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Uzo Oshogwe, Managing Director/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, discusses where the opportunities lie in Nigerian real estate on Capital Markets Africa

The past two to three years have not exactly been great for Real Estate market in Nigeria. This resulted from a tough 2016, characterized by inflation, weak currency, recession, declining GDP and reduced government spending. Generally, rising interest rates make buying or selling in real estate more difficult while decreasing interest rates make buying and selling easier. Unavailability of cheap funds and high interest rates further deepened the crisis and worsened the situation.

This also resulted in oversupply, low demand, high vacancy rates and poor returns especially in the retail market and commercial sector of the industry. After surviving the storm and coming out of recession in the last quarter of 2017, activities have been rekindled and the real estate sector has been on its way to recovery, albeit in small steps. Confidence is being restored and investors are keeping up with the trends, while closely taking note of the opportunities that currently exist in the market. Though it may take some time for the market to reach its full potential, the following investment options exist and have a good return on investment at the moment:

Read full article on Page 19 and 20 of the June edition of  Capital Markets Africa Magazine

Photos: MD/CEO’s Birthday Dinner

Real estate remains Nigeria’s 5th biggest GDP contributor – Report

An online real estate firm, PropertyPro.ng, has released a report of the Nigerian real estate sector for the first quarter of the year 2018.

The report, according to a statement from the firm which was made available in Lagos, focused on trends in the Nigerian real estate market in the year 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.

PropertyPro’s Chief Business Officer, Sulaiman Balogun, stated that statistics from the report makes it evident that the real estate sector is experiencing a significant growth to retain its position as the 5th biggest contributor to the GDP of Nigeria.

It analysed how impactful the economic recession was in the real estate market and examined going prices for properties within the residential and commercial umbrellas of the sector.

The statement quoted the firm’s CEO, Fikayo Ogundipe, saying “a lot is happening in the real estate sector, especially in Nigeria, and we feel it is something worth talking about. With this report, everyone interested in the real estate sector in Nigeria will be able to understand the current trends of the Nigerian real estate sector.”

It explained that the report was influenced by the rate at which properties are searched for online by Nigerians.

“We monitored the most searched types of properties by Nigerians along with the price range that fell within the interest of online real estate end users,” said Seyi Ayeni, the Chief Technical Officer of PropertyPro.ng.

 Originally published in Daily Trust

How to Protect Your Home in Rainy Season

Rainy season naturally attracts mixed feelings. You are glad the days of excessively hot weather are finally over and happily welcome nights of sound sleep, but then you dread heavy rainfall, high winds, thunderstorm, flood and other destructive consequences.

You can never be too prepared for rainy season, especially due to climate change and a rise in global sea level in recent times.

A rainy season dos and don’ts would come in handy but before then, see below some tips on how to protect your home in rainy season:

Maintain your roof

Strong and sustained winds are common during heavy rainfall and this can damage or remove your roof totally. Therefore, you need to invest in the maintenance of your roof.

During this process, you’d have the opportunity to identify minor damages and repair them before they become major problems and cost you more eventually.

Maintain a healthy drainage system

Inefficient drainage system is one of the major causes of flood and building collapse during this season. You should keep your drainage system functional and clean in order to intercept, collect, transport and dispose of water and keep away from your home as much as possible.

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy drainage system is to be mindful of what goes in there. The second is to clean you drainage system regularly.

Inspection after rainfall

After every heavy rainfall, you just can’t be sure of what you will discover. It is important to carry out a post-rain inspection to spot and clean up water or identify any damage that might have been done. Carry out both internal and external inspection: Check the basement, rugs, gutters, roof, windows, wall etc.

Whatever you discover, try not to procrastinate before repair. The next rainfall might just do the final damage to what you discovered.

Examine windows and doors

Even when you think you are fully prepared for rainy season, water can still seep through windows and doors because they are the most vulnerable to leakage. Carry out monthly inspection to be sure they are in good condition.

Painting wooden doors or windows can protect them from absorbing moisture or rain water during rainy season.

