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‘Investment in construction vital to economic growth, recovery’ – VP Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that the present administration has invested massively in the construction sector as a way to drag the nation’s economy out of the woes of recession.

Speaking at the 27th Biennial Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) in Abuja, the vice president, represented by the Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, said the theme of the conference: “Developing the Economy for Sustainable Growth- The Construction Industry as an Effective Stimulant’’ was a key component of the Change Agenda of the present administration.

He said apart from providing houses for the citizens and roads to facilitate societal integration and movement of goods, the construction sector also created wealth in the economy.

Earlier, the President of NIQS, Mercy Iyortyer, stated that the choice of this year’s theme was part of the institute’s ongoing efforts in contributing to the change mantra of the present administration in the area of sustainable economic growth and national development.

She appealed to the government to consider reformation in the sector by constituting a construction industry board or council comprising key players in the industry who would advise, plan and execute reforms that would galvanise the industry.

Originally published in Daily Trust

FMBN decries lack of data bank for housing sector

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has expressed concern over lack of reliable data base in the real estate sector and has therefore called for the harmonisation of various means of data collation in the country.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive, FMBN, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, at the Stakeholders Conference on the National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP) held recently in Abuja.

Dangiwa, who was represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services in the bank, Mr. Melville Ebo, pledged to support the Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN).

Speaking on the efforts of FMBN at diversifying its sources of funding, Dangiwa said the bank would continue to exploit other opportunities for providing affordable financing for home ownership.

He further said the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme remained the most affordable source of housing finance in Nigeria.

Dangiwa  said to ensure loan affordability among Nigerians, the bank had put in place a range of products that included NHF Mortgage Loans to finance affordable homeownership, FMBN Housing Cooperative Loan product, which is more amenable, to overcome the credit difficulties faced by the non-salaried/informal sector; and Home Renovation Loan, for the renovation or expansion of  houses.

He said, “All these are in addition to construction finance loan windows through the Estate Development and the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme run in conjunction with the FMBN’s supervisory ministry to boost the supply of houses for mortgage creation.”

He commended the initiation of the National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP) and pledged the support of the bank towards creating a reliable data bank for the housing sector.

The programme, he said, was closely tied to business focus of the bank in addressing the housing needs of the low and medium income market segment.

In driving homeownership among the low and medium income market segment, he said the FMBN had financed the construction of about 20,000 housing units nationwide, as well as granted more than 20,000 mortgage loans to date.

“FMBN equally registered 21,320 contributors through 1,078 cooperative societies as a strategy to integrate the non-salaried/informal sector into the Nigerian financial services, with the ultimate goal of doubling its NHF customer base in the medium term,” he said.

Dangiwa commended the initiative of the CBN and the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) for kick-starting the programme and assured that FMBN would commit both human and financial resources towards the success of the programme.

Originally published in Daily Trust

7 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Pests in Your Home

Household pests are uninvited and unwanted guests but they still find their way in anyway. Cockroaches, termites, ants, rodents, flies, mosquitoes, bugs, fleas! Sounds familiar? Apart from the uncomfortable feeling experienced just because they creep or fly from wall to wall, some bite, sting and even transmit diseases. Cockroaches are synonymous with dirt, poor hygiene and are suspected carriers of organisms that cause typhoid fever, cholera etc.

A research by the National Pest Management Association also shows that termites cause over $5 billion of damage to properties in the U.S. each year.

Chemicals and insecticides are often used but are not without health risks and they do not permanently solve the problem. Thus, families are becoming more aware of the harmful effects associated with these chemicals and are applying natural ways to deal with the situation.

Here are 7 ways to pest proof your home naturally:

Get rid of standing water

This is one of the most effective ways to limit reproduction and survival potential of mosquitoes in your home. Basically, water aids reproduction because they like to lay eggs in and around standing water. Female mosquitoes particularly like to lay eggs in water stored in manmade containers. If you have to store up water, make use of containers that can be covered.

This is also applicable to your surrounding and not just indoors.

Keep your bathroom and kitchen clean always

Pests are attracted to oil, filth, moisture, sugar, etc., so they seek access to kitchens and bathrooms through sewage and drain pipe or cracks in the slab.

These two seem to be the most common hiding and breeding sites for pests because they are probably the most used rooms in your home. The bathroom is humid and creates a conducive atmosphere for pests to survive while the kitchen usually contains food debris, unwashed plates and oil.

