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Why Government Should Support the Building Industry

Ayodeji Ake

Calling the attention of the government to the crawling building industry, the Managing Director of Knightstone Properties Limited, Mr. Adeniyi Adams, has said the government can score political goals not only by campaigning into offices but also investing in the building industry. Adeniyi lamented that the building industry seconds the Information Technology (IT) industry in massive labour employment, yet the government is paying little or no attention to them.

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Addressing journalists at the recent unveiling and handing over of 20 units of houses developed by Knightstone Properties Limited, he said government interventions in the building industry in terms of regulation of foreign exchange, mortgage systems and loans will sky rocket the industry. “In terms of building, government can score political goals. This industry is big and serving a good purpose. The government can support in various ways. Even If the pension fund can be used to support this industry, that will go a long way. The government really needs to support the industry”, he said.

Speaking further on mortgage system, Adeniyi said a larger percentage of the population are in the informal sector who has been disenfranchised of acquiring a land or buying a house because the mortgage system does not cater for them.

“We are not yet serious bridging the housing gap because if we are serious, we should address the issue of the mortgage system. The mortgage system is a not catering for the informal sector and that’s where we have the population of people on the street, the market people, and others into business. But because they don’t have proof of income, the mortgage system doesn’t cater for them,” he said.

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

Urging the government on swift intervention in the building industry, Adeniyi stated that Nigeria has the capacity of churning out houses in low prices to curb housing deficit if only the government can assist the industry. “We should be delivering bungalows at three to four million naira if all things being equal but it’s practically impossible when everything is on the high side. We really need the government to come to our aide,” Adeniyi said.

NESG Seeks Special Intervention Fund on Mass Housing Devt

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Infrastructure Policy Commission (IPC) of Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has advocated the need for Nigeria to develop a special intervention fund that would help to subsidize the cost of mass housing development.
This is even as the group rejected the current 17 million housing deficit, adding that one of the cardinal responsibility of government is to guarantee the security and welfare of the people.

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Member of the Committee, Engr. Kashim Ali who disclosed this yesterday when he led members on a courtsey visit to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) headquarter in Abuja noted that ‘citizens cannot be said to be secured when they lay under the bridge’.

He noted that the essence of the visit is to seek for effective collaboration with FMBN since its the foremost institution on mortgages and housing delivery in Nigeria.

According to him, “We also want you to consider the recommendations made in the last NESG summit especially the ones that concerns the urban and housing development sector”.

Ali who is the president of Council for the Registration of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) further sought FMBN backing in enacting laws on titling, foreclosure and construction of housing projects .
He noted that such laws should be protect investors, developers and home buyers.

Reacting , the managing director of FMBN, Arch Musa Ahmed Dangiwa recalled that the bank participated actively in the last economic summit as one of the discussants on housing and opportunities in low cost housing.
He added, “We are happy to receive your indication of interest to partner with us towards enhancing affordable housing which is one of your key focus”.

Dangiwa maintained that FMBN has improved the turnaround time on access to loan saying that the bank has reduced the ease of doing business to enable people access loans as quickly as possible.

The 12th Abuja International Housing Show…………Our Commitment To Sponsors and Exhibitors.

A cross section of respected International Real Estate Practitioners will return to Abuja for the 12th Abuja International Housing Show on 16 – 19 July, 2018.

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Firmly established as the leading event in the West Africa Real Estate / allied market, the Abujahousingshow will again attract more that 15,000 targeted visitors to meet with 250+ local and International exhibitors.

I am so excited and can’t wait for the opening ceremony of Africa’s Largest Housing and Construction Expo. Our list of sponsors keeps growing daily and only a few exhibitor spots are available. Due to increasing demand, we are negotiating with International Conference Centre, Abuja for more exhibition space.
This year show is co- organised with the Abuja Metropolitan management council with the support of FMOPWH, AUHF , FMBN, NMRC , NHFP, DANGOTE Cement,MBAN and REDAN.
Whether you are specialized in Building Materials, Real Estate Development & Construction, Roofing, Facilities Management, Tiling, Mortgage Finance, Real Estate Sales & Management, Manufacturing or Legal Services, insurance products, commecial banking, alternative Energy the 12th Abuja International Housing Show is the ideal platform to showcase your products in front of a targeted audience.

With over 250 exhibitors from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and the Middle East, Abuja intenational housingshow (AIHS) is the sub continent’s largest international real estate Expo. In addition to your exhibition booth, AIHS will provide you with numerous additional opportunities to efficiently interact with local and foreign buyers throughout the 5-day show.

