Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lagos House Plans Emergency Telephone Numbers

LAGOS - The Lagos State House of Assembly has held a public hearing over the proposed Emergency Command and Control Centre.

Commenting on the bill, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Security, and Publicity, Hon Segun Olulade, explained that the purpose of the centre is to provide emergency telephone numbers for members of the public in times of emergency. He listed the numbers as 676,112.

He added that the centre is to facilitate quick and efficient response to accidents, emergencies and disasters.

Nigeria: Dubai Property Deal Turns Sour As Marketing Company Drags Businessman to Court

An attempt by a Nigerian businessman, Mr. Washington Umweni to own one of the luxury apartments in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, has resulted in a legal tussle between him and the companies marketing the apartments in Nigeria.

In a suit filed at the Lagos High Court Sigma 111 Limited, TFG Real Estate Limited and four others plaintiffs have dragged one of their investors, Umweni and his lawyer, Mr. Tunde Abioje to court asking the court to compel Umweni to pay his overdue instalments for the purchase of Unit 2212 TFG Marina, a high luxury apartment hotel situate in Dubai Media City.

They are also asking for the payment of N170 million as damages arising from Umweni's refusal to continue to pay the instalments. They claimed that the refusal of Umweni to fulfil his obligations under the contract he executed with them constituted a breach of contract.

In his response to the suit, Umweni stated that it was The First Group who was in breach of their contract hence it made three separate proposals to make a refund and noted that there would not have been any problem if the company had refunded him his contributions.

He said: "I am amazed by their action. They earlier claimed in one of their numerous letters to me that no Nigerian court can delve into this matter and that I should go to Dubai and sue them there, now, they have gone to a Nigerian court in Lagos. This shows that they are beginning to come to terms with reality. I will get justice no matter how long it takes. The First Group cannot take my money for nothing."
In his statement of defence, Umweni said he was no longer interested in the TFG Marina Project and wanted his contribution which stood at N9.7 million refunded to him.

He stated that the project was a mere paper work and that the suit by the defendants was a cover up to tie down his money. In an affidavit he deposed and attached to the statement of defence, Umweni said that at all material time, he was made to believe he was dealing with The First Group (TFG) and not with the two companies that filed the action against him.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Nigeria: FG Urges Nigerians in Diaspora to Invest in Centenary City

Senate President David Mark's quest for a vast land where he is said to be planning a university in his native Otukpo, Benue State, has pitted him against peasant farmers in Asa III, who claim that the retired military officer-turned- politician wants to deprive them of their farm land, their only means of livelihood.
The move was said to have started in the first quarter of the year when a delegation of the nation's number three citizen, led by one Chief Obogo Alapa, met some Asa III elders to inform them of the proposed university which, it stressed, would bring development to the area.

It was learnt that the villagers told the delegation that they welcomed the development, but that they needed to know the exact size of land and in which area of the village before they could give their terms.
Consequently, it was agreed that the delegation should take representatives of the villagers to the area and show them the location and size.

This was later undertaken, with a bulldozer setting out what represented the area of interest for the proposed institution. The said land, according Mr. Sam Obochi, measures about "4 x 4" km, covering the farmlands of many families. The area demarcated alegedly extended from Asa III to their boundary with Akpegede village on the one hand, and their boundary with Otobi on the other.
However, trouble started when the villagers discovered that bulldozers were sent in to clear the vast farmland without any further discussions with them. "The Alapa delegation that went to show the villagers the area to be taken by the university project did not return to give the villagers any feedback", the villagers claimed.
Some of the villagers went to their farms and asked the bulldozer operators to stop work on the grounds that the said land belonged to their families and that at no time did they hand over the land to anybody for any project.
As learnt, the workers ignored the villagers which led to protests during which the villagers blocked the main road that passes through Asa III in their efforts to attract public attention to their plight.
If the villagers expected any form of sympathy, what they allegedly got was a rude shock as, rather than coming for negotiations, those taking their land were said to have mobilized persons from Igbanomaje, Otukpo, to attack them. The assailants were said to have invaded Asa III and shot six of the villagers, burnt down houses of those considered as the arrowheads of the alleged land-grab opposition, and looted every store in sight.
The villagers ran into the bush and kept away from their homes for four days. Those who ventured into the village were said to have been arrested by gun- wielding vigilante and policemen brought in from Otukpo. 18 persons were allegedly arrested including three minors. 15 were detained in Makurdi Police Station while the minors were detained in the Juvenile Detention Center, Gboko.
As learnt, six men were shot by the attackers and had to be rushed to the General Hospital Otukpo. But even at the hospital, the police went after them and attempted to arrest them. It took the resistance of the hospital staff to stop further action against the villagers who then sneaked out of the hospital that night to secret locations outside Otukpo to seek medical help.
Two weeks after the attack, leaders of the village, it was learnt, sent an emissary to Alapa, the alleged leader of Mark's representatives, to express their disappointment over the attack on Asa III.
A peace meeting was reportedly held with the Alapa group on June 21. The Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Council, Dr. Innocent Onuh, was one of the leaders that attended the meeting. That meeting was held at the palace of the Ad' Alekwu of Asa III, Mr. Inalegwu Onche, where the villagers claimed to have told Mark's representatives that due process should be followed if the Senate President wanted to acquire land for his university project.
The following day, the villagers said policemen from Otukpo Divisional Police Headquarters invaded the village at about 5.30 am to arrest some youths.
Those who noticed the arrival of the policemen were said to have alerted others by phone. Those who could not get the information on time were arrested while those who escaped arrest had their Okadas (motorcycles) taken away. The villagers then mobilized and insisted that every villager must be taken to the police station. Overwhelmed, Sunday Vanguard was told, the police started firing into the air to disperse the crowd. In the process, one of the police constables was shot due to accidental discharge by a fellow police man.
This was said to have infuriated the policemen the more as they insisted on arresting as many of the villagers as they could. But the policeman behind the shooting allegedly reported himself to the police authorities in Otukpo. He was said to have declared that he could not bring himself to accuse the villagers of a crime they did not commit.
The policeman was arrested and detained, then transferred to the Benue State Police Command headquarters in Makurdi where he was detained, pending his orderly room trial. In spite of truth about who shot the deceased policeman, the team that left the village only reinforced with more officers, soldiers and armed vigilante, and stormed the village later that day. The raid was unprecedented, according to the villagers, as they could not resist the large armed team that stormed their little village. Several villagers were arrested with others running into the forests. At the end of the day, many houses were allegedly burnt down and shops looted, creating a scenario of a village at war.
After the raid, Mr. Obochi, a senior civil servant in Makurdi, but whose family land is part of the parcel in dispute, decided to meet the Senate President's representatives in Otukpo. He was arrested and detained for one week, in Makurdi, along with those earlier arrested.
Obochi told Sunday Vanguard, in an interview in Makurdi, that what was happening in Asa III since the beginning of the year was a clear case of intimidation of the peasant farmers.
He said he was arrested in the process of trying to resolve the issue between the Mark group and his brothers and sisters in his village. According to him, "my offence was that I bailed those who were arrested by a combined team of policemen, soldiers and vigilante".
Narrating the situation, Obochi said, "The Mark group claims that the villagers are strangers and as such will not receive any compensation for the land and their crops. Rather, they said that compensation will be paid to Otukpo indigenous people. Their informants misled them. They told them that those farming on the land in question are 'Aalala'".
Those referred to as 'Aalala' are those from south of Idomaland, especially Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Local Government Areas.
Obochi insisted that those who own the land and even currently own farms on the land in question are aboriginal Otukpo people.
He added that most of the houses destroyed and the looted shops belonged to indigenes of Asa III and not strangers which made it difficult for any reasonable member of the society to comprehend.
Obochi said the villagers had no intention of fighting Mark but that they won't allow anyone to forcefully take away the land which they inherited from their ancestors.
Effort to see Mark
Asked if the aggrieved villagers made any effort to meet the Senate President in person, he said, "I met Adakole Elijah ( an aide of the Senate President) and requested to see Sen. Mark. He promised to facilitate my meeting him. That was before the arrest and that was the last time I saw the man. I also had a chance meeting with one Onyilokwu Ekwo (said to be very close to the Senate President) and I told him that we don't want bloodshed in our village and that he should arrange a meeting for us to meet Mark. There was no response and I cannot just walk to Senator David Mark's house".
According to Obochi, the demand of the owners of the farm land is, "the Senate President should follow due process by coming to the owners of the land. If a dirty man has something which you need, the person cannot look dirty to you.