Kitchen tips

  • Pick up anything that falls on the floor right away
  • Cover trash can and empty regularly
  • Cook more slowly
  • Clean tiles with baking soda

Bathroom tips

  • Remove all the items that don’t belong in your bathroom
  • Disinfect and wash the toilet bowl regularly
  • Scrub tiles and corners always
  • Clean wall, windows, shower, etc.

Use Sticky Traps

Although this only traps crawling pests, it’s a very effective method of keeping pests away from your home.  Traps can also be used to gauge how bad your invasion is if there’s any.

This method works for cockroaches, spiders, scorpions, mites, rats and other crawling insects.

Lemon and Lemon Peel

Using fresh lemon or lemon peel will keep mosquitoes, ants and flies away. This also works for outdoor gatherings and parties.

Use Vinegar

Apart from being a good cleaning agent, vinegar is a great herbicide and provides a strong barrier for insects and spiders without toxins.  Through its natural acidity, vinegar gets rid of ants, spiders and other insects.

Vinegar can also be used as a bait. Fruit flies will flock to the jar and drown in the mixture.

Essential Oils

Essential oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus can help keep certain pests under control. Just mix of a few drops with water and spritz on bedding, carpets and rugs.

Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaner is a very effective pest control tool. Some pests such as bugs hide in the hardest places where they can’t be reached, vacuum cleaner would do the work of evicting them.

7 Architectural Wonders of Africa

Nothing defines a place as much as its architecture. In Africa, like every other continent, the art and style of designing buildings gets more competitive day by day.

Although places like Miami, Paris, Rome, Singapore and Amsterdam are known for their brilliant architecture, cities like Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi and Cape Town in Africa are doing really great and the continent has some architectural wonders you might not have heard about.

Here we go!

Mausoleum of Agostinho Neto (Luanda, Angola)

Mausoleum of Agostinho Neto is an architectural monument and remains one of the wonders of Africa because of it rocket-like structure.

Located in Luanda, the capital of Angola, it was built in honor of the first president of Angola, Agostinho Neto.

 

AU commission Conference Center and office complex (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

The tallest building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is the headquarters of the African Union and is 99.9 metres tall.

This $200million structure was funded by the Chinese government and was inaugurated in 2012.

 

1201 Ocean View (Cape Town, South Africa)

Located in Cape Town, South Africa, 1201 Ocean View is a 15-storey skyscraper.

 

National Arts Theatre (Lagos, Nigeria)

The National Arts Theatre in Iganmu is indeed an architectural masterpiece, not just for its significance but also for the exterior design which is shaped like a military hat.

Inaugurated by General Yakubu Gowon’s in 1973 and completed in 1976, the 23,000 square meters wide and 31 metres tall cultural landmark was constructed for the preservation of Nigeria’s arts and culture.

 

Alice Lane Towers (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Alice-Lane Towers is a 17-storey double tower structure, made with low-energy glass and state of the art glass-printing technology using curved and completely glazed façade, constructed out of concrete, glass and aluminum.

 

Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt)

This pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years and is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex.

The 146.7 metres tall pyramid is believed to have been built over a 10 to 20 year period around 2560 BC.

 

PSPF Commercial Towers (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

PSPF Commercial Towers is one of the tallest buildings in Africa and the tallest in Tanzania. The 35 floor and 150.8 metres tall building was built in 2014.

FMBN embarks on building models to reduce housing cost

The Managing  Director  of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, has said that  the bank  has introduced innovations that will lower the cost of houses and make them affordable to off takers.

He said this last week Tuesday at the occasion of 2017 World Habitat Day held  in Abuja.

Dangiwa stressed  that the FMBN is constantly devising strategies to reduce the cost of houses funded by the bank through the introduction of simple building models that are demand driven, cheap and expandable.

According to him, other strategies adopted by the bank are the introduction of the new rent-to –own mortgage housing arrangement that allows NHF contributors to own houses through payment of monthly rent which excludes payment of personal equity as against what obtained under the conventional NHF loan.

He further stated that the low interest rate of 6% and tenor up to 30 years of FMBN loans made it the cheapest and lowest in the country, adding that  the bank has given waiver on personal equity for funded estates priced N5m and below.

