1978, he fought for the implementation of a minimum wage in Nigeria. In 1981, the minimum wage was set at N300. In the same year, the federal government declined to pay this amount leading to a nationwide strike of workers which stalled the economy.

 

This led to negotiations between the government and the NLC. The two parties settled on an N125 minimum wage. It was not until 1989 that the labour union demanded new wage limits. The demand followed the realisation that the prevailing rates could not afford an average Nigerian a decent life. After negotiations, there was an increase to N250 from the initial N125. With the growing economy, the minimum amount of remuneration became too low to allow an average Nigerian a good-quality life.

 

The labour union thus fought for the improvement of this amount. Between 1989 and 2001, several negotiations were held and the amount shot from N250 to N3,000; N5,000 and finally N7,500. During the reign of President Goodluck Jonathan, the amount as guided by the Nigerian Labour Law increased to N18,000. The current minimum wage is N30,000.

 

Exploring the meaning of the current situation

After nationwide campaigns, the new minimum wage of N30,000 was approved by the legislature on the 19th of March 2019. According to the law, this amount should be evaluated every half a decade. In Nigeria, the labour union has been championing for increased minimum wages to help the people deal with the ever-escalating rate of inflation. Periodic appraisal of the law also mitigates unnecessary strikes by workers.

 

With the harsh economic realities, will the government meet the new law requirements? For the government to comfortably meet the N30,000 minimum wage for each worker, specific measures ought to be taken:

Financial actions and implications

Many Nigerians are worried about the consequences of such changes. The following financial actions and implications are likely to happen.

The likelihood of expanding Nigeria’s non-capital spending

The government has no option but to abide by the current minimum wage bill. Late salaries for the workers must not be tolerated. Instead, the government should seek creative means of meeting the laws. Increased expenditure on compensation packages means that the country’s budget should be equally high.

 

As of 2016, about 59% of the federal government’s expenditure was spent on workers’ compensation. Following the new 2019 law, this amount is set to increase to an all-time high of about N2.29 trillion. The government needs a supplementary budget to meet this need. The non-capital budget can be increased by borrowing from developed countries. Alternatively, the Value Added Tax may be increased. Increased taxation rates are inevitably a source of worry for most Nigerians.

 

The likelihood of an increased tax rate

Does a potential increase in tax rate give me a reason to go on strike? While low rates of taxation would make life blissful for an ordinary Nigerian, they are just a dream! The new minimum wage requirements mean that increased taxation is inevitable. After all, the government requires more revenues.

The relevant authorities have considered increasing the Value Added Tax from the current 5% to 7.5%. So far, empirical data relating to this new suggestion is yet to be availed for a regular Nigerian to assess the impact of this move. If implemented, the cost of ordinary consumer goods will increase. Be ready!

Economic actions and implications

Concerning the economic sphere of life, most likely the following actions and implications will take place.

Likelihood of losing jobs

While improved minimum wages are aimed at improving the quality of life for people who are not affluent, it has its negative implications. The increased need for more money by the government to facilitate the new compensation packages may mean that the government has to downsize some operations. Means of reducing the gross overhead costs may be required. Consequently, internal labour resources may require reshuffling.

 

The reorganisation of human labour translates to a section of the workforce undergoing retrenchment and layoffs. In Nigeria where most of the workforce is informal, numerous people may lose their jobs. This translates to an increased burden of unemployment, especially among young people. Usually, the presence of many idle young people leads to increased social ills such as theft and drug use.

 

Likelihood of continued inflation

A present-day ordinary Nigerian is struggling to meet their needs and wants due to the high rate of inflation. This burden is unlikely to be lifted. Instead, it may be aggravated by the new minimum wage requirements. Most businesses may be forced to hike their prices to afford revenues that allow the minimum wages to be paid without strain and to have a reasonable margin of profit. The consumers, as is the norm, have to bear the costs through increased retail prices. Nigerians can anticipate an increased inflation rate henceforth. This will reduce their purchasing power. The cycle of the minimum wage remaining inadequate and its respective bill requiring an upward adjustment will continue.

What is the way forward?

