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Afriland Properties Plc CEO, Uzo Oshogwe, Wins African Prize for Leadership Excellence Award

The Managing Director/CEO of Afriland Properties Plc, Uzo Oshogwe, has won the 2018 African Prize for Leadership Excellence in the Real Estate category. The prize was awarded in recognition of her commitment, sterling leadership and contribution to Africa’s economic growth.

The 3rd edition of the awards took place at the Banquet Hall of Sheraton Hotel &Tower, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. While receiving the award and certificate bearing the seal of African Mark of Leadership Excellence on behalf of the awardee, the Director of Business Development, Henry Omoike, appreciated the advisory board for the honor and recognition of African leaders who have contributed immensely to the advancement of the continent.

The African prize for leadership excellence is organized by the African Institute of Leadership Excellence in collaboration with Fast Track Brand Communication & Strategy, publisher of African Leadership Review with support from NEPAD and Forbes Africa magazine.

The  advisory board comprises leading business representatives from diverse industries including Professor Pat Utomi, Professor Mande Samaila, Professor Wendy Ngoma, Dr. Aminu Ahmed, Mr. Anahul Pal and Professor Tunde Samuel.

Afriland Properties Plc is a property management, investment and development company, offering end-to-end services along the real estate value chain, from management to joint-venture investments.

With a portfolio size of over N15 billion and one of the largest land banks in Nigeria, Afriland is pioneering the opportunities presented by an institutional approach to real estate, serving niche markets throughout Africa.

 

NMRC reorganises, appoints new chairman

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC) has appointed Charles Adeyemi Candide-Johnson SAN, and Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, as substantive Chairman and the Managing Director respectively.

Johnson takes over from Dr. Charles Okeahalam. Also, the company’s Executive director in charge of policy, Strategy and Partnerships, Dr. Mrs. Chika Akporji, has also retired while Mrs. Anino Emuwa, a non-Executive Director, stepped down from the company’s board.

Until his appointment, Mr. Johnson was NMRC non-executive Director, and a senior partner at Strachan Partners – a leading commercial law firm based in Lagos and Abuja. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1984 and conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in September 2003.

Ogundimu was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and acting Managing Director, prior to his appointment as the substantive Managing Director. Ogundimu holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Ibadan and obtained an MBA from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years work experience in financial services (secondary mortgage and diversified banking), energy and public accounting.

Ogundimu is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holder.

The Company’s new Chairman and Managing Director, both come with wealth of experience acquired over the years, and are expected to oversee the affairs of the company, with a clear mandate to grow the primary and secondary mortgage markets and promote home ownership in Nigeria.

They are both proponents of the value chain approach to tackling the challenges facing a market comprising multi-faceted and complex operators, systems and processes along a supply and demand continuum.

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company was conceived as a major institutional and financing intervention for the country’s housing sector, with the mandate of providing liquidity to mortgage lenders.

Originally published in The Guardian

FMBN recovers N5.4b debt, set for recapitalisation

In less than two years, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has recovered N5.4billion bad loans from debtors. The loans – N2.4billion and N3billion were recovered in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
FMBN Managing Director, Ahmed Dangiwa, an architect revealed that the bank used the services of recovery agents, who also restructure some debtors loans while recalcitrant’s ones have been reported to the security agencies for necessary action.

Dangiwa who spoke during the bank’s 2018 management retreat in Kano on the theme: “Improved Transaction Turnaround Time: Getting it Done”, said the management renewed strategies to revive bad loans is slowing down the bank’s investment and largely obstructing policy implementation targeted at financing affordable housing scheme for Nigerians.

While lauding the working relationship between FMBN and Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property, Dangiwa said explained that interim report received from the panel indicated that estimated N43billion bad loans would be recovered in the next 18 months.

He also revealed that after 12 years of failed attempts at institutional restructuring, the management’s proactive stakeholder engagement drive has resulted in the successful passage of key amendments to the Laws establishing the Institution and the National Housing Fund (NHF) by both chambers of the National Assembly.

The amended laws, when assented to by the President, would birth a new, more independent and financially stronger FMBN with a robust capital base of N500 billion. The additional liquidity and operational flexibility will greatly enhance FMBN’s capacity to more effectively deliver on its mandate to provide access to affordable mortgage finance for home ownership by Nigerian workers.

He reported that the bank was strengthening its collaboration with its key stakeholders, especially the labour unions, whose members constitute the bulk of contributors to the National Housing Fund Scheme.

This has culminated in the commencement of a need-targeted housing delivery program across the country – the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme (NAHDEP) for Nigerian workers, in collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

His words: “Groundbreaking ceremonies have been done and construction work has commenced in earnest in five states, spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Others are in the pipeline as we intend to cover every State across the country. Part of the central focus is to establish a template for affordable housing delivery in Nigeria.

