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Eid-el-kabir: FG declares Monday, Tuesday public holidays

The Federal Government has declared Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th August as Public Holidays to mark the 2019 Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Barr. Georgina Ehuriah, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated the Muslim faithful on the occasion .

She called on all Nigerians, at home and in diaspora, to use the period of this year’s Eid-Al-Kabir celebration to embrace the virtues of love, humility, peace and sacrifice as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

She urged Nigerians to shun any form of disruptive tendencies and join hands with the Federal Government to build a peaceful, strong and united Nigeria so as to achieve an enviable Next Level of growth and development.

According to a statement by Director (Press & Public Relations), Mohammed Manga, the Permanent Secretary reaffirmed the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, adding that Security Agencies under the Ministry have been directed to ensure the provision of adequate security, before, during and after the Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

She restated government’s desire for all Nigerians to live a life of sacrifice, charity and love for one another.

Bar. Ehuriah wished Nigerians a happy, peaceful and fulfilling Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

Source: thenationonlineng

Four Undergraduates Dead as Campus Bridge Collapses in Bauchi

…ATBU shut down to mourn victims

Four students of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU) drowned on Tuesday when a bridge within the main campus of the university located in Gubi,an outskirt of Bauchi metropolis collapsed.

It was learnt that the incident, which occurred around 12:00am, also left seven injured.

It was gathered the tragedy struck when some of the students were leaving the campus after reading overnight in preparation for exams.

The incident was said to have occurred as a result of a heavy downpour in the state which lasted for several hours.

The bridge, which linked the university and the hostels, was reported to have collapsed under the heavy current of the water underneath.

The incident has however triggered a protest among the students, who blamed the tragedy on the school management for turning deaf ears to several pleas to fix the deteriorating bridge.

An eyewitness who spoke with the Nation in confidence said distress calls put across to the management asking them to come for help were not responded to as at the time the incident occurred.

The student said some of her friends in school were still missing in the aftermath of the collapse bridge.

She said further that they have alerted the school authorities over the weak bridge and the poor road network leading to the varsity but no action was taken.

The Student Union President, Naziru Mohammed reportedly escaped been lynched by the irked students who protested the death of their colleagues.

Our correspondent who also visited the scene of the accident as at 9:30am on Tuesday morning saw some of the security personnel and students searching underwater for missing persons where the iron bridge collapsed.

But the management of the varsity has blamed the tragedy on lack of funds to rehabilitate the bridge.

Confirming the incident, the Vice Chancellor, Muhammad Abdullazeez of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State said it has made several
pleas for fund to rehabilitate the weak bridge but nothing was done.

He, however, said the varsity has been shut down as it declares 12 days mourning over the death of the four students.

The Vice Chancellor, Muhammad Abdullazeez, who spoke to journalists at a press conference on Tuesday in Bauchi State also confirmed that seven students were injured in the tragedy.

But he could not confirm the total no of the students missing saying rescue efforts were still in progress.

He said that the full details of the incident were still being awaited.

Source: thenationonlineng

Building Approval: Visit sites before issuing certificate to developers – Okowa

Says Structures on waterways would be pulled down

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has warned officials of the Ministry of Lands and Surveys to avoid issuing building approval certificates to property developers without visiting such sites to know whether they are on roads or waterways.

According to the governor, any official of the Ministry who engages in such action will face sanctions as this administration has set out to demolish structures on the waterways, especially in Warri, Uvwie and environs.

He spoke on Monday  in Asaba when he received the Final Preliminary Report Of The Committee To Study And Advise Government On Measures Required To Tackle And Control Flooding Of Effurun/Warri And Its Environs In Delta State.

“There is a lot of challenges if we are to ensure that the water will be properly discharged from our towns and cities; it is more disturbing during  the rainy season; our planning department needs to do it right because, for any building that has no building plan will be pulled down.

“Henceforth for any building plan for approval, those who are in charge of the approvals must go to site; people must be alive to their duties and not just sit in their offices and approve building plans because, for our people who are building on natural waterways, the structures will be pulled down.

