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Nigeria’s Housing Deficit’ What Nigeria’s Housing Deficit’ What Hope In 2010?

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One major area that posed so much challenge to Nigeria’s development is the area of housing and property development. Virtually every city in Nigeria is faced with the challenge of affordable accommodation for its inhabitants, particularly those in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja which could be said to be the worst hit.

According to the world bank estimates, Nigeria needs to produce about 720, 000 housing units annually for the next 20 years, so as to be able to close the gap in her housing demand and supply.

The Minister of State for Works, Housing andUrban Development, Grace Ekpiwhre in a press statement recently posited that only 19.2 household in Nigeria live in their own homes.

In some highly populated cities like Lagos, statistical data have revealed that 65 percent of the 15 million residents of the city live in rented apartments, and spend over 50 per cent of  their  monthly earnings on house rent.

The same could also be said of the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), Port Harcourt, Enugu as well as other major cities across the country where income earners spend a very higher percentage of their income on rent.

To make matters worse on the provision of affordable housing, land it self has become extremely difficult to acquire, and various land owners have tended to take advantage of the situation to keep prices at cut throat level, where as the average income earner, especially the junior public servants who depend on monthly salary can hardly acquire a plot of land, even if he had to save 50 percent of his monthly salary.

In all these, government, both at the federal, state, and local government have not really taken giant steps towards addressing the matter, even if it means granting loans for housing to workers enmass.

It is for these reasons that the efforts put up by President Umaru Yar’dua on the land reform agenda is most commendable because of some notable impediment it is viewed to address in respect to home ownership and access to land.

The land use act was promulgated as the law use decree in 1978 by the military government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and is seen or viewed as a major obstacle to real estate development business.

Report citing the United Arab Emirate example quoted Abdul Kadiri of Ark Gold properties of advising Nigeria to go ahead – long for such reform for housing development, and such that can boast tourism.

According to him “The United Arab Emirate (UAE) is today world tourism destination, and this is simply because of changes it made in its land rules. In 2002, UAE liberalised its land rules, giving even foreigners freedom to acquire land and develop on same. Today, the story is what we see as Masdar City in Abu Dubai, Burji Dubai and Burj Al-Arab both in Dubai”.

It is true that much have been said about affordable houses and ownership of houses in the time past. The year 2009 is gone, and here  we are in 2010, and the question still is the way forward to actualise this goal of addressing Nigerian’s housing deficit onward.

Government has so much part to play in this regard. Housing loans should be made available to public servants to enable them own and live in their own houses.

Apart from providing soft housing loans, government at various levels can as well acquire land and either build on the land and resell them to public servants, while the cost be deducted from their salaries over a period of  a given time frame.

Private and over limited liability companies should also be encouraged to take the issue of housing for their workers very seriously through policies that will put them on focus for such important welfare matter.

At this point in time, the land reform becomes imperative because it is supposed to free land, not for the improvement of home ownership alone, but for other productive purposes like the agriculture, tourism and industries among others.

Nigeria is blessed with vast land and other resources, and if government will have the political will to implement the reforms and other solutions, only time will tell what we will achieve in a short while.           

 

Corlins Walter

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NASRDA Moves To Promote Space Technology In S’East

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In its quest to boost creativeness of space technology and its innovations among Nigerian youths, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) through its Southeast Advanced Space Technology Applications Laboratory (SE-ZASTAL) has commenced a turn-round space technology applications promotion among the secondary schools in the region.
The Coordinator, SE-ZASTAL, Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Mr. Andrew Onwusulu, made this known while declaring open a training outreach held for 442 students at the main hall, Federal Government College, Okposi, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.
According to him, “the space applications promotion outreach was part of activities designed for the secondary students to sharpen their intellectual capability in science and technology innovations”.
Tagged “Capacity building for young minds: Benefits of Space and Technology Applications”, the outreach, he explained, “will forever remain in the minds of the students who participated in the training based on series of lectures and skills benefited”.
The principal of the School, Mr. Frank O.A. Omale, in his opening address thanked the agency’s new DG, Dr Mathew Adepoju, through the SE-ZASTAL Coordinator, Mr. Onwusulu Andrew, who outlined the significance of the training as a means of expanding the knowledge of Space Science to the people at the grassroots.
Mr. Omale urged the students to be serious with their studies, describing it as a great opportunity for FGC, Okposi, to be selected first, on the list of the schools mapped out for such training in the Southeast States.
In his remark, the Principal of the School, Mr Omale Frank, observed that no nation can survive the present struggles without  adequate involvement in space technology and its innovations.
He, therefore, charged Science students to rededicate their time to deep reading and aligning with current trends in technology, which he said remain very pivotal to national development.
Other instructors which included Engr. Chinedu Akarugwo, focused on the topic, “Basic Space Science and Technology of SE-ZASTAL”, and Miss Precious Ugwu with the “Space Careers”, as well as Engr. Agu John-Paul Okechukwu, who taught on, “Understanding our environment thorough earth observation”, all highlighted the impacts of Space Science researches and innovations in the environment.
During the training session, the students also had opportunities to access the SE-ZASTAL’s facilities to test, and were also exposed to the activities of NASDRA in other States, such as The National Centre for Remote Sensing, Jos, Centre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka, Enugu State; Centre for Atmospheric Research, Anyigba, Kogi State, Ile-Ife, Lagos.
Some of the students who shared their experiences after the lecture, including an SSS2 student, Okorie Ifeanyichukwu Timothy, described the training as “well-organised”, noting that it would stimulate students’ interest in the technical aspects of promotion and its applications.
Another student, Ogbonna Confidence A., urged the government to support teachers and researchers in the agency, expressing her willingness to take her time to visit the Agency’s headquarters and other NASRDA offices during holidays.
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SEC Directs Capital Market Operators To Implement ERM Framework 

