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Real Estate Reform Key to Propelling Economic Growth & Alleviating Poverty in Nigeria….Andrew Nevin

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As one of the keynote speakers at the 4th annual West Africa Property Investment Summit, Dr. Andrew Nevin, Partner and Chief Economist for PwC Nigeria shared high level insights ahead of the region’s leading property investment conference taking place on 15 & 16 November at the Eko Hotel, Lagos. Featuring more than 90 speakers and 500 delegates from over 200 companies, #WAPI2018 will set the agenda for West Africa’s real estate’s executives.

As a respected regional and global authority on Nigeria and West Africa, Dr. Nevin’s presentation is titled: THE GLOBAL VIEW ON GEOPOLITICS, OIL & MACRO-ECONOMICS: How are these impacting investment in West African Real Estate?

In an increasingly volatile world (Trump, China, Turkey and more), emerging markets have been significantly impacted. But the question which Dr. Nevin, will help Nigeria’s executives answer is how volatility, government policy and oil will impact investment and development in Nigeria?

Why is Real Estate fundamental to growing an economy?

Real estate makes up 60% of the world’s global assets and in developed countries, real estate buttresses the financial sector, enabling for the creation of asset backed loans and securities. Nigeria’s real estate system cannot work without a proper land registry; banks cannot lend against a property without evidence of ownership. The current land titling system is onerous and excludes many people from formal ownership. Based on these facts, real estate is one of the most critical sectors that if reformed will propel growth and alleviate poverty in Nigeria.

Global volatility and the local Real Estate Market?

Foreign exchange and inflation have stabilized in Nigeria amid emerging market pressures. However, crude reliance continues to leave Nigeria vulnerable to external shocks. This creates persistent uncertainty for investors in Nigeria, which is affecting all sectors in the economy, including real estate.

In urban areas, commercial real estate occupancy has declined as a result of low demand in an underperforming economy. Consequently, office rent has declined by 20% over the last 3 years in the high-end market [1], while co-working spaces are becoming more popular, consistent with the growing number of tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.

In the premium residential market, demand has shifted to less expensive semi-detached houses and apartments. There is also persistently huge demand for affordable housing in Nigeria. Nigeria’s population is set to exceed 250 million people by 2030 (roughly 50 million households), and by 2025, our housing deficit will be approximately 20 million [2]. We are not building enough houses for people to live in.

Global volatility has increased the oil price, which has benefitted the immediate public sector coffers, but is this a good thing? Some have argued that a lower oil price will drive economic reform, but won’t $70 – $80 oil keep reform at bay?

The economy is benefitting from rising oil prices. The reality is that Nigeria requires capital to invest in critical sectors and fund long-term structural changes. Over the last three years, we have seen government debt grow from 12% of GDP in 2015 to 20% in 2017. A further indication of the high demand for government revenue is the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), which was implemented to grow tax revenue.

Failure to diversify the economy is a result of bad policies and poor implementation of good policies. Oil prices have fluctuated since the first quarter of 2016 (over 2 years ago) and we still have not achieved a diversified economy. There is no reason to believe that persistently low prices in the future will make this happen.

How have macro-development factors impacted the real estate sector – has there been less transactions, or investment, and has Nigeria bucked the trend?

The real estate sector has not seen positive growth since the start of the recession in 2016. The sector continues to lag behind overall growth, recording a growth rate of -3.88% in the second quarter 2018. Nevertheless, this is an improvement from the -9.4% growth of the preceding quarter.

The tight monetary environment – high interest rates and currency restrictions – are huge contributors to the slow growth in the real estate sector. Heavy government borrowing has crowded out the private sector, making it difficult to investors to finance the capital-intensive projects of the real estate sector. This issue reinforces the need for the government to undertake structural reforms that will improve capital stock and business environment.

If we look further ahead to 2019 – what are the major concerns going to be?

The 2019 elections will revolve around the economy. There is growing frustration over slow growth, high unemployment, low liquidity and poor infrastructure. Foreign investors who

have low confidence in the economy are also keeping close watch. Thus, the election outcome will have some effect on Nigeria’s economic health in the short run.

Over the last year, the ease of doing business has risen 25 places to rank 145 out of 190 countries, however, the absence of major reforms in infrastructure, power and land ownership will ultimately stifle advancements in improving the business environment in the long run.