"He should come to us and make a request, then we will decide whether to give him the land or not; or give him part of the land; but certainly not the whole land as demarcated. We don't have any personal problem with Mark He chose the wrong process. Those he is working with are not representatives of the farmers who own the land. He should stop further work on the land in question until the issue is resolved".
Neither the Senate President's media team nor his family members responded to inquiries by Sunday Vanguard, in spite of repeated calls and text messages.

Dubai Property Deal Turns Sour As Marketing Company Drags Businessman to Court

An attempt by a Nigerian businessman, Mr. Washington Umweni to own one of the luxury apartments in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, has resulted in a legal tussle between him and the companies marketing the apartments in Nigeria.  In a suit filed at the Lagos High Court Sigma 111 Limited, TFG Real Estate Limited and four others plaintiffs have dragged one of their investors, Umweni and his lawyer, Mr. Tunde Abioje to court asking the court to compel Umweni to pay his overdue instalments for the purchase of Unit 2212 TFG Marina, a high luxury apartment hotel situate in Dubai Media City.

They are also asking for the payment of N170 million as damages arising from Umweni’s refusal to continue to pay the instalments.  They claimed that the refusal of Umweni to fulfil his obligations under the contract he executed with them constituted a breach of contract.

In his response to the suit, Umweni stated that it was The First Group who was in breach of their contract hence it made three separate proposals to make a refund and noted that there would not have been any problem if the company had refunded him his contributions.
He said: “I am amazed by their action. They earlier claimed in one of their numerous letters to me that no Nigerian court can delve into this matter and that I should go to Dubai and sue them there, now, they have gone to a Nigerian court in Lagos. This shows that they are beginning to come to terms with reality. I will get justice no matter how long it takes. The First Group cannot take my money for nothing.”
In his statement of defence, Umweni said he was no longer interested in the TFG Marina Project and wanted his contribution which stood at N9.7 million refunded to him.

He stated that the project was a mere paper work and that the suit by the defendants was a cover up to tie down his money.
In an affidavit he deposed and attached to the statement of defence, Umweni said that at all material time, he was made to believe he was dealing with The First Group (TFG) and not with the two companies that filed the action against him.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nigeria: Widow, 80, Drags Nephew to Court Over Property

Kaduna — A'isha Abdullahi, an 80-year old widow of Anguwar Dosa, Kaduna, has dragged her nephew, Abdulrahman Mohammed, to Magajin Gari Sharia Court for allegedly claiming her inherited property.
Abdullahi told the court: "Our late father left the house to us. I left the house to his (Abdullahi's) mother to take care of, I don't have a child.

"I took three of her children and at that time I resided at Warri, Delta state, with my husband."
The complainant added that she returned to Kaduna after the death of her husband.
"For almost 13 years they asked me to go to the house, I them told I can't stay with her husband and children using one toilet and bathroom. So I rented a single room," Abdullahi said.
She said that she never collected rent from them, but asked her sister to use the money generated from the house for her upkeep.

According to her, Mohammed claimed that he bought the house from her after the death of his mother at the cost of N250, 000.
The accused, however, denied the allegation.
Mohammed told the court that the house in dispute was "inherited by my mother and when her (A'isha) husband died she came back to Kaduna, but she refused to stay in the house for no reason.
"She has nobody than we because she brought us up; right from childhood I grew up with her in Warri."
He recalled that one day some community elders came to the house to say that the complainant wanted her share of house to be sold.

"They asked me if I am interested, which I said 'yes' and I gave them first N140,000 and later I paid N110,000, making N250,000 all in all," he said.

He said "the elders were there, we all sang and she sang, but she later took me to Kawo Upper Area Court on same matter which the judgment was in my favour."
The presiding officer, Khadi Ibrahim Mohammed, asked the accused to produce a copy of the judgment of the Upper Area Court on the matter before the court.
Mohammed adjourned the case to Aug. 6 for hearing and continuation. NAN

Nigeria: Aggrieved Client Slams First City Group

Abuja based businessman Mr. Washington Agbons Umweni, who allegedly went into business with Dubai property marketing company, The First City Group, has accused the company of defrauding him of the sum of N9.8 million.

This is even as The First City Group Through its lawyer, Mr. Ismail Muftau, has insisted that the relationship between The First Group and Umweni is founded on a contract which is governed by a Sales Purchase Agreement (SPA), signed by both parties and that the said sales purchase agreement shall only be governed and or construed by, in accordance with the Federal Laws of the United Arab Emirate and that it is only the courts of Dubai that shall have absolute jurisdiction to entertain any dispute or issues arising from that contract.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Local News: Landlord Abandons Home For Land Grabbers

A landlord in Ikeshin Village, Ota, Ogun State, Alhaji Nojeem Obileye, has abandoned his home after some land grabbers in the area allegedly threatened to deal with him for accusing them of causing the mayhem that led to the death of one Alhaji Idowu Arinadeagbo.

