News - Nigeria Property Centre

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Nigeria Property Centre, January 3, 2019 - Nigeria Property Centre (NPC), a leading property search website in Nigeria has announced its performance figures for 2018.

The numbers show the site attracted 7.4 million visits which generated 929,000 enquiries for property listed on the website. The number of visits to the site was up by 64% while the number of enquiries generated by NPC in 2018 was up by 165% compared to the previous year. There were 129,000 property listings added to the website in 2018 which represents an 11% decrease compared to 2017. The portal reported that the decline in listings added to the site was as a result of the introduction of new quality standards for listings in 2018.

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    Nigeria Property Centre, January 30, 2018 - Nigeria Property Centre (NPC), a leading property search website in Nigeria has announced its performance figures for 2017 which highlights it's progress.

    The numbers show that 145,000 property listings were added to the website in 2017 which represents a 12% growth compared to 2016. The website attracted 4.5 million visits which generated 350,000 enquiries for property listed on the website. The number of enquiries generated by NPC in 2017 was up by 161% compared to the previous year.

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      The Lagos State Government enacted a Tenancy Law a while ago. Tenants in the State saw this as a step in the right direction. From all indications, it appears the frenzy has fizzled out and it is business as usual again. This made me to pen an article titled, "is the Lagos Tenancy Law a Paper-Tiger?". Nigeria is no doubt awash with laws, we are not lacking in them. We should endeavor to make the laws enforceable.

      One salient issue that begs for solution is how to regulate the activities of "Real Estate Agents" in Nigeria. Right now it is an all-comers affair, just get an office (some don't bother having one), know a couple of landlords and you are good to go. There are rampart cases of these folks absconding with people's money and nowhere to trace them. This brings me to the issue of 'agency fee' which these guys charge their clients. How do you rationalise a situation where one pays say, N150,000 as house rent per annum on a new apartment and pays extra N60,000 to an 'agent' in the name of 'agency fee'? How can one justify an 'estate agent' charging upwards of 10% of the total cost of buying a property bearing in mind that these guys seldom incur any expenses in that process. They insist on collecting 10% 'agency fee' just for linking a buyer and a seller. Envision where somebody buys a property worth say N100 million naira and an agent insists on being paid 10% which amounts to N10 million! The buyer will also probably fork out another 5-10% as legal fees in addition to other sundry charges. Before you say bingo, the total cost of that real estate will shoot up by 20-30%.

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        We wrote a while ago that the Ogun State government recently introduced a scheme tagged, "Ogun State Homeowners Charter"  which is aimed at regularizing Property Titles in Ogun State. The exercise was initially billed to end on February 28 but has been extended to March 31st, 2014. Reports indicate that quite a good number of property owners in Ogun State availed themselves this rare opportunity to sort out their Property Titles. Typical of events in   Nigeria, people were said to be initially skeptical about the program but when they realized it was for real, there was a mad rush to benefit from the scheme.

        The process is said to be transparent and without hitches. It is estimated that there could be up to 7 million undocumented properties in Arepo, Magboro, Ibafo, Asese and Mowe. Recall that the Ogun State government waived accumulated penalties and offered upwards of 80% discount to property owners contrasted with the prevailing cost prior to now where homeowners were said to spend upwards of half a million naira to regularize their property documents. Under this scheme, Prospective applicants are required to purchase an application form with five thousand naira. Ten thousand naira will be paid while submitting the completed forms.  A typical 4-bedroom bungalow sitting on a plot of land will cost about N110,000 as against  N430,000 prior to now. Some of the required documents to be presented by applicants include purchase  receipts, agreement, architectural drawing, survey plans amongst others.

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          The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 4/3/2014, secured a court order for the forfeiture of Brifina Hotel located at plot 1106 Cadastral Zone BO2, Durumi District, Abuja. The EFCC was able to establish that the property was bought with stolen pension funds embezzled by an erstwhile Director in the Pension department of the Office of the Head of Service, one Dr. Sani Shuaibu Teidi. According to the EFCC, Dr. Teidi denied ownership of the said property but the original owner averred that the property was sold to Dr. Teidi for N339 million. EFCC's investigation confirmed that the property was acquired by Dr. Teidi using one of his front companies - Badawulu Ventures. Dr. Teidi is currently facing a 22-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, conspiring to commit fraud, concealing the origin of stolen pension funds totalling about N18.3 billion amongst others.