Where do you see the investment case for Nigeria and the region in the next 12-18 months, and do you think we are about to see a continued growth curve?

In the absence of sweeping structural reforms, Nigeria will continue to experience slow growth through 2022. The critical takeaway here is that income per capita will decline each year over the next five years as population growth exceeds GDP growth, if no action is taken. Investor confidence will be largely determined by the elections and the ongoing security situation in Nigeria.

To register for West Africa’s largest real estate event, visit www.WAPISummit.com/register as seats are limited.

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SDP Candidate, Natasha Akpoti escapes assassination

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A social Democratic Party (SDP) Senatorial Candidate, Barrister Natasha Akpoti on Wednesday urged the Inspector General of Police to invite the administrators of Okehi and Adavi Local Government Areas, Hon Abdulraheem Ozovehe Ohiare and Hon Joseph Omuya Salawu for questioning over assassination plot, destruction of campaign posters and billboards.

She accused the duo of instigating series of criminal activities leading to violence, civil unrest, vandalism and threat to life in Kogi State.

In a petition to the inspector General of Police, Akpoti urged the police chief to arrest and prosecute some political thugs identified to be members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kogi State chapter.

Akpoti said Ismaila Kashim, Ajinodu Ojo, Adams Kabiru, Ozovehe Lawal,  Hamidu Jamiu, Adullahi Suleiman, Ahmed Fatai, Ojo Ebo, Ibrahim Kuroko, Wahab Ozuwaya, Mumuni, Baba, Itopa, Aloma, Aje, Daddy Ozi Eti, Momoh  Jimoh Yakubu, Gwancy Adino Jimoh, Shuaibu Muhammed and Otori Jimoh were responsible for the destruction of her election materials and beating of her supporters in Kogi State.

Entitled “The destruction of Our Candidate’s campaign posters, banners, billboards, intimidation of our members and destruction of our gatherings, Akpoti gave details of how APC candidate and supporters destroyed her billboards and posters.

She accused the APC senatorial candidate, Alhaji Yakubu Oseni , Ojo Egbo, Wahab Ozuwaya, Onujabo Idanuha, Abdulmumuni  Jegenyi, Adavize Jagaban, Dollar Igayi and Ajinodu Ojo of removing and destroying her campaign materials and chasing her supporters away from the venue of their meetings.

“On Sunday, December 9, 2018, some hoodlums closely associated with the Adavi Local Government Administrator, Hon Joseph Salami stormed the venue of our ward meeting at Alhaji Badams Compound, Inorere in Adavi Local Government Area with arms and ammunitions. They chased our members with their weapons, stoned some of the women, set ablaze the plastic chairs they were seated on and destroyed some properties belonging to our coordinator and host, Mr Badams Abdulrahaman. This happened in the presence of four policemen after we have written officially to the Divisional Police Officer to notify him of the meeting in our letter dated December 7, 2018 which was acknowledged and the same notification was conveyed to the Area Commander in charge of Adavi Local Government” she said.

Akpoti also accused Abdulraheem Ozovehe, Kamuche, Liedown, Ocha, Dollar, Sule Director, Fatai Commander, Okenykenyi, OZ, Ogunje, Ahi, Mado, Tutunkunu, Okubaibai, Janku, Adams Ozi Ganyi, Topgel, Adoke and Arisa of plotting to assassinate her.

“On the 22nd of September 2018, our candidate, Natasha Akpoti averted attack as APC thugs invaded Ihima Youth Summit organized by the youths of Ihima Community when hoodlums allegedly under the sponsorship of Kogi State Government aided by the Okehi Local Government Administrator invaded the Ihima Youth Summit. They destroyed some of the items prepared for the events while the organizers were putting plans together to set the venue before the arrival of their guests among which was the Ajaokuta Steel Company Advocate, Barrister Natasha Akpoti.”

The Kogi Central  SDP senatorial flag bearer recounted that “on October 22 in Okehi, a reported case was instituted by our party to the DPO and the Zonal Area Commander in charge of Kogi Central Senatorial District where our supporters {Enimire Ojo, Bello Mohammed Sadig and his wife Hajarat Adams) were beaten, maimed while Abdulazeez Abdulkareem, Abubakar Salami and Adamu Yusuf were arrested by Okehi Division Police Officers allegedly on the order of Okehi Local Government Administrator, Hon Abdulraheem Ozovehe Ohiare.