Other Tips

  • Keep up with weather forecasts
  • Trim trees and bushes next to the house
  • Eliminate branches
  • Look for erosion

 

 

 

Experts explore benefits of smart construction tech

With smart buildings gaining momentum – and as the technology behind them becomes more sophisticated and prevalent, built environment experts have called for the adoption of smart buildings in line with global best practices.

Smart buildings are structures that use automated processes to control building operations in areas such as ventilation, heating, air conditioning, lighting, and security among other systems. Currently, some old structures have started to convert to smart buildings in some countries to meet up with the demands of modern time.

The experts spoke at the 17the edition of the 2018 Lagos Housing Fair (LHF), held in Lagos. The event, which is an exhibition of products and services in construction industry, featured all the professionals in the sector including building artisans.

Speaking on the theme of the event; “Smart Buildings”, the Chairman of organising committee, Moses Ogunleye, a town planner, observed that the issues of resource consumption; energy efficiency and technology application should be at the front burner in the nations’ quest for development.

According to him, with the era of climate change, and instances of extreme climatic elements, the designs of homes, construction and usage must be done with the consciousness of making the structures most pleasurable and comfortable.Toward this end, he explained that a smart building saves its owners so much cost in construction and maintenance in view of the role of housing in economic and social growth of a nation.

He noted that the choice of the theme is to allow for a searchlight on adoption of durable and energy efficient homes in the country.“As a country, Nigeria should not only be concerned with increasing the number of housing units in various states or settlements, efforts should be geared at ensuring that what is built by stakeholders meet the requirements of smart buildings. A smart home should serve the intended purpose, enhance ventilation, minimise water consumption and be safety conscious among others”.

Expanding the theme; the First Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Building; ((NIOB), Biodun Awobudu said it is high time Nigeria converts some of its local buildings to scientific smart ones to join the league of nations adopting the option of smart building.He posited that smart buildings involve addition of scientific additives into building finishing. This he stated, would helped the country to improve on design and build a lot of homes with many technological inputs.

“Architects and building researchers should investigate on how to construct smart buildings. NIOB has been engaging our members to develop initiatives that could ease the cost of building”, he said.

On his part, the National President of Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Akinola George, an architect, said Nigeria should be inspired by the global trends in the use of smart buildings and not wait until the country is ready for the technology before moving in that direction.

According to him contrary to the most popular notion that the technology is expensive, it is rather cheap provided the necessary infrastructural investment has been put into place.For instance, he said, Nanotechnology has tremendously changed the face of paints production with its current ability to last for over ten years. He explains that smart technology in construction sector will make building development cheaper and help Nigeria out of a corruption riddled society.

“Smart building requires special intelligence based on real time interaction using data and innovation based eco-system in a sustainable environment. Professionals in the built environment must upgrade to a city based sensor network that requires energy management, efficient water management, smart lighting, efficient traffic monitoring and heat resistant coating materials among others”.

George called for advocacy, engaging government at all levels through affirmative and collective effort to develop policies that would benefit the built sector while artisans and other professionals must also develop their thinking minds and interest in technology for rapid transformation of the country.

On the demand for affordable homes for the people, Oba Akiolu declared that what the government needs to do is to provide basic infrastructure like; electricity, good road, water and other important facilities in choice locations for the citizen to conveniently build and own their personal houses. To him, such facilities are the most important needs in the quest to surmount the challenge of adequate and affordable housing in Nigeria.

“Government should provide welfare initiatives for the people, the private sector must also support efforts of the government like it is the practice abroad. For instance, three states government could come together, clear a very large expanse of land build houses for the people or go into agriculture and produce food in large quantity”.He charged housing professionals to collaborate in tackling the problems of building collapses, land grabbers and illegal development in towns and cities as part of efforts to achieve a smart building environment.

Originally published in The Guardian

5 Reasons to Renovate Your Home

Improving the aesthetic appeal of the place where you spend most of your time is a big deal. It doesn’t really matter if you’re doing this because you want to sell or you just got tired of the present state, a lot of benefits come with home renovation.

