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Experts Move To Tackle Housing Imbalance

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Experts have in a bid to address the all time imbalance in the housing industry, which they allege has led to the high deficit in low-income segment of the market, proposed a new scheme that would allow indigent Lagosians own homes and ensure economic growth of the city.
They made the proposal at a meeting organised by  Arctic Infrastructure (AI) in partnership with Heinrich Boell Stiftung Nigeria (hbs) and attended by development experts, architects, real estate developers, journalists and financial experts, stakeholders noted that importance of providing affordable housing for the low income group in addressing housing deficits in Lagos.
Exploring the mortgage system of other countries in Africa, which include Mauritius, Morocco and Tunisia, they regretted that the prevailing mortgage practice in Nigeria, the National Housing Fund, Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS), private mortgages do not capture the needs of low-income earners in Lagos.
They said Mauritius has empowered schemes for social housing and international home ownership programmes, Morocco also subsidies loans for home ownership for low-income earners, while Tunisia created a public private partnership programme which subsidies lands for developers who are willing to build social housing for a time frame of five years.
They noted that such strategies have not been implemented by the government to attract low-income earners, but the private sectors have created several schemes, which are still not affordable for the low-income earners having a big challenge of affordable housing, it is more prominent in Lagos.
She cited publications, which focus more on inclusivity, openness and the city Lagos with more single-mindedness on the informal sector and how they can be integrated into the economic development of Lagos State.
Umunna stressed that while in Munich, Germany, most people do not own homes, but rent, people prefer to own homes rather than rent in Lagos State.
According to her, for Lagos to become a smart city, the beliefs and ideologies need to be changed.
“Urbanisation is rapid in Lagos, people migrate into the city daily and they are not leaving. Looking at the rate of population, everyone cannot build a home. Which has led to the necessity to build high-rise buildings, but high-rise buildings are expensive due to elevators and high maintenance of the buildings”, she noted.
Meanwhile, the Arctic Infrastructure and partnering Heinrich Boll Stiftun plans to launch the first Lagos Development Envision Lab (LAGDEL), a four-day residence training programme that will bring together selected talented youth from slums and informal settlements as well as young professionals from the built environment to share knowledge on the fundamental problems and alternative development strategies for the city of Lagos.

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Construction Safety: Builders  Seek New Procurement Standards 

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With the conclusion of its annual conference, the Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB) has sought for new procurement standards.
The conference which held in Port Harcourt focused on: Health, Safety, Enforcement and Professionalism for Sustainable Development” with experts in the built industry proffering solutions to the challenges facing the sector.
President of the NIOB, Kenneth Nduka while discussing the focus of the conference stressed that the enforcement of procurement laws will help infuse security and safety standards.
In an era where quacks have infiltrated the built sector, Nduka opined that procurement will check the problem of corruption , compromise of standards and the use of sub- standard products for construction.
“For us, safety and security should be a way of life fo every builder. We must embrace it as a routine”, Nduka said.
While speaking on the topic: Appraisal  of Health, Safety Practices of Small and Medium Construction Sites”, Dr. Muyiwa Abubakar, a lecturer in Building Department, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University disclosed that 60 percent of fatalities in construction sites come from buildings.
Abubakar stated that safety is pertinent so as to meet target time since construction is characterised  with risks and hazards.
The lecturer harped on safety management practices that would be driven by training , competence and enforcement.
On his part, Dr Chris Igwe suggested that quality must not be compromised to ensure safety.
For him, enforcement of standards leads to adoption of safety and security at construction sites.

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Housing/Property

‘Industrialisation, Key To Achieving Local Content In Housing’

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A member of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr Benson Ngbede, says industrialisation is key to achieving local content inputs in providing affordable housing for citizens.
Ngbede told newsmen recently in Abuja that building houses would be cheaper when the country is able to develop its industries and locally produce materials that were currently imported.
“Most resources required to build houses are locally available in their raw state. Establishing industries that will turn these raw materials into finished products for builders will ensure affordable houses for citizens.
“Government needs to put in place what is needed for developers to provide houses at relatively affordable prices; that entails availability of land and infrastructure.
“We also need to look inward. We need to develop our industries. We need to be more industrialised to help us develop local content. “If we can do that, one bedroom house can go for 1million naira, 2 bedroom for about 1.5 million, while a 3 bedroom house can be sold for N3 million, since the materials are sourced at home
“To achieve this, institutions like NIBRRI must be properly funded and supported to carry out researches that will help develop materials needed to build houses.
“We have a place like Ajaokuta which can supply iron to the entire African continent, but it is lying there idle nd not working, forcing us to import metals from other places in the world, and at a high cost,” Ngbede lamented.
He also urged government to provide infrastructure, drainage, roads and other facilities necessary for real estate developers so as to ensure a consequence reduction in the cost of houses.

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Housing Deficit: NGO To Invest $180m In Five Years

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Shelter Afrique, an NGO, is to invest 180 million dollars in five years toward addressing Nigeria’s housing deficit, Mr Andrew Chimphondah, its Managing Director, said yesterday in Abuja.
Chimphondah said that the investment period would span from 2019 to 2024.
He said that Nigeria was a strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the outfit’s shareholders included 44 African countries and two financial institutions.
According to him, Shelter Afrique provides loans, grants and credits for the development of the environment and the provision of houses for Africans.
Chimphondah said that Nigeria had 70 to 20 million estimated housing  shortage.
“We are looking at the demand and supply side of housing. For the supply side, we will enter into Public-Private-Partnership with government with government providing land and subsidised infrastructure.
“Our organisation will provide the funding and expertise to carry out the project.
“We will commit and dedicate all the expertise to ensure that quality houses are delivered; we will also ensure that the houses are energy efficient, environmental friendly and comfortable,” he added.
Chimphondah said that most financial institutions had often complained of funding, but assured Nigerians that the NGO would fashion out a way to reduce the cost of the houses.

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