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The management of Afriland Properties Plc notes with concern, recent reports relating to its transaction to redesign and redevelop the iconic Falomo Shopping Centre in Lagos.

These unverified reports have implied that, the contract with the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) was terminated on the grounds that the concession terms are “grossly detrimental” to Lagos State and its residents.  The reports also claim that Afriland Properties Plc only made a payment of N50 million for a 50-year lease of the government-owned land.

Though the authenticity of these reports is unconfirmed, Afriland strongly refutes the suggestion that it has engaged in any misconduct or that the transaction is in any way detrimental to the people and government of Lagos State.

We are strongly committed to creating a world class project, which will act as an economic magnet for central Lagos, creating opportunities for Lagosians and which crucially has been structured to ensure ongoing value will accrue to Lagos State and to Lagosians. The contract was negotiated transparently and in accordance with best practice.

Afriland Properties PLC and the Lagos State Development Property Corporation (LSDPC), acting on behalf of the Lagos State government, established a Special Purpose Vehicle( SPV) which is jointly owned by the parties for the specific purpose of developing the Falomo project.

Under the terms of the agreement, the SPV- Falomo Shopping Centre Development Company Ltd – was granted a concession to, amongst other things, develop, build, operate and maintain the Project on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

Afriland paid N50m (fifty million naira) to LSDPC as an expression of interest in the redevelopment project.

The LSPDC will receive a 35% interest in the SPV for its land contribution and through this significant Equity Holding, will continue to receive significant ongoing value

Afriland is obliged to fund the entirety of the development costs which is projected to exceed N30 billion without recourse to the Nigerian taxpayer.

The new facility will comprise a state-of-the-art shopping mall, office complex and generous parking facilities.

Afriland has consistently adhered to the terms of its agreement with LSDPC, as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Joint Venture Agreement that were signed and executed by the aforementioned parties.

Furthermore, all value to be derived from the creation of this world-class commercial venture will be held in, and enjoyed by Lagos State and its residents. The development will ultimately revert to the state upon expiration of the lease.

Apart from delivering an environment that befits the city and is consistent with the government’s goal of an aesthetically pleasing skyline, the Falomo site will be home to thriving businesses that will contribute significantly to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.

As an organization, Afriland Properties Plc and its affiliated companies have always upheld the values of integrity and excellence. We have nothing but the utmost respect for the dictates of the law and till date, have acted accordingly. As such, we are unequivocal in our belief that our sincere intentions for this landmark project will be validated in due course.

As a significant investor in Nigeria and one which is committed to ensuring value creation within the country, we would underline the importance of creating a business environment that is based on transparency, contractual certainty and social partnership. At a time when Nigeria urgently needs to diversify its economy and attract broad based foreign direct investment, the rumours we have identified do little to promote the National interest or create the business environment our country needs.

Uzo Oshogwe

MD/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc


FG alerts States on impending flood disaster, seeks relocation

IN a bid to curtail loss of lives and property, the federal government at the weekend appealed to Nigerians living along flood plains across the country to prepare for relocation to areas considered to be safe.

The Federal Ministry of Environment warned that coastal flooding resulting from sea level rise and tidal surges is likely to occur in Lagos, Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states while massive rains are expected to cause river flooding in Niger, Sokoto Rima, Benue and Anambra states.

Also, flash flooding could be experienced in some urban locations such as Ibadan, Lagos, Sokoto, Birin Kebbi and other towns along the country’s coastlines.

The warning is coming on the heels of the House of Representatives demand that relevant government agencies take immediate steps to avert ‘massive flooding’ along River Benue and Lower River Niger.

The parliament also appealed to the state governments and other relevant stakeholders to take note of the 2015 seasonal rainfall prediction by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), drawing their attention to the notice by the Cameroonian government of the impending release of excess water from Lagdo Dam between now and November.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Nana Fatima Mede who disclosed this to newsmen at an emergency stakeholders’ meeting on 2015 flood in Abuja in Abuja, urged Nigerians to embark on clearing of drainages, culverts and canals in the areas of jurisdiction and remain at alert for any eventuality.

She recalled that Nigeria in 2012 experienced one of the most devastating floods in decades in which about 360 lives were lost and property worth billions of Naira also lost to the disaster.

According to her, the unfortunate incident cost government about N17billion distributed to various affected states and relevant MDA’s to tackle the disaster occasioned by that flooding.

