Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce company, led a team of investors from his country to Nigeria on Thursday.
Speaking when he met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja, Ma said the essence of the visit is to understand Africa more.
One of the richest men in Aisa said he had been looking forward to visiting the country.
“I think our team today realised our dreams meeting you. We flew 15 hours into Nigeria and we are excited. This trip is to try to understand Africa more. We came to Africa four years ago and our plan is to visit four, five countries in every trip,” Ma said.
“My personal target is to try and visit every country in Africa in 10 years and support Africa. Nigeria is a great country with a large population, very strong economy, excellent young people with excellent innovations. And this is a country.”
Ma also shares some concepts that he feels could assist a developing nation like Nigeria.
“We also want help through four Es in Africa. The first, E list is E-infrastructure – support internet connections to everybody. We hope that every young person, every small business should have access to the internet to do business anywhere, anytime,” he said.
“The second E is support entrepreneurs, this is very important. We think we can make entrepreneurs as the heros of African continent. In China is the entrepreneurs that promote business development, government support entrepreneurs.
“The third is E-government, if government is on E, it will be very efficient, transparent, people will know government can help and government will know what the people want. The last and very important E is education.
“In the next few days we are going to have the all the internet prize, everyone in Africa can apply for award. I am happy to know that four Nigerian entrepreneurs are among the top 10. We will have the final competition in two days and I think Nigeria entrepreneurs will have great result.
“This is just the beginning. Our jobs is to support entrepreneurs. Everyone in the delegation, we are all founders of our own businesses in China. We think what we have experienced in China can help Africa entrepreneurs develop, support e-infrastructure, e-governance, e-entrepreneurs and e-education and this is what we came here for.
“We will love to have advise and know government’s direction so that we can do a better job.”
Osinbajo thanked Ma for “acknowledging Nigeria’s role in Africa and the world”.
“By leading a team of investors to Nigeria, I hope you see as we do, investment opportunities in Africa’s digital economy, infrastructure and her people,” Osinbajo said.
I recently went house-hunting in Lagos. Thinking it would be easier than outsourcing the task to an estate agent, I checked a real estate website to find a house. After finding an apartment within my budget, I called the agent who’d posted the house online. He informed me that the house was available and asked for a N3,000 “registration fee” for a meetup.
Straightforward, right? Little did I know what awaited me.
“This is not the house you posted online,” I told the agent after he took me to an old bungalow in a location different from what he posted online.
“Ah, that house is no longer available,” he said. “I also have ‘three ‘clean ones’ that are still on ground.”
Frustrated, I left without seeing anything close to what was posted online.
Then I realised: finding a house in Lagos is no easy business.
Before the digital era, finding a house required a lot of work and walk. You had to go around town checking every “to-let” sign you could find and pray not to fall into the hands of fraudsters. Or you would just outsource the whole operation to a real estate agent who would handle all of that for you at a steep price. These factors made it difficult for people to find their dream house in Lagos.
However, with the growth of the internet in Nigeria, services like Jiji, OLX (which was later acquired by Jiji), PropertyPro and other platforms emerged. These are free platforms that allow people to post classifieds, including real estate, online. PropertyPro promised a “stressless approach to getting your dream home.”
My experience on these platforms was far from this promise.
Finding a house in Lagos remains as gruelling as ever and digital platforms aren’t doing enough to help. Lax on control measures, it is too easy for agents to force people back to the offline reality of house hunting.
Why is it hard to find a house online in Lagos?
For many people, checking online is the first step when house-hunting. They can preview what houses look like without having to do the leg work. But they can’t go beyond this because many online real estate platforms are simply “a medium for the advertisement” of houses, they don’t facilitate transactions or work directly with landlords or agent associations to do so.
This makes it easy for agents to abuse these platforms and force users back to the offline realities they were trying to avoid in the first place.
Found a house online? Is it really available?
One way agents misuse online platforms is fake listings.