Nigerians must first appreciate the fact that the labour union has been transparent in its operations and has fought for the rights of workers. Regardless of the possible adverse effects of the new wage bill requirements, each Nigerian has to pay their taxes faithfully. At the same time, an average Nigerian must be mentally and emotionally ready to budget for their minimum wage appropriately. One can afford a decent life with this amount using specific survival skills such as looking for cheaper housing. There is no allowance to squander the money on unnecessary things.

 

At the executive level, systems, measures, and machinery should be put in place to facilitate the proper collection of tax. Increased transparency and accountability of the tax officials to the public should be encouraged. This will mitigate theft scandals within the government.

 

The minimum wage in Nigeria was first implemented in 1981. Over the years, the terms have been updated accordingly to match the changing economic situations. Today, the minimum wage is N30,000. While this amount is seemingly impressive, it may mean that harsher financial conditions await an average Nigerian. Regardless of these changes, every Nigerian should retain their patriotism, honesty, and love for their homeland.

By Carol Karen

Security, Infrastructure, Jobs Top Nigerians’ Demand From Incoming Govs

Ahead of the inauguration of governors-elect in 29 states of the federation on May 29, 2019, Nigerians have set agenda for the state chief executives. Governorship elections were not held in Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, Ondo, and Osun states during the 2019 general elections because the tenure of the incumbent governors had not expired.

Prominent among the citizens’ demands from the incoming governors are adequate security,  infrastructure, more jobs, and affordable housing. Others are quality healthcare services, education, women and youth empowerment, and soft loans. In a nationwide interview conducted by LEADERSHIP Weekend on their agenda from both the new governors and others re-elected for a second term, Nigerians charged them to rally round all the security agencies to tackle the security challenges facing the country.

They lamented that there was no part of the country again where the citizens sleep with their two eyes closed because of the activities of kidnappers, bandits, Boko Haram insurgents, armed robbers, and cultists. According to them, they expect the incoming governors to use their first 100 days in office to hit the ground running by sending a strong message to criminals across the country that it won’t be business as usual for them again.

 

Mr. Gideon Jomun, a graduate and an indigene of Benue State said that the best legacies Governor Samuel Ortom can leave at the end of his eight-year rule is to quickly address his poor performance during the first term by collaborating with security forces top make Benue safe, tackle the widespread unemployment in the state by empowering women and youths with skills and loans.

He said that the people need jobs because the only thriving industry in the state is Okada riding (commercial motorcycling). This has resulted in urban migration, he said, adding that governor should also pay the workers’ salaries and pensions. Dr. Abigail Ubah called for improved healthcare services while Christian Osante, CEO, Bridgetown Integrated Solutions, want security prioritised.

Beat Al-Makura’s Record, Nasarawa People Tell Sule Residents in Nasarawa State said that the new governor, Abdullahi Alhaji Sule, who was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), should not think that running the state would be a tea party, considering the humongous challenges before him.

They charged him to perform better than the outgoing governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who they noted executed several projects and infrastructure. In spite of Al-Makura performance, the people said that Sule must revive the Nasarawa On The Move public transport agency which in the past generated huge revenue for the state. “

The incoming governor must revive the once most vibrant transport company in the country to prove that he is a businessman,” Yakubu Adamu said. On his part, Alhaji Mahmmud, an APC stakeholder, tasked the new governor to ensure that his commissioners present their workplan with an inbuilt targeting system that must be reported upon weekly or bi-weekly at the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting.

APC youth leader in the state, Mohammed Ayitogo, said that like other states in the country, Nasarawa has a vibrant teeming population of youths and asked Sule to harness their potential in agriculture, sports, ICT, entertainment and others. Mrs. Olubumi Daniel, a pharmacist said that the incoming government should correct the mistakes of the past governments by providing a congenial working environment for medical professionals to work.

Bala Mohammed Tasked On Youth Empowerment, Inclusive Govt In Bauchi State, a human rights activist, Mbami Sabka wants incoming governor Bala Mohammed to run an inclusive government in appointments and job creation. He said that there should be an effective youth empowerment programme to reduce the crime rate in the state. Sabka who interfaces with prison inmates through his Prison Inmates Development Initiatives (PIDI), explained that white collar jobs had become a mirage hence the governor-elect should ensure that the youths are actively engaged. For Mahmuda Danliti, the new government should empower the youths to guard against idleness.