Obileye said since he spoke in June about the incident, known and unknown people had threatened to take his life for saying the truth.

He said, “I am surprised they have targeted me because it is a known fact that many of the land grabbers use thugs to seize portions of land. I am not the only one in the village privy to this.”

The landlord added that one Kunle Matanmi, a nephew to the a traditional ruler in Ogun State, Oba Fatai Matanmi, had called him on the telephone to register his displeasure for saying Matanmi gave backing to some of the land speculators when he spoke to reporters.

Although the monarch denied the allegation when our correspondent spoke with him in June, Obileye said Kunle was not satisfied and had promised to deal with him for “soiling the monarch’s name.”

He said, “Kunle Matanmi has called me twice on the telephone to threaten me. “Apart from mentioning his name, a discreet investigation revealed that the number that called my line was Kunle’s telephone number. So, I am taking the threat serious.”

Obileye said Kunle had also visited his house in company with some people, adding that the development made him and his family members to flee his residence.

Obileye’s lawyer declined to reveal his name for fear of reprisal. He said, “I have been going to the police on behalf of Obileye. The police said since Obileye could narrate so much to the media, he must know a lot about the murder. They said the thugs who killed Arinadegbo parked their vehicle in Obileye’s factory. However, I told them that Obileye was just a witness, not the criminal.”

However, when our correspondent called Kunle on the telephone, he said there was nothing like that.

“That is not true; I swear that I did not threaten him. Please don’t mind Alhaji Obileye,” he said.

But other residents of the area said they had been bearing the brunt of daring to speak against the land grabbers.

The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the police were working towards bringing peace back to the area.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stakeholders Brain Storm on Promoting Growth in Real Estate

Stakeholders in the Real estate sector are set for another brain storming session, at the 2nd edition of ‘Real estate Unite’ summit billed for October 17-18.

The stakeholders comprising of developers, builder, investors and policymakers and lawyers will gather at the Civic Centre, Lagos, to rub minds together on many posers as regarding how to advance the real estate for economic growth.

Put together by 3Invest Limited, Real estate Unite will also serve as Africa’s largest congregation of real estate professionals as Real Estate Unite Conference, Exhibition and Awards

Speaking on the essence of this year’s summit, Chief Executive Officer of 3Invest Limited, Ruth Obih, stated that in order to help unlock Nigeria’s real estate potential for economic prosperity, her firm is set to focus more on infrastructure, noting that the potential of real estate, especially commercial, hospitality and residential cannot be harnessed without it.

Innovative Finacing in Land Ownership for Small Holders - Lessons From Shonga Farms

Being a Paper presented by His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Abubakar Bukola Saraki(CON) at the occasion of 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week and FARA General Assembly, Accra Ghana on the 19th of July 2013.
Small holder farmers are among the poorest and most food insecure people around the world (Nigeria inclusive), they reside in the most ecologically and climatically vulnerable regions and must draw their livelihood from these same conditions. With all these challenges, it is these small-scale farmers who feed the majority of the world, producing food for about 70% of the world population (FAO2009). For many of these farmers, scarcity scenarios of so many things are nothing new.

In Nigeria, because of the neglect of agricultural development over past decades, secure land tenure and access to safe water has remained out of reach for many people, while national agricultural sector have suffered structural deficits and low productivity.

According to (FAO right to food, 2008) "Equitable access to land and natural resources is an essential element of the right to food for rural population in general and for vulnerable and marginalized groups in particular" All these emerging scarcity scenarios have helped push agriculture to the top of the global policy agenda forcing most forward looking governments and responsible international institutions to rethink the ways in which agriculture is practiced (i.e the way food is produced and distributed).

This effect is resulting in a renewed emphasis on the potential of agriculture, and government in recent years have intensified efforts to commercialize their agricultural sectors, thereby indirectly strengthening the small holders through an effective technological transfer from the developed commercial farming ventures.

Land Ownership /Tenure are important issue for farmers as it affects fundamental factors of investment security and the consequent ability to be able to repay and also, the issue of using such security as collateral.
It is a common fact that in Africa, private ownership of land is not real. It is rare for a small holder to be able to lay claim to title to his or her land and dispose same freely. The current land tenure system as it is being operates does not guarantee or provide necessary security. This is impossible due to some social pressure as land tenure is being deemed as prerogative of authorities concerned. It is equally known that even where land tenure operates, land registration are not available and where it does, it is not perfect.

The rights, responsibilities and or obligation of smallholder farmer vary according to religion, region, ethnic group, age, social status, education and economic power. It must be noted here that women in particular often do not have their right asserted through land registration system where it exists.

It has been posited in several forum that freehold or long leases could provide basis to encourage productive term investments and to permit col-lateralization of land. Therefore, it is believed that creating a legal framework to support traditional ownership of land maybe the best method. Another school of thought are of the opinion that, registration of the security for use is the key rather than registration as ownership of land.
Therefore, from the perspective of financial institutions or donor agencies, to be able to lend will depend on the level of information available to evaluate the capacity and or capability of the lender to repay as at when due and utilize such fund wisely.

Uncertainties regarding land tenure system (insecurity of land tenure)
Inadequate and unequal access to land
Lack of mechanism to transfer rights and considerate plots
Overly subdivision of land into small and uneconomic units
Food insecurity - low productivity
Improper management of land (land degredation, erosion and loss of fertility).
Lack of collateral and or credit facility - farmers relies on many informal lenders.
High interest rates- this is one of the major challenges to smallholder productivity
Lack of influence on agricultural policies and budget-(smallholders are not part of policy making, as a result, their interest are not captured).
Poor quality of land
Reliance on basic farming equipment
Poor access to local market and extensive services
Generally, lack of capital and access to affordable credit by smallholders has been the factor behind low agricultural productivity. Most farmers could not be assisted by commercial and micro-credit banks, thereby, commercial banks support towards agriculture has been very low compared to manufacturing, trade and other sectors of the economy where they can recover their interest on time. Budgeting allocating by most African government are very low. Most government have not been implementing the Maputo declaration which is 10 percent of their yearly budget allocation.

African countries should go the way of South Africa's standard Bank which signed a million dollars deal with Alliance for a green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in March 2000.
- Objectives - To provide financing to small holder farmers and agric business where certain percentage default guarantee are provided by the state on the loans to be given for a certain period of years
- Standard Bank identified and factored in most risk assessed and problems, for example, reduce risk on farming inputs, mitigate losses on drought-prone areas, reduce transaction costs and abolish collateral requirement and instead, mobilize large cooperatives to commit to buy the upcoming crops.
Expansion of saving groups and use of remittances to fund profitable agricultural sub-sectors.
Private sector participation, for example providing transport, logistics, credit, warehousing services, leveraging on technology to bring down cost.

