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Afriland Properties CEO, Uzo Oshogwe’s Interview in September Edition of Genevieve Magazine

How have your experiences over the years molded and shaped you into the leader you are today?

My parents instilled in me some real core values that I hold very dear even to this day. “Treasuring one’s integrity over riches”. “The importance of hard work, getting things done and never giving up when things get tough”. These values have helped me along the way and into becoming the leader I am today.

I have been blessed with the opportunity of working for some of the best organizations and with great people in my 25+years career. In business, you are as strong as your team, so I surround myself with great people and I learn from them every day. I have learnt over time that the perception people around you have of you is greater than your intent. It is important to manage each person in a unique way that brings out the best in them, encourage innovation and creativity whilst maintaining a professional and conducive work environment for all.

Read full interview

FG releases N9bn for 550 low-cost houses

The Federal Government has released N9bn for the construction of 550 low-cost houses in Zuba, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, in the pilot phase.

According to the Federal Housing Authority, the low-cost houses, which shall be replicated in the all state capitals across the country, will be specifically for low income earners.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FHA, Prof Mohammed Al-Amin, disclosed this in Abuja after inspecting the ongoing construction work at the site of the pilot project in Zuba.

He said, “This project started 14 weeks ago. It is a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom houses and flats. A total of 550 houses are to be produced there. In every site is a direct stage of construction and we are expecting to invest N9bn in the project. Already, we have this money in our account.

“Government has given us this money and we are releasing it according to the dictates of the Public Procurement Act. This is not the only place in Abuja that we are building such a project. We have opened Kwali and in the next two weeks, we are going to open another in Lugbe. These are for low-income earners in Abuja.”

He noted that the project was for workers in the informal sector, adding that the Federal Ministry of Finance, in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President, was managing the fund for the project.

Al-Amin stated, “So principally, the Zuba housing project is created to be a pilot project of what is called Buhari Bricks, and this essentially entails having houses for all categories of Nigerians. For low income earners or those in the informal sector, we have what is called the Family Home Fund.

“This fund is being administered by the Office of the Vice President and the Federal Ministry of Finance. In this fund, once you can afford to contribute N30,000 monthly, then you get into the process of owning one of the buildings as far as you meet the stipulated criteria.”

He added, “The second aspect of it is for those who have jobs higher than those in the N30,000 monthly contribution category, and they need houses and keep migrating into our cities across the country. If you go to Aba, Lagos, Kano, Katsina and many other cities, you will see that on the fringes of these cities are many new neighbourhoods that are not well planned and the buildings are not good. The reason is that urban migration is taking place.

“So, the only way to check it is to have the mass housing scheme that targets these migrants and provide them with good accommodation, so as to free these cities. So, if you have good and cheap houses, any migrant that comes into the city will rather go there and stay and start coming into the main city. Instead of him to go and buy a farmland and start building and eventually contributing in defacing the city.”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, FHA, Lawal Shuaibu, said the 550 housing project was a social intervention scheme of the Federal Government, adding that the agency was also involved in the construction of commercial houses for high income earners.

He stated, “This project in Zuba is a social mass housing project that is to accommodate people who cannot afford what it takes to acquire a house at an exorbitant price. So, what we are putting up here are affordable houses.

“Therefore, when we say social houses, it is the social responsibility of the government to extend its kind gesture to the Nigerian public. For the commercial housing project, here we are looking for people who have money and this can be seen in the kind of materials used for the buildings and their aesthetics.”

Originaly published in The Punch

FHA plans N27b housing scheme for low-income earners

In fresh effort to reduce the huge housing deficit in the country, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has begun construction of 1650 housing units, for low-income earners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The project, which comprises 550 homes in Zuba, Kwali and Lugbe axis of the city, is expected to gulp about N27billion. The buildings range from one-bedroom flats to five bedroom luxury apartments.

FHA Managing Director, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin said the project located in “Zuba is almost completed while the one in Kwali is ongoing and Lugbe phase II will begin next week.”

He stressed that there are also ongoing projects in Apo, Guzape area of the FCT for the high-income earners, which is 90 per cent completed. FHA also plans to begin another scheme in Maitama area in three-month time, which will comprise of villas, duplex and luxury houses.

Mohammed said the initiative, which is to make houses affordable to the low-income earners is under the social housing scheme, and the present administration is committed to making that a reality.

He said locating houses far away from the main city does not go well with the government, hence the initiative of FHA building houses in the fringes of the city.