Danliti, a tricycle rider, lamented that many youths who have graduated from schools have no jobs. He, therefore, wants the incoming administration to provide employment for them so that violence and other criminal activities can be reduced. Katsina Stakeholders Want Special Focus On Security Experts, trade unionists, and others in Katsina State have asked re-elected governor Aminu Masari to squarely face the security challenges and speedily implement the new minimum wage of N30,000.

Comrade Kabir Garba Matazu, former deputy secretary-general of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), said that the worrisome security situation in the state must not be toyed with and that the take-off of the new wage must not be delayed. Matazu said: “Out of the problems that cut across almost all the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, the foremost is insecurity. There is a need for collaboration between Katsina State and the federal government “to ensure that there is relative peace because without peace nothing works.”

The former chairman of Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, Katsina State and former chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Alhaji Lawal Zingina, enjoined Masari to continue to build on the solid foundation his administration had laid in education, agriculture, health and security sectors. Dr. Lolu Ademoye of Family Care Hospital said that there should be more funding for the health sector especially as many people were dying from diseases and sicknesses that are presentable.

Borno Stakeholders Wants Adequate Security, Workers’ Welfare Stakeholders in Borno State have urged the incoming administration of Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum to consolidate on the achievements of Governor Kashim Shettima in the areas of security, human capital development and the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). A human rights activist, Hamsatu Alamin called for synergy between the state government and the federal government to end the over 10-year Boko Haram insurgency which has impoverished the people of the state.

She lamented that some displaced persons including children orphaned by the terrorists were still wallowing in pains with no hope in sight for them. The newly-elected state chairman of the NLC, Comrade Bulama Abiso, urged the new governor to go back to the drawing board on the welfare of workers.

Abiso said that the story of workers in the state is one of mixed feelings of joy, sadness, noting that while workers were joyous for getting the N18,000 minimum wage, some were yet to benefit from the package. ‘el-Rufai Must Tackle Insecurity, Unemployment, Poverty In Kaduna’ A Kaduna-based legal practitioner, Abuul Hiifan, has appealed to returning governor Nasir el-Rufai to immediately address insecurity, unemployment, and poverty in the state.

Abuul also tasked him to boost internally-generated revenue for self-reliance than relying on federal allocations. Also, Barr. Suleiman Ahmed Akasawua, national chairman of NPC and president, Democracy Dividends Development Initiatives, charged the governor to tackle the disunity in the state. Citizens Seek Better Business Environment In Kebbi In the next four years, the people of Kebbi State want returning governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to create a more conducive atmosphere for business to thrive in the state.

A businessman in Kebbi, Alhaji Umar Yalli, who sells communication gadgets/recharge cards in the state capital asked the governor to explore more investment sources to develop the hide and skin sector. Yalli said that the state was blessed with abundant livestock and its products hence the need to take advantage of it for the benefit of the people. ‘’If Bagudu can replicate what is happening in Aba, I mean to construct a similar leather factory in the state, it will certainly help in boosting the economy of the state and providing jobs to our teaming unemployed youths,” he said.

A prominent politician and chairman of Kebbi APC Elders’ Forum, Alhaji Sani Hukuma Zauro, implored the governor-elect to invest in human resources and appoint people of integrity to help him deliver on his mandate to people during his second tenure. He said that the only way the state could develop rapidly was by getting people who are trusted, hardworking and innovative to form the new government. Tambuwal’s Govt Too Elitist, Say Artisans, Others Scores of professionals and artisans in Sokoto State have asked re-elected governor Aminu Tambuwal, to do better in his second term by promoting good governance.

They urged him to change his governance principle from what they termed “elitist mentality and undue protocols” by allowing the led to have more access to him. Also, majority of the workers in the state said that though Tambuwal has tried in salary payment, they, however, admonished him to consider the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000. The artisans and laymen took a swipe at the governor’s approach to governance and lamented that his government is not impacting them like his predecessors.

Agriculture, Industries Deserve Special Attention In Imo In Imo State, Chief Nwadiuto Nnakwe Ubaruo, an Owerri-based businessman said that the recession occasioned by the global economic downturn is still affecting businesses and state affairs. He said:  “I expect the governor-elect, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, to put smiles on the faces of Imolites by putting food on the tables of these embattled class of people.

