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U.S. Housing Permits Jump to 2019 High as Low Interest Rates Spur Investment

U.S. housing permits surged faster than expected in July to the highest level this year as falling interest rates helped to make new-home construction more affordable for builders and buyers alike.

Permits in July jumped by 8.4% from June levels to 1.336 million, well above economists’ forecast for an increase of 1.27 million.

Housing starts, reflecting the actual start of new construction, fell by 4% from June levels  to 1.19 million, an indication of slowness in the housing market prior to the Federal Reserve’s recent signals that it was moving to cut U.S. interest rates for the first time in more than a decade.

The Fed lowered its official rate by 0.25 a percentage point last month to a range between 2% and 2.25%, and most traders and economists expect further reductions later this year.

At the same time, fears of a slowing global economy have sparked demand for U.S. government bonds, pushing down 10-year Treasury yields that many banks use as a benchmark for 30-year mortgages.

The lower borrowing costs are now attracting the attention of homeowners and shoppers.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications for new home loans surged 22% last week, as refinancing applications surged to their highest in three years.

But many homeowners are staying put in their current residences, limiting the inventory of homes on the market and crimping the pace of existing-home purchases, Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said this week.

So a surge in residential construction could help to provide an additional source of options for home shoppers.

Source: thestreet

Obasanjo Farms, others in FIRS list of 1901 tax defaulters

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has published names of businesses that have failed to comply with their tax obligations. The list which comprise of a total of 1901 accounts was published the FIRS website with the title Consolidated Tax Defaulters list.

The list which occupied a total of 586 pages list included Obasanjo Farms Nig. Ltd (Feedmill),  Coldstone Creamery limited, Yaba, Grand Square Supermarket and Stores Ltd, Slot enterprises, The Assemblies of God Nigeria, Payporte Technology Limited, Davido music Worldwide limited, United Capital Plc.

Others include Virgin oil limited, Nizamiye hospital, tescoequipments Nigeria limited, Marine golf shipping amongst others.

The service had earlier notified companies which had their bank accounts placed under Lien by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) pursuant to Section 31 of the FIRSE Act, that are yet to regularise their tax status with the FIRS, to do so within 30 days or the FIRS shall in accordance with Section 49 (2) (a- d) of the FIRSE Act proceed and enforce the payment of the said tax.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the above Section authorises the FIRS to proceed against and punish every officer, Manager, Director, Secretary or any person concerned with the management of the Company in like manner as if he/she had committed the offence” it added.

Source: dailytrust

Sanwo-Olu Announces New Cabinet, Allocates Portfolios

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday inaugurated his cabinet at the Lagos Secretariat, Alausa.

Below is the list of the commissioners, special advisers and their portfolios:


Commissioner for Finance -Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo

Commissioner for Education -Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo

Commissioner for Health -Prof. Akin Abayomi

Commissioner for Fiscal Planning and Urban Development -Dr. Idris Salako

Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment -Mr. Tunji Bello

Commissioner for Information and Strategy -Mr. Gbenga Omotoso

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA -Mrs. Bolaji Dada

Commissioner Energy and Natural Resources -Mr. Lere Odusote

Commissioner for Transportation -Dr. Frederic Oladeinde

Commissioner for Agriculture -Mr. Gbolahan Lawal

Commissioner for Housing -Moruf Akinderu Fatai

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice -Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)

Commissioner for Science and Technology -Mr. Hakeem Fahm

Commissioner for Ministry Establishment, Training and Pension -Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure -Engr. Aramide Adeyoye

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development -Mr. Segun Dawodu

Commissioner for Home Affairs -Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf

Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs -Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke

Commissioner for Commerce and Industry -Mrs. Lola Akande

Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture -Mrs. Olufunke Adebolu

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget -Mr. Sam Egube

Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations -Dr. Wale Ahmed


Special Adviser for Agriculture -Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya

Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement -Princess Aderemi Adebowale

Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Affairs -Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo

Special Adviser for Housing -Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka

Special Adviser for Drainage and Water Resources -Joe Igbokwe

Special Adviser for Innovation and Technology -Mr. Tubosun Alake

Special Adviser for Urban Development -Architect Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi

Special Adviser for Central Business Districts, CDB -Anofi Olanrewaju Elegushi

Special Adviser for Arts and Culture -Bonu Solomon Saanu

Special Adviser for Transportation -Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka

Special Adviser for Commerce and Industry -Oladele Ajayi

Special Adviser for Education -Mr. Tokunbo Wahab

Special Adviser for Sustainable Development Goals and Lagos Global -Mrs. Solape Hammond


Source: punchng

OYO Govt Reveals Plan To Provide Affordable Housing

The Oyo State Government on Monday said it would create new satellite towns to decongest Ibadan metropolis.