Facilitating of projects that can help farmers to make money through better linkages to value chain actors.
Producer organizations - cooperatives and farmers Associations to offer support to small holders through collective action to secure land rights and better market opportunities.
Government to subsidize credit scheme (providing loan guarantee to private banks who are willing to support smallholders).

Exploration of government and donor backed schemes to increase provision of rural credit to small holders. For example, providing subsidies to credit scheme or loan guarantees to banks.
Pre-financing of agricultural initiatives-tractorisation scheme in Nigeria.
Business groups to ensure that credit offers made available are appropriate for smallholders operating within supply chains.

Government to re-commit to allocating 10% of their national budget to agriculture- e.g Nigeria.
In Kwara State, some of the above initiatives can already be observed where the shonga farms and their various partner cooperate with farmers, the local communities and the government in the areas of agriculture, rural development and food security.

In this regard, Kwara State government adopted initiatives to accelerate agricultural growth through both the commercialization of small holders and promotion of large-scale corporate farming, all through the Shonga Farms Holdings Nigeria Limited.
As these laudable initiatives gather pace, the situation of the small holders producers improves considerably through the constant transfer of knowledge among them other benefit

To effectively deal with low productivity and increase access to modern method of agricultural production, kwara State government set out early in 2004/2005 at promoting agricultural modernization through the commercialization of agriculture at Shonga, building its foundation on existence of vast land areas and numerous small holders farming families already in existence in the area.

A new emphasis on large-scale, commercial agriculture with these small holders also emerged, with the government providing a conducive, and an enabling environment taking the communities into confidence so as to attract these foreign joint investment in agriculture as witnessed with the Shonga farming ventures.
With this bold initiatives by the state government and having built sustainable confidence with the local communities, the most difficult aspect of land acquisition became surmontable as "easy access to land with smooth facilitation process" was achieved after series of various levels of consultation was arranged between the government, local communities, small holder formers and the investing commercial farmers on the other hand between 2004-2006.

The state government engage the service of 13No. Zimbabwe farmers who were established around Shonga Emirate in what is now known as Shonga's farms (Holding). Each of these 13 farmers were allocated 1000 hectares of land to engage in various forms of agricultural ventures. (Mixed croppers, Poultry groups and dairy groups).

In between these 13 settled commercial farmers, 200 hectares of land were earmarked and reserved for the local farmers. These initiatives became necessary because about 90% of the work forces of these commercial farmers are from the local communities who are expected to be empowered for the sustainability of the whole concept.

Each of these local farmers are then allocated with 2-5 hectares of land within this reserved 200 hectares in between the commercial farmers. The essence of this is to enable these local farmers benefit from the inflow of inputs, information, plants and machinery, off taking of proceeds and all other forms of technological transfer from the commercial farmers. It is envisaged that at the end of the day all these local farmers would have benefited immensely and became empowered to transform to commercial farmers, after which, is our intention to move them to a different location in form of Shonga Farms Holdings phase II in conjunction with grandaunts from Integrated youth farm institute in Kwara state.

Kwara state integrated youth farms was actually established to breed new generation of successive farmers, as they are adequately exposed during their training to both theoretical and practical aspects of modern agriculture.

Our intention therefore, is to bring some of these grandaunts and the local farmers that have benefited from the empowerment from the commercial farmers to work together prior to their movement to phase II. It is this particular concept which is novel that has caught the attention the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Bank of Agriculture, for financial support especially in the area of cassava production.
Against this backdrop, the experiences of Shonga farms Holdings show that with adequate support, small holder agriculture has commercial potentials that goes beyond increasing food availability in local, state, national, or even international markets.

This farms holding is a deliberate strategy designed to empower both small holders and large-scale farmers to make a commercial success of farming through partnership that works and sustainable, with governments, local communities and various business concerns.

Over time, this laudable initiative is likely to have a significant impact on small holder farmers as commercial enterprises look to invest in the state. Ensuring that those farmers have secure tenure as is done here is an important step in strengthening their position in future.

It is a fact that adopting a financing structure from one country to another maybe difficult to implement. It is suggested that a financing arrangement that can work well in peculiar cases should be designed to encourage other countries. The most important consideration here is to ensure that such structure provides practical solutions to the financing needs of smallholders.

There is also the need for African countries to contribute enough budgetary allocation to agriculture and support farming. Along this initiative, government must ensure improvement on land tenure security. This will increase food security as farmers are encouraged to invest more in their land and enable access to services as finance and prevent farmers for being displaced from their lands.

Furthermore to the above, laws that promote secure land tenure for all should be enshrined in most countries legal system. Smallholders need innovative financial services to support and encourage them in prioritizing sustainable management. The economies of African countries are developing and it is high time we brace up to the challenges of how to ensure innovative financing methods for purpose of food security.
Africa, it is time for action and enough of rhetorics, seminars and workshops. What we need now is action and commitment to eradicate hunger and poverty in the continent.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

3invest set for Real Estate Unite

The Chief Executive Officer, 3invest Limited, Ms. Ruth Obih, has disclosed the firm’s readiness to unite professionals in the built environment at this year’s edition of Real Estate Unite, an annual event aimed at redefining business and investment in the Nigerian real estate sector.

Obih said this year’s edition, which is the second in the series, would seek to answer questions on land use; how to advance real estate for economic growth in the country; the state of airports and railways as well as facility maintenance and the place of tourism and hospitality in the country’s real estate sector.
She said, “Having highlighted the major issues barring our nation’s real estate from reaching its economic potential, we realised that infrastructure and urbanisation is a major driver of emerging markets. Reformation of our laws is the key to unlocking our housing finance sector.

“In order to develop strategies to tackle these issues, we have lined up speakers from key sectors, who are key decision makers and leading opinion shapers.
“We have chosen infrastructure because the potential of real estate, especially commercial hospitality and residential, cannot be harnessed without it.”
According to Obih, the theme of the event holding between October 17 and 18, ‘Advancing Nigeria’s real estate for economic growth’, is designed to expose the prospects of the country’s real estate sector.
She said the award segment of the programme was conceived to elevate standards; while the conference would offer practical solutions through experience speakers; and the international perspective would be projected through the exhibition.

“Last year, we highlighted some major issues at our conference, and our research shows increased activities in the real estate industry since the inception of Real Estate Unite in 2012.
“It may sound coincidental, but the government is recognising and putting real estate at the forefront of the nation’s activities and recognising that unlocking potential in the real estate industry is integral to economic development of the country,” Obih said.