“If there is any marked building, the people must stop the construction and it must be enforced; It is our desire to reduce the level of flooding in Warri, Effurun and its environs, what we are doing in Warri, Uvwie and environs is as a result of issues raised during the townhall meetings and as a state government we are committed to starting the project.

“We are going to hold proper stakeholders meeting because, from what I see, the property on the waterways are much and we have to bring them down; flood has chased people out of their houses and we have to get it right for our people,” he said. Earlier, Engr. John Onwualu had in his presentation, observed that “large part of the flooding in Warri, Uvwie and environs is caused by blocked drainages, overgrown weeds on water channels, and developers building on the waterways, otherwise,  there are natural waterways in the area.”

He noted that 101 flood prone areas and 13 natural courses have been identified in the area. Some of members of the committee include, Engr. Joe Omatsola, Chief Emmanuel Okumagba, among others.

Source: vanguardngr

Union Homes REITs Posts N561m Gross Income on Higher Rental Income

… To pay N1.75 per share dividend

Fund holders of the Union Homes Real Estate Investment Trust will receive N1.75 dividend per share for the financial year ended December 31,2018, an increase of 133 percent over 75 kobo per share dividend that was to fund holders in 2017. The fund managers realised N561 million as gross income last year in spite of the negative sentiment that pervaded the market.

That was 5.81 percent higher than the gross income the fund made in 2017. The major component of the gross income for the period was the rental income which added up to N263 million during the reference period, representing 47 percent of the total incomes made by the UH REITs and an increase of 29.18 percent when compared with the rental income generated in 2017.

The manager of the fund also cut down its cost of operations, especially its management fees to N177 million which was lower by 13.70 percent when compared with what was charged in 2017. Net income made by the firm rose by 23 percent to N363,650 in 2018 from N294,706 that was realised in 2017.

However, the fund’s net asset value (NAV) fell from N12.72 billion in 2017 to N9.78 billion in 2018 due to swap of properties during the year.

“Basically, properties were sold in exchange for shares. The shares subsequently cancelled and a book profit of N600 million resulted’, Patrick Illodianya, manager of the fund said.

 

“Compliance with the asset allocation requirement of the fund (90% in real estate related investment and 10% in liquid asset investments) as at 31st December, 2018 was 85.9% in real estate investments and 4.7% in real estate related, while 9.41% was invested in the liquid asset. The REIT improved in the portfolio mix for the year 2018”, according to a statement issued by the fund manager.

The fund manager optimised the market dynamics in the real estate segment going by a higher demand enjoyed by 1 bed and 2 bed flats near the city. This is in addition to the retail trends that support the development of mid-sized shopping centres.

Source: businessday

Nigeria’s Pension Contributors add N186.43 Billion to Pension Asset

Pension fund assets in Nigeria increased by N186.43 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to push the total pension assets to N9.03 trillion.

This is according to the analysis of the Summary of Pension Fund Assets recently released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) covering the first quarter of 2019.

The breakdown: According to the PenCom report, the total monthly pension contributions received from contributors from both the public and private sectors hit N5.28 trillion as at the end of the first quarter, 2019. This shows an increase of N186.43 billion, representing a 3.66% growth over the total contributions in one quarter.

During the first quarter of 2019, the total contributions received from the public sector amounted to N93.80 billion (50.31%) while the private sector contributed N92.63 billion (49.69%).

 

Pension Fund Investment: In the first quarter of 2019, the total pension fund assets grew from N8.64 trillion as at the end of December 2018 to N9.03 trillion as of March 2019, representing a growth of 4.55% (N393.06 billion). The growth indicates an increase in the quarterly growth rate compared to 3.49% for the previous quarter.

  • Over the years, a larger chunk of the pension fund has been invested in FGN securities, which are regarded as safe with low investment returns.