On how affordable the buildings would be to low-income earners, he said: “The demand for the houses is high. None will be above five million and there are from one to five bedrooms. The good thing is if you are going through the government mortgage system you don’t have to do what is called equity. You don’t have to pay 30 per cent of the money before a house is giving to you.”

Commenting on the issue of cartels who defraud potential land or house buyers, the FHA boss advised buyers not to negotiate with anyone who is not a staff of the FHA. He added that the digitization initiative engaged FHA will eliminate double allocations, forgery of documents and ensure quick services.

“The cartels lie to potential buyers that they have land to give them. We keep telling Nigerians not to negotiate with anyone who is not an FHA staff. Even if the person is from FHA, you should ask him if he is from estate department. Only people in estate department and to some extent marketing department are allowed to interact with the public’’

Originally published in The Guardian

Group Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, Visits the Newly Renovated Raymond House, Now Afriland Towers

The Group Chairman of Heirs Holdings, an African proprietary investment company, recently visited the newly renovated Raymond House, now known as Afriland Towers.

With the aim to expand our commercial real estate portfolio and beautify Broad Street skyline, the 8-floor office complex, located at the intersection of Martins street and Broad street, was acquired by Afriland Properties Plc and revamped into a world-class, fully serviced, open plan office.

During his visit, the Group Chairman commended and congratulated Afriland team for the incredible transformation of the iconic and once decrepit building, into a top-notch facility.

About Afriland Towers
Location: 97/105, Broad street, Lagos Island.
Total lettable space: 6,000m2
Floor size: 750 m2

Facilities
Dedicated PHCN Transformer.
4no. 500KVA backup Generators
Centralized Air Conditioning System
3no. Passenger Lifts
Constant Water supply
24hrs Security

For more enquiries:
Call: 01- 631 0480-1, 08033199436, 08033634460, or 08038335722
Email: info@afrilandproperties.com

Afriland Properties Plc MD/CEO, Uzo Oshogwe, Wins 2018 Most Enterprising Woman in Real Estate Award

The Managing Director/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, Uzo Oshogwe, has won the Most Enterprising Woman in Real Estate Award at the 2018 edition of Africa Real Estate Conference and Awards, AFRECA’18. The award was given in recognition of her exceptional leadership and untiring efforts in providing adequate service delivery in the growth of the Nigerian real estate sector.

The event which was organized by Propertypro.ng took place at Landmark event centre and is designed to proffer solutions to real estate challenges and celebrate excellence amongst African Real Estate stakeholders, for their national and global achievements.

While speaking during one of the sessions themed; Sustainable & Equitable Housing: The Role of The Government and Private Sector, Uzo Oshogwe recommended collaboration between the private and public sector as the solution to the housing shortfall Nigeria has experienced for decades. She also stated that ‘’Property developers need single interest loans to be able play their role in providing affordable houses and should explore other sustainable materials in order to crash the cost of construction.”

Other attendees include the Honorable Minister of Housing, Lagos State, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, Erejuwa Gbadebo, Chief Executive, Cluttons Nigeria and Rogba Orimalade, Principal Partner, Rogba Orimalade & Co.

ARCON plans enforcement unit, begins project registration

To eliminate quackery in architectural practice, Architects Registration Council Of Nigeria (ARCON) has announced plans to set up an enforcement and compliance unit, which will ensure that only registered members handle architectural projects in the country.
The council in a statement said that the measures would be in consonance with the extant laws and complement the content and spirit of the National building codes.
According to ARCON President, Sir Dipo Ajayi, the unit will ensure that only professionals with the requisite knowledge and expertise of the building process are engaged to carry out building projects and are duly governed by the various Acts in the statute books.

“The Council is working in concert with other interest groups to get the built environment properly policed to avoid or reduce to the barest minimum the issue of building collapse and its attendant effect on the developer and the national psyche,” he said.
Speaking on the recent building collapse in Abuja, Ajayi observed that the current incidences and others in the past, shows that developers and various institutions, hire unregistered persons posing to be architects/consultants (quacks) and foreigners to carry out projects in Nigeria, thereby subjecting the unsuspecting public to great risk, that ultimately results in loss of life and property.

To mitigate such incidences, he said: “the Council has set up the ARCON Projects Registration Number (APRN) system, which is a mandatory registration number to be issued to all architects practicing in Nigeria, for each of their projects, to certify that these projects are designed, handled and executed by Nigerian citizens fully registered to practice in Nigeria.