Mr Abdu-Raheem Abiodun, the state’s new Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, stated this in Ibadan shortly after assuming office in the ministry.

According to Abiodun, Ibadan has a population of over three million people, making it the third most populated city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano states.

He said the state government would acquire lands in communities to enable willing residents to have access to their choice of land at affordable rates in any location in the state.

”This will help decongest Ibadan and allow for developmental projects that will help beautify the capital city and spread to the other major towns in the state.

” The intention of the Gov. Seyi Makinde administration is to make housing affordable and available to the people of the state,” he said.

He, however, called on residents of the state to desist from erecting illegal structures on roads and stream setbacks.

Abiodun also warned against dumping of refuse inside rivers, streams and waterways.

The commissioner assured the people of the state of prompt process and dispatch of Certificates of Occupancy at an affordable cost.

Abiodun further admonished workers in the ministry to exhibit a high sense of responsibility in the discharge of their duties.


Town Planners Canvass Priority on Physical Planning to Complement Economic Development

Town planners under the aegis of Nigerian Institute of Town Planning (NITP) have called on government at all levels to prioritize physical planning to complement economic development.

The charge came at the institute’s press conference, which held at its secretariat in Alausa, Lagos on its forthcoming Nigerian Green Cities Summit with the theme, ‘Brown to Green: Enhancing Wellness and Livability’.

The first vice president of the institute, Toyin Ayinde, noted that Nigerian cities are cluttered and improperly planned due to the neglect of physical planning on the part of policy makers.

According to him, physical planning is paramount to economic development, as every policy decision must be carried out on land.

“As you are aware, one of the issues that has received global and national attention is that of climate change and the need to evolve adaptation strategies for combating it.”, Ayinde said.

“The summit shall develop strategies for combating the various problems militating against evolving energy efficient, green friendly, pollution free, livable and investment-friendly towns and cities across Nigeria”, he added.

The summit is scheduled for August 27 and 29, 2019 at the Central Bank International Training Institute, Abuja.

The NITP’s chief, who is a former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, noted that the high level of degradation seen in Nigerian cities emanated from abuse of the environment coupled with poor planning strategies to meet the fast-rising urbanization as well as inadequate infrastructure.

This, according to Ayinde, led the town planners to hinge the summit on how Nigerians can protect themselves and their environment from the adverse impact of climate change.

The 3-day event will hold plenary sessions, technical & panel discussions with case studies, and site tours.

According to him, 260 professionals from local & international organizations, private sector, delegates from ministries, department and agencies at all levels, multilateral agencies, industrial players, consultants and civil society organization, are expected to participate in the event.

Discussions at the program will centre on new urbanism and green economy, sustainable land use planning, climate change, green transportation, public health, waste management and safety, tourism and recreation among others. Experts across private and public sectors have been selected to facilitate the event.

According to the planning committee, the Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, will declare the summit open, given his relentless efforts to make his state go green.

Ayinde disclosed that Green City awards would be presented at the summit for managers that have shown commitment to greening, energy efficiency, smart construction and beautification.

Source: businessdayng

Buhari Reappoints Imoukhuede SSA on Job Creation

President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed the reappointment of Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation with immediate effect.

This was contained in a letter signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

In this role, Imoukhuede continues to oversee the implementation and expansion of the N-Power Youth Job Creation Programme of the Federal Government across the Federation and all other matters relating to the National Job Creation programmes of President Buhari’s administration.

The President commended Edo State-born technocrat on his record of extraordinary diligence and integrity in the first tenure as he charges him to do more in this NextLevel second tenure.

Speaking on his reappointment, Imoukhuede said it was a call to national duty which he must heed and carry out with all diligence and commitment.

“One must be proud to serve his fatherland and I am deeply humbled that the President has deemed it fit to allow me continue this onerous responsibility of creating jobs for our teeming young population,” Imoukhuede said.

Speaking further, Imoukhuede said: “I am committed to the implementation of President Mohammadu Buhari’s programme of job creation and youth empowerment and I thank the President for this unique opportunity.”