 

“Our agricultural sector should be revived and genuinely interested farmers given the necessary incentives to go into intensive and extensive farming,” he said. Nze Benson Nkwachukwu Ugwegbulem, a school teacher said that “the governor-elect should create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, adding that the state’s school system needs a surgical operation to promote qualitative teaching and learning.”

Chief Nehemiah Iwuchukwu Ohadinjo, a lawyer, asked Ihedioha to establish factories and industries in the state, operate sound economic policies and bring in experts into strategic sectors to boost the economy. Deltans Challenge Okowa On Education, Others For re-elected governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, NUT chairman, Comrade Titus Okotie, said that he should motivate the teachers to give their best. He said: “Another area is university graduates teaching in primary schools. We want a situation during the governor’s second term that justice and fair play reign; that where everyone will be compensated according to his or her qualifications.

University graduate-teachers in primary schools should be promoted beyond Level 13 and it should not be a selective exercise. Comrade Sheriff Mulade, an environmental activist, said: “We have a slogan for Okowa’s second term and that is ‘Okowa for Cleaner Delta,’ because when you go round Delta State, especially the major cities, Asaba, Kwale, Agbor, Ughelli, Sapele, Warri, Oghara, they do not show that we are environmentally conscious. Our environment is not friendly.” A youth leader, Ozofere Andrew, said: “We advise him not to embark on discriminating governance, he should run an inclusive government.” Cross Riverians Demand Equity, Fairness From Gov Ayade Mr.

Clarkson Otu, a lawyer and chairman of the Cross River State chapter of Trade Union Congress (TUC) called on Governor Ben Ayade to ensure equity, social justice, and fairness in the distribution of the common wealth instead of a few enjoying it while the majority wallow in abject poverty. Clarkson also asked the re-elected governor not to borrow for the construction of a superhighway because it is not important to the state now, Dr.  Margaret Arop, a medical doctor said that Ayade should solve the problems of workers’ gratuities and promotions seriously. She sought special treatment for medical practitioners to boost their morale and ensure effective service delivery.

 

To Joy Nsan, a teacher, Ayade should with no further delay implement the N30,000 new minimum wage. Enugu, Oyo Electorate Plead For Loans, Improved IGR In an interview with LEADERSHIP Weekend in Enugu, the programme coordinator of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Mr. Kindness Jonah, said that agriculture is one of the pivotal issues that should be looked into by the governor-elect. He advised the re-elected governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to find out the problems facing the sector and tackle them so that agriculture would occupy its rightful position in the state.

A businessman, Mr. Ikechukwu Agu, urged the governor to further provide soft loans for businessmen and women in the state. A cross section of residents of Oyo State has appealed to the governor-elect, Mr. Seyi Makinde, to base his economic blueprint on how to improve on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

A political analyst, Olusola Ogundele, said that the promised free education, free medical services and other basic needs for the people by politicians during electioneering had become unfulfilled, as most of them could not raise the money to implement them. He, therefore, called on the incoming governor to think outside the box to generate the money to finance his projects and programmes. Barr.

Olatunde Ademola said that the outgoing government had laid a solid foundation for modern Oyo State and urged Makinde to raise the bar in infrastructural development. An educationist, Mrs. Abimbola Aweda, said that the development of the education sector would lead to the development of other sectors, and appealed to the governor-elect to increase the sectoral allocation to meet the standard set by UNESCO Lagos Physically-challenged Begs Sanwo-Olu For Assistance The National Association of Persons Living With Disabilities (NAPLWD) Lagos State chapter wants the governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to assist its members.

The state chairman of NAPLWD, Dare Dairo, urged Sanwo-Olu to institute a culture of inclusion in all facets of government planning, policies and programmes for them to contribute their quota to the development of the state. He also appealed to the governor-elect to implement the Lagos Disability Law when he takes over the mantle of leadership in the state, noting that, “most local government authorities are not aware of the disability law which provides a comprehensive legal and policy framework for the empowerment, welfare and protection of the rights of people living with disabilities in the state.”

Dapo Abiodun Should Learn From Amosun’s Mistakes There is, however, uncertainty in Ogun State over the ability and the willingness of the governor-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to fulfil his electoral promises when he assumes office. Most of the residents said that they were worried about the incoming governor’s promises in the areas of security, education, and primary healthcare delivery.