Home renovation can greatly improve your quality of life. It also has an array of short-term and long- term benefits. Though this entire process can totally disrupt your daily routine, here are 5 reasons to renovate your home:

Increase property value

Just a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home can instantly increase quality and value. This is because it’s the first thing buyers or visitors notice most of the time. Apart from highlighting architectural details, it also serves as protection against elements such as rain, storm and sun.

Painting is one of the cheapest forms of renovation. Emulsion paint could range between N800 to N1, 200 and gloss paint from N1, 200 to N1, 500 per square meter, depending on the brand.

Increase functionality

One of the benefits of home renovation is increased functionality.  For example, if you notice there’s unutilized space, you may convert this into extra bathroom, kitchen or bedroom and instantly increase the value of your property.

You can also upgrade facilities during this process.

Reduce maintenance cost

Home maintenance cost increases when minor repairs are ignored over a long period of time. One of the benefits of home renovation is that it will take into cognizance all the repairs and replacements to be made, thereby reducing future maintenance cost.

Better security

Another benefit of home remodeling is that you have the chance to upgrade existing security features, replace windows, doors, siding etc.

You can also consider installing proper locks, alarm systems, home automation technology and maybe cameras to protect your home and loved ones.

Enhance energy efficiency 

One of the ways to save money during home renovation is to make moves to save energy. Simply upgrading plumbing and fixtures alone can make a lot of difference.

Changing the light bulbs, upgrading your bathroom/kitchen appliances and insulating walls are some of the ways to enhance energy efficiency during home renovation.

Mixed feelings as FCTA begins relocation of villages

There are mixed feelings among some communities affected by a resettlement exercise that will be carried out by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Daily Trust can report.

While some are worried they are leaving their ancestral homes where they have lived for ages, others are concerned about the distance between the new resettlement and the city centre while others are pleased they are moving away  in order not to be affected by future developments or demolition that might take place in the area they occupy presently.

According to the FCTA there are seven communities sitting in the Phase 2 and 3 of the FCT that are to be resettled in order to pave way for development and modern structures  in the capital city.

The communities are Utako village, Maje, Jabi Yakubu, Jabi Samuel, Mabushi, Zhilu and Kdadina villages.

Shere-Galuwyi, a farming community sitting on the  edge of Mpape district in Abuja  has been earmarked to resettle the seven communities. About 900 hectares of land has been provided by the FCT Administration to relocate the affected villages.

Daily Trust visited Shere- Galuwyi and gathered that the FCTA had built about 2261 houses, police post and also made provision for infrastructure such as water, schools, health centres and road network to make life comfortable for the new migrants.

One of the villages that is set to be relocated, Jabi Yakubu, popularly known as Jabi Masallaci community located in the heart of Jabi districts  is said to be obstructing the development of estates and modern structures.

Daily Trust also visted the Jabi Yakubu community and observed that structures  built in form of shanties were becoming rampant  and unbefitting of other development anticipated in that area.

Speaking  on the resettlement programme, the Etsu of Jabi, Malam Yakubu Auta told our reporter  his community  needed to be relocated to make way for development in the city centre.

“If we don’t leave now, in few years to come it will be very inconvenient for us to stay here as most of our children are not government workers but farmers. If we continue to build houses of our choice, government will come one day to demolish them. That was the main reason I called my people to a meeting and decided that we should be relocated to Shere- Galuwyi  because once we are there, we would be able to farm, eat well and also send our children to school without any headache,” he said. Auta added that some other villages were having mixed feelings about relocating to Shere- Galuwyi but as for Jabi Yakubu, they are set to leave.

“If government comes even today and says we should leave, we are ready because as  good citizens of Nigeria, we have to help our country grow and that is the reason we are accepting the resettlement programme by the FCT Administration to make way for development,’’ he said.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority, Engineer Umar Gambo Jubril  the relocation programme is very important to the FCT Administration,  adding that infrastructures are also being put in place for the new community.

“Infrastructures include all the network of roads, electricity, water supply, health care centres, schools and other basic amenities and all of these are in process,” he said.

He said the 2275 houses are all ready for its inhabitants and others among them that need renovations will also be looked into adding that in few weeks to come, the houses will be handed over to the people.

