CHIKA OKEKE take a cursory look at some major events that postioned the housing sector for global competitiveness in 2017.
It is estimated that Nigeria is taunted with over 17 million housing deficit across the local, states and federal level.
This however put pressure on the available land resources as two or more persons jostling to own homes were severally hoodwinked by land racketeers especially at the federal capital territory.
Notwithstanding the shortage, there are still increasing numbers of completed and unoccupied houses across the major cities of Abuja, Lagos and Portharcourt due to high rental fees.
With the mind boggling housing shortfall, government and the private sector embarked on series of initiatives to facilitate affordable housing for Nigerians.
While the ministry of power, works and housing (housing sector) has the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) as its only agencies, the latter seems to be napping.
Aside the unveiling of a 260 Housing Units for medium, high income earners in Guzape district, Apo Abuja in collaboration with Bauhaus International Limited (BIL), the FHA was bereft of activities throughout 2017.
This is why there are heated debate by stakeholders to commercialise the agency for effective housing delivery across the states.
The ministry (housing sector) was almost dormant while FMBN and private sector livened the sector.
Below are highlights of major events in the built environment.
The year 2017 kicked off with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) signing a $2bn Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with Shelter Afrique and Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) for housing development across the country.
The immediate past Acting Managing Director of FMBN, Mr Richard Esin noted that the housing scheme is expected to create about 150, 000 jobs.
Thereafter, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) posted an operating surplus of N2.7b for the year ended December 2016, a situation that marked the bank’s return to profitability for the first time in over two decades.
Esin who highlighted this at the bank’s 2016 Business Performance Review session which took place between 25th and 27th January in Abuja stated that the $2 billion construction finance deal would provide 10,000 housing units annually for the next 10 years.
In February, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) assembled the creme-de-la-creme in the country at the conferment of Fellowship to 30 engineers with the theme, “Empowering Engineering Teachers: Bridging the Industry-Academia Gap”.
The Executive General Manager (CSR & Medical Services Division) Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Engr. Vincent Nnadi disclosed that the multi-national oil company has invested about $10bn in Nigerian economy in the last ten years.
In March, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri commissioned a 250 – Unit Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN)/ Kam Abioye Housing Estate, financed by FMBN and developed by Kam Abioye Nigeria Limited in Ilorin, Kwara state.
Shehuri advocated that home acquisition should be subsidized for workers even as he called for additional support in allocation of land and tax holidays.
The Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) visited the headquarters of FMBN in May.
The President/Chairman of Council, AHCN, QS Mohammed Baba Adamu disclosed that the professional body has commenced the process of structuring a N500bn revolving housing intervention fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria to facilitate mass housing construction in Nigeria.
The FMBN, Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN) and Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) joint parley was held in June.
The Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa disclosed that his immediate priority is to embark on aggressive loan recovery and improvement of the banks’ loan portfolio.
In July, the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) organised another Fellowship Conferment ceremony of 24 Engineers in Abuja with the theme, “Power Sector Reform in Nigeria: The Missing Link”.
The engineers lamented brazen political interference four years after the privatisation of Power sector, a situation they linked to incessant power outage that have crippled many businesses.
The Nigerian Society of Engineers ( NSE ) commemorated the 80th birthday celebration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in Abuja.
Obasanjo warned Nigerians to stop calling him Matthew as the biblical Matthew was known as a stupid tax collector.
Three days later, the 11th Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) organised by Fesadeb Media Group Limited kicked off with the theme: ‘Solving Nigeria’s Housing Challenge through Innovative Finance and Infrastructure Solution”.
The Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun revealed that Presidency has targetted about N1trillion for new Social Housing Programme through combined efforts of the public and private sector.
The scheme which is included in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ( ERGP) of the government would deliver about 2.5m housing units over the planned period using mainly local materials for construction.
The Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) organised the 7th Building and Construction Roundtable (BCERT 7) with the theme, “Nigeria’s Competitiveness in Global Quantity Surveying for National Development”.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola challenged Quantity Surveyors (QS) in Nigeria on the need to adopt international certification for their professional services.
On August, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) disbursed Home Renovation Loans worth N643m to 740 federal civil servants across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) through the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB).
The Managing Director / Chief Executive of FMBN, Arc Ahmed Dangiwa noted that the sum of N3. 35bn has so far been disbursed to 4, 342 beneficiaries across the country for both federal and state civil servants as well as employees of the organised private sector through the loan window.
At the 6th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, organised by the ministry with the theme, “Building for Inclusion, Growth and Prosperity”, the Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola called for a review of Procurement Laws to facilitate the delivery of affordable housing.
While rejecting the 15 percent mobilisation fee paid to contractors for projects, he suggested for 50 percent mobilisation fee adding that the procurement law is obstructing the development and growth of Nigeria.