On platforms like PropertyPro and Jiji, one typically finds duplicate posts for the same house, sometimes from the same user. In real life, agents often take multiple clients to the same house and favouring the first to pay.
However, the difference between this offline reality and what you would find in the digital world is that most times such duplicate adverts are fake. The advertised property, many times, was never on the market or would have been rented many months before the advert was created.
“[The] first agent I got off a platform didn’t confirm if the house was still available,” said Ada, who used an online platform to search for a house.
“I got to the address with the agent and we were told that all apartments had been taken.”
“I paid for [both our] transport fares to and from the address, and I didn’t get to see the apartment,” she told me.
This is a situation that many house hunters encounter often.
But why do agents do it?
Typically, agents use the picture of good looking houses to attract prospective tenants to their listings. But in reality, many of these agents want to find tenants for houses that are either located in “unsavoury” places or are in pretty bad shape.
Others want to find clients for houses that are really just uncompleted buildings; they want clients to pay so the houses can be completed. They can’t draw clients in if they post the actual pictures of the property.
However, there is another reason why agents post fake adverts.
“Pay before you can see the house”
By tricking clients with fake images of a property, real estate agents can make quick money off them. They ask people to pay a “registration” fee before they can be shown the “real” property. It usually costs between N2,000 and N7,000, and agents request the fee every time a new client comes on board.
To be clear, registering with an agent is standard practice offline. It creates a sort of contract that commits an agent to help clients find a house.
“This ‘registration’ fee has always been in existence right from time even before Jiji began operation,” Jiji told TechCabal in an email. “It has been the culture and process in Nigeria.”
“Agents always inform these clients before they come for inspection about the registration or inspection fee. It is not a new phenomenon.”
“Once you register, you are entitled to get something from that agent,” said one real estate agent.
But here’s the problem with this: I already found a house online, why do you still want me to pay for “registration”?
Digital real estate platforms help people to find houses, not agents. But somehow agents have flipped this. They have since gamed the system, using these platforms to catfish clients with fake adverts. Once the registration fee is paid, agents unload their gimmicks, they ask clients to pay “viewing fees” and take them to a house different from what was posted online.
“A lot them [agents] constantly lied about their properties just so you would pay N2,000 to do a look,” said Emeka, who experienced it firsthand.
Emeka told me he used online platforms like Nigeria Property Center and PropertyPro and explained that the registration fee is different from the viewing fee.
“I think the agents there assumed because we can afford internet subscription, we’re automatically uber-rich,” he said. He added that “almost all the agents I met online, the pictures they posted never matched the apartment advertised.”
These antics make it difficult for people to use digital platforms to find a house in Lagos. In the end, people are forced to use the stressful offline model that leaves them vulnerable to the same complexities the real estate market has faced for years: fraud and a longer period to find a house.
But what are digital platforms doing about this?
We contacted PropertyPro repeatedly for comments but they did not respond.
In an email to TechCabal, Jiji said it did not “subscribe” to the existence of fake adverts on its platform. They also said that agents on Jiji “use old houses as a means of collecting money from unsuspecting clients.”
However, they admitted that inspection fees are charged by some agents and registration fees are required by “big agents”.
“It’s not a new phenomenon”, Yuliy Shenfeld, Jiji’s Country Manager wrote. “[But] If any agent should ask a client to transfer money for inspection to him or her without seeing the client, then that is definitely a scam and is treated as such,” he added.
Yet, there are still other concerns.
What are digital platforms doing to protect users?
Although it is understandable that many of the digital real estate platforms do not facilitate any user-to-agent transactions on their platform, the way they operate today leaves users vulnerable.
PropertyPro describes itself as a “medium for advertisement” and says it “shall not in any way be responsible for the individual actions of agents during relations with users, both off and on the [platform]”.
Meanwhile, adverts rarely expire on these digital platforms. According to Jiji’s FAQs, ads will stay for between three months and six months before they are automatically removed, but every time the advert is updated, that expiry date is reset. PropertyPro does something similar. For instance, this advert was originally posted in March 2018 but remains “valid” after more than one year simply because it was updated in October 2019.