“Accordingly, the implementation concept is unique with the housing designs and bill of quantities (BoQ) directly commissioned by the bank to ensure the profit motive is greatly minimized. This template has given us the leverage to guarantee that the selling prices for the housing units range between N3.1million and N8.3million for one, two and three bedroom flats.”

Meanwhile, Kano State Government is poised to collaborate with the FMBN to address housing deficit in the state.

Kano state Deputy Governor, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna stated this when he received the bank’s management team to his office.

He said the state government is committed to ensuring that people in the State, especially the civil servants avail themselves of the housing contributory scheme.

He noted that over 2,000 low cost housing units constructed by the state government for civil servants and other low-income earners to reduce housing deficit.

Originally published in The Guardian

Simple Ways to Decorate Your Home this Christmas

When some houses shine brighter than the rest and you hear the sound of carol verses alternating with refrain, then you know Christmas is near. There’s something special about this season; the weather gets colder, roads get busier (at least in Lagos), clothes and jewelries leave retail shelves faster than they came in, tunes change on your favorite radio stations and of course, you’d feel it in the air.

One of the ways to get in a festive mood is to make sure your immediate environment reflects this. The living room, bedrooms and kitchen should remind you what season it is.

If you’re thinking of how to get your home ready on a budget, here are simple ways to decorate your home this Christmas.


Christmas Tree

This may sound cliché, but not setting up a well-dressed Christmas tree during Christmas is like not eating chicken on Christmas day. They are such a fun tradition and are automatically capable of changing the atmosphere, instantly giving your home a lift.

When choosing Christmas trees, consider the size, accent and height.


Headroom with stars

Especially when it’s a mix of bright colors of wood, paper or metal stars, who doesn’t love the exciting feeling of looking up at a starry headroom.

With these shiny shapes in various sizes dangling from your ceiling, your living room has never been readier for the holidays.


Candle Lights

Create a lovely lighting effect within your home. Ensure to buy battery powered LED candles for safety reasons.


Jazz up your Porch

When it comes to decorations, a second impression could correct the first. Your porch is like a sneak peak of your home, so you might as well make it striking. To create magic, add planters with mini trees.


Display Christmas Cards

Create a little space for your most beautiful Christmas cards. You could also get creative by using string lights make them look more festive.


Upgrade Your Flowers

Decorating with flowers is one of the simplest ways to transform your home to a Christmas paradise. When it comes to flowers, your colors and arrangements are key. Once you get these right, they burst with festivity.

Some of the perfect flowers are cranberries, white roses, red roses, carnations, lilies and tulips.

Photo credits

Pinterest
Elle Decor

Land Use Act: Experts seek review over abuse by state govts

Environmental experts have called for the review of the Land Use Act, saying it has been abused by state governments.

The experts submitted that current Land Use Act, which came into effect in 1978, has outlived its usefulness as it serves the interest of few privileged persons in government at the detriment of communities and the masses.

They said this on Friday in Calabar, Cross River State at the end of a two-day public lecture with the theme: ‘Policy intersection: Strengthening bottom-up accountability amidst land grabs in Nigeria.’

The lecture was organised by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of Earth Nigeria and facilitated by Dr Maurice Olory of the Community Forest Watch, Centre for Educational Services, University of Calabar.

According to Olory, who spoke on: ‘The Cross River experience- the need for a modern Land Use Act’, the Act has become oppressive as top government officials, especially governors, have resorted to using it for their personal gains.

He said, “The Act is oppressive and it gives too much power to governments, especially the governors who take land in the name of overriding public interest and divert it for their personal interest.

“There is, therefore, the need for the national framework and policy on land use and the need for a modern Land Use Act for the country.”

Presenting a paper on the theme of the lecture, the Head of Department, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Calabar, Dr Raphael Offiong, said over the years, many communities in Cross River State have lost their lands needlessly to the government.

“Over the years, with this Land Use Act, many individuals and communities in Cross River State such as Ekong Anaku, Mbarakom, Njaghasang among others have lost their land to government and multinationals without due consultation.

“The Land Use Act has led to indiscriminate entry into contiguous community land without due consultation, lack of restriction on land intake and lack of farm expansion leading to unemployment as the government acquires land for overriding public interest but transfer same without consulting the people.

“The Land Use Act has not done any good for the locals, there is a great extent of land grabbing, leading to the displacement of the rural inhabitants.

“The continuous land grabbing may lead to conflicts between multinationals and the rural communities in Cross River if urgent action is not taken to arrest the situation,” he said.