He said the bank is presently seeking for ministerial approval for downward review of personal equity of houses above N5m and N10m from the current 20% and 30% to 10% and 20% respectively.

He said, “FMBN has always advocated for the patronage of local building materials by professionals in the built environment as a means of lowering the cost of houses.”

He  called  on state governments to provide infrastructure to FMBN project sites in their states to reduce the cost of houses for their people and to also reduce the delays associated with issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).

Dangiwa also  appealed to the National Assembly to hasten passage of the bills seeking for the amendment of the NHF Act and the Land Use Act before them.

Originally published in Daily Trust

FG to revise national building code

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, has said that the national building code is being revised to curb the incessant cases of building collapse in the country.

He stated this at the commemoration of the 2017 World Habitat and World Cities Day held in Abuja?

The minister also said the ministry is undertaking urban and slum upgrading programmes to encourage housing delivery and improve the living condition of Nigerians.

He explained  that the slum upgrading programme is in partnership with UN-Habitat to implement a Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) initiative in Nigeria.

Zarma said, “This initiative has been adopted by the UN agency as a sustainable way of addressing the salient issues and challenges of slum situation in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries, and we are fortunate to benefit from it.”

He said three cities: Karu in Nasarawa State, Ifako-Ijaye in Lagos State and Onitsha in Anambra State have been profiled at the instance of the international agency.

“Other states namely Katsina, Yobe Rivers, Osun, Ondo and Kogi have further adopted the PSUP initiative, and successfully profiled some of their cities,” he said.

Zarma said Nigeria is at the second phase of the programme which involves implementation of prioritized projects to alleviate slum conditions in the profiled settlements.

“The ministry intends to replicate such urban development/prioritization studies and subsequently implement urban improvement projects across the six geo-political zones of the country in conformity with the development agenda of the current administration, and sustainable development goals of building, vibrant, inclusive cities and communities nationwide,” he said.

 Originally published in Daily Trust

NMRC partners LASG, developers to deliver 20,000 houses

The  Lagos State government has  signed a  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC) to deliver  20,000 houses, under the State’s Lagos Affordable Public Housing (L.A.P.H.) initiative, to help bridge the housing gap in the State.

The MoU executed on Monday  will avail residents of the State the housing  affordability and accessibility that NMRC provides through the refinancing of long-term mortgages.

The partnership with NMRC also includes Ibile Holdings Limited, the state’s investment company as well as some developers engaged by the state through direct and Joint Venture Initiative to deliver 20,000 housing units by 2018.

The Developers partnering with the State government and NMRC are Brains and Hammers Limited, EchoStone Development Nigeria Limited, Industrialized Mass Housing Development Company Limited, Multi-Purpose Infrastructural Development Construction Limited (MIDC) and Tact-Urban Infrastructure Developers Limited.

In his address, the Lagos state  Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, stated that in furtherance of the Lagos Affordable Public Housing (L.A.P.H.) Initiative of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration geared towards the construction of 20,000 housing units through Joint Venture Initiative (JVI), the Ministry is working on various modalities to ensure accessibility of the citizenry to these housing units.

Speaking Managing Director/Chief Executive of NMRC  Professor Charles Inyangete, said that the signing of the MoU  will ensure  homeownership for Nigerians a reality.

He said that  the MoU  will facilitate  titles  for the properties and the land on which the development will take place, with Lagos State committing to allocating to Developers appropriate land for the purpose of the development; while NMRC is committing to stand at the back end of the transaction to ensure that all the primary mortgage banks have funding available for the refinancing of the project.

Responding on behalf of the Developers, Mr. Adebola Sheidu, Chairman Brains and Hammers Limited, said that hard work and cooperation of both the public and the private sector is required in order to tackle the issue of housing deficit in Nigeria.

Originally published in Daily Trust

Global stock of investable commercial real estate hits $27.5tn

A recent investigation by CBRE has found that the global stock of investable commercial real estate assets to be worth $27.5tn.

The report also found that Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles are the world’s largest commercial real estate investment markets.

According to World Property Journal, CBRE examined the relationship between city market size and capital flows into real estate for 122 cities around the world and the research found that there is a high correlation between the size of a city’s real estate stock and the volume of investment into that city.

Among that key global findings are: Tokyo is the world’s largest single market with a total value of investable real estate of $711bn, followed by New York at $657bn and Los Angeles at $482bn.