As a result, older listings continue to float on both platforms making it hard to see new stuff.
Digital platforms also appear to be prioritizing paid adverts over regular ones. For instance, Jiji’s real estate listing is largely dominated by “boosted ads”, “top ad” and “VIP ads”, all of which are paid ads. PropertyPro also uses “featured ads” to boost listings. For its most basic paid adverts, Jiji promises “5X” more exposure than regular adverts. As for-profit businesses, it is not odd that these platforms do this — this is the revenue model of the classifieds business.
Yet, with regular ads hidden far below, agents are competing for eyeballs. Agents have to pay to boost their ads to get more clients. Boosting ads leads to additional cost, leading agents to resort to “registration fees” and “pay to view” fees.
One agent, Obinna Prince, told me he pays around N40,000 per month to boost 7 adverts.
With all these antics, there’s less trust in digital platforms for house hunting in Lagos.
When asked what approach is better for house hunting, Emeka said “offline, though more stressful, proved more effective.” While Ada told me that although she is still using the online option, the agent she is currently working with was referred to her offline by a friend. “He didn’t collect a dime from me,” she told TechCabal.
Room for innovation
This means there’s still room for innovation to help people find houses online.
A few startups have emerged over the years to address this. Notable among them are Muster and Fibre. Both of these platforms allow users to find apartments and pay their rent online. Unlike classifieds, the newer platforms have strict measures, have no paid ads and they cut out the agents by working directly with landlords. They seem relatively safer and utilitarian.
But many of their houses are located in expensive neighbourhoods like Lekki and Oniru. On Muster, it’s no surprise that many of their houses require rents of over N100,000 monthly – cost considerations like this is why many in Lagos prefer platforms like Jiji and PropertyPro for house hunting.
“We are not where we want to be yet,” said Muster’s Ibraheem Babalola, “there are factors that are not completely in Muster’s control including market dynamics.”
So while these innovations are cool, their reach is somewhat limited. Until their listings are more widely available, the promise of finding houses on digital platforms is not as easy as first advertised.
Last April the international charity, Oxfam, revealed that the number of extreme poor in Nigeria had skyrocketed to 94.4 million people, with 3 million having been added to that unhappy lot in a span of six months. As some of my gentle readers would recall, in 2017 Nigeria overtook India for the dubious prize of being the world’s poverty capital. India’s destitute poor number some 70 million, 5.124 percent of a total population of 1.36 billion. Nigeria’s 94.5 million poor constitute 47.2 percent of our current estimated population of 200 million. Nearly a half of our population are virtually condemned to the nightmare of the Middle Ages.
In our context, poverty has strong regional and gender dimensions. The majority of the poor are women and vulnerable groups. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the North is the poorest region in the country, with Sokoto having the worst record of 81.2 percent. Adamawa and Gombe both have a poverty rate of 74.2 percent. Lagos and the south fare better. Our commercial capital has a poverty rate of 48.6 percent while Bayelsa has 47 percent.
Poverty in our context is defined in terms of those who live below the threshold of $1.90 or N684 per day. Poverty is not a sign of virtue; it is, in fact, a curse. Neither is it a situation determined by our destiny or DNA. On the contrary, it derives from the failure of governance and inability of our government to generate those public goods that promote collective welfare for the vast majority.
Nigeria’s current status as the world capital of poverty is a great national embarrassment. We are supposed to be OPEC’s sixth biggest oil exporter and Africa’s biggest economy by far. And we are richly endowed with natural resources. It is damaging to both our national honour and our external image and standing in the world comity of nations.
Poverty is popularly defined as lack of sufficient material resources to live a decent life in society. Distinctions are often made between absolute poverty, which refers to the complete lack of access to basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing; and relative poverty, which refers to a condition where people cannot meet their own basic needs relative to the minimum standards that obtain within a society. The concept of relative poverty highlights inequality and exclusion as critical elements in the poverty equation. The father of economic science, Adam Smith in his classic work, The Wealth of Nations, underlined the relative nature of poverty in terms of not only those “commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life but whatever the custom of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even of the lowest order, to be without.”