Mede noted that the impending gradual release of excess water from the LAGDO Dam by Cameroon could take place anytime soon and that massive rains in the coming months poses serious threat to lives and property while states that are likely to be affected are Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue and Kogi.

She observed that government is deeply concerned about the likely loss of lives and property as well as other negative environmental consequences and advised that in extreme cases, state governments and local authorities should prepare to evacuate residents as well as designate and prepare public places for any eventuality.

Mede appealed to states, local governments, churches, mosques and traditional rulers to sensitize their people and communities and ensure that steps are taken to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and property.

Meanwhile, adopting the prayers of a motion by Emmanuel Orker-Jev (APC, Benue), the House urged the Federal Government to consider the establishment of a joint commission with the Cameroonian government to manage the Lagdo Dam and River Benue waterways.

The House said the government should also ensure that the contract for the dredging of River Benue and Niger is awarded and constructed to mitigate the menace and effects floods around the area.

The lawmakers equally passed another motion urging the Federal Government to direct the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to commence rehabilitation of Festac Satellite towns to avert “looming epidemic” in the area.

Originally published in the Guardian Newspaper

Real estate, ICT, fastest growing sectors in Nigeria – UN

Real Estate, as well as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have been identified by the UN as some of the fastest growing sectors in the Nigerian economy. Mr Patrick Osakwe, Head, Poverty and Trade Department, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), made this known in an interview in Lagos.

Osakwe said that real estate, as well as information and communications technology, in conjunction with the financial services sector have the capacity to drive economic growth, if well harnessed. He spoke against the backdrop of the recent Annual Report on African Development by UNCTAD, which has been presented to the public in 15 African countries.

“In Nigeria, the fastest growing sectors would be real estate, as well as Information and Communications technology. That is peculiar to Nigeria, among others, and these sectors are suffering from a level of deficit that needs to be addressed, to maximize their potential. According to the UNCTAD development report, Africa’s fastest growing services sub-sectors are transport, storage and communications, which grew at 5.8 per cent, while others like hotel, retail and wholesale trade grew at 5.0 per cent.

“The services sector accounted for 50 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of most African countries. “The report actually focused on the services sector as an untapped sector, which has contributed immensely to the GDP of most African countries in the last five years,” he said. Part of the report stated that access to reliable sources of energy is low in Africa, with about 74 per cent of the population without access to electricity.

The report also said that the cost of closing the energy gap would cost up to $93 billion (N18.32 trillion) annually by 2030, which has caused a setback in the growing sectors like real estate and ICT. Real estate experts asserted that the population of people living in the suburbs of major cities like Lagos and Abuja would increase by 50 per cent by 2025.

According to them, the reasons for the population increase was huge rural-urban migration and the poor living conditions like lack of portable water and huge rent expenses.

Originally published in The Vanguard

Elumelu Foundation Organizes Bootcamp for 1,000 Emerging African Entrepreneurs

As part of Tony Elumelu Foundation’s (TEF’s) $100 million commitment to empower African entrepreneurs, the 1,000 emerging entrepreneurs that had earlier been selected under the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) Class of 2015, converged on Sango Ota, Ogun State, for a two-day boot camp session.

The event, which took place at the weekend, brought together the emerging entrepreneurs selected from 51 African countries and from all of Africa’s geo-political regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa – and major language blocs – Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabic Africa – as well as every state in Nigeria. They were selected from a diversity of sectors that ranged from agriculture to education to energy, fashion and ICT.

Speaking at the event, the TEF/Holdings Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, was quoted in a statement to have spoken on his life experiences and the principles that he learnt from mentors, such as Chief Ebitimi Banigo that he applied towards his own successful entrepreneurship journey.  He answered an array of questions during a two-hour question-and-answer session, offering perspective on innovation, strategy, governance, financial management and decision-making.

He added: “Entrepreneurship is not a short-term journey and I am pleased that we can help these emerging leaders, as they seek to join me in transforming Africa. My commitment towards creating a thousand new entrepreneurs who can change Africa forever, has now become a reality.  This is only the beginning.”

The Vice-President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was at the event, welcomed the entrepreneurs from across Africa and called on them to take advantage of the networks built in Ota to develop pan-African investment and trade networks.