  • In the first quarter of 2019, FGN Securities still accounted for 72% (N6.5 trillion) of the total pension fund in Nigeria. Items listed under FGN securities include FGN Bonds, Treasury Bills, Agency Bonds, Sukuk Bonds, Green Bonds and so on.
Pension Industry Portfolio as of March 2019

Schemes Membership: Further breakdown shows that the pension industry recorded a 1.87% growth in the scheme membership during the first quarter of 2019, moving from 8.47 million contributors at the end of the preceding quarter to 8.63 million.

  • According to the PenCom report, the growth in the industry membership was driven by the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Scheme, which had an increase of 158,853 contributors representing 1.89%.
  • However, membership of the Closed Pension Fund Administration (CPFA) Scheme declined by 16 members (23,316) while the Approved Existing Scheme (AES) membership remained unchanged at 40,951.

A breakdown of the RSA registrations indicated a 0.87% (31,508) increase in
RSA membership from the public sector during the first quarter of 2019 to stand at
3.6 million, which represented 42.49% of the total RSA registrations.

  • In addition, private sector membership increased by 2.65% (127,345) in the quarter under review, which brought total registrations from this sector to 4.9 million representing 57.51% of total RSA membership.
  • PenCom noted that the growth in RSA membership can be attributed to the increased level of compliance by the private sector as a result of the various steps taken by the Commission to improve compliance and coverage, as well as the marketing strategies of the PFAs.

Withdrawals from RSA: During the quarter, approval was granted for payment of N4.51 billion to 10,733 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work and unable to secure another job within 4 months of disengagement.

  • The cumulative total number of RSA holders who were paid benefits for a temporary loss of job was 313,468 and were paid a total of N107.93 billion being 25% of the balances of their RSAs as prescribed by the Pension Reform Act 2014.
  • Further analysis showed that the private sector accounted for 95.38% of those who benefitted from these payments while the public sector accounted for 4.62%.

Source: nairametrics

Climate Change: NITP To Address Planning Strategies

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has said it plans to address the issue of climate change as it affects the country’s environment.

The institute said the move was part of its commitment towards promoting sustainable development of the country’s environment and protecting it from the impact of climate change phenomenon.

The 1st National Vice President, NITP, Mr Toyin Ayinde, said the institute had established the Nigeria Green Cities Summit as an avenue to address these issues.

According to him, the summit, which is a biennial event, has as part of its principal goals, bringing together stakeholders across various sectors of the economy and groups, including multi-lateral bodies, to brainstorm on the key challenges confronting the urban environment.

Ayinde said the theme of the maiden edition, scheduled to hold in Abuja between August 27 and 29, would be ‘Brown to green: Enhancing wellness and livability’.

He said, “As you are aware, one of the issues that have received global and national attention is that of climate change and the need to evolve adaption strategies for combating it. The level of degradation experienced in Nigerian major cities, arising from abuse of the environment, has been compounded by the unplanned rapid urbanisation and decayed infrastructure.

“There is no indication that the scenario will be reversed within a short time. Hence, the need to create a forum whereby key players and actors in city development will discuss, examine, analyse and evolve solutions to matters of environment-friendly settlements.”

He explained that among other things, the summit would 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 said it would also stimulate stakeholders to taking mitigation and adaptation activities for identified problems.

“Participants at the summit, many of whom have confirmed their participation, are local and international individuals/organisations, representatives of Ministries, Department and Agencies of federal, state and local governments, manufacturing/industrial concerns, multi-lateral agencies, professional associations, consultants and civil society organisations. About 260 participants are expected at the three-day event,” he said.

Ayinde said renowned experts would also speak on various thematic areas such as change and city resilience; new urbanism and green economy; sustainable land use planning and urban Design; as well as green building and smart construction.

Others, he said, would be green transportation and walkability; public health, waste management and safety; and green space, recreation, tourism and livability.

“The summit is to be declared open by the Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, who has shown substantial commitment to promotion of green in major cities of the state, since he assumed duty two months ago,” Ayinde said.

Meanwhile, the institute has inducted 139 new town planners.

According to the President, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof Layi Egunjobi, this brings the total registered town planners to 4,753 while those that are registerable stand at over 3,000.

