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NUJ Seeks Legal Termination Of Failed Housing Project

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The National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, has called for legal termination of a stalled housing project for journalists in Lagos.
Reports says that the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ)/NUJ in 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build 800 housing units for journalists at Abaren Village in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Ogun State.
However, the agreement incorporated the NUJ which mapped out a portion of land sold to its members for the estate to be constructed by Primewaterview Ltd (PWV).
Isiguzo during a stakeholders meeting with subscribers, developer and members of NUJ and NAWOJ, said that the project was marred by irregularities as all parties in the project erred.
The NUJ president after about four hours deliberation ruled that the project from inception was not properly planned.
“Accordingly, we want to call on all the parties involved in this illegal transaction to quickly terminate the Memorandum of Understanding they signed.
“As earlier directed by NEC, the amount paid out should be returned to the union and given back to their original owners, the subscribers.
“The NUJ Lagos State Council and the leadership of NAWOJ should quickly liaise with the developer and retrieve the said amount.
“Clearly, monies paid for jobs not executed,” he said.
The president, however, added that NEC was going to decide on measures to be taken against NUJ and NAWOJ executive members, insisting that termination of the agreement should be effected within a month.
“We are asking the parties to do the needful before the end of the month,” he said.
Earlier, the NUJ president advised the managing Director of PWV, who simply identified himself as Deacon Alabi to work out modalities for refund of N73 million.
The president said that right from beginning, the agreement was breached and Primewater View was culpable.
Deacon Alabi had explained that the project was stalled by lack of funding.
While taking questions from stakeholders, Alabi said that the firm had completed various large projects in Lagos and had the expertise to have completed the project.
He said that the roads leading to the site of the housing estate was waterlogged and part of the funds was used to stabilise the road to gain access to the site, which was three kilometers away.
“The arrangement we had was that they (NAWOJ/NUJ) had a lot of members and would pay, that is why we went to site to begin construction.

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Housing/Property

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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