Originally published in The Punch

World Bank, others throw up competition for architects in low-cost housing

Following increase in natural disasters that have ravaged communities around the globe, a new search for architectural designs that will withstand such catastrophe has begun in earnest.
The World Bank, UN-Habitat, Build Academy, Airbnb, and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery are promoting the competition that majorly targets architects around the world to develop designs for resilient, modular and affordable homes that cost under $10,000 and easy to build.

Since 1990, natural disasters have affected on average 217 million people every single year. Hundreds of floods, storms, heat waves and droughts have left about 606,000 people dead and 4.1 billion injured or homeless around the world since 1995. And it is often the poorest that suffer the most from these shocks.

With 50 per cent of the building stock required by 2050 yet to be built, cities have an opportunity to adopt better housing designs and improve the quality of construction and planning to make them more resilient.

Senior officials of UN-Habitat believe that architects and engineers can design resilient and sustainable houses that both reduce the risk of damage and enable rapid reconstruction following a disaster.

Under the competition, the units target victims of natural disasters and people living in vulnerable areas to minimize the negative impact of natural disasters, save lives and help communities recover faster.

This initiative challenges architects, engineers, designers and aid workers to reposition housing at the centre of development agendas and promote the design of resilient, modular, low-cost and sustainable homes that reduce risks caused by natural hazards.

The proposed design is expected to be constructed rapidly following a disaster, thereby promoting achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 11 to ensure by 2030, access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.

The challenge is organized to address three possible scenarios: Island countries affected by earthquakes, storms and flooding; mountain and inland areas affected by earthquakes and landslides as well as coastal areas affected by storms and flooding.

Architects, engineers, and designers from all over the world can enter the competition as individuals or as teams. Designs may be submitted for any or all three scenarios and participants are encouraged to look beyond “fully prefabricated” housing designs and incorporate local building materials and techniques into their designs; designs could be fully, partially or not prefabricated with a clear aim towards ease of construction.

The designs should incorporate climatic conditions; integration of storage tank for rainwater collection is preferred; toilets should be environmentally friendly, attached or detached and housing material should be fireproof/treatable to be fireproof

Deadline for submission of designs is November 30, 2018. There is no registration fee for participation. A reputable international jury of experts will review submissions and announce winners on 14 December 2018. Winning designs will be exhibited at the World Bank in Washington and the UN-Habitat Headquarters in Nairobi and could eventually inform design of resilient housing or reconstruction work for World Bank-funded projects.

Originally published in The Guardian

Request for these Documents Before You Buy a Land

If you have ever encountered legal ownership claims after purchasing an asset, then you might know a thing or two about transfer of rights and why thorough background checks are vital. It gets unpleasantly intricate when the asset in question is land. You may lose everything.

Land ownership could get fiddly. One can gain, transfer, and lose ownership in several ways. To avoid disputes that would eventually lead to loss of ownership, there are some important documents you need to ask for before closing a deal.

We are happy to share some of them with you:

Approved survey plan

A survey plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. From this single document, you will get all the information you need on the land to conduct a search.

Ensure to verify the plan with its unique number. Also look out for the following to determine its authenticity:

• The name of owner
• Size of land
• Plan number
• Government stamp

Excision (where applicable)

The Land Use Act, passed in 1978 vested all urban land within a state in the state governor, and all non-urban land in the local governments in which they are found. Consequently, government has the power to acquire any land for public use now or in the future.

However, portions have been and could be ceded to original owners and families. An excision fully documents what has been taken and what is left for communities. Imagine paying for a land government has already taken.

There have been situations where the government seized land, even from owners who bought lawfully from families. An excision and gazzette will protect you from this.

Deed of assignment

A deed is any legal instrument in writing which passes, affirms or confirms an interest, right, or property and that is signed, attested, delivered, and in some jurisdictions, sealed. (Wikipedia). This definition shows how important it is to have one.

It is one of the most important documents in land transactions. This is evidence of the agreement between the buyer and the seller and a proof that this property has been sold to you. Without this document, nothing holds the seller legally.

Certificate of occupancy

Certificate of occupancy is a legal document that shows ownership and purpose of land. As earlier stated, the government owns all land and will issue this document when an applicant has met all the necessary requirements.

Also known as C of O, it is believed to be the most important document in land transactions because it gives the owner sole right to the property.

NIA plans forum to celebrate architecture

The Nigerian Institute of Architects has said it plans to bring its members and other professionals in the built environment together to celebrate architecture in the country.

In a statement by its Honorary General Secretary, Mr Sani Saulawa, the institute said one of its core objectives was to attain excellence in creative management of the physical environment and to mobilise informed membership for quality services.

Saulawa said the NIA’s 58th Annual General Meeting and Conference, tagged ‘Eko 2018’, with the theme, ‘Architecture and national regeneration’, would hold in Lagos from November 27 to 30.