According to Osinbajo: “This programme deserves all the commendation it is getting. Tony Elumelu has courageously put his money where his mouth is. Societies can’t develop without social entrepreneurs. I charge you to be little Elumelus and create opportunities for others.”

The Vice-President was joined by other senior political leaders including Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Nasir El Rufai, and the Prime Minister of Benin Republic, Lionel Zinsou.

Other speakers at the event were  Parminder Vir, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mo Abudu, Founder/CEO of Ebony Life TV;  Nollywood screen icon Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde;  Nimi Akinkugbe, CEO, Bestman Games; Rasheed Olaoluwa, CEO of the Bank of Industry; former SEC DG Arunma Oteh; inspirational coach Lanre Olusola; Martin Eigbike, Accenture Development Partnerships;  governance expert Angela Aneke; playwright and producer Adewale Ajadi; Sam Nwanze, the Heirs Holdings Director of Finance and Investments; and David Rice, Director of the Africapitalism Institute.

In his goodwill message to the visiting Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs,  President Muhammadu Buhari, wrote: “I am proud that Nigeria (and a Nigerian) is taking the lead in this effort to promote self-worth, encourage entrepreneurship, create jobs, build and promote networks for intra-African trade, business collaboration and investment.  Our Administration is committed to unlocking all such opportunities to restore dignity to our people. This programme is one example I hope others will emulate and I commend Tony Elumelu and his Foundation for their endeavor and leadership in this area.“

As he closed the bootcamp, Mr Elumelu challenged all the entrepreneurs by saying, “I want to go to Zambia when I am 80 years old and meet someone who shows me their manufacturing business or financial institution and tells me that it was built starting with $10k from Tony Elumelu.  That’s what this is about and that’s what you owe me.” he added.

“The return I want from this $100 million investment is your success, because your success is Africa’s success.”

After the bootcamp, the TEEP would focus on providing the seed capital and support for the entrepreneurs to put into practice the knowledge gained from the bootcamp and the 12 weeks of training carried out prior to the event, the statement explained.

Originally published in Thisday

Nigeria-USA Chamber to raise $1bn infrastructure fund

The Nigeria-USA Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) has concluded plans to hold a summit where at least $1 billion Diaspora funds will be mobilised to help plug infrastructure gap in Nigeria.

The 5th International Summit will take place betweenAugust 27 and 29, 2015, at Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington DC, the United States.

A statement by Primus Igboaka, secretary, NUSACC, disclosed that the summit will feature networking and match-making.

According to Igboaka, who is also an adjunct professor of communication at Kent State University, Ohio, the business-to-business match-making event will provide opportunities for personal interactions between United States business leaders and Nigerian entrepreneurs, while also creating a platform for them to showcase their products and services.

“They are avenues for market meetings, presentations and match-making between businesses and key industry players,” said Igboaka, who added that players in agriculture, construction and real estate, energy & power, information and communication technology (ICT) and franchising, among others, are expected to be there.

Adebowale Adefuye, Nigerian Ambassador to USA, will be the key note speaker. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy; and Habib Baba Habu, consul- general of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will also be there as speakers.

Other distinguished speakers expected at the Washington Summit are Catherine Uju Ifejika, chair/CEO Britannia Nigeria Limited; William Fanjoy, director of Virginia/Washington DC U.S. Export Assistance Centers;  Tom Foster, national spokesperson for the Mass Mutual Financing Group, and Harry Alford, president/CEO, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC.

The Nigeria-USA Chamber of Commerce, incorporated in 2009 in the State of Ohio as a non-profit organisation, functions as a unique business and legislative advocacy organisation comprising members and professionals with business management, finance and accounting backgrounds.

It has successfully hosted business summits in the United States and Nigeria that attracted more than 1500 interested businesses and entrepreneurs ready to explore the business opportunities in both countries.

In 2012, it hosted its 3rd International Business Summit in Lagos, which brought together more than 24 United States businesses to explore opportunities in Nigeria. The summit witnessed investment of huge funds by US. businesses in Nigeria.

The U.S. companies that made investments cut across players in construction, transport logistics and courier services, real estate and cosmetics. These companies currently have offices in Lagos and are expanding to other parts of the country, a statement by the organisation said.

Originally published in Business Day


‘Real estate contribution to GDP can grow to $13.65b’

Accounting giant Pricewater Coopers (PwC) has projected an increase in real estate’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) from $9.16 billion to $13.65 billion next year if the right environment is created.