A representative of Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Anya Duroha, said the bank was focused on mortgage financing in the real estate sector, hence the need to partner with 3invest on the forthcoming conference and exhibition.
“We realised that people need long term financing for housing and we are incorporating that. Our core competence is retail banking and we focus on mortgage with a tenure range of about 20 to 25 years,” he said.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nigeria: Boosting Food Security Through Mechanisation, the Way Forward for Nigeria

The present administration has come up with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in a bid to earn foreign exchange from agriculture and make the nation self-sufficient in food production. But, with the continual drift of the young population of young Nigerians moving away from the rural areas to the urban in search of white collar jobs and away from the drudgery of manual farm labour, self sufficiency in food production is becoming a herculean task.

Seasonal shortage of food is becoming apparent as a result despite the fact that many labourers lack the incentive or tools to perform the high quality work needed to improve productivity. So, feeding the increasing population cannot be done with the cutlass and hoe or an agricultural system that relies on human muscles. In developed countries, mechanisation has taken over from the use of raw human power as is still the case in Nigeria.

The policy challenges of mechanisation, or lack of it, are of far reaching significance. The use of poorly-yielding varieties of planting materials even compound the problem further as crops yields across the nation have remained relatively stagnant and low over time, posing serious policy challenges that require urgent intervention. Agricultural mechanisation, embracing the use of tools, implements, and machines for a wide range of farm operations such as land preparation, planting, harvesting, on-farm processing among others, therefore becomes desirable.

There is an added dimension of soil, water and forest conservation practices that need to be built into the larger framework of environmental impact of agriculture, climate change and food security. The constraint posed by the prevailing land tenure system on mechanisation is such that agricultural lands in many parts of Nigeria are not easily made available for farming because of extant influences such as ownership structure and the stiff competition for estate development today, which is exerting dangerous influence on agriculture and the prospect of feeding the nation.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reckons that Nigeria is still at the early stage of agricultural mechanisation; even at that, it notes that the mechanisation of power-intensive operations has been slow. A significantly higher proportion of farming area is still cultivated by hand tools in Nigeria and West Africa compared to other developing countries

Statistics had it that, last year, a total of 3,012,360 ha of land was expected to be put under cultivation in the Nigeria with a tractor population of about 40,000 with a tractorisation density of 0.1 hp/ha. The tractorisation density of the country fell short of the recommended 1.5hp/ha by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). For Nigeria to be able to feed its growing population, therefore, there is a need for investment in mechanisation both on the part of the private and public sectors.


Dry & Firm Land at Abraham Adesanya Estate, Ajah, Lagos

NGN 8,500,000  

Abraham Adesanya Estate   View MapSize (m2) : 600
- AvailableLot (meters) : 18 X 33

- Dry and firm land
- Ready for immediate development
- Can occupy two (2) units of bungalows
- Located in the gated estate of Abraham Adesanya Estate

Price: N15million

For further enquiries/ arrangement for inspection, please contact:

+234-1-7605148, 08023224585, 08032065685, 08051956996

Senior Technical Officer - Nigeria - Civil/Construction/Real Estate/ Infrastructure/ Pharma - Projects

Ripe4 is currently representing a large energy conglomerate that has great interest within the African Region. One of their latest ventures is focused heavily around identifying, developing and managing investment opportunities in the areas of Infrastructure and development which spans across various industries that include: O&G, Real estate, Hospitality, Healthcare infrastructure, etc.

With this in mind, they are seeking to identify and attract a SENIOR TECHNICAL OFFICER to be based in Lagos, Nigeria who will have ultimate responsibility for:
- Leading field supervision, prepare and submit standardized progress reports using dashboard views.
- Leading infrastructure project development and management; schedule, quality and cost control.
- Liaising with procurement and contracts department to ensure timely procurement of project/technical materials.
- Responsibility for ensuring best value is obtained for the project including supplier base, use of internal and external resources.

We are seeking a professional with:
- Minimum 7 years of experience post bachelors within multiple companies and sectors across various geographical regions that include Sub-Saharan Africa coupled with additional 3-4 years of full cradle to grave project management experience
- PMP, PMI, Prince or Prince2
- Proven experience of dealing with contractors.
- Degree in Mechanical or Civil Engineering
This is a tremendous opportunity to fast-track your career, join a new division of an already established reputable organisation that could see you rising to the next level in 2 � 4 years.

This is a permanent role offered on a residential status in Lagos, Nigeria with full expatriate benefits.
Please get in touch for more information and for a confidential discussion.

Status: Staff
Required Skills/Experience: - technical background in Civil/ Mechanical or a related discipline
- extensive experience working across various industries: Downstream Oil and Gas, Infrastructure, Commercial Real Estate, etc.
- previous exposure to work in Sub-Saharan Africa with a particular focus on West Africa
Minimum Experience: 15 years
Location: Lagos, NIGERIA
Remuneration: 100000 - 200000 US Dollars/year
Advert Published: 18 Jul 2013
Expiry date: 16 Sep 2013
OilCareers Ref. No.: J1002031

Click here to Apply

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Menace of OmoOnile in Lagos

 A house under construction
The extortion of innocent property owners by touts and  street urchins known as OmoOnile or Agajungbale in different parts of Lagos State has brought to the fore the nuisance which the group, which calls itself the “sons of the soil “ and “children of original land owners,” is constituting to the people. But their days appear to be numbered as a Bill seeking to criminalise their activities is currently making headway at the Lagos State House of Assembly. Olaolu Olusina reports

The day of reckoning is definitely drawing nearer for touts and street urchins known as OmoOnile orAgajungbale in different parts of Lagos State. The inglorious era of shameless extortion of innocent property owners by the group, which calls itself the “sons of the soil” and “children of original land owners,” is about to come to an end.

A Bill seeking to criminalise their activities is currently making headway at the Lagos State House of Assembly as it had actually scaled the second reading and report on it is being expected back in the Assembly.

Modus Operandi
Like the Lords of the Manor, the OmoOnileorganise themselves into armies of occupation, wielding dangerous weapons,  as they storm their targets to demand for ‘settlement’ at almost every stage of development of a property. From the foundation stage to the lintel and through the decking stage of a building, these OmoOnilewould demand ridiculous amount of money before work could start, and in most cases, they are always ready to seize the working tools of any property owner not willing to accede to their demands.

Powerful as they have become over the years, they have succeeded in grabbing land from original buyers, selling same to others, leaving tears, blood and sorrow on their trail. Frustrating genuine investors through multiple demands of ‘settlement fees,’ many property owners have even lost their lives to the activities of these hoodlums, who, in some cases, have godfathers, to whom they make returns.