 

A medical practitioner, Dr. Adewunmi Alayaki, asked the incoming administration to embark on a fact-finding mission across the state to enable him identify those areas where the citizens were not happy with the outgoing governor which made his anointed candidate to lose the election. “Let Dapo Abiodun listen to what the people say about Amosun; look at those areas where he failed and then harmonise them with his programme of actions for the state,” he said.

 

The national secretary of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Comrade Yinka Folarin, advised the governor-elect to prioritise good governance and enhance participatory government. A legal practitioner, Isaac Izuyan, would want the incoming administration to liberalise the justice system in Ogun. Udom Should Concentrate On Agriculture, Education, Infrastructure In Akwa Ibom State, the people want returning governor Udom Emmanuel to place emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture and human capital development.

Barr. Ubong John of Decastle Chambers in Eket said that infrastructure is critical to the development of the state with a population of over four million people. He, therefore, advised the governor to invest in human capital development, healthcare, education and food production through sustainable farming. Pastor James Udo of Flame of Fire Ministry in Ikot Ekpene tasked the governor in his second term to focus on providing basic and functional education in the state, especially in the area of technical and vocational development

 

On his part, Mr. Clifford Thomas of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), said: “I don’t think it is possible to solve all the problems in four years, but work should start in earnest on managing the unemployment index of youths in the state to stem the tide of cultism and other social vices For Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) chairman, University of Jos, (UNIJOS), both the federal and state government should continue to fund education well in the country

. According to him, education is the bedrock of any nation that wants to develop, stressing that any policy on education should be backed up with action, not just a policy statement. Mazi Anthony Eze, a Jos-based businessman who deals in building materials and Dr. Charles Onuh, who owns a private hospital in Jos, the governor should create a business-friendly environment to encourage people to venture into it. They lamented the high rate of foreign exchange in the country and urged the federal government to take drastic action against it to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.

Source:  Leadershipng

Research reveals where homes sell the fastest in the UK

Across the UK, homes on the market have been on sale two weeks longer than a year ago on average but properties are selling quicker in one in five town and cities, according to new research.

A year ago homes were on the market for 148 days before being sold but the average is now 162 days, the study from home purchase plan provider Gatehouse Bank shows.

Sales have speeded up the most in Oldham where they have been on the market for 27.7% less time than a year ago while properties in Padstow have been for sale for 56.6% longer.

The next location where days to sale has fallen the most is in Stirling with 114 days, down 24.5%, followed by Sale at 95 days, a drop of 19.5%, then Rotherham down 16.5% to 243 days, and Glasgow, down 16% to 105 days.

After Padstow the next biggest slowdown has been in Woking where homes have been on the market for 50% longer and in Hemel Hempstead properties have been marketed for 48.7% longer.

Homes sell the fastest in Rugby after just 85 days, followed by Sale at 95 days, and Edinburgh at 97 days. In contrast the slowest market is in Aberdeen at 320 days, followed by Sunderland at 279 days and then Durham at 264 days.

‘A slowdown in sales across the country reflects the wait and see approach exacerbated by these marathon Brexit negotiations but it’s not a reality for everyone. Robust demand means buyers across a healthy cross section of Britain are ensuring homes aren’t hanging around for long in relative terms,’ said Charles Haresnape, chief executive officer of Gatehouse Bank.

‘We know that first time buyers are still active and that’s thanks in no small part to stamp duty reliefs and Help To Buy. This is helping to keep the market turning over, not just in the fastest markets but equally so in those areas where a slight slowdown means they are being encouraged to drive a harder bargain,’ he added.

Source: Property Wire

Technology and the property market: Here’s how it affects buyers and sellers

One of the main things that technology has allowed for, and this has been the case for some time now, is getting more people to see property listings on various online platforms. In the old days you were restricted to what was printed in your local paper, and then it was only the most basic details and the a grainy image of the facade. In the online space the browsing experience is exponentially better and way more comprehensive.

Technology is there to enhance the property experience. To a large extent online listing platforms allow potential buyers to house hunt without leaving home. At the same time it allows sellers to be more realistic about their expectations. It makes the process of doing your homework before buying or selling a lot easier, as the online platforms give you a fair, aggregated view of what’s happening in a particular market.