It urged operators to brace themselves for the challenges ahead and key into the opportunities in the sector to grow the economy.

Managing Director, Alpha Mead Facilities and Management Services Ltd, Femi Akintunde urged facility managers to position themselves as key drivers of the real estate sector and be part of its success story.

Speaking at an event by facility managers in Lagos, Akintunde urged them to brace themselves to sustain the anticipated growth.

“Going by PWC revelation and the quest to meet the vision 2020 target, a lot needs to be done towards improved public infrastructure to drive the required positive change in the real estate and facilities management industry, in addition to improving the living condition of the average Nigerian.

“For the facilities management and real estate sectors to contribute meaningfully to the economy, practitioners must embrace global standards and best practices in the execution of projects,” Akintunde said.

He said the firm had been in the forefront of exploring ways to raise awareness, set agenda, and promote global standards in the industry.

Former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Supo Shasore (SAN) said the facilities management industry was positioned for growth.

He described as regrettable, the country’s 134th ranking of 144 economies by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15.

Shasore lamented the deficit in Nigeria’s infrastructure, saying: “The country’s core infrastructure stock is estimated at only 35-40 per cent of GDP, in contrast to international benchmarks of 70 per cent of GDP.  This low value has been driven by historically low public and private spending on infrastructure”.

The highpoint of the event was the introduction of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), Nigeria chapter, which according to Akintunde, is a welcome development to strengthen the advocacy for best practices in the industry and encourage knowledge-sharing among members and professionals.

The event drew participants from five major sectors of oil and gas, telecommunications, real estate, government, public services and financial services.

Participants from the oil and gas sector said facilities management was still at its infancy stage and could not attract the right investments thereby making it difficult for the sector to engage the services of local players.

Speaking on behalf of the financial sector, Head, Administration, Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Gabriel Igbeke said facilities managers lacked the financial capabilities to execute projects. He stressed the need to set up a regulatory body to oversee the operation of professionals in the sector.

He also advocated the need to train and retrain managers for efficiency.

Originally published in The Nation

Nigerian real estate sector to grow by 10% annually

Contrary to pre- vailing economic head- winds across sectors of the economy, experts project that the Nigerian real estate sector will experience a gradual growth.

Adekunle Oyinloye, managing direc- tor, The Infrastructure Bank (TIB), says the real estate sector is projected to grow by 10 percent annually in the next 10 years.

Oyinloye said this while delivering a paper on “The Infrastructure Banker’s Perspective – International Funding for Real Estate,” at a business forum in Lagos, and therefore called on stakeholders to tap the huge opportunities that would abound with the progres- sive growth.

He identified the resi- dential real estate segment of the real estate market as the sub-sector with massive inherent untapped potential by quoting the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as saying that “Nigeria real estate market was valued at approximately N1.4 tril- lion in 2011 and has risen to N6.5 trillion in 2015.’’

The sub-sector’s contri- bution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 7.7 per- cent in 2012 and later rose to 11 percent in 2014, he said.

According to him, growth in population, burgeoning middle-class economic ex- pansion, building hospitality industry, among others, are catalysts for further growth in the real sector.

He said 80 percent of the adult population was living in rented apartments in Ni- geria compared with Ghana and South Africa, which had between 20 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Oyinloye said 50 percent of Nigerians were either homeless or were living in inadequate shelter, say- ing his bank was already working on modalities that would provide solutions to the challenges in the resi- dential real estate market in Nigeria.

TIB was collaborating with local and international financing and funding com- munities on the bankability process in getting funds of the right makeup best suit- ed for real estate projects, he disclosed.

The Nigeria Mortgage Re- finance Company (NMRC), a Public Private Partnership (PPP), would help make it easier for the working low- to middle-income earn- ers to purchase homes, he said, maintaining that the package was structured to revamp mortgage financ- ing and home ownership among the low- to medium- income class in Nigeria.

The new PENCOM Act 2014 allowed pension funds administrators to invest in certain real estate vehicles such as mortgage backed securities and Real Estate Investment Funds (REITs), the bank boss said, and commended the board and management of Lekki Gardens for its innovative delivery and marketing strategy, aimed at providing affordable houses to the middle-income segment of the Nigerian society.

Originally published in Business Day


Lagos approves three new model city plans

THE urban renewal programme embarked upon by the Lagos State government received a boost last week as three new model city plans were signed, following their publicly presentation.

