Lafarge Africa Plc, has become one of the key partners of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), for the research and development of Nigeria’s first Concrete Mix Design Manual. The Company is the country’s only cement and concrete manufacturer that contributed to the development of the manual which was launched in Abuja, recently.
Speaking to newsmen at the ceremony, the Director of Marketing at Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Vipul Agrawa said, “We commend COREN for ensuring that Nigeria now has a credible, well researched Concrete Mix Design Manual to be used for concrete works in buildings and infrastructure projects in the country. He called on all those involved in the manufacturing and use of concrete for infrastructure development in Nigeria, to use the manual to make quality concrete in building durable structures.”
Also speaking, the President of COREN, Engr. Kashim Ali, said, “I am glad that Nigeria now has its own Concrete Manual, based on local environmental conditions and raw materials and does not have to depend on reference manuals of others countries.”
Ali stated that the manual will be constantly upgraded in line with improvements in building technology. The manual, he further noted, is as a result of exhaustive research and testing with concrete materials in different parts of the country.
The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, retired Rear Admiral John Jonah, said the development was a big plus for engineering in Nigeria.
Nigerian Builders Harp On Affordable Housing
Some Nigerian builders, have stressed the need for affordable but quality housing for Nigerians to form part of the national agenda for the 2023 election.
The builders under the aegis of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) said that the inclusion of the housing plan into the subsisting national discourse, would help provide the needed shelter to teeming Nigerians in the future.
The Tide source in Lagos reports that the professionals made the position at the second Annual Memorial Lecture for Otunba Fatai-Osikoya, a foremost builder in Lagos who mentored most of the present nation’s builders.
The theme of the lecture was: “Agenda for Housing Development in Nigeria: 2023 in Perspective “.
Speaking at the event, the Guest Speaker, Mr Femi Adewole, said that availability of fund for mass housing was essential to the deliver 300,000 homes by 2025 to shore up housing deficit.
Adewole decried incessant building collapse in the country In recent times, called on people especially those in the building industry to always engage the services of certified professionals as key to avoiding incidents of building collapse.
According to him Nigeria building policy for the coming years should be such that will drive other social strata to stardom with a view to managing some of the crisis that has kept the people’s social standard low.
“One of the purposes of our gathering here is to honour Pa Osikoya and for the young generation of builders to learn from his legacies,” he said.
In her remark at the event, the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that the state actors were looking at the builders to reform the system to give Nigerians better shelter.
A builder and discussant at the panel, Mr Olugbega Ismail, said the use of local materials instead of reliance on importation of inputs would, to a large extent, drive down the cost of construction.
Developer Boosts Affordable Housing, Launches Rent-To-Own Scheme
One of Africa’s foremost real estate firms, Mixta Africa has unveiled a new scheme, ‘Duo’ designed to bridge the gap in the affordable housing segment of the real estate sector.
Duo is lease-purchase options targeted at low to middle income earners in Nigeria beginning with Lagos State for its pilot phase project. The scheme can be accessed for Marula Park housing project located in Lagos New Town, a family-friendly, gated community situated off the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
The Rent-To-Own scheme offers flexible and accessible opportunities to live in one of Mixta Africa’s upscale, beautiful and serene communities on a lease, while working towards the option of outright purchase and complete ownership of a two-bedroom flat for N31.9m at the end of a fixed three-year period. It caters to the middle-income segments of the housing industry, focusing primarily on working families in Lagos.
Speaking at the official launch of the scheme in Lagos, the country manager, Mixta Africa, Mrs. Sade Hughes, said the new innovation is designed with state of the art infrastructure for Nigerians both home and in the diaspora to meet their housing needs.
Hughes explained that subscribers to the scheme will pay rent for three years, which can later translate to property acquisition. She noted that the scheme is in line with the philosophy of the firm, which is to make housing accessible at the market through flexible payment plans, adding that it is also working with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria through the NHF scheme where Nigerians who subscribed to the scheme can access mortgage at single digit and others.
The Chief Commercial Officer of the company, Mrs. Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, emphasised that the scheme is designed to ease the financial stress of home buying for Nigerians, leverage the experiences of other payment schemes in Lagos, to provide a unique solution for home-ownership as well as promote financial inclusion.
She described the scheme as a solution that is adaptable to present reality of the mass market, which is that people need affordable products.
