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Real Estate Professionals Advocate Use of Alternative Building Materials

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DAYO AYEYEMI

Nigeria is blessed with many natural resources such as land, sharp sand, laterite, granite, iron ore and wood of various types, yet it still depend largely on foreign materials for housing construction after five decades of independence.

Except sand, granite and wood, most of the finishing materials such as tiles, glass, roofing sheet, doors, sanitary wares, locks, lightings and pipes, including labour are being imported into the country.

Over dependence on foreign materials by government and home builders, housing experts say is one of the major factors responsible for high cost of houses in the country, aside from high cost of land and money.

Worried by the high price tags on housing units, experts comprising developers, builders, architects, town planners and manufacturers are currently canvassing the use of alternative local building materials to arrest the trend.

They noted that despite the manufacturing of different types of machines for local brick’s production, roofing sheets and research on alternative cement by the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NIBRRI), lack of patronage has weighed on the agency of government.

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Some of these materials include sun-dried bricks (adobe), cement stabilised bricks/blocks, interlocking laterite blocks, burnt clay blocks, clay roofing tiles and NBRRI brick/block making machines.

As at now, Nigeria has over 17 million housing deficit and would require 740, 000 units built annually in the next 20 years to bridge the gap.

Speaking with the New Telegraph in Lagos, first Vice President of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, said that apart from public apathy, lack of awareness on affordable and alternative building materials have not helped matters.

According to Awobodu, if NIBRRI has researched into alternative cement for housing, it should be publicised and made available in the building materials’ market for public use.

“If the alternative building materials are affordable and available, nobody will jettison them. They should make them available in the market,” he said.

The first vice president said that when materials are produced locally, there is tendency the cost would reduce.

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Abuja, Blog, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, Lekki, Property, Real Estate

NNPC Explores Commercial Opportunities In Real Estate

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently exploring all commercial opportunities available in the real estate market to efficiently position itself as one of the key players in the sector, New Telegraph has learnt.

Besides, the move is hinged on the need to increase its revenue generation aside from oil and gas business.

To this end, the company, through one of its subsidiaries, NNPC Properties Limited, has embarked on the recovery of its over N100 billion worth of unharnessed landed property across the country for real estate investment.

The latest is that NNPC Properties Limited has secured massive land in three major cities in the country for real estate development.

A staff of the company, who did not want his name in print, told this newspaper last weekend in Lagos that the three major cities already identified for real estate potential include Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

He said the group would be spending $26.9 billion on 50-hectare real estate development known as “Royal Grove” in Greater Port Harcourt City, Omagwa, River State, for 770 families.

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In an exclusive chat, the source said that aside from Port Harcourt, there was also plan to develop massive housing estate in Lekki Marina in Lagos State and another choice location in Abuja.

“We have on-going real estate development worth $26.9 billion in Port Harcourt. Our real estate development is also coming up in Lekki Marina. We have secured about 92 hectares of land running into trillion of naira in Lekki,” the source said.

Aside from the two projects, the source disclosed that NNPC Properties Limited had also partnered some real estate developers, numbering 30, for development of different grades of housing units in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.

“We are collaborating with several developers in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt that are developing different grades of housing which will be made available to the public soon,” the source said.

Some of the private developers, this newspaper gathered from a document secured from the staff, included Jofame Integrated Limited for Royal Palm Villa, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos; Viendubond Contractors Nigeria Limited for Chessvile Corte, Life camp, Abuja and Mercy Sanuelson for Southend Estate, Abuja. Others are Princely Estate Limited for Eric Moore Lagos and Dacho-Telius Limited for the Reserve Estate in Port Harcourt, among others.

NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ventures, Babatunde Adeniran, had told journalists early in the year in Abuja that the plan would be honed through commercial opportunities, adding that the company had already commenced the recovery of the Corporation’s landed properties.

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Documents You Need To Maintain Sanctity Of Ownership of Land

For various reasons, several people, especially new investors, venture into property business without first acquiring the land appropriately via procurement of necessary documents. This has cost some landed property owners more than they ought to have paid.

For the avoidance of doubts, anyone going into property whether for business or for residence, it is advisable he knows the land, surveys it and finds out if it is not part of government acquisition in state or local government, mapped out for the original land owners or whether it falls within the area the government has taken for public development.

It is also important to ascertain how the land in question is gazetted and under which heading it was recorded. You also must have an agreement document between you, the buyer, and the seller, to permit you to take actions on the land. From that point and with these at hand, you proceed to apply for the certificate of occupancy (C of O). Those who are unable to go through all these are likely to fall prey to zealous government officials and eventually lose the landed property.

With you having a clear understanding of all land titles, you would be guided aright when you are making investment decisions in real estate. Some of the basic documents clients are advised to understand their full definitions including but not limited to the underlisted as there are many other petty terminologies we may not explicitly discuss.