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

Become a sponsor of 12th Abuja International Housing Show and tower above the competition. Enhance your presence, pre and post show, by leveraging on the powerful and targeted Housingprogram On’tv, one of the many promotional media channels of West Africa’s premier Real Estate event.It is going to be mega deals in real estate and Home interior businesses.Exhibit, Make sales and connect at the Africa largest Housing Festival.visit www.abujainternationalhousingshow.com to hear the testimonies from exhibitors and participants at the previous shows.

NBA gives Lagos seven-day ultimatum to reverse Land Use Charge

Oladimeji Ramon

The Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, has given the Lagos State Government a seven-day ultimatum to reverse its recently introduced hike on Land Use Charge.

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The Chairman of the NBA branch, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, disclosed in a statement on Wednesday that the association was set to embark on a mass protest tagged, “Hell Tax Must Go,” against the “Pharaoic tax regime.”


Ogunlana said the NBA was strongly opposed to the LUC, which it described as an “excessive and arbitrary tax regime” calculated at turning Lagos State into a “toxic environment and a living hell” for Lagosians.

He said the association would give Governor Akinwunmi Ambode till next Monday to retrace his steps on the LUC, failing which its members would hit the streets on Tuesday.

Africa Promises Good Investment Opportunity Says Elumelu at WEF

Mr. Tony Elumelu, group chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and one of Africa’s top businessman, has stressed the need to change the African narrative while concentrating on the myriad of opportunities inherent in the continent, stating that its economic transformation and stimulation should be the focus of all governments and global institutions.

This, he said, is paramount if the continent is to take its rightful position as a strong regional player in the international community, owing to its numerous investment opportunities.

Elumelu, who is the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the time had come for governments on the continent to put things in place to ensure that the continent which has great potential, lives up to it; adding that already, there are signals of the greatness all around.

Speaking during Richard Quest’s programme on CNN  aired on the sideline of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, he said; “the time has come for us to prioritise our young ones, who are the future of this great continent. These are the men and women who are energetic in Africa and who can perform wonders if the enabling environment is there.

“We need to get it right with infrastructure in Africa and with the macro-economic policies and environment. And the good thing is that things are gradually falling in place. I think Africa promises good investment opportunities, the problem has always been creating the right environment for it, and this should be our major focus.” Elumelu stressed.

He added that in Zimbabwe, for instance, there have been recent concerted efforts by the government and the people to change the narrative, adding that “I am optimistic about what is happening in Africa right now, because our leaders are getting it right and in fact what has happened in Zimbabwe is also an indicator of great things to come. The fact that they on their own decided to sort things out the way they did, is a new kind of democracy that the world needs to learn from. “There is so much private global capital looking for the right destination, they can go to Zimbabwe as in other African nations, once the right environment is put in place.”

READ: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

While pointing out that the blame game which previously obtained in the continent should be done away with, Elumelu called for increasing support from the private sector as well as key stakeholders to make Africa and African self-sufficient.

Throwing more light on this, he said; “We can’t keep talking about missed opportunities. What I keep saying to people is to put an end to the blame game. Let’s begin to fix what needs fixing and get things right. Our government should get it right, the private sector should come forward and we need to support the young African entrepreneurs; create economic hope and opportunities for them.  “We need to think of how to engage Africa in the 21st century because it is no longer about giving grants and aid to Africa, it is more about engaging them in a way that creates self-sufficiency; independence; and reduces the perpetual syndrome of dependence.

Continuing, he said “There is promise; it is getting better because the way this year has started in Nigeria for instance, we have seen market indicators showing good promise, so we are optimistic that it will be better year. The Key is to prioritise things that are important to us to help the continent to grow.”

– Nigeria Communications Week

Property investors prefer tourist rather than urban areas in Greece

According to the findings of a survey conducted by pollsters Kapa Research for the Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA), a large percentage of property owners are finding it difficult to pay real estate taxes. Only 21.6% of the respondents said that they would be able to pay the unified property ownership tax (ENFIA) next year, compared to 25.4% who said they were unable to cover the tax. 38.3% responded they would find it difficult and 14.7% refused or did not know what to answer.

The data recorded that most of the property owners received late rents and a significant percentage does not receive delayed rent payments from their tenants, with a large portion not receiving any rent at all. The survey also revealed that the majority of real estate owners reduced rents, subscribing to the notion that it is best to get less than nothing at all. 76% have decreased rental rates over the past three years.

  • 30.2% intend to sell some property in the next two years, while 76.4% noted they do not intend to buy property in the next two years.
  • 76.8% consider property taxes to be unfair, while 63.3% of the respondents argue that leasing property is a net loss.

READ: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

Furthermore, a long-standing trend in Greek society where investors valued more urban real estate (Athens, Thessaloniki, large urban centres) seems to have been reversed as an increasing number opt to invest in tourist areas.

