Developer urges FG to address housing deficit 



The Federal Government has been urged to address the lingering housing deficit in the country by ensuring enabling laws and environment for the private estate firms to thrive.

Osilama, an estate developer, said Mr Babatunde Fashola, the new Minister of Works and Housing must develop a workable template that would crash the present high cost of houses.

He explained that the government could realistically achieve the provision of affordable houses for all, if it worked in collaboration with the National Association of Real Estate Developers.

He said that no country had succeeded in housing its population without collaborative efforts with housing professionals and the banking sector.

According to him, shelter being a necessity of life like food and clothing must be addressed as quickly as possible for the citizens to have life.

Osilama said the first approach to liberalizing the sector was to review the Land Use Act 1978, which its operations had inhibited housing business in the country.

He said the Act had for many years made it difficult for private developers to easily access land from the overseeing authorities in states and the federal level.

Osilama was of the view that the Act placed so much powers on original owners of land, adding that these owners were at all time prepared to torment developers with astronomic compensation, which invariably would be transferred to unit cost of houses.

“If the law could be amended to make developers easily access estate land direct from the authorities instead of through land speculators as with present experience, the cost of building houses will crash significantly.

“If the cost of constructing houses crashes, you can be sure that the cost per housing unit will equally crash, thereby leading to more opportunities for people to have decent homes.

“Land Speculators are the major challenge of the sector because they are presently responsible for high cost of land. They have always insisted to make 1,000 per cent profit from land they may have bought cheaply from the government.

“Those of us operating in Abuja are suffering the most. In the FCT, the land you bought for N10 million could attract N20 million as payment for compensation.

“The inhibition of the Land Use Act is the power state governors weld. They have often used this power to destroy the sector as they appropriate land to their cronies and leaving out genuine developers.

“By doing this, the government must have set in motion the process of ensuring that the housing delivery chain was made easy and lucrative for citizens to acquire houses.

“As it stands at the moment, the country is outside of the pecking order of nations with coherent plans for their citizens to acquire houses either in mortgage or direct purchases.

“The Federal Government should also review that National Housing Scheme for workers. It could be made to work better. In fact, less than 15 per cent of the workforce has acquired house through the scheme and this is not encouraging.

“The best bet is for the government to shift attention from construction of houses to pure supervision and regulation. The private sector must be brought in to handle the process,’’ Osilama said.

“I am aware of the high cost of building materials, but these materials can be sourced locally. We have cement, wood, water, stones and iron, so what is the problem?

“The government needs to create the enabling environment for the business as it is mandatory for citizens to be housed.

“It should not be viewed as a luxury to own a decent home, to achieve this; the government must remain on the driver’s seat to navigate the private developers through the vagaries of the industry,’’ Osilama said.

Osilama, however, said that his company was more than ever before prepared to crashing prices of house in the country.

“As a company, we are doing a lot to construct affordable houses for the ordinary Nigerians. We are working on a project called “Operation Affordable Houses’’.

“We are combining two technologies to reduce the values of houses in the country by 50 per cent.

“Apart from this, we have the one exclusively designed for federal legislators, especially those making their first appearance in the National Assembly.

“We are partnering with our bank to allow them access beautiful facility in Guzape area of the FCT without collateral and without equity contribution.

“They are only expected to domicile their salary accounts with the bank for installment deductions.

“In this package, we are offering one year free accommodation and those who may not need the accommodation would be offered money in its place,’’ Osilama said.


Edited by Felix Ajide





General news

Gelegele beach to create 5000 jobs, developer



Mr Olu Omaghomi, an enterprenuer and the developer of the Gelegele Beach, in Ovia North East Local Governement Area of Edo, said when completed, no fewer than 5000 direct and indirect jobs would be created.

Omaghomi stated this in Benin on Sunday when speaking with the Nigeria News Agency on the reason for embarking on the ambitious project.

He said aside creating jobs, the beach is meant to expose the tourism potential of the state to the outside world.

He said the Gelegele beach, which will be the first beach in the entire state, would cost N69  million and would open up economic activities of nine communities in the area and by extension, the state.

The developer,  who said no less than N11 million had already been expanded on the project, however, said support, in form of collaboration was needed to fast track the completion of the project.

According to him, “For now, I am solely responsible for the amount of work that has been spent here, and i dare say that a lot has been achieved with much more still needed to be done.

“Basically, opening of the land, sand filling/dredging of the location has been done. The next line of action is to begin planting of trees, building of an artificial pool, floating boat, water bike and chalets.”

Omaghomi said when completed, the beach would have facilities such as floating bar, Golf court, Bush bars among others.

“Apart from the need to create jobs and expose the tourism potential of Gegegele to the world, it must be known also that the community is a historic one, it was through it that the British invaded Benin in 1897.

“This is in addition to the fact that Gelegele, an Ijaw community, has been abandoned by successive governments of Edo State.

Gelegele is also an oil producing community and home to the Gelegele forest reserve and marine activities; the Gelegele river links Lagos through the atlantic ocean,” he stated.

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Science & Technology

Digital marketing will boost businesses, says ICT expert



The Chief Executive Officer, Softwareshop Ltd., Mr Austin Agbakor, says digital marketing will boost businesses because of the possibility of wider reach and active buyers online.

Agbakor made the assertion in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Monday.

He noted that businesses thrived online because customers were turning to the internet for solutions to their problems and needs.

He said that about 75 per cent of customers online were looking for what has not been provided by most businesses and a good business person would cease the opportunity to provide the needed items.

According to him, as a business owner, I realised that what is workable and profitable in year 2003 were no longer necessary in my business.

“Every business should have a strong digital presence because your customers are online and they are turning to the internet to find solutions to their problems.

“As a business manager or owner, if you must be truthful to yourself, you should know that some innovations in technology world had made some items obsolete in the technology market.

“The truth is what’s profitable now will necessarily not be profitable next year or 10 years from now; so do not procrastinate in embracing digital marketing,” he said.

Agbakor said that even if one was operating a local business, there was need for a comprehensive digital presence.

He said that every business needed a professional website; an email list that can be used to communicate with customers and prospects regularly as well as engaging in social media network.

The Information Communications Technology (ICT) developer said that prospective customers most times look the internet before any purchase.

He said that if one had a very good online presence, it would give the business an opportunity for a wider reach and would give the business a boost.

NAN reports that Softwareshop Ltd. deals in a range of software products that support different business processes and functions. (NAN)

Edited by Adeleye Ajayi



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China develops Robot to improve pharmacy services



(Xinhua/NAN) An intelligent robot has been developed by a Beijing-based technology firm to assist professional pharmacists to provide pharmacy and medication services and ensure safe drug use for the public.

The developer said on Monday that the robot is functionally equivalent to a professional pharmacist with 10 years of working experience in helping patients take medicine effectively and safely.

According to the developer, drawing on artificial intelligence technologies, the robot is able to provide symptom analysis, safe drug use checks, dosage regimens and other services.

The developer said the robot is aimed at making up for the insufficiency of professional pharmacists in China.

In china, new retail pharmacies must be staffed with professional pharmacists and the legal persons and managers of all retail drug stores must hold professional pharmacist qualifications.

According to the professional pharmacist certification centre, under the National Medical Products Administration, in May, the country had 439,000 professional pharmacists registered at retail pharmaceutical companies and nearly 500,000 drug stores.

With the initiative of Internet plus medical care, China has employed various advanced technologies to improve its medical services such as mobile apps for hospital registration and facial recognition devices for identity authentication in hospitals. (Xinhua/NAN)


Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Silas Nwoha

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General news

Land developer faces N11.3m accommodation fraud charge




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