          The EFCC is said to have earlier secured an interim forfeiture order on the Property from Justice Adamu Bello hence when the matter subsequently came up for hearing, the Commission's Counsel, Mr. Godwin Obla prayed the Court to grant his prayers for the final forfeiture of the Property in line with the provisions of Section 264 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), Section 34 (i) of the EFCC Act and the rules of the Federal High Court since it is established that the property was acquired from the proceeds of crime. The Defence Counsel, Mr. James Ogwu Onoja did not contest the Prosecution's application as he cited that his client was not aware the property was purchased with money from the proceeds if crime. The presiding judge, Justice Ademola granted the Prosecution's prayers and ordered that Brifina Hotel be forfeited to the Federal Government forthwith.

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            The Lagos state Government is undoubtedly walking the talk with its housing g initiative called Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS). We told you a while ago in one of our articles that Lagos HOMS will offer Lagos residents an opportunity to own their own homes through mortgage payments spread over 10 years.

            In the maiden draw of the programme on 4/3/2014, thirty out of the 98 applicants that took part in the first public draw of this Scheme, emerged Winners. The draw took place at the Blue Roof Hall at the premises of the Lagos State Television, Ikeja.

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              Things are really looking up in the Nigerian Real Estate sector with various Stakeholders churning out programs aimed at providing affordable homes especially for low income earners. The latest in this fray is the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) which is gearing up to commence work in different parts of Nigeria beginning with the New Town Project in Bwari, near the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

              According to the MD of the FHA, Mr. Gerver Gemade, the main objective of the FHA is to provide affordable housing for workers. He made this known in Abuja during the inspection of the site with members of his management team. Mr. Gemade  promised that they are targeting 25,000 affordable housing units in the Abuja project due to an urgent need to relieve the City Centre of pressure on its facilities and infrastructures. Another FHA housing project is currently under construction at Apo in Gudu District of Abuja, where about 1,300 housing units are expected to be completed through direct construction by the FHA in partnership with Private Sector Operators.

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                Prompted by a prevalence of building collapse in Nigeria, I penned an article titled - "Stemming The Tide of Building Collapse in Nigeria". I wrote that Piece a couple of days ago not knowing another building collapse was in the offing at Enugu State. In the aforementioned essay, I sought the opinion, input of experts in identifying the causes and proffering solutions to the recurring trend of building collapse in Nigeria.

                It appears the high incident of building collapse in Nigeria is not in a hurry to abate anytime soon. Reports emanating from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), indicates that a three-story building under construction at Enugu road, Nsukka, Enugu state, caved in on Saturday 1st March. Some of the workers were said to be trapped in the rubble. No details of casualties at the time of writing this.

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                  Some folks don't just get it when we whine about the prevalence of unscrupulous property agents and property scams in Nigeria and the need for one to 'shine his/eyes well well' before parting with his/her hard earned money in the name of renting, buying a property. One hundred Lagosians have become the latest victims of a well-orchestrated property scam. In their petition to the Inspector General of Police, EFCC et al published on Nigerian Guardian Newspaper, the victims recanted how they got duped by a 'smooth talking' property developer who absconded with a total of about ₦52 million he collected from them (the petitioners). In a petition signed by the trio of Uche Arinze, Innocent Odenga and Victor Odiete on behalf of the other petitioners, the victims allege that one Mr. Sameul Adeniyi Ogundana a.k.a Prince and his accomplice, Mr. Adetayo Olatunbosin, defrauded them of the said amount under the guise of renting them apartments at No. 8, Igbesa street, off Ashimowu Bakare Street, Itire, Lagos state.

                  The victims stated in their petition that the so-called estate developers subsequently exchanged the deposit slips they used in remitting money to the bank account of the 'developer' for a receipt which bears the name of the Company - Alpha Enterprises.

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                    Citing his governments desire to encourage low income Lagos residents to own homes without much stress, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola on Monday 03/02/2014 flagged off the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMS). Mr. Fashola said LagosHOMS is part of his administration's solution towards reducing the acute housing deficit in Lagos State. According to Fashola, "the economic realities had made house ownership almost impossible for most income earners". He went further to say, "for many years, our people have had to acquire houses, often times being required to pay cash once and for all, as if they were buying a shirt or a pair of shoes in a shop. This approach in part, explains why a large number of ordinary middle class and working people, cannot afford to acquire homes on the basis of their legitimate income derived from hard work. In Lagos, we are of the view that a home is not something you buy in one day, but over time in a way that your ability to acquire is tied to your income and continued prosperity".

                    Mr. Fashola asserts that about 1,104 houses in various locations of Lagos have been completed while about 3,156 other houses in places such as Iponrin, Ijora, Ilubinrin, Obele, Ajora Badagry, Sangotedo Phase II, Oyingbo, Ibeshe Ikorodu were at various stages of completion. A total of about 4,554 new homes are in the works courtesy of this Scheme. The Lagos State government also intends to buy off homes from Private estate developers and channel same on the LagosHOMS Scheme for tenants desiring to own their own homes.

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