Others are Paris are $342bn and London, $334bn as the biggest European markets while the top 10 cities accounted for approximately $4.0tn or 15 per cent of global investable real estate stock.

According to the study, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston as the largest five cities in the Americas represent $2tn of investable real estate; a figure that can be attributed to the free market nature of its economy and cities.

“Asia Pacific’s five largest cities of Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka, Sydney, Melbourne amount to $1.5tn, although it is worth noting that data was not available for all cities in the region, including China. The relatively lower total of $1tn in Europe’s five largest cities of Paris, London, Madrid, Milan, and Munich is attributed to the influence of national boundaries, land use planning, and regional support programmes,” the report read in part.

The research identified ‘outlier’ cities that do not follow the general trend and attracted either more real estate investment than the market size would suggest or vice versa. Markets that attracted more investment include relatively smaller US cities such as Tampa, Richmond, Austin and Charleston, while in Europe this trend applied to regional UK cities such as Edinburgh, Sheffield and Cardiff, as well as Oslo, Düsseldorf and Tallinn.

CBRE also investigated the ratio between the market size and the real estate investment inflow to establish the market’s liquidity. From cities with an average turnover of at least $10bn, London, New York and Dallas mark the top three most liquid markets, with respectively 8.6 per cent, 7.1 per cent and 7.0 per cent of stock traded on a yearly basis. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Paris closely followed, all trading above 4.8 per cent.

“The amount of stock available in each market is relevant to investors pursuing a global diversification strategy — a true market neutral portfolio needs to be weighted by city size. Most investors are not pursuing full global diversification, but many have a more tightly defined strategy such as ‘core real estate in global gateway cities’. It is important for these investors to know the relative size of the key investment markets to ensure portfolio balance,” said Chris Ludeman, global president, Capital Markets, CBRE.

Originally published in Punch

Afriland Properties Plc Takes the Best Offers to TEF Forum 2017

Over the last weekend, the continent of Africa stood still as we witnessed the largest gathering of African Entrepreneurs, TEF Forum 2017. Afriland Properties Plc, showcased an entire spectrum of property options on of­fer, from the affordable to the super luxurious.

Ensuing our purpose to improve lives by investing in the development, management and maintenance of world-class Real Estate offerings across Africa, our product exhibition at this phenomenal event stems out of our con­tinued efforts to create more awareness regarding all existing opportunities to Investors.

Spanning commercial to residential properties, some of the offers displayed include Raymond House (open office space on Broad Street), Caterer’s Court (Luxurious and fully furnished short let in Ikoyi), Afriland Guest House (Affordable hotel rooms in VI) and Afri-shops (affordable, ultra-modern lock-up shops in Egbeda).

Senate c’ttee appraises budget of housing ministry

The Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development has paid an oversight visit to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing headquarters in Abuja to appraise the level of implementation of the 2016 budgetary provision to the ministry.

This is however the first time the committee is visiting the ministry to carry out its constitutional responsibilities of oversight of the ministry operations.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State II, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, received the Senate Committee.

Suleiman expressed pleasure of the ministry to have the Chairman, Senator Banabas Gemade and other members of the committee on the oversight visit and solicited for their cooperation to guide and correct appropriately where necessary, so that the Nigerian electorates will enjoy the dividend of democracy under the present administration.

He enjoined the Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly to work in synergy on the implementation of Special intervention of Constituency Projects in their various localities.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Barnabas Gemade noted that the principle of separation of powers in a constitutional democracy requires that lawmakers carry out this oversight function regularly on the executive arm of the government.

The chairman added that this vital function of the Parliament with the cooperation of the Executive arm of government will no doubt boost development and good governance in the country.

He said, “Our nation is in dire need of improved level of housing delivery to our people as the need remains enormous.  We are keenly looking at how you are implementing new policies in enhancing this.’’

Gemade also said that the committee had paid similar visits to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) as agencies under the supervision of the ministry and solicited for a need for higher support to boost their operations in order to achieve their mandates.

In his presentation, the Director, Finance and Accounts, Ibrahim Tumsal informed the Senate Committee that only 43.7 per cent of budget implementation was recorded in 2016 based on funds released to the Housing sector of the Ministry.

Originally published in Daily Trust

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