“Nigeria’s current status as the world capital of poverty is a great national embarrassment. We are supposed to be OPEC’s sixth biggest oil exporter and Africa’s biggest economy by far. And we are richly endowed with natural resources.”
In our day and age, poverty is not only an economic and financial phenomenon; it has various other dimensions. It includes things like literacy, access to information, access to basic social services such as health, education, social protection and sanitation. The Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen drew attention to the role and importance of political empowerment and freedom as essential elements of development and human welfare. Sen conceptualises poverty in terms of lack of access to basic entitlements, defined in terms of the “various bundles of goods and services over which one has command, taking into cognizance the means by which such goods are acquired…and the availability of the needed goods.”
According to the World Bank, other dimensions of poverty include: abuse by those in power; dis-empowering institutions; gender relationships; lack of security; limited capabilities; physical limitations; precarious livelihoods; problems in social relationships; weak community organisations; and discrimination. Quite often hunger and malnutrition are among the most visible symptoms of poverty, in addition to diseases such as preventable diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. There is also the gender dimension, illiteracy and lack of access to education and the politics of exclusion. Linked to this is lack of access to financial services and to public utilities such as electricity, public utilities, health and sanitation.
The poor tend to live in remote villages as well as in urban slums. They are often disproportionately exposed to violence and insecurity and the vagaries of climate change. Grand corruption and poor governance by power elites aggravate the condition of the poor by robbing them of those resources that could have improved their livelihoods while excluding them from participation in those decisions that shape their future and that of their children.
In the Nigerian context, the roots of poverty derive poor governance; low economic growth; macroeconomic shocks and policy failure; unemployment; urbanisation; lack of investments in human capital; and violence and insecurity.
Poor governance is one of the key drivers of poverty. Poor governance as manifested in corruption entails robbing the public of budgetary resources that could have been channelled into infrastructures and economic development. Equally important is low growth and macroeconomic failure. Economic science has established a strong causal relationship between growth and poverty alleviation. Growth stimulates expanding opportunities for jobs and collective welfare. When growth accelerates so does collective welfare. With the recent recovery from recession, growth remains sluggish and uncertain. We would be lucky to achieve 2.0 percent at year’s end 2019.
Under the current dispensation, the incidence of poverty is reaching harrowing proportions, in addition to youth unemployment that is as high as 70 percent in the poorest regions of the North. An estimated 45 million of our youths are either unemployed our under-employed. To make matters worse, rural banditry has been on the increase, in addition to kidnapping and the nightmare of random, nihilistic, violence.
Climate change is one of the catastrophic realities of our world today. Scientists tell us that we have entered a new Anthropocene Age. For the first time in millennia, human activities can independently alter the physiognomy of the biosphere and eco-system of planet earth. Linked to this is the inevitable challenge of natural resource depletion. Expanding population will trigger greater competition for increasing scarce strategic natural resources. In Nigeria we face the prospect of the drying up Lake Chad and the challenge of desertification which has been encroaching at the rate of 6.5 km per annum. In the south there is the challenge of erosion, floods and massive oil pollution, all of which impact negatively on human livelihoods. Climate change is partly responsible for the Boko Haram insurgency and for the atrocities committed by herdsmen militias in the Middle Belt. Violence and conflict have led to greater poverty and greater humanitarian disaster in terms of millions of internally displaced people.
The good news is that we can do something about it. We can take bolder and more original initiatives to reverse the path-dependence towards deepening poverty in our country. The great scientist and sage, Albert Einstein, famously noted that the mark of madness is to continue doing the same things while expecting a different outcome. We need bolder leadership, institutional reforms and more effective governance if we are to effectively tackle poverty in our country.