In a swift reaction to Imoukhede’s reappointment, the President of Housing Development Advocacy Network, Bar. Festus Adebayo, commended the decision by President Buhari to reappoint someone who had proven himself and deserves to be retained.

‘’I must say, he is one of the best senior special assistants this administration can boast of. He is young, dynamic, honest and very hardworking. We expect more from him for our sector development and job creation for more of our youths,’’ he said.


Buhari to Ministers: Let’s Work to lift Nigeria Out of Poverty

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday urged Ministers designate to join him to ensure a solid foundation that will lift Nigerians out of poverty within the next ten years.

The President stated this while welcoming Ministers designates to the Presidential retreat that formaly kickstart the next level government, charging them on the need for effective communication with their colleagues.

According to the President, “working as a team demands that we know what the next person is doing”, adding that “You must open communications with your colleagues. Lack of communication leads to lack of cooperation and sub-optimal performance”

All the 42 ministers recently cleared by the National Assembly had gathered at the old banquet hall as early as 9am defiling the early heavy rains

The President in his short remarks said ” As Ministers, I am counting on you together with Advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to build upon our road map of policies, programmes and projects that will lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity.”

“Our Administration’s eight years will have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the World’s Great Nations.” he said

He also charged to take full charge of their ministries ” for the development and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in your various Ministries, Departments and Agencies in line with Government priorities.

“You must also ensure that Agencies under your Ministries are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.

“Honourable Ministers-Designate, we must work as a team. Although you have been chosen to represent your states as a constitutional imperative, it is vital for all of you to work as Nigerians” he said.

President Buhari said the retreat will afford them opportunities to “Familiarize ourselves with our colleagues with whom we shall be working closely for the next four years God willing;

“Secondly, to reflect and assess the country’s position in 2015 and today; and thirdly, to chart a course for the country for the foreseeable future.

“All of you are appointed to assist and advise the President in running the affairs of our country. At the end of the Retreat, it is hoped that all of you will be in tune with the roles and responsibilities of positions you will occupy in Government. Many national issues require unified decisions.”

He described thier appointments as a “privilege” and urged them to” grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts as Nigeria today needs top managers to handle our numerous challenges.

“There will be long hours and you must be prepared to live laborious days if we are to serve our people optimally.

“We are all aware of the looming demographic potential of our country. By average estimates, our population is close to 200 million today. By 2050, UN estimates put Nigeria third globally behind only India and China with our projected population at 411 million.

“This is a frightening prospect but only if we sit idly by and expect handouts from so-called development partners. The solution to our problems lies within us.

Source: businessdayng

SGF Urges Cabinet Members to Consolidate on Government’s Success

Minister-designate in Nigeria have been urged to join President Muhammad Buhari in providing the leadership required in developing the country and lifting the bulk of the people out of poverty.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said this at the opening session of the induction retreat for Ministers designate, Permanent Secretaries and top Government functionaries, in Abuja, Nigeria.

He said the retreat was to prepare and sensitive the cabinet members on the status of policies, programmes and projects of Government as well as the road map towards the delivery of the priority of Mr President and the next level agenda for 2019-2023.

“The objective of this retreat is to prepare the new Cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure, having been chosen to drive and coordinate the affairs and activities of the various socio-economic and political spheres of our nation. This assembly will afford participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities as Cabinet Ministers, an understanding that will help to shape and streamline efforts towards achieving the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of Nigeria,” the SGF said.

Mr Mustapha added that the call to service also required the cabinet members to share in the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the SGF, the outcome of the retreat is expected to set a strategic agenda which would define the course of action for the next four years of the Administration, set achievable targets and identify basic strategic options that will assist the new Cabinet realise the goals for which the Administration was elected to achieve.

“The Federal Executive Council, referred to in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as the Executive Council of the Federation, is the principal instrument of policy decisions for the Federation, being the body charged with the responsibility for enunciating policies on matters to which the executive authority of the Federation extends.

“This principle of collective responsibility also infers that a Minister has responsibilities wider than those relating to his/her assigned portfolio and will, in that capacity, receive documents from other Ministers/Ministries, which do not concern the subjects under his/her portfolio, requiring his/her consideration and contribution during the weekly Council meetings,” Mustapha emphasised.

