The Enugu State Government has directed contractors handling projects across the 17 local government areas of the state to return to their sites, the Commissioner for Information, Dr Godwin Udeuhele, has said.
Udeuhele told newsmen in Enugu on Thursday that the directive was sequel to the review of the contract sums as requested.
The Tides source reports that the state government had, within the last quarter of 2016, started 35 projects cutting across all the local government areas.
The projects were expected to have been completed in December 2016 but the contractors could not deliver due to inflation.
The commissioner said that having considered the genuine request for an upward review of the project cost, the State Executive Council approved 10 per cent increase on the contract sum of all the projects.
He said that the approved variation amounted to N191.89 million, bringing the current cost of the entire projects to N2.11 billion.
“This gesture of the government is to ensure speedy completion of the projects started in the 2016 fiscal year.”
He said that the contractors had one month from now to deliver the projects so as to commence work on projects in the 2017 budget.
Udeuhele said that the council also approved the engagement of a competent external estate valuer to assist the state government identify and maintain its property.
He said that the person to be engaged would be responsible for the identification, documentation and evaluation of the property of the state.
“If you watch, all the parks we have in the state today are in the hands of individuals and the conditions surrounding the management are very shabby.
“Some individuals are claiming ownership because when you tell somebody to manage a park for about 50 years, he automatically claims ownership.”
The commissioner said that the prevailing circumstance had led to the loss of and in some cases misplacement of certain property of the state.
“We saw what happened to our liaison office in Lagos and other places in Enugu and beyond.
“We intend to look at the conditions of lease of our property and make up-to-date report to know the way forward.
“Without this, a lot of our property will turn to individual property in the next few years,” he said.
Udeuhele said that with the approval, the position would be advertised and that the person to be recruited, would provide asset register and database to be used in monitoring state property.
Ogun Seals Off Two Dilapidated Buildings …Marks 526 Others For Demolition
The Ogun State Government has sealed off two dilapidated buildings in Abeokuta the state capital, and ordered occupants of the houses to move out within 24 hours.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, Mr Nafiu Adebiyi, told newsmen during an inspection tour at the weekend, that 526 other houses built on waterways, canal and erosion channels had been marked for demolition across the state.
Adebiyi said at the scene that the order became necessary to prevent loss of lives and other possible disaster which could arise from the partially collapsed buildings.
The two buildings were located along Nepa Road in Isabo area of the state capital.
“As a responsible government, we cannot continue to watch and allow the buildings to collapse totally while people still reside in them,” he said.
Adebiyi said that the government was only waiting for response from National Emergency Managment Agency (NEMA) which had promised to provide alternative shelters for the affected victims before demolition could be effected.
“Demolition of houses is not what can be done in a hurry, no matter how illegal such structures are.
“ In as much as human beings live in such houses, we must follow the rules in carrying out such demolitions,” he said. He affirmed that government’s intention was to ensure that nobody was negatively affected as a result of preventable natural disaster which was predicted by the National Metreological Agency (NIMET) earlier in the year.
“ It is not easy to dislocate people from their comfort zone. That is why we are approaching the process with human face.
“Moreso, many houses affected were not illegally located because as at the time most of them were built, those places were not close to water banks.
“It is the challenge of climate change that made the water levels to begin to rise, with resultant erosion.
“We are being carefull so that we don’t solve a problem by creating another one, “ he said.
NIPOST Buildings’ Remodelling: CBN To Engage Architects, Others
Ahead of the proposed National Microfinance Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is planning to engage architects for the remodeling of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) buildings needed for the project.
The Tide reports that the project is expected to throw up jobs for the nation’s real estate professionals, especially, architects, engineers, estate surveyors and builders.
New structures may also be built while the old facilities are expected to be reconstructed.
Sources hinted last week that the architects and other professionals needed for the projects will be hired by CBN from its pool of consultants, while the property arm of the Nigerian Postal Service is expected to involve their in-house officials in some aspects of the remodeling exercise.
Specifically, the buildings form the equity contribution of the postal system to the bank, which is expected to have an initial capital base of N5 billion. About 774 local councils have been penciled down for the project. The pilot phase will take off in six states and Abuja, namely Oyo, Rivers, Bauchi, Kaduna, Enugu and Kogi.
The design of the structure will include counters, strong rooms and offices for the banking operation.
The scheme is a mechanism, which the apex bank hopes to drive financial inclusion of the people living in rural communities. With locations in all the nooks and crannies of the country, NIPOST is providing accommodation for the establishment of the bank.
Confirming this development, CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said new structures would also be provided where there are none to facilitate physical contacts where necessary.
Okorafor stressed that the remodeling would be done to ensure that the buildings meet the standards set by the CBN.
He noted that the essence was to improve financial inclusion and capture those in the rural villages leveraging on the NIPOST’s presence in the 774 local councils across the country to reach its target beneficiaries.
“Nigeria is large with many rural areas without banking experience , we want to employ digital payment to reach this people in the villages and the best way to reach them is to get institutions that have a footprints like NIPOST that spread throughout the 774 local councils. So what the CBN and bankers committee has done is to register a company, a micro finance bank that has footprints across 774 local councils . Wherever there is a physical building of NIPOST already, we will remodel it and use it, if there is none, we will use fabricated building”, he added.
A NIPOST official, Musa Suleiman, an engineer, said the agency would do all the major maintenance while the CBN would remodel the areas allocated to it for the banking services.
Stakeholder Laments CBN’s Removal Of Mortgage Interest Rate Cap
A player in the real estate industry, Idaibi Fiberesima, has expressed worry over the impact the removal of mortgage interest rate cap by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) would have on housing delivery in the country.
Fiberesima, who is a member of the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, in a chat with The Tide, Monday in Port Harcourt, noted that the move would spell doom for the industry.
He stated that the CBN’s recent removal of the interest rate cap for Primary Mortgage Institution (PMI),would worsen the housing delivery problems rather than improve it.
He said the move could further increase interest rates charged by mortgage banks, which he explained was between 22 and 26 percent before the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) started the refinancing of the Mortgage banks, noting however, that the interest rates came down to 17.5 percent for commercial mortgage institutions after the refinancing.
Fiberesima explained that the new provision which was issued in 2017 and became effective, September 9, 2019, indicates that interest rates and lending fees are now negotiable, which leaves the homeownership seeker at the mercy of PMIs depending on his negotiating power.
He added that the implication of the new policy is that interest rates would be determined by the risk profile of intending clients, saying, “high risk profile projects would attract high rates, while lower risk profile projects would attract lower rates or no deal at all’’.
The estate surveyor and valuer lamented that the mortgage system in Nigeria has not reduced to the housing deficit in the country, pointing out that the interest rate would be market driven and not sensitive to the housing challenge facing the average Nigerian worker.
He emphasised that the mortgage policy in the country did not encourage citizens to own their own homes, and pointed out that an interest rate of over 20 per cent and payment tenure of five years cannot be referred to as mortgage.
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