Much of the current intervention programmes aimed poverty alleviation are, at best, amateurish; at worst, they are mere vehicles for corruption and rent-seeking. We need a bolder and more visionary approach anchored on peace, the rule of law and social justice. We need to launch an ambitious programme of Hope; rallying our people together while investing heavily in human capital and public works on the scale of the Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1930s America. These programmes must also be implemented without recourse to party-politics and the shameless clannishness that defines public policy in Nigeria today.
Wren Regent Properties Limited in partnership with the Nigerian Canadian Association, Ottawa, has showcased the opportunity and growth in Nigeria’s real estate sector the country’s citizens in diaspora
In a Business Consultation Breakfast which held recently in Canada, more attention was directed at educating Nigerians in the country about the dynamic real estate sector in Nigeria and more especially Lagos state.
Giving a keynote speech at the event titled: Wealth Creation through Real Estate Investment in Nigerian and Canada, the Chief Operating Officer of Wren Regent Properties Limited, Amara Musa made a detailed presentation on the opportunities available for diaspora members, and investors who had a keen interest in wealth creation and sustainability in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.
In her presentation, Musa addressed the real estate issues faced by diaspora members. “Lack of reliable representation in Nigeria is the most popular reason behind the lack of confidence for international investors,” she said.
The COO also highlighted the solutions Wren Regent Properties Limited is trying to provide.
According to the Lagos-based real estate firm, some of the solutions it is bringing to the property market include a consistent reporting system, a dedicated representative per transaction, and a transparent management system to boost investor confidence in the sector.
A further focus of the event was placed on developments within Lagos that provided the most value for international investors and in effect provided avenues for wealth creation and high returns on investment.
Valerie Akujobi, Founder of VTA Law Professional Corporation and Toyin Adewoye, a Real Estate Professional of Coldwell Banker Sarazen Realty also graced the gathering and during their address, they shared valuable insight on the existing opportunities and legal requirements within Ottawa’s vibrant real estate market.
The Business Consultation Breakfast was highly successful and ‘broke the ice’ for diaspora members within Canada looking to multiply their income by investing in Nigeria’s real estate industry. It also assured that using a credible real estate firm such as Wren Regent Properties Limited would ensure a secure, safe and rewarding investment experience, the real estate company revealed.
A one storey building has collapsed at Tejuosho area of Yaba, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria after fire razed the structure.
Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu told PM News that on arrival at the scene of incident, it was discovered that a storey building was gutted by fire as a result of power surge from one of the rooms before escalating to other parts of the building.
He said the intensity of the fire had caused physical cracks and collapse of the building, adding that there was no loss of life but that two male adult sustained injuries.
“Rescue operation ongoing as the LASEMA Response Team, LRT, alongside Federal Fire Service and LASG fire are on ground to curtail the inferno from further escalation to other buildings. Rescue operation ongoing,” he said.
Recently, the senate introduced the bill seeking to prohibit hate speech in the country. The bill entitled, “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches Bill 2019” is being sponsored by Sabi Abdullahi, deputy majority whip of the senate.
The proposed legislation has sparked outrage and condemnation over some of its provisions. In the previous assembly, Abdullahi sponsored the same bill, but it did make it through to third reading.
The current bill prescribes death penalty for hate speech and the establishment a commission to prohibit it.
Here are some highlights of the bill:
WHAT CONSTITUTES AN OFFENCE?
According to the bill, a person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provided, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or persons from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.
DEATH BY HANGING
Section 4 (2) of the bill provides that any person found to have committed this offence shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished through death by hanging.
Section 6 (1) provides that any person who knowingly utters words to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination against any person, group or community on the basis of ethnicity or race, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not less than five years, or to a fine of not less than N10 million or both.
NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS CAN BE FOUND GUILTY
The bill says in the case of an offence committed by a body of persons where the body of persons is a corporate body, every director, trustee and officer of that body corporate shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence; and
(b) where the body of persons is a firm, every partner of that firm shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence.