A  Victim’s Experience
But BabatundeAyoolaFajimi, a Cameroon-based Nigerian entrepreneur and management consultant, did not bargain for what he experienced in the hands of these OmoOnile. Having heard so much about the atrocities being committed daily by the so-called sons of the soil and children of the original land owners, Fajimi was determined not to fall into their trap.

And way back in 2005, while serving in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, he had made a move to acquire a property in the Ogijo area of Ikorodu, a sprawling community on the outskirts of Lagos.  The property located in the Onafowokan Estate, Ikorodu  was bought without any problem from the real owners, the Onafowokan family.

Frivolous Demands
However, trouble soon started when he made the move to develop the property. A group  ofOmoOnile  in the area led by one Fadeyi appeared from nowhere to start making frivolous demands from Fajimi as a condition for starting work on the property.
And for close to a decade, the touts made the family their cash cow as they successfully ‘feasted’ on the Fajimis who had to dole out good money to them each time they tried to do anything on the property. But things got to a head recently when Fajimi’s wife, Ebunoluwa, who owns and manages a school, Living Legacy Private School, on the property, tried to carry out further development projects in the school premises.

Exploitation Galore
Fadeyi,  who had  been extorting money from the family  each time  development works were being carried out on the property since 2005  simply came again to allegedly demand N300,000 before the decking work could  be done . Threatening to wreak havoc and cause confusion if his demands were not met, he thought the Fajimis would concede to his demands this time again. But he was wrong as his ‘preys’ are now wiser now.
Fajimi would have nothing of the threat again, having paid huge sums of money to Fadeyi, who, in fact, has no relationship whatsoever with the Onafowokan family, which sold the land to him.

Saying No to Further Demands
Moving swiftly, Fajimi was determined to end the extortion once and for all. And from his base in Cameroon, he made moves to contact some of his friends who could be of assistance. In one of the mails sent to one of his friends, copy of which was made available to THISDAY, Fajimi stated: ”There is this Omo-onile called Fadeyi … whom I didn’t buy land from his father but has been extorting money from me. He has come with his threats again. I have declined and started talking to my friends in (the) security services. I do my business in Cameroon but my wife owns a school at Ogijo/Ikorodu.

“We are decking coming Saturday and he threatens to disrupt and constitute threats to lives and property. I have written electronically to Nigeria Police and SSS … I am also trying to reach out to my other friends … so that the atrocities of illegal extortion of the guy called Fadeyi can be known to the world. You will get more details that you can verify.”

Petition to SSS, Police
Apparently determined to end the years of extortion by the so-called Omo-onile, Fajimi also sent a letter dated July 1 to the Nigeria Police and the State Security Services (SSS) in which he stated:  “I am BabatundeAyoolaFajimi, Nigerian, Entrepreneur and Management Consultant resident at…Off SagamuIkorodu Road with contact telephone number …. I currently work for my client in Limbe, Cameroon ...

“My wife, Mrs. EbunoluwaFajimi…owns and manages her school, Living Legacy Private School  .  We are currently carrying out development projects in the school premises, and one OmoOnile named Fadeyi with telephone number … who has been extorting money from me each time we carry out development works since 2005 has come again to demand N300,000 before I can do the decking work. There is no basis for demanding this money. It is a clear case of extortion and criminality.
“ I have declined his illegal demands and he has threatened to stop the work and unleash mayhem in the school premises thereby constituting threats to my life, the lives of my family members, the lives of the teachers and pupils in the school numbering 200 innocent Nigerians.

‘’ For the records, I didn’t buy land from his fathers. I bought land from the Onafowokan Estate family in Ikorodu, a reputable family which has  not,   to date, to the best of my knowledge,  use Omo-onilenor indulge this Fadeyi man.
“I plan to do the decking work on Saturday, July 6, 2013 and I foresee that this  Fadeyi would mobilise touts and area boys to cause disturbance of public peace and lawlessness.   I am a law-abiding Nigerian who goes about my business peaceful and contributing to the economic development of the country by employing over 25 other Nigerians through the School and my consultancy firm, Kairos Business Services Limited. The intent and action of this Fadeyi constitute a threat to my peaceful existence as a Nigerian and the lives of other Nigerian citizens and pupils numbering over 200.

“I am using this medium to appeal for intervention, please. I will also appreciate if I can get a contact number to further discuss the details. I intend to come to Nigeria from Douala on Thursday this week to ensure that justice is done, and this Fadeyi man is called to order by the appropriate institution of government. “

We are not Trouble Maker, Says Fadeyi
When THISDAY called Fadeyi for his reaction on all the allegations made against him, he said  he was not a trouble maker. “The issue has been resolved amicably. Though they didn’t buy the land directly from us, the person who sold the land to them asked them to give us something (money).

The grandmother called to plead with us. We all have our property here too. The man (Fajimi) is not a trouble maker, but the wife is always misunderstanding us,” Fadeyi told this reporter.
But Fajimi said Fadeyi was only lying. “We have decided to stop this extortion which has been going on since 2005. I was in Ghana , Sierra Leone and now Cameroon but this man won’t stop his frivolous demands . The last time, we paid him N300,000 and now he’s threatening again to cause trouble if we don’t bulge this time around,” he said.

Police to the Rescue
But the signal had been given to Fadeyi and his group as they appeared to have realised that the game was over for them. In the face of the determination to end the years of exploitation, the OmoOniles seemed to have read the handwriting on the wall that they have lost their cash cow.

And with the Police responding promptly to the petition sent to them, THISDAY gathered that a police patrol team was permanently stationed at the project site penultimate Saturday to enable the Fajimis carry out development work on their property without hinderance.

Highly elated by the relief, Fajimi told THISDAY that the Police really did a good job by responding promptly to his call. “I’m indeed grateful to the Police and all those who responded promptly to our call. The Police came and stationed a team to keep watch over the area.  “The boys may have been deterred by this as none of them showed up to disturb us as they had threatened, though some of them could be seen passing and spying at what was going,” Fajimi told this reporter.

Lagos Mulls Stiffer Law
Though Fajimi is currently savouring the joy of his ‘liberation’ from the OmoOnile, hundreds and thousands of other residents of the state are still being terrorised by these street urchins. But succour seems to be on the way as the Lagos State House of Assembly is currently working on a private member Bill that will criminalise the activities of the so-called OmoOnile in the state if passed into law. Already, progress had been made on it as the Bill had already scaled the second reading at the Assembly.

Appropriately tagged the State Properties Protection Bill  2013, the Bill, which seeks to slam  a three-year jail term on anyone found guilty, makes it an offence for any person or group of persons  to forcibly enter and occupy any landed  property in the state.
Providing for the establishment of a special court and stipulating a fine of N300,000 or three years imprisonment for any person found guilty, the Bill, when passed into law, seeks to commit anyone found with fire arm, weapon or chemical material or in company or any person so armed  to a death sentence.    