Survey plan of the land in question

For one to lay claim to any landed property, he must have surveyed the piece of land and have the survey plan. A survey plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of the land.

The people that handle survey issues are surveyors and they are regulated by the office of the Surveyor General in any state of the federation where the deed is taking place. Whether the survey plan is done in Igbakwu, Onitsha, Ibadan, Kaduna or Gombe, it must contain the following pieces of information: the identity of the owner of the land surveyed; the area description of the land surveyed; the area covered by the land surveyed; the drawn out portion of the land survey and mapped out on the survey plan document; the beacon numbers; the surveyor who drew up the survey plan and the date it was drawn up; a stamp showing the land is either free from government acquisition or not. Please note that there are two kinds of survey plan – approved and provisional survey excision.

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Excision

A new person in a state may not know where government has mapped out as no go area. In this regard, the Omoniles may deceive the buyer into committing a huge sum of money into a land that has been claimed by government for public development.

But with your knowledge of these and other laws, you can understand that it is legal for the governor, who is the owner of all lands in the state, to actually have the power to acquire any land compulsorily for the purpose of providing amenities for the greater good of the citizens. This may include your own land.

Fortunately, the government recognises that indigenes of different sections of the country have a right to existence and also a right to the land of their birth. Hence, it is customary for state governments to cede a portion of land to the original owners (natives) of each area. If you are buying from these families in these areas, you are then safe from government acquisition.

An excision means basically taking apart from a whole and that part that has been excised will be recorded and documented in the official government gazette of that state. In other words, not having an excision means the land could be seized by the government any time without compensating you even if you bought it “legitimately” from the Baale or the original dwellers on the land.

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Remember to follow the blog for more on the Nigerian Real Estate sector. You can contact us if you are ready to find affordable property.

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Experts seek reforms to boost real estate

The law regulating legal estate funding needs to be reviewed to accommodate crowdfunding, according to a financial expert, Mr. Sonnie Ayere.

He said: “Crowdfunding,” an online platform for raising financing, is gaining popularity in other countries but is prohibited under Nigerian law.

He spoke in Lagos when legal and real estate experts met in Lagos at the seventh Business Series seminar organised by Detail Commercial Solicitors (DETAIL), a law firm specialising in non-court room practice.

Speaking on Alternative Funding Opportunities in a Digitally Enabled Market, Ayere, Chief Executive Officer at Dunn Loren Merrifield, said the growing trend is to look to financial technology (fintech) companies for alternative sources of funding for real estate projects, rather than the traditional banks.

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Ayere said “fintechs offer diverse financial services and solutions using modern technology, such as digital lending platforms; online real estate investment options for individuals; or investments in single-family homes for institutional investors.”

He noted that there is a possibility that in the future, Nigerian laws and regulations could change to accommodate crowdfunding.

Ayere also discussed financing options via the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, which was established to further increase access to mortgages in the market. He also proposed unlocking financing capital via pension funds.

Speaking on PropTech: Developing a smarter marketplace, Dr Andrew Nevin, the Partner and Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria revealed that the real estate sector is the most important sector to the economy and the success of the economy is highly dependent on building a robust real estate sector.

However, the growth of the real estate sector is limited by gaps in the land-titling system, he said.

Nevin said: “The real estate system cannot work without a proper land registry. It is a mathematical impossibility. If you don’t know you own the land, you will not improve it. If the bank doesn’t know you own the land, they are not going to lend against it.”

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Proposed Excision VS Excision in Progress

Adebowale Olatubosun

I am moved to write this piece as a result of lack of understanding or interpretation of the two subject matters. I am very sure that at the end of this piece, you would have been educated.

The word EXCISION as described by many people in the industry is taking a part out of a whole of a parcel of land and returning it to the root owners whom same was taken from by the virtue of the land use law.

By law, families, community and villages has right to apply for Excision and such can granted after several works and considerations is taken by the government.

An excision of a parcel of land is seen to be in process after which an intention for this has been commenced and communicated by making all the necessary applications to the committee or body set up by the government to be in charge, and also with the ministry of lands and the office of the surveyor general of the state.

After all these have been done and some relevant fees made, the committee in charge acknowledges these moves by assigning an excision file number to the application. This connotes that the government recognises the commencement of the application for excision and all other exercises can hitherto continue until the excision will be granted or denied. At this junction, the said land can be referred to as one undergoing excision or as commonly said, “Excision in process or in progress.”

Proposed excision on the other hand is a land that is recognised to be under acquisition and entitled to apply for an excision but this process has not been initiated at all.

It will be an error of the highest order for any consultant or realtor for that matter to equate excision in process land with a land with a proposed excision.

Before I close on this, let me reiterate it here that not all excision process is granted and secondly, both status as explained above are not a land title and shouldn’t be treated as one.

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