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Top 3 Kitchen Design Trends

Here are the top 3 kitchen design trends you might want to consider:

gray kitchen

Gray is the New White

While white cabinets continue to be tops, gray is the shade to break white’s top spot. The right coat of gray might be all you need to refresh the look of your kitchen. It creates an atmosphere of style and luxury, relaxing yet exciting.


black and white kitchen

Classic Black and White Palette

The appeal of a black-and-white kitchen never dies. Combined, these two colors are an unstoppable force of interior design perfection for homeowners everywhere.

integrated kitchen living spaces

Integrated kitchen-living spaces

As home layouts continue to change in response to the times, the home design focus has swung significantly towards the open plan concept for sure.

Uzo Oshogwe, MD/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, Joins Panelists at NSE Maiden REITs Conference

In unswerving efforts to accelerate growth and promote liquidity in Sub-Saharan Africa’s emerging REITs market, Uzo Oshogwe, MD/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, joined industry experts, key decision-makers, policy-makers, government officials and  private sector players,  at the maiden edition of NSE REITs Conference, to discuss the current state of the Real Estate sector and the opportunities inherent in REITs.

The objective was to deliberate and propose changes on deal structuring, capital formation, valuation models, regulatory and tax issues as well as robust risk management framework in the sector.

Discussing one of the many ways to boost returns on REITs during the 3rd panel discussions, she stated that “while REITs have become an increasingly popular vehicle for real estate ownership, maintenance still plays a key role in increasing property value and reducing risk for the owner. Consistent income generation is a major challenge in this part of the world and we need to adopt best property maintenance practices in order to protect and preserve our investments”.

In a keynote address by Honorable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who was represented by Ayo Gbeleyi, former Finace Commissioner, he noted that “as we converge to explore the potential of REITs, investors will base their decisions on returns not loyalty”.

Also on the panel was Adeniyi Adeleye, Executive Director, Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, who indicated that “clarity on tax rules, accurate assets valuation, transparent financing report and investor engagement are some of the ways to define, clarify and set corporate governance standards in REITs market”.

Other attendees include: Prof. Charles Inyagete: CEO, NMRC, Hakeem Oguniran: MD/CEO, UPDC Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo: First VP, NSE, Olanike James: Partner at KPMG, Tolu Sekoni: Investment Principal, Actis, Olumayowa Ogunwemimo: MD, FSDH Assets Management Limited and many more.

The conference was organized by The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in line with its strategic initiative to promote and create the enabling environment for sustainable development of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.


New body takes over architects lead roles in project management

With the application of knowledge and techniques to project activities expanding into a discipline, architects who played leadership role in building construction teams are losing out project management jobs to professionals in that area.

Statistics show that between 2010 and 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created globally across seven project-intensive industries. Along with job growth, there will be a significant increase in the economic footprint of the profession; the project management profession is slated to grow by USD$6.61 trillion.

This seven-year enormous anticipated growth, along with higher-than- average salaries, has created growth in the membership of the Institute of Project Management in Nigeria and toast of professionals as well as job-seekers who want to build project management skills.

However, the advent of project management practice in Nigeria seems to have relegated architects to the bottom rungs of the project management ladder. Members of the institute have now taken over the job, insisting that architects do not posses the requisite knowledge to do the work.

But some architects have braced up to the demands of the job and taken certification in project management to meet global standards and requirements. The first woman President of Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Mrs. Olubukola Atinuke Ejiwunmi, said it was more or less willful relinquishing what is the prerogative of architects, who used to be the one doing the job.

She stressed that architects were at the forefront until some expatriates practicing in Nigeria started project management.
According to her, many people will come and start contesting  with architects to be in control and because there are other things architects can always do, they let go of all these works.

“So what we are now telling ourselves that we should start the practice of project management. We know that architects cannot carter for everything but we should still be there to coordinate because as
architects we had some training in electrical, mechanical and other areas.

“When you are in charge of a building, you should be able to call in the plumber, the electrician and the air condition people to make sure that those facilities are in place”, she noted.

For  the Practice Chairman, NIA Lagos state chapter, Mrs. Ifeoma George-Ufot, the architects’ non-involvement in project management is a demonstration of how things had evolved, and architects are trained to respond to changes.

Although, Mrs. George-Ufot do not agree that the number of architects in that field has decreased, she stressed that what happened was that there are now institute of project management and most of the pioneer members behind it are architects, who decided to formalize the practice.

Contributing, NIA President, Tonye Braide said it is not true that architects are really shying away from project management but it is just that there are certain principles involved in the profession.

According to him, some how, the subject matter had some managerial principles that architects need to imbibe.
“ We need to extend our training to include those principle because we are at the best frontline of being able to manage our buildings.

“We know what enters the buildings, even, when we look at the cost used in the building, it even affects certain materials that as architects managing it, the client will get some more effective solutions in the element of his business.

Braide urged architects to imbibe financial trainings to be more effective in project management.

“ What we are saying is that to be more effective, architects should add to their trainings some thing like training in financial management, which is the other aspect of management we are a bit weak”, he said.