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has mandated all capital market operators to implement an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework that aligns with internationally recognised standards.
In a statement issued on the Securities and Exchange Commission website, the SEC said these standards include those set by the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission, the International Organisation for Standardisation, and the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations.
It added that this initiative aims to bolster risk management practices within the capital market, minimize systemic impacts, and safeguard stakeholders’ interests.
“All capital market operators are hereby directed to implement an enterprise risk management framework that conforms to international standards, such as the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO 31000), Financial Action Task Force Recommendations and any other internationally recognised risk management standards.
“Adoption of comprehensive risk management practices is imperative for minimising systemic impact and safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders”, the statement explained.
According to the commission, the new ERM framework requires CMOs to consider their operational structure, business activities, client demographics, products, services, and delivery mechanisms.
It noted that the framework must include a comprehensive risk governance structure with clear roles and responsibilities, including the establishment of a risk management committee.
To ensure accountability and oversight, the SEC directed CMOs to define their risk appetite, tolerance statements, and consistent reporting to senior management and the Board of Directors.
It added that organisations must implement risk-awareness programmes to cultivate a culture of risk management throughout their operations.
“This directive is aimed at strengthening the implementation of risk-based supervision, including anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures in the capital market.
“Consequently, all CMOs are required to submit a Board-approved risk management policy (selectable and searchable PDF format) on or before September 30, 2024, via email at rbs@sec.gov.ng to obtain a ‘No Objection'”, it stated.
The commission noted that the directive was part of its broader strategy to enhance risk-based supervision in the capital market, including measures for anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and countering proliferation financing.
It also asked CMOs to submit an annual risk profile by January 31 of each year.
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Firm Combats Fraud Through Data Technology 

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A digital technological firm, the Visa,  has concluded plans to protect sensitive data for individuals, saying its technology helped to save about $650 million that could have been lost to fraudsters  in 2023.
A statement from the firm revealed that the technology, known as Visa tokens, generated more than $40 billion in incremental e-commerce revenue for businesses globally.
The statement added that Visa would continue to enhance security across the payment ecosystem through the technology, known as tokenization.
“Visa, a world leader in digital payments, recently announced a significant milestone achieved by its tokenization technology, revealing that Visa tokens have generated more than $40 billion in incremental ecommerce revenue for businesses globally and saved $650 million in fraud in the last year”, the statement explained..
Visa also announced it has issued more than 10 billion tokens since the technology’s launch in 2014.
“Over the last 10 years, Visa has further enhanced security across the payment ecosystem through tokenization, a technology that replaces sensitive personal data with a cryptographic key that conceals sensitive payment data.
“Tokenization can be embedded into any device, making digital payments more secure while being virtually useless to scammers.
“Currently, 29% of all transactions processed by Visa use tokens, reflecting their widespread adoption and the trust consumers place in this secure payment method.
“Tokenization technology has also caused a six-basis point increase in payment approval rates globally. Overall, tokenization can reduce the rate of fraud by up to 60%, providing businesses with more successful transactions and offering much-needed peace of mind to consumers and merchants of all sizes.
“Visa, announced the milestone live onstage at Money20/20 in Amsterdam recently, issued its billionth token in 2020. Due in part to the shift to digital during the pandemic, the adoption of tokens accelerated significantly in the last four years.
“Today, over 8,000 issuers are enabled for tokenization, with over 200 markets empowered with the technology globally. In the last 12 months, over 1.5 million eCommerce merchants transacted with Visa Tokens every day.
“A recent Visa survey revealed that less than one third of consumers globally feel in control of their data, and only slightly more than one third fully understand how their data is used.
“However, Tokenization can unlock a whole new era of personalization and security, one where consumers control their data and approve when and where it can be shared for a more personalized experience.
“In the not-too-distant future, Visa data tokens could help merchants and commerce platforms use your data in a way that is both transparent and gives you control, meaning you decide who gets access to your data (and when they no longer do) as well as how your data will be used.
“Powered by AI, Visa data tokens let consumers view, consent to, and revoke data sharing access, right from their banking app”, the statement posited.
Corlins Walter
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