Also the FCT Director of the Resettlement programme Malam Babakura Umar said that Jabi Yakubu community will be the first to be relocated because they needed an urgent attention as development has caught up with the community, the main reason the minister ordered for their quick relocation to Shere-Galuwyi.

Originally published in Daily Trust

Mortgage bank, states disagree over housing fund contributions

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and some states are not on the same  page over contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF).

The NHF, managed by the FMBN, is a Federal Government introduced scheme, to which all public servants and employees in the organised private sector nationwide are expected to contribute 2.5 per cent of their monthly salary to.

Employees  who are active contributors to the scheme can then access the fund as mortgage/housing loan.

The FMBN in a recent advertorial gave an update on the operations of the NHF in the last one year, regretting that despite its onerous efforts and improved performance indices, some states were still not participating in the NHF.

It listed Lagos, Kano, Sokoto, Benue, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Oyo as states  defaulting in contributing to the NHF.

“It is important to bring back the states to allow their citizens to benefit from the NHF Scheme,” the bank said.

However, while some of the states accused of defaulting have kept mute or failed to provide explanations for their action others have faulted the FMBN claims.

The Benue State Commissioner for  Housing and Urban Development, Barr. Otokpa Onoja, Otokpa told our correspondent in Makurdi that the state was not defaulting in its contribution to the National Housing Fund (NHF) operations.

He said that the inclusion of Benue by the bank among the states not participating in the scheme was not the reality.

“Benue has not defaulted to the scheme. The deductions are being done monthly from the workers’ salaries. It is alive and continuing,” he said.

The commissioner explained that some years back, the scheme was stopped in the state but that at the brink of the last administration in the state, it was started again such that since then the deductions have continued to reflect on the workers’ pay lists.

He added that the deductions were being carried out on monthly basis by the state’s Office of the Head of Service and the Ministry of Finance.

Also commenting on behalf of the Sokoto State government, its Head of Service, Buhari Bello Kware said the state government had not directed the stoppage of deductions for the Fund.

“From the policy aspect of it government has not stopped effecting deductions,” he said explaining that, “Contribution started in November 1995 and it stopped September 2000 ,it was revived March 2015 and since then, it is still ongoing.”

The HOS added: “This 2.5 per cent deductions from basic salary of each staff is actually going on.”

Efforts to speak with Lagos State government officials responsible for the scheme over the matter yielded little result.

However, a top official of the finance ministry told our correspondent the state government’s non participation in the NHF could be attributed to numerous deductions the state carries out on the monthly salaries of its workers, adding NHF to it may be tantamount to over-burdening the workers in its employ.

Originally published in Daily Trust

Afriland Properties Plc is now a Member of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce

Afriland Properties Plc has been admitted to the membership of the Nigerian-British Chambers of Commerce (NBCC).  The membership certificate was presented by the Council of Chamber, during the induction ceremony which took place on April 26, 2018, at their Lagos secretariat, Olubunmi Owa Street , Lekki Peninsula, Lagos.

Speaking at the event, the Head of Project Designs, Afriland Properties Plc, Arc. Bassey Eka, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to fostering the business relationship and supporting trade relations between Nigeria and Britain.

Accredited under the NACCIMA/CIPE, Washington, D.C. USA accreditation programme and founded in 1977 in Lagos, the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce is the foremost bilateral Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria.

 

NIN now mandatory for land allocation in FCT – Minister

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has made the National Identification Number (NIN) mandatory for land allocation within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This was made known by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muhammad Musa Bello when the Director General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Engr. Aliyu Aziz visited him in Abuja on Thursday.

The minister, according to a statement by NIMC, expressed the need for every land allocated to be matched to an individual through the NIN, in order to track and prevent multiple allocations of land and ensure fairness and equity in the allocation process.

He commended Engr. Aziz for the increase in enrollment figures and measures he has put in place to ensure safety of data of Nigerians and legal residents in the National Identity database (NIDB) while ensuring credibility and integrity of data collected by NIMC.

The minister also commended the ongoing harmonization efforts noting that it was a step in the right direction to check duplication of functions amongst data collecting agencies.

Originally published in Daily Trust

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