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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

Operators cut pension investment in real estate by N30bn

Despite a steady increase recorded in the total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme, the Pension Fund Administrators reduced investment of the funds in real estate by N30.99bn between December 2016 and December 2017.

Statistics obtained from the National Pension Commission revealed that the total amount invested in real estate fell from N234.34bn at the end of 2016 to N203.35bn in 2017, despite recording a rise in pension assets from N6.15tn in 2016 to N7.5tn at the end of 2017.

According to the commission, as of the end of 2017, N5.29tn, which is about 70.4 per cent of the funds, was invested in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s bonds, which include treasury bills, agency bonds, sukuk bonds and green bonds.

Eight per cent of the money, totalling N672.2bn, was also invested in domestic ordinary shares.

The figures showed that N152.2bn amounting about two per cent of the funds was invested in state government securities.

Last year, the commission reviewed the regulations of investment of pension funds. And in the reviewed regulations, PenCom stated that the PFAs must offer a multi-fund structure for the Retirement Savings Account and that there would be a transition period of six months, effective from the commencement date of the multi-fund structure for all the PFAs to restructure their respective portfolios.

It stated, “The multi-fund structure shall comprise Fund I, Fund II, Fund III, and Fund IV (retiree fund). Funds I, II, III, and IV shall however differ, according to their overall exposure to variable income instruments.”

PenCom also said it would raise the pensions of retirees opting for programmed withdrawal and were being paid by the Pension Fund Administrators this month.

The Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said this when the commission submitted a memorandum to the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service at the public hearing on a bill for an Act to amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014, to provide for definite percentage a retiree could withdraw from the RSA and for other related matters.

She, however, stated that some retirees would not be entitled to the increase due to low balances in their RSAs.

Dahir-Umar said, “Indeed, the commission has just concluded an exercise to increase the monthly pension of all retirees on programmed withdrawal due to the income earned on investing their pension assets.

“The outcome of this exercise showed that 30 per cent of the retirees would not benefit from the increase due to insignificant income earned on the small balances in their respective RSAs.”

Originally published in Punch 

‘How foreign capital aids Nigeria’s commercial real estate rebound’

Notwithstanding that real estate recovery has taken time to gain traction, foreigners are fueling capital injection in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan Africa countries, with South Africa and United Kingdom investors leading the way.

Although, an oversupply of high-end property and limited access to finance have underpinned the market’s slow bounce back, prospects are looking up for the second quarter of the year.

According to a report from international brokerage, Knight Frank, the persuasive long-term investment case for Sub-Saharan Africa has drawn increased numbers of international investors to investigate opportunities within the region over recent years, albeit transactional activity has been restricted by the limited availability of investment- grade stock and the opacity of the markets outside of South Africa.

Interest in the sector remains heightened, despite the weakening of some Sub-Saharan economies over the last two years.

Two years ago, Investors’ appetite for Sub-Saharan real estate was highlighted by the announcement that the UK-based emerging markets specialist Actis had raised US$500 million for its third African property fund, Actis Africa Real Estate Fund 3.

This is the largest amount that has ever been raised for a private real estate fund focused on Sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa, and it included a commitment from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

The report revealed that Actis’ two previous funds, closed in 2006 and 2012, have been involved with some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most modern commercial property developments, in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania.

In recent years, Actis has exited from many of its first wave of investments, selling its interests in assets including the Accra Mall, Nairobi Business Park and Ikeja City Mall.

When Actis launched its first Sub-Saharan Africa fund over a decade ago, it was a pioneer entering a market largely untapped by global property funds.

However, its third fund will enter a significantly more crowded marketplace as a series of property investment vehicles have emerged in recent years targeting Sub-Saharan real estate.

Many of these are South African- controlled funds, albeit often registered or listed offshore in Mauritius.

A prominent example is RMB Westport, which was created in 2008 as a joint venture between Rand Merchant Bank and the Westport Property Group.

Its development projects were the Wings Office Complex in Lagos and Muxima Shopping Centre in Luanda. RMB Westport’s second fund, which has a target of raising US$450 million, has attracted commitments from both GIC and the UK investor Grosvenor.

Other real estate investment vehicles to have been launched in the last two years include a pan-African joint venture created by Growthpoint and Investec, which has the target of raising US$500 million.

Momentum Global Investment Management and Eris Property Group have also formed a joint venture, the US$250 million Momentum Africa Real Estate Fund, which has allocated capital to development projects in Ghana and Nigeria.

The Anglo-South African group Old Mutual signalled its intention to expand its African footprint by announcing a partnership with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.

This venture aims to raise US$500 million for a real estate fund, in addition to a US$200 million agriculture investment vehicle.

A further noteworthy event was the creation of Mara Delta, a pan- African real estate fund formed from the merger of Delta Africa and Mara Diversified Property Holdings.

During 2016, Mara Delta was one of the most acquisitive buyers of real estate across the region, growing a portfolio which currently includes assets in Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique and Zambia.

An estate surveyor and valuer, Mr. Akin Olawore who doubles as the president of Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), told The Guardian that most of the commercial buildings standing today were financed and built by such investors.

“These are part of the sums that make up Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to Nigeria, which is highest in the last five years in SSA.