The event that took place at DE Renaissance hotel, Alausa, Ikeja, was attended by professionals from different bodies that include the surveyors, town planners, builders and other relevant associations in the built environment.

The three model cities include Apapa, Agege/Ifako-Ijaye and review of Ikoyi/Victoria Island. At the presentation, former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, highlighted the features of each model city plan.

For instance, In Apapa, the study area consists of traditional settlements like Sari-Iganmu, Gaskiya, Cardoso, Ijora Oloye and Ijora Badia and home to the two most important ports in the country, the Apapa Sea Port and Tin Can Island Port.

To create a balanced and integrated Model City with adequate, qualitative and efficient infrastructure and services that will be a pride of the state the key goals in the review plan of Ikoyi/Victoria Island include the proposed intra-city cable car, mono rail, and shuttle bus routes; Ferry service Jetty site along Ozumba Mbadiwe among other infrastructures.

It also revealed that availability of land at the littoral area is good for tourist development but untapped.

Though, engulfed with traffic congestion and vices due to port, commercial and industrial activities in the axis require the necessary infrastructure.

There is also inadequate qualitative housing and infrastructure within the informal settlements and due to the informal nature of some of the settlements; the crime rate requires more attention by all level of government.

“Due to the high economic activities and population of the area, existing facilities are inadequate and there is need to preserve the serenity of the Southern littoral areas”, said Ayinde.

He also stated that the goals, objectives and vision for these model city plan is derived from the Millennium Development Goals, Lagos State Ten Point Agenda for Development, Survey conducted, literature reviews and various consultations.

Accordingly, the vision of the plan is to create a modern port city that promotes integrated, well-connected and sustainable community that is conducive for habitation and business as well as attractive to recreation, tourism and commerce.

Planning concept revealed that Apapa is divided into five sectors, Central Apapa Port/TinCan Industrial Sector; Central Apapa Residential Sector; Apapa CBD Action Area; Northern Slums including Sari, Ijora Oloye, Badia and Gaskiya (informal sectors) and Southern Tarkwa Littoral Communities.

The multi-dimensional concept was adopted to allow for different concepts/approaches applicable to each sector.

Therefore, the Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Sustainable Coastal Tourism Strategies were adopted for the littoral sector.

Green City theory was adopted for the commercial/industrial sector while Eco-City strategy was applied to the informal sector.

The core-periphery theory was adopted to allow for a balanced socio-economic development among the commercial/industrial area, the informal and littoral sectors. An action plan was prepared for Sari-Iganmu (a settlement within the informal sector).

On the Ikoyi – Victoria Island Model City Plan, the commissioner stated that it covers the period between 2013-2033 and for the sake of clarity, there is need to give the background of the area.

“The Model City is bounded in the South by the proposed Eko Atlantic City and the Atlantic Ocean, in the north by the Lagos Lagoon while the Macgregor canal bounds it in the western part.

The private estates of Oniru/Dideolu and Lekki Peninsula scheme 1 bordered the Model City in the eastern part.

The area’s land size is approximately 2,447 hectares with population over 392,31, going by the 2013 figure, with the Ikoyi-Obalende, Iru-Victoria Island Local Council Development Area (LCDA) has a Projected Population663, 226, in the year 2020 and projected population of 1,405,955 in 2030”.

To create a balanced and integrated model city with adequate, qualitative and efficient infrastructure and services that will be a pride of the state the key goals in the review plan include: Proposed intra-city cable car, mono rail, and shuttle bus routes; Ferry service Jetty site along Ozumba Mbadiwe; Telecommunication District at Saka Tinubu and environs; Creation of Hospitality Corridor between Modupe Oshikoya and Bishop Oluwole and Alfred Rewane road street scaping.

Others include the provision of both indoor and outdoor spaces that entourage and facilitate Model City recreation and celebration; Provision of high quality spaces for both active and passive recreations that meet the Model City’s unique tastes and needs.

He listed the investment investment opportunities to include Multinational Transport System, Real estate development; Hotels and Tourism, include a multi-level parking telecommunications and commercial offices

Originally published in The Guardian 

Real estate sector anticipates $13.6bn investment value rise by 2016

Barring fundamental changes in macro-economic indices and unforeseen political risk, the value of investment in real estate sector of Nigerian economy is expected to rise 4 percent to USD13.65 billion by the turn of 2016, up from its current value of $9.19 billion.