The report on the Bill, which had already been committed to the Committee on Lands and Housing, as well as Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Petitions, is expected back  in the Assembly any time from now.

Fashola Determined to End Menace
The state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, had,  in April, expressed the determination of his administration to tackle the menace headlong.   Speaking at the second Corporate Assembly at the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ), Lekki, Lagos, he had lamented what he described as the unwholesome activities of the group.

Disclosing that a Bill had been sent to the Lagos State House of Assembly to criminalise illegal land grabbing which has assumed a frightening dimension in Lagos, Fashola said   the Bill, when eventually passed into law, would completely phase the OmoOnile  out of the state.

The Bill, which is already receiving the support of most members of the State Assembly, according to  the chairman, Committee on Lands and Housing, Hon. BayoOsinowo,   would end the  havocs being wreaked by the street urchins.
“In Lagos State, land is our major resource.  It is our petrol compared to oil producing states in the country,” he said, stressing that nothing would be too much to protect its sanctity.

In his own submission, the chairman, Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Petition, Hon. SanaiAgunbiade, expressed the hope that  the Bill would also take care of land agents, who, according to him, parade themselves and seize the opportunity to take landed property forcefully, saying  “The bill would protect potential buyer(s) from OmoOnilebefore or during construction work.”       


FG Loses Control Of Tourism, Hotel Regulation To States

A PANEL of the Supreme Court of Nigeria has unanimously declared that it is only a state house of assembly that can make laws on tourism or exercise control in the licensing or grading of hotels, restaurants and fast food outlets.

   Dismissing a case filed by Attorney General of the Federation and upholding the contention of that of Lagos State, the Court on Friday held that the Constitution empowers only the National Assembly to regulate tourist traffic, a term which does not extend to hotel registration or licensing.
   The Court also ruled in favour of Lagos State in another case filed on the same subject, which was consolidated with the first one for hearing. In the latter case, the Court declared valid both the Hotel Licensing Law of Lagos State and the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law of Lagos State. The offending sections of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation  (NTDC) Act were, however, declared null and void.

   Represented by the Attorney General, Mr. Ade Ipaye, Lagos State Government had argued during the hearing that the only power reserved to the National Assembly on the Exclusive Legislative List in Schedule 2 to the Constitution was the regulation of tourist traffic, which only pertained to immigrations and the issuance of visas, but Mr. Tunde Busari, representing the Attorney General of the Federation, contended that the phrase was enough to cover all tourism subjects and that the NTDC Act had therefore covered the field. On those grounds, Mr. Busari called on the court to invalidate the Hotel Licensing Law and Hotel Consumption Tax Law of Lagos State. This was rejected by Galadima JSC who read the lead judgment and all other justices in both cases.

   It would be recalled that the Lagos Sate Government and the Federal Government had been embroiled in controversy over the question of proper authority to license and grade hospitality establishments. This had resulted in the NTDC and the State Government setting up parallel registration and regulation structures to the annoyance of businessmen in the industry.  By dismissing the case of the Federal Government, the apex court has put paid to this controversy and paved way for State Governments to take full charge of tourism regulation and development within their respective jurisdictions.

Commenting on the judgment, Mr. Disun Holloway who is the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, declared it as a landmark and commended the Supreme Court for upholding the tenets of Federalism. He also stated his expectation that this judgment will eradicate multiplicity of taxation and regulation, thereby enabling States to take charge and properly plan for the hospitality industry in their respective territories.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Local News: Real estate lawyers applaud Jonathan around Land Use Behave

Real Property Lawyers Association of Nigeria, RELAN, Thursday, commen-ded President Goodluck Jonathan for contacting for the removal of Land Use Behave from the 1999 Constitution.

RELAN, in a statement by its Vice-President, Procedures, Mr. Adekunle Omotola, observed that Federal Government's commitment was in line with the view of his association during its first national summit on Land Use Behave in Abuja in 2009 and the recent one in Lagos on June 20,2013.

He explained: “RELAN is not ignorant that to eliminate the Land Use Behave, it must evolve with Part 9 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“We're also aware that the plenary procedure of the Senate and the House of Representatives are discussing the report of Senator Ike Ekeremadu and Mr. Emeka Ihedioha-led Committees on the amendment of the constitution.

“We're satisfied that President Jonathan freely declared that the Land Use Behave is likely to be removed. It is a proper step in the right direction.

“Certainly, President Jonathan's commitment is an extension of the cement stage taken by his quick predecessor in office, late President Umaru Yar'Adua, who forwarded a bill to the National Assembly for amendment of some chapters of the Behave in 2009.

“It is our view that the realistic strategy by the government to eliminate the Behave is to ensure the it wears a human face and to be consistence with democratic norms and ideals.”

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Full Storry: The Urgent Need For Agricultural Development

The annals of agriculture dates back once again to 1000s of years and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. However, all farming generally count on techniques to expand and maintain the land which are suited to raising domesticated species. For plant, this usually requires some irrigation, although, you will find types of dry land farming, pastoral, herding on rangeland which remain the most common methods to raise lives stock. Agriculture in Nigeria falls into two main groups, food crops produced for home consumption and cash crops for export. Cocoa may be the leading non- oil foreign exchange earner but the dominance of smallholders and not enough farm labour as a result of urbanization restrain production.

In 1999 Nigeria produced 145,000 tons cocoa beans but Nigeria has the capability to produce 300,000 per year. Rubber is the second largest non-oil earning foreign exchange earner. Farming in Nigeria suffers plenty of neglect and abandonment from investors who rather devote their finance into oil and other sectors. Majority of people who farm in the country is suffering from not enough finance and man power to understand a large harvest while only a few rich can spend money on commercial farming that may be conveniently useful for export trading.

Agriculture, accounts for 23 percent of Nigeria's GDP and engages 3 percent of the economically active population. Agriculture contributed significantly more than 75 percent of export earnings before 1970. Since then, however, agriculture has deteriorated, partly as a result of government neglect and poor investment, and partly as a result of ecological factors such as for instance drought, disease, and reduction in soil fertility. Agriculture contributed 32% to GDP in 2001. Recently, agriculture's share of exports had declined to less than 10 percent. Once an exporter of food to nearby countries,

Nigeria now must import food to meet up domestic demand. Today's government of Nigeria has made endless promises to revitalize the agricultural sector of the economic which had once fed this nation and nations far and wide with her palms (used to produce palm oil, sesame, cocoa, rubber, cotton, soya beans, plantain, gum Arabic, kola nut, melon sorghum, millet, maize (corn), yams, and cassava which were once exported but are now actually sold mostly locally. Farming is one major aspect that Nigeria can boast of if properly utilised.