“Statistics show that we have opportunities in those sectors and also have the strength of bringing in anchor tenants.

Also private equities need big assets to finance to be lucrative, a number of these assets may be bundled into REITS package to create exit for the investors to take over. “

A past Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), Lagos State Branch, Mr. Stephen Jagun said that the returns are too juicy to be ignored.

“Get the right location and deliver a super product; and if possible pre-let or pre-sale to target audience. We also have the huge population to our advantage.”

For Mrs. Erejuwa Gbadebo, Chief Executive Officer, International Real Estate Partners (IREP) Nigeria said the foreign investors have not revived the real estate.

Originally published in The Guardian



Afriland Properties Plc. has announced a profit after tax of N1.02 billion for the year ended, December 31, 2017, representing 233% increase compared to N307 million in the corresponding period of 2016. Total assets in the year under review stood at N19.8 billion which represents 17.9% increase over N16.8 billion recorded in 2016.

This was stated by the Board of Directors during the company’s 5th Annual General Meeting, which took place at the Banquet Hall of Lagoon Restaurant on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. The shareholders also approved the Board’s proposal to pay a sum of N137.39 million as dividend, translating to 10 kobo per ordinary share.

For the financial year ended 2017, Afriland properties plc. also recorded 11% growth in revenue from N1.1 billion in 2016 to N1.3 billion, while profit before tax increased by 96% to N1.06 billion from N0.540billion in 2016 financial year.

In her address, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Afriland Properties Plc, Mrs. Uzo Oshogwe, stated that “though the year under review was a period of unprecedented challenges and profound economic instability, our company was steadfast in our delivery and dedication to our clients while earning a good return for our shareholders. Our teamwork and intense focus reflects in the strong performance across our businesses.

“Our purpose to improve lives by investing in the development, management and maintenance of world-class Real Estate offerings across Africa, remains a driving force and we would continue to build our capabilities and investments in our people, systems and products.

“Though the operating environment may not change significantly, we are confident that our strategies will yield even better results in the coming years. We are closely monitoring various policy measures being taken by the Government to further sustain the gains made in 2017.”

Commenting on the results, the Chairperson of Afriland Properties Plc, Erelu Angela Adebayo, stated that “the strong performance and increase in growth is attributable to the development and disposal of properties in the year. While we faced diverse challenges in the operating environment, the company commenced and completed a number of projects. Our flagship project for the development and disposal of residential building was a huge success.

“The market remains challenging, but our strategic priorities are clear and we will continue to adapt our business accordingly. The core of our growth strategy remains directed towards broadening our real estate offerings to the market and ensuring that we consistently deliver value. We have also evaluated our strategy and refined our goals and priorities to ensure we work for the long-term benefit of our shareholders.”

About Afriland

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.

We bring innovation to the real estate sector in Nigeria and other African countries by drawing on experience, new competencies, and technology to achieve continuous improvement in service delivery to our clientele.

Countries adopt measures to calm property prices

While solid economic growth is expected to spur demand for global prime properties in 2018, its pace will be impacted by more stringent cooling measures in most countries, according to the Douglas Elliman/Knight Frank Wealth Report 2018.

“The outlook for 2018 is that economic growth will continue to support prices, but performance could be tempered as more central banks start to raise interest rates,” said Kate Everett-Allen, head of international residential research at Knight Frank, in the report.

Coincidentally, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced last week it would raise short-term interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.

Looking back at the 10 years since the 2008 global financial crisis, Knight Frank found that the pace of growth in prime property prices might have peaked in 2013.

The Prime International Residential Index 100, which tracks the performance of the world’s leading prime second home and city residential markets, was in negative territories in 2008 and 2009, with an annual decline of 0.2per cent and 5.5per cent, respectively. Growth picked up pace slowly, and peaked in 2013, with the index gaining 2.8per cent.

Last year, against all odds, the index gained 2.1per cent, with two-thirds of the locations tracked in the index reporting positive annual price growth, which reflects the expansion of global economy, according to Knight Frank.

The best-performing cities over the last decade have been in Asia, accounting for seven incidences out of 10. China’s Shanghai topped the list for three years while Guangzhou landed the first place in 2017, with home price increasing 27.4per cent year-over-year.

“Tighter macro prudential regulations introduced by the government have achieved their goal of deterring speculative activity and curbing price inflation across large parts of China,” Ms. Everett-Allen said. “Shanghai and Beijing registered growth of just over 9per cent and almost 7per cent respectively; lackluster by recent standards.”

Cooling measures have been spreading in Asia and elsewhere in recent years, as governments try to balance capital inflow and housing affordability, according to Ms. Everett-Allen.

In 2010, Hong Kong, China’s mainland and Singapore began to introduce measures to deter speculative investment as home prices flew at an annual rate of 50per cent approximately, which would potentially cause a housing bubble in very short time.

Other countries have followed suit, including Malaysia (stamp duty increase), the United Arab Emirates (cap on mortgage lending, transfer fee doubled), the U.K. (changes to stamp duty) and Australia (foreign buyer fee, stamp duty and land tax changes).

The provincial governments of British Columbia and Ontario in Canada, have imposed a 15per cent foreign buyer stamp duty on purchases in parts of Vancouver and Toronto, according to Mansion Global.

Originally published in The Guardian

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