He said essentially, the retreat has been packaged to set the tone for continuous and meaningful interaction amongst Cabinet members, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions, which they supervise.

“We must ensure a consistent harmonious work relationship to serve responsibly, transparent in our conducts and accountable to the people we serve, if this Administration must fulfill its promise of taking Nigeria to the Next Level.

“Honourable Ministers designate, let me remind us that the task of governance requires patience, dedication and total commitment to the objectives we have committed to pursue, especially in realization of the yearnings for quick delivery of the dividends of democracy by the people,”he said.

He also encouraged the cabinet members to consolidate on the gains of the last four years of the Administration, identify the remaining areas that need to be addressed and remain committed to improving the lives of people by confronting the emerging challenges of climate change, resettling displaced communities, dealing decisively with the new flashes of insecurity across the country, and improving the economic conditions of the citizenry.

“The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has in the last four years done a lot to revamp the economy, achieve a corruption free society and provide adequate security for the people. It has laid foundation and taken bold steps in transforming the country and liberating our people from the shackles of poverty,” he added.

The SGF further enjoined them to live above board by eschewing every conduct, private or public, that would tarnish the good image of the President-in-Council.

Source: von

Awobodu Emerges President, Seeks Institute’s Recognition

To mitigate activities of quacks in the industry, the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has called on the federal government to give more recognition to professional builders in the country especially in the delivery of projects.

The new national president of the institute, Mr. Kunle Awobodu made the appeal during his inauguration at the 49th Builders’ Conference/AGM 2019, held at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He stressed that the government should institute the enabling law and implementation mechanism that would reverse the current inadequate involvement of professionals in building construction.

“With the volume of buildings being constructed in Nigeria, it becomes an irony when trained Builders are complaining of joblessness. This is an area the government should pay attention to. When buildings are falling frequently due to inadequate professional involvement in building construction, government should institute the enabling law that would reverse the current unacceptable construction process. We shall work together with the Government and also hold them accountable”.

He pointed out that the tragedy with the nation is that square pegs are deliberately put in round holes for selfish reasons lamenting that clueless and unpatriotic persons, who do not possess the natural passion to carry out an assignment are the ones usually saddled with a professional responsibility.

The president advised that government should endeavour to institute a system that would not sacrifice merit for mediocrity and pledged that the institute was effectively ready to collaborate with the government to ensure that the right people are assigned into the construction sector.

He disclosed that the institute would embark on international collaborations in order to equip members with latest construction technology and improved methodology while specialisation in different areas of building by members will be introduced so as to improve competence.

“This administration will sustain the ongoing nation-wide up-skilling of the old and training of new building artisans by the NIOB and Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) in line with the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) of the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) and with the support of the NSIO N-Power programme of the Federal Government”.

“If Builders are complaining about the Nigerian Construction sphere replete with quackery, we should proffer the competency that will encourage developers and clients generally to patronise trained Builders. In view of this, self-development and professional competency drive will be salient in the programme of this new NIOB administration.”, he said.

Awobodu also harped on the need for government to strengthen implementation of law to curb cases of building collapse in the country.

The newly elected members of the National Executive Council of the association for (2019 – 2021) include, Kunle Awobodu (President), Prof. Yohana Izam, (first Vice President), (Sir) Alderton Ewa, (second Vice President), Bimbo Kolade, (third Vice President) and Kenneth Nduka, (Immediate Past President)

Other are, Christopher Belonwu, (General secretary), Segun Dosumu, (assistant general secretary), Sadiku Sarki, (Treasurer), Yemi Adeoye, (financial secretary), Mrs. Fatimoh Osho, (registrar) and Akinola Bammeke, as the (publicity secretary).

Speaking during the conference, the wife of the former governor of Rivers state, Dame Judith Amaechi, a town planner disclosed that her foundation, the Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) has provided intervention in critical areas of the construction industry in partnership with development partners such as, the Niger Delta Development Commission, UNICEF, among others to train and retrain artisans in the construction sector.

Specifically, she said about 125 artisans have been trained in tiling, electrical wiring, screeding, POP, painting, Iron mongering, plumbing, home finishing skills and others while participants are awarded from internationally acclaimed institute from the United Kingdom.

She urged those in the building profession to lead the drive toward actualizing sustainable development by the year 2030. She also advised the NIOB to sustain its mutual relationship with ESI.

Source: guardianng

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