The sectors growth of 8.7 percent per annum which makes it the fastest growing and sixth largest sector in the economy is driven by a number of factors prominent among which are democratic boom, strong spending power of a rising consumer class, and fast-paced urbanization.

A  reputable research, accounting and auditing firm,  PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which gave these hints in its latest report titled Real Estate: Building the Future of Africa, says the reasons for the expected growth are not far-fetched, explaining that  notwithstanding the volatility in crude oil price since July last year,  high networth individuals (HNWIs) invest over 20 per cent of their assets in real estate.

The report which also reveals that infrastructure spend across Africa will grow from US$ 70 billion in 2014 to US$180 billion per annum by 2025 for same real estate growth fundamentals, adds that this HNWIs in real estate investment is seven per cent more than the 18 per cent or less investors in this category that invest in equities and other instruments.

“While the continents infrastructure currently lags well behind that of the rest of the world with some 30 percent in a dilapidated condition”, there is widespread recognition of the vast business opportunities on the continent as a growing consumer market as well as the vast opportunities for infrastructure investment and development”, the report notes.

It notes further that in commercial real estate, the influx of institutional, foreign and private businesses into the country and the growth of indigenous businesses and multinational oil companies in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt have kept the segment vibrant, adding that rents in Lagos are among  the highest in the world with annual achievable rents of more than $1,020 per square metre, about N200, 000 per square metre.

In an earlier study titled ‘Into Africa’ which was a comparative research study of 20 African cities of opportunity, PwC ranked Lagos as seventh while the  overall ranking of cities by the real estate report placed the top five cities as Cairo, Tunis, Johannesburg, Casablanca and Algiers in Egypt, Tunisha, South Africa, Morocco, and Algeria respectively.

The study, based on the methodology, research, and analytical framework of PwC’s global Cities of Opportunity report – the seventh edition of which will be released next year, ranked the 20 cities on 29 variables grouped into infrastructure, human capital, economics, society and demographics.

Jonathan Cawood, Capital Projects and Infrastructure leader for PwC Africa, observed that from the study, a strong correlation among infrastructure, human capital and economics is noticeable, saying that  cities that score well in infrastructure also score well in human capital and, expectedly, in economics.

He explained that with city infrastructure under pressure, many of Africa’s cities cannot maintain their current levels of population and economic growth without enhancing their infrastructure.

”The demands for infrastructure vary from city to city based on stage of development, priorities and affordability. The basic needs for power, water and sanitation, transport and logistics, housing and ICT top the list for most”, he noted.

Continuing, he said, “the wisdom in the choices Africa’s cities make in balancing political, social and economic agendas will become even more critical in managing finite financial and environmental resources,” adding that smart, creative, ambitious human beings will congregate and invest their labour and capital where it is most advantageous and livable for them to do so.

Originally published in Businessday

Minister Urges Developers to Complete On-Going Housing Projects

Minister urges developers to complete on-going housing projects

ON the heels of the May 29 handover date, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Dr (Mrs) Akon Eyakenyi has called on the newly elected executive of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) to complete on-going projects on schedule.

Speaking in her office during a courtesy visit by the association led by its President, Reverend Ugochukwu Chime, the Minister assured that the developers that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as a government institution would continue to render relevant financial assistance to developers.

Eyakenyi advised REDAN members to ensure that stakeholders in the sector maintain quality in pursuit of affordable housing for Nigerians, adding that it would further curtail incidences of collapsed buildings in the nation.

She commended the transparent process that brought up the new executive and urged them to continue to maintain an open and all-inclusive administrative policy that will benefit stakeholders in the sector.

“If you have an open administration, you will succeed, the Minister advised”. While commending the effort of the out-going administration and in particular President Jonathan’s genuine concern and support to the sector, she noted that government is a continuum, expressing hope that the in-coming administration will continue with the laudable programmes and projects in the sector.

However, she admonished that such financial assistance should be well utilized for the benefit of providing affordable and quality housing for Nigerians. REDAN President, Rev. Chime commended the Minister for the various strides recorded during her tenure, noting that she has commissioned more housing estates  than any Minister who had ever served in the Ministry, attributing it to her inspirational and outstanding leadership qualities. 272wds

Originally published in The Guardian

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