Going by this, the fate of individuals in organisations are tied to their colleagues.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMISSION
Section 9 (1) provides for the establishment of a commission to be known as the Independent National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches.
Section 9 (2) provides that the commission shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, in its corporate name, be capable of
(a) Suing and being sued,
(b) Purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding, charging or disposing of movable and immovable property;
(c) Borrowing or lending money; and
(d) Doing or performing all other things or acts for the furtherance of the provision of this Act which may lawfully be done of performed by a body corporate.
Section 10 (1) provides that the headquarters of the commission shall be in Abuja, but the commission may establish branch offices in each of the states of the federation in Nigeria.
The bill is not yet a law so it cannot take effect.
Nigerians in Ireland sends home €17 million annually, the statistics office in Ireland has said.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has said its figures on remittances from Ireland to Nigeria, which are significantly lower than those cited on Tuesday by Galway West TD Noel Grealish, are produced in line with best international practice.
Mr Grealish told the Dáil that a total of €3.54 billion had been sent from Ireland to Nigeria in remittances in the last eight years. However, CSO data shows remittances of around €17 million a year for the period 2010-2017.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the CSO said that while remittance information is “difficult to compile”, its figures are based on Revenue data on pay of non-national workers to estimate disposable income and derive a remittance amount.
“The approach of using indirect data sources is recognised as a standard approach in the IMF guide for compilers and users of international transactions in remittances,” it said.
CSO figures were released to Mr Grealish in response to a parliamentary question earlier this year, however, he cited the World Bank figures in his contribution on the issue in the Oireachtas.
The reliability of World Bank figures have been publicly questioned in the Dáil before, including by then minister for finance Michael Noonan, who said in 2013 that “available information would indicate that the figures published in the World Bank Migration and Remittances Factbook in respect of remittance flows between Ireland and Nigeria are open to serious scrutiny and that the real figure may be a fraction of the published figure”.
The chairman of Senate Committee on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu has restated the commitment of the National Assembly to enacting and amending bills necessary for Nigeria housing sector development.
The Senator and Former Governor of Ebonyi state made this known to Africa Housing News on Thursday in Abuja while speaking at the opening ceremony of the training on emerging trends in real estate development in Nigeria organised by the real estate developers association of Nigeria (REDAN).
He said that as legislators, the National Assembly is prepared to work with all stakeholders in the housing sector by providing the legislative support required to move the sector forward.
‘’The Senate Committee on Housing which I chair is ready to give priority to any bill that seeks to address the challenges of the housing sector so as to make suitable, adeo all Nigerians irrespective of social or economic status,’’ he said.
He also encouraged all stakeholders to recommend such bills to them for consideration.
While the government has the responsibility of providing the enabling environment for the housing sector to thrive, Sam Egwu said the private sector stakeholders have a very critical role to play to enhance citizens’ access to affordable housing irrespective of social and economic status.
To effectively play this very role, he said real estate developers ought to understand the emerging trends in real estate development globally and how to adapt such trends to suit the peculiar circumstances in Nigeria.
However, he bemoaned how the organized private sector seems to have catered only for the middle and upper classes with little or nothing to meet the housing needs of low income earners.
‘’I urge you to look in the direction of low income earners to reduce the current overwhelming housing deficit and provide affordable housing to majority of Nigerians at that level. You are encouraged to explore the advantages of using locally sourced building materials to develop cost effective houses that majority of the country’s low income earners can afford, as against the conventional very costly building materials that has made housing unaffordable to majority of Nigerians.’’
On the alarming rate of building collapse across the country, he said the issue calls for drastic measures by all stakeholders to ensure that buildings meet global standards to safeguard the lives of unsuspecting members of the public and protect investments in the housing sector.
He advised Nigerian real estate developers to always employ the services of professionals and ensure strict compliance to critical specifications at all levels of housing development to guarantee quality and durability of houses in Nigeria.