Online platforms are a cost-effective way of marketing a property to a vast audience, with all the relevant information – from erf size to estimated rates – available right there. It’s simply become the first port of call when buying or selling a property and the industry and consumers are better off for it.

A closer view

Countless industries are abuzz with questions around whether augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) or similar technological advancements will transform the business as we know it.

We’re always exploring new ways in which we can improve the experience of buying and selling property for our clients, and to ensure our trusted property advisors stay on top of their game.

In discussions around the impact of technology on a particular industry it’s important to consider the technology readiness level of that particular industry, bearing in mind that buying a property is significantly more intricate than ordering a pizza. We’re excited about the complementary role technology plays in the property market at this stage.

There appears to be unanimous agreement that the one thing technology can’t replicate or “take over” is empathy, a fundamental trait for healthy personal and business relationships.

Property in particular is a complex service industry, with myriad legal and financial requirements that require patience, empathy and even enthusiasm that only a human being can offer.

Trusted property advisors bring their experience, expertise and empathy to the table in a facilitating role, one that continues to be of crucial importance as they work to ensure the needs of buyers and sellers are satisfied.

Source: BizCommunity

What Makes Property Attractive to Buyers

Homeowners wanting to sell their property in Nigeria will be at a distinct advantage if such houses have some form of outside space, property owners whose houses are in remote areas, no matter how solid they look may not be attractive compared to buildings in the cities where population is surging like Abuja and Lagos. 

Perhaps, spurred on by the gloriously hot weather last summer or the trend for homegrown vegetables, city dwellers are looking for a patch of sun to call their own. This makes wealthy Nigerians who wants to buy homes usually look for property with enough space and back slot to create serenity that befits their social status. However, beauty they say, is in the eye of the beholder and this certainly holds sway in the world of real estate.

Homebuyers make up their minds about a property in the first few minutes. For you therefore, to sell, be sure your home makes that vital first impression. New painting does wonders. Make sure the front yard is flawless with manicured lawns and attractive foliage. Add a hanging basket or some flower pots at the door.

The front door is also critical, so make sure that the hardware is presentable. Some may prefer modern architecture and a contemporary lay-out and finish, while others may only be interested in buying period properties offering lots of charm and history. But while everyone’s preferences and tastes differ, there are a few fundamentals that one could find most buyers to compromise on, no matter what the style of home. There was a time when air-conditioning and heating were considered luxuries.

These days, developers wouldn’t dream of building an apartment or new home without some sort of climate control. Home Buyers expect older houses to have these features, too. If you are thinking of selling your home and you have an older style air-conditioner, one that makes a heck of noise and does very little cooling, it is time to upgrade.

You are not likely to have a buyer immediately, so you must meet the taste of the buyer for you to anticipate quick enquiries that would lead to instant sale.

If your house has solar panels, then buyers will be impressed. Not only has the expense already been laid out, but it means the heating bills will be much lower, which makes the property even more attractive.

Modern conveniences make a difference. Australians for instance, have penchant for great outdoors and while many of us are happy to live in apartments very few are willing to go without some kind of outdoor space.

Whether it is a small section of concreted balcony or a patch of grass outside the villa unit, people will seek out apartments with outdoor areas. Apartments in large skyrise complexes are the obvious exceptions, and that is why many of these just won’t appeal to owner occupiers or downsizing baby boomers because they don’t want to live in a hotel room-like apartments.

Buying and selling property is an expensive business and most people hope to stay in their property for a reasonable amount of time.

Don’t forget buying a home is in many ways an emotional decision, so it’s important to give buyers that warm and fuzzy feeling. Keep the temperature in the home at a comfortable level. Light some candles in the bathrooms and make sure it smells nice and clean.

Have fresh flowers around the house. A home that offers scope to build, extend or develop is attractive because it allows the buyer to modify the property to suit his changing needs. As no one wants to live in a suburb that feels like a ghost town, a property that is within short walking distance of public transport, shops, schools and cafes will tend to do very well indeed.

Buyers do not want to live on top of railway stations or shops, just close by will do. Many downsizers will tell you that they want to live among the action. That they don’t want to be out in the suburbs, and are willing to swap a large home for the teeming streets of the inner city. What they are referring to here is being close to the lifestyle attractions of the inner-city. But what they absolutely do not want is the noise.