“While the APRN is intended to combat the scourge of building failure and collapse through the elimination of quackery, it is also to ensure that only fully registered and financially current architects/architectural firms prepare, produce and submit designs for planning/implementation approval and receive such approvals when they are given.

“Architects and architectural firms who are registered with the Council are to submit architectural building plans for approval /implementation and are responsible for the supervision of their designs.”

Ajayi explained that “the measure is to complement the old practice of submitting building with a copy of the architect’s current practice licence, the affixing of ARCON stamps, signed by the architect and sealed (with the architect’s ARCON seal) on each sheet of the drawings submitted for approval, a letter from the client stating that the architect will be responsible for the supervision of their architectural design during the construction period.

“The placement of the ARCON number on each sheet of the drawings submitted for approval and the placement of the APRN number, together with the architect’s (or architectural firm’s) name /registration-number, on the project sign board upon commencement of construction.”

Meanwhile, the council has commended the quick response of the emergency rescue team, led by the National Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Agency. Ajayi stated that the urgent steps taken by the administration clearly shows that it is a caring one and observed that ARCON is in full support of all initiatives to bring the ugly incidences of collapse building under control.

Originally published in The Guardian

SON plans collaboration with CORBON to end building collapse

In a bid to check building collapse in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has entered into partnership with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to end the menace.

The agreement was reached recently during a courtesy visit of the Council officials led by the Chairman, Professor Kabir Bala to the SON’s Director General, Osita Aboloma and his management in Abuja.

Investigation revealed that the agency’s readiness to cooperate with CORBON, saying that environmental issues and resource management needed to be brought to the forefront in the building and construction sector.
According to SON’s Director General, the renewed collaboration towards institutionalizing standards in the construction sector was to stem the tide of building collapse and structural failures throughout the nation.

The SON boss represented by a Director, Richard Agu, noted that the cooperation of the two organisations had helped in bringing issues and dangers of building collapse to the forefront of public discourse.

SON, according to him, would be disposed to supporting the forthcoming 2018 builders congress through delivery of technical papers, exhibition of standards, among others.
Agu proposed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations to leverage on the extensive regulatory powers in the new SON Act 14 of 2015 in the overall interest of the nation and her citizens.

He admonished CORBON members and institutions to take advantage of SON capabilities in management systems certification of their services in quality and environment, among others.

Contributing, Director of Operations, SON, Felix Nyado, disclosed that all State offices have mobile sandcrete block testing machines for quality assurance.

He advised CORBON to also key into knowledge-sharing through more active participation in the national mirror committee for development of international standards under the auspices of the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) activities relating to the building sector and environmental sustainability.

Originally published in The Guardian

FMBN adopts rent-to-own housing scheme for NHF contributors

Pilot phase targets 3,000 homes nationwide
In a renewed effort to make homeownership more accessible and affordable for Nigerian workers, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has kick-started the implementation of a rent-to-own housing scheme.

The FMBN rent-to-own scheme is an innovative affordable housing product, which provides an easy and convenient payment plan towards homeownership for Nigerian workers.

The scheme is specifically designed to make it possible for Nigerian workers to move into FMBN homes as tenants, pay for and own the properties through monthly or yearly rent payments spread over periods of up to 30-years.

To further increase affordability, the properties will also attract a single digit interest rate of 9 per cent on the price of the property on an annuity basis. The product will cover properties with the maximum value of N15 million.

The rent-to-own housing product targets Nigerian workers who are contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) and will be implemented in phases. About 3,000 houses are planned for the pilot phase.

To deliver on the rent-to-own housing scheme, FMBN will partner with reputable estate developers for the construction of quality, cost-effective housing stock nationwide. Payments for the houses will be domiciled with the CBN through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

Properties that are planned for the rent-to-own scheme are existing estates that are funded by FMBN nationwide and non-funded estates.

FMBN Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Dangiwa said that the rent-to-own is yet another groundbreaking initiative of the bank that is targeted at increasing access to affordable housing by Nigerian workers who fall into the low-medium income brackets.

“The rent-to-own housing product is designed to make sure that any worker who collects a salary should be able to live in his own home and pay conveniently over periods as long as 30-years! This is a massive relief especially given how little workers earn. I am delighted that we have successfully added this product to the many other initiatives that we have made possible to make homeownership a lot easier for Nigerian workers,” he said.