But the chairman, Education committee of NIA Lagos State Chapter, Mrs. Ibitola Okuboyejo, believed that architects is the head of building construction team has the requite training to take care of buildings and therefore still remains the head of the team.

According to her, the project management is a fairly new professional in the industry. As far as we are concerned, the architect has the opportunity to take a course and certification to become a project manager, which makes him more qualified for the work.

Architects are trained as project managers to head the team of building construction. When there is a new profession coming, people tends to imbibe it and it is a fad, it is a new entry, when there is a new entry in an industry, the tendency is that it takes while for it to settle down.

But by and large, it is only the architects that can conceptualise a design and has the professional authority to sign practical completion certificate, and final completion certificate.

“The seemingly shadowing that is being cast is because of the new profession but a lot or architects had project management certification and a lot of them are being certified”, she added.

Originally published in The Guardian

FG to float N600bn bond to offset construction debt

Discussion have reached an advanced stage between the Federal Government and the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) to settle the outstanding debt of about N600 billion owed construction companies in the country.

Engineer Wolfgang Goetsch, the Managing Director of Julius Berger dislosed this at the company’s annual investors forum held recently in Lagos.

Goetsch said: “The whole construction company is ruining under the heavy burden of debt. The entire equity and free funds of this companies are lying with the Ministry of Finance or the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as outstanding payments on contract or tax refunds.

“The government today understands that if these past due obligations are not paid, these companies cannot inject new funds in any project awarded today.” He further disclosed that, the government has agreed that the old debt payment would also bear interest since most of the companies took loans to finance these constructions and have continued to pay default interest on the outstanding amounts to the banks.

He said: “Under the leadership of FOCI, we are having fruitful discussion with the Federal Government and in three months, we should finalise, so that bonds can be issued. We had same process in 2005 and 2011.”

The government would likely issue a 5-10 bond to the construction companies which are expected to have a positive impact on the balance sheet of the construction companies. ‘‘

Originally published in Daily Trust

PFAs invest N216.8bn in real estate

The Pension Fund Administrators have invested a total of N216.8bn of the increasing funds under the Contributory Pension Scheme in real estate.

Latest figures obtained from the National Pension Commission indicate that this amount represents 3.4 per cent of the total N6.2tn assets under the management of the pension operators.

The commission also stated that substantial funds had been invested in domestic and foreign ordinary shares, the FGN and state securities, among other investment portfolios as of the end of February.

The Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr. Eguarehide Longe, who spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday, said the pension funds were active in different investment portfolios.

He said the bulk of the funds had been invested in government bonds, adding that some governments that had taken the money invested it in infrastructure.

Ideally, he explained that money borrowed for a reasonably long term should be used for long-term assets and not to fund recurrent expenditure.

“We are there to invest in a way that the funds will not be lost,” he said.

According to him, if the funds are used for infrastructure, this can have significant impact on the economy.

Longe, who said some investors had been approaching the operators to access the funds, noted that the real sector was not a place where they could just invest huge amount, adding that sectors such as agriculture were areas that needed to be well understood before investing the funds there.

The Pension Reform Act was enacted to provide a contributory scheme for the payment of retirement benefits of employees in both public and private sectors.

The Act mandates every employee to open a Retirement Savings Account in their name with any Pension Fund Administrator of their choice and notify their employers.

Employers, according to the law, are required to deduct eight per cent of the workers’ monthly emolument and add another 10 per cent, which should be paid into each employee’s RSA not later than seven days after the salary is paid.
Originally published in The Punch

Experts chart path to wealth creation

Experts have said if wealth is successfully transferred from one generation to the other, financial security will be enhanced and guaranteed. This they believed would reduce the current epidemic of wealth truncation.

The experts who gathered at the 2017 wealth forum organised by Zela Ventures Int’l Limited recently identified initiatives for achieving sustainable wealth to include strategic planning, healthy readily available working cash to maintain business agility, strategic cost management, reduction of dependency on short- term financing by dealing with debt, effective risk management among others.

Chairman of Berger Paints Plc, Dr. Oladimeji Alo, while delivering his keynote address on ‘Issues to note in wealth preservation, enhancement and transfer’ opined that it relates to the strategies, plans and actions to protect assets and income.

Alo who doubles as the Managing Director Excel Professional Services, stated that mistakes wealthy people make in wealth preservation is; not understanding the nature of wealth, but falling into the trap of conspicuous consumption, forgetting how the wealth came, not seeking or following professional advice or investment, over concentrating of assets, poor planning amongst others.
He listed the mistakes in wealth transfer as follows, not sufficiently preparing successors to receive wealth, pre-mature transfer, no formal structure or system and improper insurance.

The Managing Director of Afriland Properties Plc, Mrs Uzo Oshogwe enumerated the benefits of real estate as a veritable means of wealth transfer. She said wealth is the total market value of all physical and intangible assets owned, subtracting all debts.

According to her, real estate has been an integral part of our lives; it is a brilliant source of long-term wealth creation, stating that more fortunes are made in real estate than in any other business. Investing allows one to increase their financial worth.

Managing Director of United Capital Trustees, Mrs. Tokunbo Ajayi, said wealth management should ideally combine financial and investment advice, accounting and tax services, retirement planning and estate planning.