A property that is close to the action, but without any of the accompanying noise, will always be in demand. It is not always possible to buy a house with a car space on title, but most buyers will put this pretty high up on their checklist. Where you will be at a disadvantage is if you are selling a property in a location where it is common to offer a titled car space, such as an apartment in a middle-ring suburb.

Many of these unit blocks offer titled car spaces, and a good consultant would never recommend buying an apartment without one. Not only will you be parking on the street, but you will face a real hurdle in standing out among the competition when it comes time to sell (or rent it out as an investment).

Make them feel welcome, but don’t go too far. Too much personality, for example in the form of personal possessions and family photos makes it hard for buyers to visualize living in the space. Make sure your property is clutter-free for all your viewings.

This will make your home look and feel bigger, and the buyers will be able to imagine how they could make the space their own. Make sure that there is a clean, logical flow through the home by getting rid of all excess furniture. Less is more. This is another way to make your home seem more spacious.

Open all your curtains and flood the space with natural light. Make sure the darker rooms are also lit. Invest in some light fixtures and fittings, and place them strategically to illuminate even the gloomiest of areas.


Slap on a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color to give it that blank canvas look but do not be too sterile. Have some contrast in the trim as well as the ceiling. Neutral colors make properties appear lighter and brighter, so take advantage of this inexpensive and easy option.

You may also add color with decorative window coverings, rugs, and towels. Your home should be spotless. Make sure the beds are made and the countertops are free of clutter. The dishes should be put away and nothing should be scattered on the floor. Don’t forget to tidy your garden too. Cut the shrubs back, sweep the patio, and wipe down the backyard furniture. It is easy to forget things such as broken doorknobs, cracked tiles, holes in walls and damaged but buyers will notice them first thing as they are walking around your home.

Maduka Nweke

FG concessions 750kw solar power to Proserve Energy

The Federal Government has concessioned the 750 kilowatts (KW) solar power system that will energise the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power House) building in Abuja for 10 years to Proserve Energy Services Limited.

The Power Purchase and Concession Agreements were presented to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) yesterday. ADVERTISEMENT The Permanent Secretary Power, Mr Louis Edozien said it was a pilot project and that government would not rest until energy begins to flow from Power House and many other facilities through the innovation.

The tripartite agreement documents were signed earlier by the ministry, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC and the concessionaire, Messrs Proserve Energy.

Presenting the agreement documents to ICRC, Mr Edozien said, “It is my pleasure to mark the landmark we have achieved by handing over this documents to ICRC to be the custodian and regulator for the transaction.” The Managing Director and CEO of Proserve, Dr Abba Ibrahim assured of the company’s commitment to delivering a quality project along with his technical team as the Engineering, Procurement, and construction (EPC) partner in Germany were ready to deliver the project in six months.

Dr. Abba said the firm was ready to handle the financial, construction and operational risks.

The Director General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah represented by the acting DG, Onwodi Emmanuel said it was a milestone project as it is getting to commercial close, and after that, the project will begin.

Source: By Simon Echewofun

CSCEC completes construction of US $1bn Great Mosque in Algeria

The China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has successfully finished the construction work of US $1bn Great Mosque of Algiers which is set to break new global records.

The Great Mosque of Algiers also represents the new peak of the many accomplishments made by CSCEC’s Algerian branch. In 2011, the company won the bid for the project of the Great Mosque, which was the largest among the companies’ overseas projects in its history.

Great Mosque of Algiers 

According to CSCEC general manager, Zhou Sheng it was a great challenge for the company to manage the cost. “You cannot finish the design and engineering at the beginning; the engineering work will be done along with the execution of the construction,” he said.

As a carrier of Islamic culture, the mosque is decorated with complicated stone carvings, wood carvings and plaster carvings of Islamic style. For example, there is a praying wall of 300 square meters with vast details on the east side of the praying hall.

The project will be the world’s third-largest mosque by area, after the pilgrimage mosques in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Its 265-metre minaret (a slender tower used to call Muslims to prayer) will, however, be the tallest in the world, overlooking the Bay of Algiers. The grand mosque, which will include a one-million book library, a Koranic school and a museum of Islamic art and history, would be a “one-of-a-kind.”