The FMBN MD/CEO commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the development of housing and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola for his continual support for the ongoing reforms to re-position FMBN on the path of efficiency and impact.

He stated that the implementation of the scheme will totally eliminate the burden of equity contributions by workers for housing loans, complement the existing products of the bank by widening the home ownership bracket, increase housing stock, and help the bank to utilize abandoned estates that are to be transferred to the scheme.

Originally published in The Guardian

NMRC up-scales housing finance, raises debt issuance to N440 billion

To deliver on its mandate of making housing finance more affordable and accessible, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC) shareholders have approved the up scaling of the company’s debt issuance programme from N140 billion to N440 billion.

The shareholders gave their nod at its Annual General Meeting held at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island last week, where the company Plc (NMRC) released its Annual Report and Accounts for 2017.

In the result, the company’s net interest income increased by 31per cent from N3.022 billion in 2016 to N3.976 billion in 2017.

Profit before income tax increased by 50 per cent from N1.289 billion in 2016 to N1.945 billion in 2017.

NMRC’s performance is further buttressed by the conferment of an investment grade rating with a positive outlook by Global Credit Rating Company.

The Chairman, Dr. Charles Okeahalam noted that NMRC had a successful year in 2017. According to the Chairman, the company grew its revenue and balance sheet, as well as improved its relationship with existing and new member banks.

The new banks that joined the NMRC are – FBN Mortgages, Brent Mortgage bank, Gateway savings and Loans, Omoluabi Mortgage bank Plc, Lagos Building and Investment Company Limited and Delta Mortgage bank.

The Chairman further noted that the company enhanced its service offerings, maintained its risk profile, and improved the rate of execution on refinancing its member banks while delivering on its strategic priorities.

The Company’s Acting Managing Director, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, noted that the company recorded significant improvements and created value for its stakeholders despite the challenging macro-economic environment.

According to Mr Ogundimu, earnings per share increased to N1.04 in 2017 from N0.72 in 2016 while total assets as at December 31, 2017 was N42.54 billion, an increase of N1.75 billion over 2016 balance of N40.79 billion.

The Acting CEO also noted that NMRC’s cost-to-Income and capital adequacy ratios and other regulatory and performance metrics were significantly better in 2017 than in 2016.

Originally published in The Guardian

Don’t Lose Sleep: 5 Ways to Secure Your Home

The fear of intrusion or unauthorized entry into our homes is one of the greatest fears of all. Great enough to keep us awake. An ideal approach to home security would be to combine latest security systems with best home security practices. However, we would focus on safe security practices in this article.

Break-ins are quite common in our environment today. The richer or more resources you have access to, the more susceptible you may be to attacks.

Don’t lose sleep. Below are 5 ways to secure your home and properties:

Eliminate all hiding spots

Trees, untrimmed garden and bushes are good covers for burglars. They either hide there to get in or hide there on their way out, especially if they are close to the doors or windows. Tall trees that are close to the building with extended branches may also serve as supports to get in through the window.

Ensure regular gardening and keep your environment clean.

Lock all windows

There’s a general misconception or a rule of thumb that suggests that only ground floor windows need to be locked and that windows on the first floor don’t need to be locked. This is not true. Windows on other floors asides the ground floor may also be accessible.

If there are two burglars, one climbing and the other assisting, that makes other windows accessible. Therefore, always lock all windows, especially when you will not be at home for a long time. You could also make use of reinforced glass, window bars and alarms that trip off if glass is forcefully broken.

Get a Dog

The general saying” The bark matters more than bite” is very applicable in the case of burglars. Though a dog is not a home security system, they won’t let strange movements go without a bark and that is to your advantage as a home owner. Dogs are reliable and know how and when to use their sharp claws, jaw strength, unparalleled sense of smell and fearlessness to your defense.

Monitor service providers

Most burglars need at least a bit of information on how to get into your home or move around once they gain access. A lot of scouting is done sometimes by service providers for this purpose. Keep your home secure by conducting background checks and keeping an eye on them when they are around.

Light up

Although majority of housebreaking occur during the day, some occur at night while homeowners are fast asleep. The darker it gets; the more confident burglars get and the easier it becomes for them to operate.

Light up your landscape. You could improve protection by installing lights that are equipped with motion sensors. Once there is movement in that area, they come on. That makes them feel someone is watching and might be less motivated to break in.

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