Tech Leaders Show Support For Ambitious Housing Bill

Silicon Valley is facing a major housing crisis and San Francisco’s state representative, Scott Weiner, has proposed a (very) ambitious bill to allow much more construction. Now, his proposal, SB 827, has the backing of dozens of technology leaders, from Linkedin’s Reid Hoffman to Salesforce’s Marc Benioff.
“The lack of homebuilding in California imperils our ability to hire employees and grow our companies. We recognize that the housing shortage leads to displacement, crushing rent burdens, long commutes, and environmental harm, and we want to be part of the solution,” notes the letter, sent in collaboration with the pro-housing group, California YIMBY. “The housing shortage places a huge burden on workers, many of whom face punishingly long commutes and pay over half of their income on rent.”
Regular readers know that I’ve been very skeptical of past attempts to fix housing, because prior solutions didn’t go nearly far enough. San Francisco alone needs hundreds of thousands of units to make a significant dent in the cost of housing, yet many proposals only add tens of thousands over too long a timeline. Cities need to fundamentally overhaul their landscapes to have any chance at affordability for all income levels.
Weiner’s bill takes this fact seriously and removes zoning restrictions on almost the entire city of San Francisco, Oakland and many smaller suburbs dotting the bay area.  Currently, for instance, height and density restrictions make it more or less illegal to build medium-rise apartment buildings in much of San Francisco (hence why there are so few apartment buildings in the western half of the city).
SB 827 removes many of these density and height restrictions for any areas around “major” transit routes, allowing for buildings up to 45 feet around the suburban areas of San Francisco and 85 near large streets with frequent bus routes.
Tech leadership alone won’t get the bill through California’s legislature. California Governor Brown had similar support on a housing proposal to accelerate building through local approval boards, but was ultimately defeated due in no small part to labor unions who were not happy with how Brown’s bill guaranteed wages for construction workers
By Forbes

Over 370 vacant homes bought for social housing

More than 370 vacant houses and apartments have been bought using a €70 million fund established a year and a half ago to provide 1,600 homes for social housing by 2020.

The Housing Agency was allocated €70 million in July 2016 under the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland housing action plan to buy vacant houses for tenants on social housing waiting lists.

The agency targeted portfolios of distressed properties held by banks and investment companies, primarily private equity funds, with the aim of “bulk-buying” homes in batches to secure discounts. Most of the homes were former buy-to-let properties, but did not have sitting tenants, the agency said.

After the agency buys properties, it sells them on to approved housing bodies, which use a mixture of State and private funding to finance the purchases. The agency then uses the proceeds of the sale to replenish the €70 million fund.

To date 260 houses and 114 apartments have been bought for a total cost of €67.2 million or an average of just under €180,000 each – significantly below market prices, agency chairman Conor Skehan said.

“We can get incredible value, because we’re buying in bulk, and financial institutions, and what some people might call vulture funds, come to us, because they know they get a dead straight player. They know we’ll pay on time so we get great value on behalf of the public.”

In need of work

Just 30 of the homes have so far been sold to housing organisations, with €5.8 million recouped for the fund. However, Mr Skehan said, while formal sales have yet to be completed on most of the properties, the majority have already been handed over to housing charities and have been allocated to tenants.

READ: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

“These homes aren’t lying empty. In some cases they have needed work, particularly ones that were vacant for some time, but most we have passed on to the AHBs [approved housing bodies] under caretaker agreements, which allows them to get the tenants in while they sort out the financing.”

The agency hopes to have secured €20 million by the end of January in sales to the housing bodies.

Simon Brooke, director of policy with Clúid, the State’s largest housing association, has described the process as “painful” and slower than expected.

“We have yet to secure any units through the scheme. Because many of the sales involve receivers, there are legal problems to sort out. There was one estate in Tipperary we had hoped to buy but that’s now completely on hold because a legal challenge was taken against the sale,” he said.

“We would hope the scheme could move reasonably quickly, but it has been an extremely painful process, but that’s the painful thing about housing, it’s always a very slow process.”

NMRC and Modern Shelter Partner to Deepen Access to Affordable Housing

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Nigeria’s foremost mortgage underwriter has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Modern Shelter Systems and Services Limited (Modern Shelter),a pioneer mortgage brokerage and real estate marketing firm to leverage their respective comparative advantages to address the removal of barriers to home ownership for offtakers. These barriers include but are not limited to issues such as equity contribution constraints, access to mortgage loans and delivery of qualitative and affordable housing.