On 12th September, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in collaboration with Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) organised a 2-day Stakeholders workshop on Mobile Storage Vessels and Photovoltaic Standards in Abuja.
The president of NSE, Engr. Oliver Otis Anyaeji indicted marketers over the continued use of substandard vessels in the storage and transportation of PMS and other petroleum products.
Also, the Housing Circuit Magazine in collaboration with Senate Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development organised a 2-day Housing Summit with the theme, “Addressing Housing Stock Deficit in Nigeria”.
Vice President, Prof Yomi Osinbajo who was represented by the minister of state power, works & housing, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarman lamented that the housing deficit is unacceptably high despite various policies and strategies adopted by the federal government aimed at combating the housing problems.
The FCT Chapter of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) organised a conference with the theme,”Making Abuja A Smart City”.
A fellow of the Institute, TPL Saka Olajide pointed out that high cost of funding infrastructure is one of the greatest challenges militating against smart city project saying that stakeholders and government cannot own an efficient system without investing huge funds.
In October, the Abuja chapter of Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) held the 2017 Civil Engineering Conference/ AGM with the theme, ‘Fighting Corruption in Nigeria: The Role of Engineering Professionals’.
At the event, former World Bank Vice President, Dr Oby Ezekwesili regretted that nearly $600bn profit after the discovery of oil that Nigeria is still battling with poor development of critical infrastructure considered to be the backbone of any development.
The 26th Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) October lecture with the theme, “Energy Situation In Africa: Opportunities and Challenges” provided another opportunity to expose the lapses in the power sector.
Immediate past president of the Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO), Engr. Mustapha Balarabe Musa emphasised that out of N449bn total invoice for Market Operators (MO) and Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) in 2016 that Distribution Companies (DISCO’s) only remitted N127bn, amounting to 28 percent.
The commissioning of River Park Estate and Community Police Station Lugbe, off Airport road Abuja was another event targetted at trimming down the housing deficit.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo disclosed that it would take Nigeria almost 2030 to bridge the housing deficit with the construction of 500, 000 housing units per annum.
At the 2017 World Cities Day and World Habitat Day with the theme, “Housing Policies: Affordable Homes and Innovative Governance, Open Cities”, the Minister of State for Power, works and Housing, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma regretted the increase in housing deficit despite the implementation of various housing policies and programmes.
Committed to city planning, the Abuja chapter of Nigerian Institute Of Town Planners (NITP) marked the 2017 World Town Planning Day on 8th November with the theme, “Inclusive Cities & Communities”.
The United Nations -Habitat programme manager for Nigeria, Tpl Kabir Yari hinted that 60 percent of Nigerians lived in informal settlements that depicted characteristics of slums.
The 27th Biennial Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) with the theme, ‘Developing the Economy for Sustainable Growth: The Construction Industry as an Effective Stimulant’ provided insight into government spending in the ministry.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by the minister of state power, works and housing II, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma revealed that federal government paid about N50 billion to 62 contractors working on 149 projects this year in order to continue works on the nation’s roads and bridges and sustain the workforce.
Determined to end capital flight and boost indigenous companies, the 50th Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Conference/ Annual General Meeting with the theme, “Diversification of Nigerian Economy: Engineering Perspective” paved the way.
The minister of science and technology, Engr. Ogbonnaya Onu declared it’s intention to mandate the ministry of Interior to stop granting expatriate quota to foreign companies for any expertise available in Nigeria.
Moved to boost the organisations image, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) organised the 2017 Management Staff Retreat with the theme,”Towards Improving FMBN Transaction Turnaround Time”.
The managing director/chief executive of FMBN, Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa hinted that the bank has recovered about N2.4bn this year from delinquent debtors as against the cumulative figure of N8.3bn in 2016.
Worried by the alarming cases of money laundering, the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) called on federal government to parley with the professional body in ensuring that transactions in real estate sector contained the stamp and seal of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) during the Associate induction of 292 members in Abuja on December.
The 2-day public hearing on a “Motion on the Need to Ensure full Compliance with the National Housing Fund (NHF) Act for effective housing delivery in Nigeria (HR.59/2017); “a bill for an act to repeal the Federal mortgage bank of Nigeria Act and an act to establish the Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders of Nigeria to ensure professionalism in the system and for related matters (HB.465)” was yet another event that unveiled the lapses in the sector.
The Managing director/ chief executive of FMBN, Arc Ahmed Dangiwa highlighted the unfilled gaps in the existing legal framework militating against the banks performance as it’s inability to meet 720, 000 housing units required yearly to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) now Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on housing.
The year wrapped up with the 6th Fellowship Conferment Lecture and ceremony, organised by Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) with the theme, “Nigerian Content Oil & Gas Act: Extending the Act to cover other sectors of the Economy”.
Deputy national president of Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, Engr. Onochie Anyaoku called on oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria to participate in funding research and development, emphasising that the problems in the sector must be solved by Nigerians.