He also expressed his excitement about the training program and hopes that it will equip and reposition real estate developers in Nigeria to find sustainable solutions to housing development challenges and provide suitable and affordable housing for the increasing Nigerian population.
‘’Globally, the housing sector has evolved over the years following changes in the regulatory environment, scientific advancements, economic and market dynamics, demand supply imbalances and in response to global trends. Suitable and affordable housing is one of the critical needs of man and a nation cannot claim to have truly prospered if its citizens cannot boast of basic shelter.
‘’I congratulate your association for organizing this training and encourage you to always take advantage of both local and international trainings of this nature, on a more regular basis, so as to keep abreast with contemporary global trends and develop the requisite capacity to effectively address the challenges of the housing sector in Nigeria,’’ he said.
He went further to appreciate the President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Ugochukwu Chime and his team for demonstrating capacity, foresight and purposeful leadership, and also the Convener of Abuja International Housing Show and owner of the popular Housing Television Programme, Festus Adebayo for his contributions to housing development in Nigeria.
He urged the participants of the training to make the most of the training and use it to improve all affordable housing efforts in Nigeria.
REDAN is organizing the training on emerging trends in real estate development in Nigeria as part of continuous professional development program for its members.
The training which is a basic and relative training for all stakeholders in housing and real estate will include capacity building, unveiling emerging laws, policies and practice issues in the real estate sector, advocacy programs, and many more.
The trainings are hany more.
The trainings are holding in Abuja on the 14th of November, in Lagos at The Haven AVMC Compound Ikeja on November 20, and Owerri at Graceland Event Arena, Owerri on November 22, 2019 from 9am-5pm.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has banned operators of tricycles (known locally as keke drivers) from plying major roads across the Nigerian capital city. The ban took effect on Monday, despite protests by many of the affected tricycle drivers.
The effect is already being felt
Sources close to the situation recounted how the tricycle ban in Abuja made transportation difficult on Tuesday. Many people were seen stranded at bus stops and unable to get to work on time due to the absence of tricycles. Those who did find means of transportation were reportedly forced to pay more.
Why this matters
Note that tricycles make up a significant part of Nigeria’s public transportation system. Across different cities and towns, the typically yellow-painted vehicles are seen everywhere transporting human beings at relatively low cost. Many Nigerian families also depend on the tricycle driving business for the sustenance.
Tricycle owners fight back
In the meantime, the tricycle operators have vowed to fight back. On Monday, the National President of the Tricycle Owners Association, Austin Apeh, told journalists that plans were underway to seek redress at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. They will also be seeking to understand whether the FCT authority’s decision to ban tricycles is backed by legislation.
“The FCTA said they would be banning us from the major routes and restrict us to the estates and villages. The decision is going to throw many people into the job markers because keke business feeds over 40,000 persons in Abuja. We want to be proactive and come out on time because another evil is coming after the same assault 17 years ago.”
Many Nigerians on Twitter agree with Apeh. Uncle Demola is particularly not happy that the authorities decided to ban tricycle drivers without bothering to provide alternatives. But then again, this is a regular occurrence in Nigeria, especially so in Abuja where the authorities are used to “relocating” people without first providing alternatives for them.
FCT-Abuja with a huge chunk of it’s population being civil servants, does not have a proper mass transportation system.
Now goes ahead to ban cheap, and easily accessible means of transportation (Keke) without providing alternatives.
— Uncle Demola (@OmoGbajaBiamila)
Another Twitter user identified simply as Oyiowoh recounted how he had no choice but to trek a rather long distance under the sun.
So there’s no Keke in Abuja roads anymore. Today, I walked from GTB(Apo Legislative) to Area 3 junction cause of lack of Keke, ubers& taxify were booked. Na now I start to reason my life. Like why I no get car or get boyfriend (wey get car). Being broke and single is painful
— Oyiowoh (@Anita_Izato)
Another person pointed out that the decision to ban tricycle in the Federal Capital Territory might likely aggravate crime in the city as people resort alternative means of survival.