He said, “The conference aims to be a premier venue for Nigerian architects, researchers, practitioners and stakeholders to share new ideas, original research results and practical development experiences for critical examination of architecture and in national regeneration.

“This will provide a clear step to see new innovation that is capable of producing alternative architecture technique. The conference is also aimed at bringing all architects across and beyond Nigeria together to celebrate the architecture profession.”

According to him, the conference will feature pre-conference workshop, exhibition and documentaries, and roundtable discussions focusing on challenges of national regeneration and architecture.

Originally published in The Punch

International council urges building code implementation

Pressed to develop buildings that are healthy and structurally safe, the International Code Council (ICC) has urged government to put in place modalities that would promote smooth implementation of building codes in the country.

ICC President of International Code Council, Nigeria National Chapter, Dr. Maurice Ngwaba, who stated this at the opening of a three-day seminar organized by the Nigeria chapter for professionals in built sector, explained that enforcement of the already developed codes by federal authorities will help to control incidences of building collapses, mitigate risks and improve the health of the people.

ICC is a global not-for profit organization with Nigerian chapter and dedicated to health and safety through the building of resilient infrastructures, code compliance, promote awareness of building international codes, educating on code development and usage. Ngwaba noted that the Nigerian building code was first developed in 2006 but lamented that 12-years after, people are yet to use the code en-masse due to poor knowledge of its essence.

He said that government should come up with the framework and structure on how the code could be shared out to people and how professionals in building could use it for improvement of the built industry.

“Objective of code is to bring about better planning practices on how to develop buildings that are healthy and support the welfare of the people. It’s the function of government to make code become law as well as create the structures that would enforce the code. ICC only brings people to come and learn on how to effectively use the code and improve the quality of life of the people”.

According to him, the association is not a code making body for any country because countries are entitled to develop their codes adding that ICC is sets out to promote the use of codes especially those that would be developed by Nigerians for domestic use.

In his presentations, ICC director, Mr. Dave Walls told participants that the body has given directives on how to build in coastal areas should be designed. He stressed that the essence of codes was to address negative impacts of building stresses such as; earthquakes, fire, flood, drought and climate change.

He told the gathering that to enforce codes, there is the need to educate and train the people/professionals, certify them in building processes, train stakeholders on building inspection and laboratory test processes for building materials.Walls also said that codes must be developed through a governmental consensus process with tenets such as; openness, transparency, balance of interest and due process. Earlier, NIA President, Njoku Adibe stressed the need for ICC to strengthen collaboration with regulatory authority like the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other local bodies.

Originally published in The Guardian

3 Ways to Maximize Profit on Your Rental Properties

Making high returns on your investments is not just a function of the size of your portfolio but also its efficiency and effective management. If your real estate investments don’t generate enough profit as expected, you need to restrategize.  Rental property can be a great source of income but it can also be a huge headache if not properly managed.

The biggest areas for improvement that will positively impact your profits are occupancy, on time payments and maintenance.

See below 3 ways to maximize profit on your rental properties.

Tenant Screening

The quality of tenants that occupy your property is like the foundation for everything and a key determinant of how your investment will perform.

As a rental property owner, it’s absolutely vital for the collection of your rental payments to be timely. Payment delays are not good for your business. Bad tenants may also damage your property and leave a whole lot to be repaired. To avoid this, you need to do a thorough background check to ensure you won’t lease to tenants who would give you problems. You need to follow the basic tenant screening practices to identify the loop holes and act accordingly.

The goal is to find quality tenants that take care of your property and also pay consistently while you increase the cash flow from your rental properties. Late payments, stubborn tenants and property mismanagement is not only a nightmare but also ensures you don’t get the best out of your investments.

Long lease

Tenant vacancy is always a huge issue for property owners. The longer the downtime, the more money you lose. One of the ways to manage this risk is to consider long lease.

You could reduce rental rates by giving discounts, depending on the number of years. This may lead to higher revenue especially if you give discounts and do a 3 to 5 year lease or more.

Some of the advantages of long lease also include the following:

  • It attracts serious renters who are willing to commit to your property.
  • Peace of mind knowing that there will be no vacancy for that period.
  • Not doing repairs yearly will increase your savings.

Choose a good location!

This is still as relevant now as it was in the past, if not more. Oh yes, we know you’ve heard it time and time again, but we’d say it again; location matters and it still tops the list of factors that determine profitability in real estate investments. Before you invest in a property, do your research to determine and have an idea of the value potential tenants are willing to place on the property.

Some of the factors to look out for are proximity to amenities, neighborhood status, scenic views, etc.

Contact us for unparalleled Property Management services and  property investment solutions that will improve your ROI.

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