The lack of development in agriculture which has been relinquished to the poor has greatly affect, the country's economical progress. Most of our graduates even those specialized in the field of agriculture will rather work in a company than work in a farmland. The thought of “white collar” jobs has eaten deep in to the logical reasoning of Nigerians that farming is regarded as stressful and sometimes dirty. They'd preferred to get money to get food as opposed to produce the meals themselves. The total outcome of this is that, if every Nigerian is in a company and paid huge sums of amount, then you will have not enough food and importation of food stuffs will increase.

Lagos Assembly Approved N7b loan bid

LAGOS State House of Assembly has approved the state government's request of N7 billion loan to address challenges of housing deficit in the state. 
    The Assembly at its'plenary yesterday, adopted recommendations of the House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget on 2013 Appropriation Law with housing budget reviewed upward from N10 billion to N17 billion. 
    The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze had, in a letter read on the floor of the House a week ago, requested that the budget deficit be risen to the tune of N7 billion to address the problem of “considerable housing deficit” in the state.

    Akabueze had also noted that the proposed amendment would not lead to increase in the budget estimate but the increment will be sourced through loan to construct 600 units of houses.    
  Before the approval of the request, the lawmakers had debated the rationale for the loan and recommendations of the committee.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lagos actions to guard investors in property market

Plans are underway by the Lagos State government to protect the interest of real-estate investors and everyone through sanitisation and regulation of the actual estate market, Kehinde Abayomi, director of estate in the state ministry of housing, has said.

Abayomi, who represented Bosun Jeje, the state commissioner for housing, at the opening ceremony of the ninth edition of the Luxury Living Africa Property Exhibition, said the move was necessary to help curb the excesses of dubious real-estate agents who defraud investors in the sector.

“Real-estate agents must register with the state before they could be licensed as the sanitisation process may also involve screening and training of accredited estate agents within the metropolis,” he said.

Organised by Campaign Hype, the exhibition created a platform for trade promotions, exploring of investment opportunities, networking and market development for all stakeholders in the actual estate sector.

The expo also afforded property developers opportunity to showcase their recent products to prospective customers. “The aim of the exhibition is to display innovative real-estate products as Nigerians now see real-estate as new hub for investment after the crash of the stock market,” said Ike Steve, head, organising team.

“The growth of Africa's real-estate industry within the last six years has been impressive, signalling that the entranceway for opportunity and innovation has opened right in Africa; the need for a platform where new real-estate products could be showcased is important,” he explained.

The event also provided a platform for stakeholders to go over and chart the way in which forward on what investors can benefit from the mini property boom on the continent at present.

A number of the exhibitors at the expo include Rainbow Town Development Limited, developer of Rainbow Town, Port Harcourt; Vava Furniture, Howard Roark Multi Dynamics Limited, developer of Lakeview Park; Beaufort Properties, developer of Beaufort Ridge, Accra, and Kano Emirate Council, developer of Ado Bayero Royal City, Kano, etc.

Monday, July 15, 2013

CCESSA lauds govt for alliance with investors in infrastructure

Construction & Civil Engineering Senior Team Association (CCESSA) lauds government initiatives to partner with places which can be ready to buy Nigeria, support the infrastructural progress and donate to the development of the economy.

The National Leader of the association, Comrade (Dr.) Augustine Etafo, while commending the Government and the Asian version for the bilateral agreement  and the Memorandum of understanding reached with the China Civil Engineering Construction Firm (CCECC), claimed it's heartwarming to see that the business, as said in one of the Nigerian national dailies, by China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. U Yucheng, that CCECC is going to be investing enormously in Nigeria, with planned investment in Actual House, concrete manufacturing, Beach Slots, railways, highways progress and the steel market among others.  Mr. Li also added that the Asian Construction big CCECC conducting business in Nigeria has used about 20,000 Nigerians with about 1,000 Expatriates.

CCESSA but note that the Asian construction big unsuccessful to inform people that against 1000 expatriates on history, there are only 35 elderly team in almost all their development in Nigeria. This is certainly indefensible. That is also in comparison variance to the extant law on expatriate quota; and even the labour laws. It's incredible that one of the 20,000 Nigerians used in the entire operations in Nigeria only 35 are elderly staff. It's significant complication for Nigerian graduates.

This indicates very convenient for the Asian multinational organization to utilize 1000 expatriates, and only 35 Nigerians. What goes on to the Nigerian professionals who are likely to perform in the establishments? It indicates the professional like Engineers, accountants, individual resource workers aren't required by the business or what? That leads to motion without development. How do we transfer technology between expatriates and junior team? That trend has identified Asian company in Nigeria. 

If this continues we might be left with no alternative than to end that China doesn't intend to transfer technology to Nigerians. You might have expected that in line with expatriate quota, the type of employees should be such that it may improve transfer of technology to the area populace. That brings us to the 2nd aspect of our fear, which can be; in a desperate effort to have hold on our government they compromise quality, common and choose the best cadre of labour, therefore causing a great space between quality and price.

That 1000 Asian is working wherever only 35 Nigerian graduates are used only leads to conclusion: Nigeria is sinking in to deeper graduate unemployment while Asian is solving their unemployment problems in Nigeria. Again, what is the qualification of the so-called expatriates? A cursory stop by at the internet sites of the corporation display, that individuals have expatriates cooks, expatriate home keepers and expatriate clerks, in the end what they contact expatriates are those who couldn't discover employment in China and are brought to Nigeria.

That brings to problem the type of employment relations such establishment.  Whereas the junior team is wholly Nigerians, and is numerous, the elderly cadre employment is said to be discussed involving the expatriates and the Nigerians.  Expatriates such as the title implies are said to be used wherever the area employees lack capacity however the reverse may be the case.
The Government should take cognizance of the truth that it's inadequate to signal agreements, but that Nigerian personnel interest should also be factored in.  Our trust and need is that Nigerians are experienced to dominate the jobs of expatriates after they have understudied them. 

CCESSA is not advocating that most expatriates should be delivered providing nor is he expressing that Nigerians can handle most of the complexities mixed up in construction industry.  But the idea is that, honestly there are places wherever the presence of experts is imperative.  In many other places, regional team has the capability to control affairs.  Such regional team must get the opportunity to perform, initially beneath the direction of the relevant experts. 
In this market, we have Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, Workers Officers, Accountants e.t.c and we believe if many of these are acknowledged and effectively put, then CCECC Company can not be speaking of less than 2000 elderly team as against the 1000 expatriates they have rightly or wrongly established.
Finally, we but welcome Asian investors in Nigeria, but it should be built to benefit Nigerians and much less a ploy to fix their particular unemployment crisis.