Akinkugbe-Filani said: “People often talk about housing deficit but it is really affordability deficit and that is where we want to be a solution provider. As a business the scheme means innovation, makes a considerable proportion of Mixta Africa’s more affordable real estate holdings available to subscribers who would be required to lease this property for a maximum three-year period, after a five per cent non-refundable equity contribution from the total property price.
“The client pays an annual rent which is added to the five per cent contribution, and the total price of the property to be paid at the end of the lease period. After the lease period expires, clients retain the right to make complete payment in addition to the initially contributed sum, to take full ownership of the property. Property title documents are only handed over to the client after full payment.”
On his part, Mixta Africa’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Benson Ajayi, said given the reality that the economy is going through some challenging times, and the impact of upcoming elections, the simplicity of the scheme and its competitive entry point will lead to rapid adoption and overall success.
“It is more difficult for companies and individuals to cope now and that is why the kind of product we have launched is very important. Home acquisition has always been a problem, government needs to support developers and lead in providing social housing at prices people can buy and there should be affordable mortgage.”
‘National Housing Project, Fruit Of Our Change Agenda’
President Muhammadu Buhari says the National Housing Project (NHP) in which 6,000 housing units are being constructed in 45 sites across the country is an example of the fulfilment of his change agenda.
The president stated this on Friday in Ilorin at the inauguration of Phase One of the NHP in Kwara State.
The phase consists of 76 housing units, road, infrastructure, water provision and electricity connection.
The Tide source reports that the housing units located on Asa Road consists of 48 units of two-bedroom bungalow, 20 units of three-bedroom bungalow and four units each of one-bedroom and three-bedroom.
In a remark before inaugurating the project, the president, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, recalled that NHP was conceived as part of his development agenda of addressing housing need in the country.
“When our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), sought your mandate to form the government in 2015, one of the things we promised was change.
“This housing project is an example of the fulfilment of that promise of change.
“Our desire and commitment towards improving the human condition and our message of change, have another facet beyond job creation.
“It responds to those who have long aspired to own a home, and that dream has come true with this project,” he said
The president added: “With the support of the Kwara State Government which provided the land, this place which was once unused land amounting to no more than idle capital, has come alive and will now provide shelter for ordinary Nigerians.
“This is also a good example of some of the developmental possibilities that inter-governmental collaboration can produce and I am optimistic that with the provision of more land, the Federal Government certainly can do more.”
The president said that the construction of the housing project had helped in many ways in improving the human condition.
According to him, Micro, Small and Medium size businesses which drive the economy won the contracts to build the houses.
“Not only did their successful bids offer an opportunity for these companies and their employees, through them we have unleashed a value chain of economic activities that improved the conditions of the ordinary Nigerians.
“They engaged suppliers who benefit from sub-contracts for the supply of building materials from sand to cement, roofing and plumbing materials to doors and electrical fitting.
“In the process, the ordinary Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid such as artisans, builders, skilled and unskilled workers and food vendors were not left out of this economic value chain,” he said.
The president said the housing project also provided the opportunity to remember the victorious Super Eagles whom the country made a promise of providing houses for after winning the 1994 African Cup of Nations.
Buhari said he had approved allocation of houses to the 22 members of the Super Eagles in the National Housing Estate located in their state of choice.
The president reiterated the commitment of his government to improve the quality of lives of the citizens and provide employment and prosperity.
He expressed his commitment toward tackling poverty by providing opportunities for employment for those who were hitherto unemployed.
“ We certainly cannot meet every one of those Nigerians in person, but our economic policies and investment in infrastructure such as this National Housing Programme and others will reach and positively impact many of them,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the Federal Government initiated the housing programme to construct acceptable and affordable houses for Nigerians nationwide.
According to the minister, the first phase of the programme commenced in 2016 in 35 states and the FCT and is being implemented by his ministry.
“For the benefit of Nigerians, on this initiative, over 1,200 building contractors have been engaged under phases I , lI and lll of the programme since inception in 2016 and over 14,500 and 50,140 direct and indirect jobs have been created.
“ During this period, the ministry had been undertaking the construction of over 6,000 housing units in 45 sites, out of which 2,465 units have been completed in 35 states and FCT,” he said.
Fashola thanked the president for approving the initiative and the governors for their support in its successful implementation.
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