“ On subsequent days after the incident, we had some of our supporters which include Haruna Bashiru, Onimisi Ahaad, Habib Adinoyi Umar, Haruna Babana being threatened by thugs especially one Abdullahi Suleiman who is associated to the Okehi Local Government Administrator.”

Akpoti averred further that Adams Kabiru, Ismaila Kashim, Hamidu Jamiu and Ozovehe Lawal on the 30th of October invaded the residence of the Okehi LG SDP Chairman, Hon James Segun Onimisi.

“They issued threats of unleashing mayhem on him and his family. They also destroyed Akpoti’s banner while shouting songs of war against anybody who identifies with Akpoti. On the 20th of October, some police officers in company of Ismaila Kashim and APC Obeiba ward 1 chairman, Abdulwahab Koto allegedly under the instruction of the Okehi LG Secretary, Hon Ibrahim Sheidu came to remove the banner of the SDP candidate on the claim that the banner was mounted too close to the venue of the APC Obeiba Ward 1 meeting.”

“One Ajinodu Ojo led his gang to destroy Akpoti’s banner mounted opposite Ihima Community Secondary School Street, Obeiba Ihima, Okehi LGA. On December 2, some alleged APC armed thugs attacked the women wing of the Akpoti Campaign Organization during their weekly ward meeting at Enyi Dudu Primary School, Ebogodo”

She advised that the ruling party in the state should write undertaking on peaceful campaign and elections.

“That henceforth, the APC agents and other political parties should be refrained from tampering with SDP/Natasha campaign materials and rallies or any other constitutional gatherings of our members and supporters.

The senatorial hopeful urged security agents to hold Kogi State Government and Alhaji Yakubu Oseni responsible for whatever happens to her and SDP faithful in the state.”

She also urged the Inspector General to investigate the actions of these APC chieftains and bring them to book.

Source: Henry Ovie

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Atiku Abubakar Worried over Lingering Impasse bw Labour and FG

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has expressed worry over the lingering industrial impasse between the Federal Government and labour unions in critical sectors of the country.

In particular, the former Vice President expressed his worry about the “deadlock between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which is altering the future of our youths and putting families under undue pressure.”
Atiku said he had already “set out templates to handle all related issues and ensure an end to incessant labour crisis, ensure industrial harmony and greater productivity in all sectors, immediately he is elected into office as President.”
The Waziri of Adamawa’s worries were conveyed by the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and was contained in a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday.
The statement reads, “Knowing the importance of education and youth development to national cohesion, stability, development and economic prosperity, Atiku Abubakar has already articulated a clear and practical roadmap towards resolving all issues hampering education in Nigeria in his policy document, which
embodies the aspiration and wishes of all Nigerians in their overall productive ventures.
“Our candidate has made ample provisions for enhanced welfare packages, research grants, better teaching and learning environment as well as a strong synergy between the union and government towards a harmonious working environment.
“We, therefore, urge Nigerians not to despair but to continue to rally behind Atiku Abubakar in the all-important mission of rescuing our nation from the misrule of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, which has shown gross incompetence and insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians

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Amnesty International Tasks ICC on Atrocities of Book Haram Insurgency

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The Amnesty International on Monday called on the International Criminal Court to start a full-blown investigation into atrocities committed on the course of the war against the Boko Haram insurgency.
The organization accused the Nigerian government of failing to bring those responsible to justice.
ICC chief prosecutor, Fatma Bensouda, in her latest annual report claimed that Nigeria appeared not to have taken “concrete steps” towards investigating the allegations.
She claimed there appeared to be a “tangible prospect” of proceedings against Boko Haram members but not against troops “since the Nigerian authorities tend to deny any allegation”.
But Amnesty International suggested Abuja was keeping her “in limbo” by giving the impression of domestic action but in reality doing very little.
“Eight years since the opening of the preliminary examination and faced with the continuing commission of crimes under international law and the possibility of a never-ending preliminary analysis, it is time for the OTP (Office of the Prosecutor) to open a formal investigation in Nigeria,” it said.
Amnesty said Nigeria had failed to meet its obligations under international law to investigate and prosecute crimes as part of the ICC’s preliminary examination.
“It is in the interests of both the OTP and Nigeria to demonstrate that serious steps are being taken to cure Nigeria’s inability or unwillingness to bring perpetrators to justice. Above all, it is in the interest of victims,” it said

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