The project employed about 2,300 construction workers, engineers and managers. An additional 17,000 people were employed indirectly as subcontractors. The mosque will now be the world’s third biggest by area and the largest in Africa. The two largest mosques are The Sacred Mosque of Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina: both considered the holiest sites in Islam and accustomed by millions of Muslim worshipers and pilgrims every year.

Source: By Teresia Njoroge

Protest rocks Alausa over Supreme Court verdict on Agidingbi Community

Baale, community leaders disown judgment-creditor, seek govt’s intervention Scores of community leaders and residents of Agidingbi area of Ikeja on Thursday embarked on peaceful protest against the judgment of Supreme Court which awarded ownership of 398 acres of landed property in the community to a traditional land-owning family, Akinole-Oshiun.

Agidingbi residents and community leaders protest against a Supreme Court judgement on their properties at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa on Thursday, 2nd May, 2019 The possession order is said to cover a large section of the Lateef Jakande Road, Acme Road, Fagba Close, and other streets around the area, totaling over 2000 buildings.

The protesters, who marched from Agidingbi to House of Assembly complex in Alausa, said Akinole-Oshiun family, which is the judgment-creditor in the case, had already given them seven days ultimatum to vacate their houses, urging the government to quickly intervene to avert bloodshed.

They displayed placard of various inscriptions such as “There is no ancestral link between Akinole and Agidingbi Land, Land Grabbers are enemies of Lagos State,” among others. Leader of Ojodu Legislative Arm, Hon Wasiu Bolaji-Seidu who is also a community leader in Agidingbi said the news of the possession order came to the community as a big surprise as nobody from the area was served with the court process that led to the judgment.

He said: “On Friday, they (judgment-creditor) brought a judgment and placed it on our houses and said they have taken over the entire Agidingbi land. The issue is Agidingbi was not mentioned in the judgment; nobody from Agidingbi was part of the case and I don’t know how you will enforce a judgment against a person that was never part of the case. “Agidingbi has been in existence for over 200 years ago.

I was born and bred in Agidingbi; my forefathers were born and bred in Agidingbi and I don’t see any reason why somebody will just wake up and say they are the owner of the community. “I am over 50 years; my father lived for over 90 years in this community before he died; my great grand-father died at the age of 150 years and I don’t know where Akinole is coming from and we have people like Habibatu Mogaji who was the Yeye-Oba of Agidingbi; we have Femi Okunnu who is our father in the community and we don’t know where Akin-ole came from.” He particularly urged the State Government to activate the provisions of the Anti-Land Grabbing Law of the State, and prevent the matter from degenerating into a full blown crisis.

“To the best of my knowledge, I know that Lagos State has enacted a law duly signed by the Governor prohibiting land grabbing in the State because this is a clear example of such case.

That is why we are here to call on the Lagos State House of Assembly to look into it and find a lasting solution, failure of which there will be bloodshed,” Bolaji-Seidu said. Also speaking, Baale of Agidingbi, Chief Ganiyu Ayinde Haruna, said they were embarking on the peaceful protest to call the attention of government to the silent crisis that is brewing in the community.

Narrating how it all began, Haruna said: “On Friday last week, we woke up to see people posting possession order on our property and we don’t know these people. We have been living here for several years and the issue is we don’t know this family that is laying claim to ownership of our land. “We have never heard any relationship with this Akinole family and so it is surprising to us. Nobody knew anything about the court case.

I mean how can you enforce court judgment against a party that was never part of the case? We are peaceful people and we are urging the Lagos State Government especially Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the House of Assembly to intervene urgently in this matter because we don’t want bloodshed in our community.” Bayelsa Assembly passes pension bill for gov, dep gov, Assembly members Also speaking, an 83-year old resident and Iyalode of Agidingbi, Evang Dorcas Faworaja said her great grand-parents were born in the area, therefore the claimant cannot just come from anywhere and lay claim to the community. Receiving the protesters, Deputy Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon Olumuyiwa Jimoh commended them for conducting themselves peacefully, assuring that the House would look into their case.

“Let me assure you that we are going to look into your petition without any fear or favour and I can assure you also that you will receive judgment at the end of the day,” Jimoh said

Source: Vanguard

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