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Posts in category "news"

In one of my earlier essays, I hinted that plans were in the works by the Federal Government to introduce an encouraging mortgage regime that will be accessible to many Nigerians especially low income earners.

Sequel to the flagging off, of the newly inaugurated Mortgage Refinance Company (MRC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has brainstormed a regulatory and supervisory framework that will guide the activities of the Mortgage Refinance Company. Let me quickly point out that the MRC is analogous to the United State's Fannie Mae. The establishment of the MRC promises to increase the liquidity within the mortgage sub-sector and availability of mortgage credit in Nigeria as well as reduce mortgage and related costs, and make residential housing more affordable. It is expected that the advent of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company will 'help to extend maturities for Nigerian homebuyers to as much as 20 years, encouraging the building of 75,000 new homes annually and creating at least 300,000 Jobs.

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Recall we wrote a while ago that a new electronic certificate of occupancy was in the offing in Lagos State. Now the deal is done.

The Lagos State Governor- Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has flagged off the issuance of the e-C of O. The ceremony took place at the Land's Bureau in Lagos State a a while ago during which the Governor presented the e-C of O to some sporadically selected beneficiaries. The Governor recalled that the flagging off of this exercise was symbolic as it affords his government an opportunity to intimate Lagosians the milestone already reached in making the project a reality. In the words of Governor Fashola, "government is doing everything possible to certify land titles to ensure safety of the investments that people put their savings to acquire".  He went further to say, "we have moved from geographic mapping of our State to being able to keep all our land records now in an electronic form. We know where land is and we know what sizes they are and I think that it is gradually making the work of all the land administrators a lot easier in the sense that it is not all the time now that they have to go into the bush to get dimensions of land".

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With the introduction of its "Homeowners Charter Program", the Ogun State government is poised to assist property owners in the State who hitherto have no valid land documents, to regularize their property/land documents. The Ogun State Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning asserts that this move will help rebuild the State by providing adequate data for the medium-term planning - provision of hospitals, roads, schools and other public infrastructures to the residents of the state. To this end, the Ogun State Government promises to waive 'all accrued penalties while fees will be discounted.

The Ogun State Government says this scheme became expedient because a GIS Satellite mapping of the State forecasts that the state is replete with sizeable numbers of undocumented properties and houses with no building plan approvals, C of O's and other relevant documents.

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If feelers from the Lagos State Government is anything to go by, the state is finally poised to relocate the ever popular Ikeja Computer Village to a new site, Katangowa Internet City, somewhere around Katangowa Market in Agbado, Oke-Odo area of Lagos State (Along the Abeokuta-Lagos expressway).

This proposal has been in the works for a while now but the the die is cast this time around. The Lagos State Commissioner of Science and Technology, Mr Adebiyi Mabadeje dropped this hint a while ago when he opined that the State had budgeted about five hundred million towards the relocation project and that this amount is enshrined in the 2014 budget of the Lagos State government. The Commissioner believes this project will be carried out within the first quarter of 2014.

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There was so much excitement in the air several months ago when news filtered in that renowned global brands such as Wal-Mart, Woolworth et al were coming into Nigeria to do business.

However it appears the duo of Wal-Mart and Woolworth are struggling to thrive in the profitable but shark infested business climate in Nigeria. There are strong indications that the aforementioned retail chains are set to pull out of Nigeria due to what they called ‘unfavorable business climate’. They particularly cited ‘high rent, low power supply, delay in clearing goods at the Ports, corruption’ amongst others as some of the factors militating against doing business in Nigeria. Despite inherent challenges and risks, businesses are still flourishing in Nigeria and declaring enormous profits year in year out. One is beginning to wonder if these guys did their research, due diligence very well before ‘porting’ to Nigeria?

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    There is some cheery news for prospective home/house owners in Nigeria. Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council recently approved the request of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to secure a $300 million loan from the International Development Association Housing Projects in Nigeria. Housing demand exceeds its supply and this has a multiplier-effect on rents. It is estimated that Nigeria needs more than 700,000 housing units annually as against the current 100,000 units available.

    The main objective of the Nigeria Housing Finance Project is to increase access to housing finance by deepening the primary and secondary mortgage markets in Nigeria. Sequel to this development, people who up to now could not provide adequate collateral to access loans will not experience much difficulty in securing loans to enable them own homes/houses through a mortgage.

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    Amid the crave for modern shopping facilities by residents along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, especially within Arepo neigbourhood, a property development and investment company, Messrs Lancelot Ventures has announced plans to construct a new complex in the middle class settlement in Ogun State.

    The plaza, known as Lancelot Mega Plaza has a total of 3,000 square metres let-able and sellable spaces inclusive of a pent house. It is expected to be delivered to the property market within 12 months. On completion, the plaza would go for N220, 000 per square metre.

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    After sorting out all issues surrounding one of the outstanding but upcoming housing projects in Lagos State, the coast is now clear for the take off of the development, as indication emerged last week that the developer may soon move its contractors to site to deliver  ‘Modo Heights’ estate.

    The developer, Carifos Nigeria Limited, had some months ago struck a partnership deal with both the Lagos State Government and Agboyi/Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to further increase the housing stocks, by building highrise structures, to be sited within the neighborhood of Ajelogo-Akanimodo, Mile 12, along Ikorodu road. It is coming under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

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    Apparently bowing to the unrelenting clamour for the reform of the critical aspects of the nation’s mortgage system, the apex supervisory authority, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may have began a clampdown on Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) that ceased to carry mortgage business for which they were licensed.

    The development is on the heels of new regulatory guidelines for PMBs aimed at recapitalising and repositioning them as specialized banks through the Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (OFID) of the CBN. Under the new capital requirement, state and national PMBs will shore up their shareholders fund to the tune of N2.5 billion and N5 billion respectively, with compliance date fixed as April 2013.

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    A property magazine, Royalty International, created to serve the Real Estate, Building and Construction sector in Nigeria plans to introduce a special section known as ‘Millennium Housing’ segment.

    The objective of this column is to cover the current achievements of sitting governors in the area of housing, and report on their scorecard, especially in the areas of housing provision and construction. The special section will be starting in the September 2012 edition of the magazine.

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