At a training workshop for the inductees, Egunjobi said he was confident the new members would serve as the messiahs of a resurgent urban and regional planning profession ready to move along proactively.

The President, NITP, Mr Lekwa Ezutah, urged the inductees to adhere to the vision, mission, aim, objectives and core values of the institute and TOPREC law including the professional ethics and code of conduct.

He said the period of impunity had gone, adding that violations of ethics in any form would be meted with appropriate sanctions and followed up with employers of labour ensuring the disciplinary measures were implemented to the letter.

Source: punchngng

Legislators Lift Abuja Property Market

Despite apparent uncertainties surrounding the economic health of the housing sector in major cities, Abuja property market appears to have rebounded, with the juicy accommodation package granted the legislators by the Federal Government.

Following the payment of their welcome packages, many of the Senators, their House of Representatives counterparts and assistants who are new comers to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have besieged offices of notable estate surveyors and valuers as well as popular agents in search of accommodations.

Every four years of the election cycle, about 70 per cent of them are first timers. Some of them now have to do with hotel accommodations till suitable residential apartments are found.

According to the prescription of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in its Remuneration Package for political office holders, each senator is entitled to a combined furniture and accommodation allowance of N10,132,000 on assumption of office. While the accommodation allowance is N4,052,800, and furniture allowance is N6,079,200.

Similarly, each member of the House of Representatives, is entitled to N9.926, 062.5, comprising furniture allowance of N5,955,637 and accommodation allowance of N3, 970,425.

The development has increased activities in the market. Nigeria Real Estate Report 2019 released by Ubosi Eleh and Company, an estate surveying and valuation firm, projected that letting and sale of real estate will pick up from March to September in Abuja. After September, the tempo will drop by at least 60- 70 per cent and completely flatten out by the first quarter of 2020.

It is estimated that another 200 rental properties in the range of N1million- N2million per annum will be in demand to satisfy the needs of their aids and numerous assistants.

The report further projected that properties prices between N40 million – N69 million will experience increased demand. “Our market indicates that this demand could easily reach as high as 120 – 150 units of detached houses, terraces, bungalows and flats,” according to Mr. Chudi Ubosi, Principal Partner, Ubosi Eleh and Company.

It was learnt that steadily rising housing rents in many of the FCT highbrow areas, have been worsen by the coming of the prospective tenants to the administrative capital, especially in areas such as Asokoro, Maitama and Apo Quarters.

The issue has reignited the discussion whether to build permanent legislative quarters and do away with monitisation policy. Notwithstanding the crave for residential apartments, the vacancy rates in those highbrow areas have remained high due to the high rents fixed for such properties.

Source: guardianng

Surveyors Push for Blockchain Technology in Real Estate

Experts have canvassed the deployment of blockchain technology to advance transactions, the profession and boost transparency between practitioners and clients.

According to them, the use of the technology would go a long in mitigating severe lack of transparency, closeness of the sector to certain people, high taxes/investment fees, lack of liquidity in the industry, delays in transaction speed and issues of pricing commitments.

Blockchain technology is a time-stamped series of immutable record of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles or chain.

The decentralised-record-keeping technology, which is designed to instill trust in the authenticity of digital transactions, could be used to create efficient solutions for both commercial and residential real estate, from buying property to conducting due diligence and to enabling crowd-sourced investments. It is useful in property management, off-plan sales, property technology process (PROTECH), smart estate management using Internet of Things and more.

Speaking at its Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Nigeria Group’s second continuous professional development series titled, ‘Blockchain: The brick & mortar of its growth in today’s world’, the Managing Partner, Blockchain Asset Management, Deji Soetan said the blockchain as one of the emerging technologies brings in several utilities into the real estate ecosystem.

This, he stated include the smart contracts which could protect owners from property fraud. He said through the technology, it is possible to link the digital ownership of individuals’ property, documents, and contracts directly to the blockchain stressing that once inside the blockchain, it is impossible for it to be tampered with or altered.