The partnership agreement, which was executed on the 25th of January 2018 will see NMRC and Modern Shelter working together towards the provision of housing finance, training, research, advisory and project structuring to increase housing stock that will drive mortgage creation and penetration in Nigeria, using alternative financing mechanisms that align with NMRC’s underwriting standards. The agreement is also expected to promote knowledge, technological transfer and support that grants Modern Shelter access to and use of NMRC’s flagship Housing Market System (HMS) as a means of mortgage prequalification and source of investment for construction finance.

According to NMRC’s Managing Director/CEO, Professor Charles Inyangete, in driving mortgage penetration and influencing housing stock development the company has invested substantial sums of money in providing and improving policy requirements and Information systems’ infrastructure that will assist market players like Modern Shelter and Brains and Hammers to make affordable housing delivery and access to finance scalable hurdles, as a result of the refinancing support that the agreement will prov
ide through NMRC’s member lending financial institutions.

READ: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

On his part, the Managing Partner of Modern Shelter Mr Abdulmalik Mahdi noted that Modern Shelter considers NMRC to be a major stakeholder and pillar in driving home ownership through mortgage refinancing in addition to innovative technology. He further stated that the partnership with NMRC would facilitate access to alternative finance investors and improve Modern Shelter’s ongoing engagement with Sterling Bank and Jaiz Bank using non-interest mortgage banking structures. He added that Modern Shelter has partnered and works closely with reputable developers such as Nigeria’s foremost housing developer Brains & Hammers Limited, Earthpoint Development Services and others to ensure availability of good and affordable housing stock for clients of different income brackets.

The Chairman of Modern Shelter, Mr. Adebola Sheidu who is also Chairman of Brains & Hammers, noted that the MoU and engagement would tie in with the proposed delivery of various projects by Brains & Hammers. The company is working to deliver over 5,000 housing units over a 5-year period across key states in Nigeria. These include, Brains & Hammers City Abuja, Jubilee Estate, Iganmu Lagos and a proposed housing spin – off of the landmark Kano Economic City project. He assured of Brains & Hammers capacity to deliver the housing stock needed to fuel this partnership.

The partnership has the huge potential of improving mortgage finance standards, particularly for the informal sector; it will also better enable NMRC’s member Banks to further create assets that will in turn drive refinance activities, add value and expected outcomes to first time home owners and attract non-interest investors into the housing and real estate sector.

NMRC EMPOWERS 45 INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDP)

In the bid to meet up with the 17 million deficit in the Housing sector in Nigeria, the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) graduated 45 Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) trainees as part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), the Skills Empowerment Training which covered three sub sectors within the building construction industry were in Masonry (Block Making/Laying), Plumbing and Electrical installations.

The training which was sponsored by NMRC and coordinated by the Industrial Training Fund Abuja Area office is first of its kind in the series by NMRC. The event kick started and was declared open with a welcome address by the Executive Director of Policy & Strategy, Dr Chii Akporji  followed by  the head of the Industrial Trust Fund (ITF) represented by Mrs Evelyn Irabor  who charged the trainees to utilize the opportunity which will help them chart a new cause for their lives especially  when they get back to their respective locations. The CEO/M D Prof Charles Inyangete advised the trainees to take the skills they have learnt to heart as a valuable asset that can take them through the next phase of their lives. The MD also said that the empowerment training will be a continuous exercise.

Prof Inyangete  promised to create opportunity for internship for the graduands in other to enable them horn their skills as the two months training was short and not enough to fully equip them with the rudiments  needed in the construction industry as well as provide market for the skills acquired.

Mrs Evelyn Irabor presented the certificates to the graduands alongside the M D of NMRC,  Professor  Charles Inyangete  which was also followed by the presentation of working tools for the trade.

READ: 13 Reasons Why you Should Exhibit at the 12th Abuja International Housing & Construction Show 2018

The trainees thanked NMRC and ITF and also suggested that the same gesture should be extended to other IDP camps in Goru and in other camps.

One of the displaced persons, Enoch Yohanna, an assistant coordinator of Nelson Mandela skills center located within the camp thanked the organizers on behalf of the graduands for their support but called on the federal government to do more in alleviating their sufferings as the government has not provided the camp with any form of infrastructure. He stated that the camp lacks basic infrastructure as the only source of portable water was provided by NMRC two years ago. At the end of the event, Mr Philemon Emmanuel coordinator of the camp also thanked  NMRC.

The IDP camp is located in Kuchingoro part of the F C T and houses the Internally Displaced Persons who were sacked from their village of Goza in Borno state and Muchika in Adamawa state by the most dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram. The camp is made up 4,000 refuges comprising of  450 Children, 1573 Women and 1977 Men respectively.

By Martha Habu

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