Ajayi who was represented by an official, Ada Ijara, stated that from their professional experience, wealth acquisition process is not complete without adequate plans to ensure preservation from one generation to the next.

Originally published in The Guardian

Lagos generates N20 billion in land administration

In spite of the challenging financial crisis in the country and its attendant effect on businesses, the Lagos State government has announced a revenue performance of N20.7 billion from land administrations in the last one-year.

The performance, which surpassed the total revenue of N11.4 billion recorded in the previous year, came from transaction on the sales of land for industrial development in the state.

Special Adviser to Governor Akinwumi Ambode on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule, who disclosed this at a briefing by the State Lands Bureau to commemorate the second year anniversary of Ambode’s administration, said the revenue performance exceeded the Bureau’s budget for the period by 45 per cent.

Besides the one –off transaction, expected revenue from new schemes initiated by the government during the time under review, she said, could not be realized in view of infrastructure development within the new scheme, thereby making it difficult for the Bureau to generate revenue from the schemes.
Reassuring the importance of land as a desirable and crucial resource to all, she said the present administration has put in place effective and dynamic reforms to continuously ease the process of land administration in the state.

Onabule expressed optimism that the reforms put in place to further upgrade service delivery through better strategic procedures and smarter use of information technology will enhance revenue performance and service delivery in 2017.

On the issue of compensation for lands acquired by government or whose titles were revoked for overriding public interest, the Special Adviser said over N2 billion has been paid as compensations to individuals and groups who presented all necessary documents evidencing ownership of the lands.

According to her, the state government as a responsive and responsible one is determined to make life better for the citizenry, by paying compensation to beneficiaries, hence entrenching a culture of excellence, prompt and efficient service delivery to Lagosians.

Originally published in The Guardian

Want Innovation? Stay Curious!

Curiosity they say kills the cat; maybe the Stone Age cat but certainly not the 21st century one. Curiosity actually nourishes the 21st century cat.

In the 1600s, the punishment for being an “innovator” was getting your ears chopped off. You were seen as a troublemaker simply because you challenged the status quo.

The secret to innovation and creativity is curiosity. We must realize that without the question why, there would be no “how”. This serves as a catalyst to great discoveries.

All great inventions first dropped as ideas, and all ideas were generated through inquisitiveness, curiously and urge to know more about things in the world around us.

Since curiosity is a stepping stone to innovation, here are a few ways to help your curiosity skills:

  1. Read widely and follow your interests
  2. Listen without the aim to judge
  3. Polish your mind with the minds of others
  4. Be willing to ask dumb questions
  5. Put a lot of ideas and facts in your head: Don’t rely on Google
  6. Be an expert who is interested in everything
  7. Listen

innovative entrepreneur 2

Federal workers, NMRC in N13 billion mortgage refinancing deal

Towards providing adequate funding at low interest rate for the delivery of affordable housing to public servants, the Federal Government has entered into a N13 billion mortgage deal with Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC).

The deal is coming under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing programme (FISH), the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Federal Government Staff Housing Board (FGSHLB) and the private sector-led mortgage firm. FISH programme and Family Homes Funds also endorsed an MOU to provide affordable housing.

The Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita who witnessed the event at a one-day FISH-P Housing summit 2017 held in Abuja on the theme, ”innovative Strategies For Affordable housing”, said 30,000 civil servants have been profiled as off takers and deductions of mortgage or loan repayment directly from their monthly salaries on delivery of houses of their choice have begun.

The FISH programme, an initiative of the President Mohammadu Buhari led Federal Government, anchored by the office of the federal civil service of the federation, entered into partnerships with ten primary mortgage bankers to facilitate prompt processing of mortgage applications with Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

The scheme was designed by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation in 2016 to alleviate the housing challenges experienced by civil servants in Abuja and other state capitals of the nation and administered through an inter-Ministerial Committee comprising Pertinent Secretaries, Managing directors, Directors-General, Executive Secretaries and other officials of government

The Head of Service further disclosed that the government is entering into partnerships with manufacturers of building materials for discounted volume prices to drive the cost of houses much lower.

The Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, Managing Director,  Prof. Charles Iyangete, who said his organisation will partner in delivering an innovative as well as constructive mortgage financing of affordable houses to civil servants, also revealed that the memorandum of understanding entered with his organisation, will enable them and other relevant agencies partnering in the FISH Programme, ensure that the housing deficit experienced by public servants are resolved within the best possible time.

Earlier, the Chairman of FISH Committee and Permanent Secretary, Common Services in the office of the Head of service, Yemi Adelakun said the major problem facing the programme includes difficulties to allocation and acquisition of land from the federal and state governments, provision of infrastructures at minimal and subsidized costs, additional sources of funding for construction and mortgages at single digit interest rates among others.

The President, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Tonye Braide promised that the institute would participate in the FISH programme by expanding on the ideas postulated therein.

He said: ”What may be needed could be the adjustment to meet a Nigerian Operating model in addition, the institute can also provide value added services to assist with bulk purchase/procurement, insurance management, information services and supply chain management.”

Originally published in The Guardian

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