He reinforces believe that the technology would soon gain notoriety even in the least expected industries. Soetan explained that everyone who is part of the network can see all the data that is stored inside the blockchain and every single piece of data can be traced right to its very origin. He also said the process permits immutability of records as data inside the blockchain cannot be tampered with because of cryptographic hash functions.

The ICT expert declared that the proof of the technology’s merit was seen in the development of a excise trade management solution for the Nigeria Customs Service. The proposed solution, he added enabled the business processes within the excise trade to be automated to create better revenue assurance, optimum efficiency and transparency utilising the Blockchain technology.

“Within the context of payments, introduction of smart contracts into blockchain real estate ledgers and transactions, has clear potential in streamlining various real estate processes, such as releasing apartment ownership, or rental documents upon a completion of a crypto-currency transfer. One important area where it would be used is in the speed of transaction because nowadays, the process is still slow making it be so archaic and needs to be modernised”.

Source: guardianng

NIESV Tasks Heads of Practice on Exemplary Leadership

The President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Rowland Abonta has urged fellows and Heads of Practice, to show exemplary leadership and represent the profession well at the nation’s seat of power.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting for the Fellows and Heads of Practice, of the institution at the weekend in Abuja, Abonta appealed to surveyors to work hard to keep the flag of professional estate surveyors high in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).He commended the stakeholders for their contribution in sustaining the profession, adding that they occupy very important in history, as this is the first time the FCT branch is producing the National President of NIESV since inception.

Speaking on the topic, ‘’Improving Professional practice in the period of economic challenges”, the guest speaker, Osas Aigbekan said the nation’s economy is faced with low budget performance, high debt profile totalling N24.9trillion, collapsed manufacturing and industrial sectors and poor infrastructure among others.He observed that these had impacted negatively on the profession leading to low valuation from banks due to poor lending, increased accommodation vacancies, drop in property values and poor remuneration for professional services.

Aigbekan urged members of the profession to develop positive brand names, solid customer base, good customer a and employees relations and also leverage on technology for effective and efficient service delivery Chairman, Abuja chapter of the institution, Charles Oghenoro Ebiai said in spite of the economic challenges in the country, surveyors should work hard to unlock the potential of the FCT and improve their on relationships wither their clients .

Ebiai described as a welcome development the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in some estates around Lokogoma area FCT by the FCDA, noting that though it was a good idea that government went into mass housing , the people in charge of approving development started giving people plots without considering the terrain .

The chairman said government should look into the matter and ensure that the developers compensate the house owners to ensure that they do not loose out completely. Ebiai who lamented that there are so many empty houses in Abuja city centre due to high rental, said, ”Government sold houses to civil servants but they resold the houses and moved to the hinterland and made rentals go high.

The rent in the outskirts is now almost at par with the city centre because the middle class has moved to the outskirts and there is a high demand for houses there”.”In Lagos, there are houses that are going for daily, weekly and monthly rent and we need to implement this, the rental of any property in any environment is as a result of demand and supply”, he added.

Source: guardianng

EFCC Probes Land Sale in Festac II

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced investigation into illegal land sale in Festac Phase II after a recent tour of the areas to ascertain the extent of land grabbing.

The commission a few days ago mounted caveat signpost in the area, saying that status quo should be maintained on the 1,126 hectares of land.

The caveat read in part, “This is to inform the general public about the illegal sales, economic sabotage and unlawful alienation of Federal Government land in Festac Phase 11 by unauthorised persons.

The fraudulent transactions of the unauthorised persons and their representatives are presently under scrutiny by the EFCC.

“This is therefore to notify members of the public and any interested party to be wary of any transaction involving any portion or part of the land as such transactions will be visited with the wrath of the law.”

The spokesman of the EFCC, Mr Tony Orilade, told journalists that the commission was investigating the matter.

“We are investigating the matter you are talking about and at the appropriate time, we shall make our findings known to you and other members of the public,” he said.

Festac Phase II has been under contention between the Federal Housing Authority Kuje-Amuwocommunity which had a few years ago secured a court judgement against the FHA over a disputed portion of the area.

Source: punchng

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