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Security agencies monitor influx of aliens into Lagos •Army, air force ban use of military stickers


Lagos State
Security agencies in Lagos State are monitoring illegal aliens in the state and may soon clamp down on them.

The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Umar Manko, disclosed this after the State Security Council meeting chaired by Governor Babatunde Fashola at the Lagos House, Marina.

According to the police boss, security agencies including the immigration are collaborating on this and will take action in accordance with Nigerian laws.

He urged residents to remain vigilant and law abiding and pass useful information to security agents.

On how the police intend to maintain security in the state, despite the banning of checkpoints, Manko said what the Inspector-General of Police directed was that they should remove barriers on the road and not necessarily police presence.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Commandant of the air force Base, Ikeja, Air Commodore Tony Omenyi, said following the abuse of Nigeria Airforce stickers, the use of the stickers had been banned.

He said henceforth, the police had been empowered to remove the air force stickers on any car that it was affixed on; adding that all those who had it on their cars should remove them immediately.

“I am appealing to Lagosians to avoid confrontation with the military and remove air force stickers from their cars. And this affects air force personnel too. Nobody is allowed to have air force stickers on their cars,” he said.

Speaking on the same issue, the Nigerian Army Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Pat Aken, said the ban was not restricted to stickers but anything that created a false impression of belonging to the force.

“Anything that creates the impression that one belongs to the army is banned, even for serving personnel. Lagosians should note that anybody parading himself with a sticker is a fraud and would be sanctioned accordingly,” he said.

Posted in Crime, Education, Housing, Nigerian News0 Comments

Lagos unfolds blueprint for homeownership mortgage scheme

written by Tunde Alao

FOLLOWING the clamour for the introduction of best practices in mortgage finance, Lagos authorities have unfolded guidelines for residents who want to own houses through its home ownership scheme.

Under the initiative tagged Lagos State Home Ownership and Mortgage Scheme (LSHOMS), the state plans to provide funds for the mortgage facility, apart from providing the pool of houses.

The scheme affords the first time homebuyers, who are resident in Lagos, the opportunity to own their homes. Features of the scheme include a tenor minimum of 10 years and maximum of 20 years, while the Facility Amount will be subject to the 70 per cent balance of the cost of the type of houses purchased.

The scheme, promoted by the state’s Ministry of Housing, allows the applicant who must be first time buyers to provide an equity contribution, which is a minimum equity contribution of 30 per cent value of the property he/she intends to buy with interest rate of six per cent. For instance, the beneficiaries of the pilot scheme – civil servants, are expected to pay an initial fee of N10,000, and administrative charges N25,000.

According to an official of the ministry, Mr. Shina Odugbemi, the scheme tends to provide a standardisation for administering the LSHOMS to all residents of Lagos State. “Though priority will be given to civil servants in Lagos State ministries and parastatals, with the overall target being residents of the state irrespective of tribe or language”.

The purpose of the scheme, according to ministry officials, is to encourage first time homebuyers with verifiable source of income to own their own houses.   “Affordability implies that for low and medium income earners to be able to buy houses, there must be in place a mortgage finance system and one of the major challenges that impedes home ownership in Nigeria is the inadequacy of the mortgage sector.

“There is provision for equal periodic principal repayment, with interest to be paid on reducing balance or equal monthly installment of both principal and interest.

The Guardian learnt that already, three banks, namely First Bank of Nigeria Mortgages, Skye Mortgages and Zenith Bank Plc are to administer the scheme.

In fact, successful applicants who have submitted their application forms will be directed to any of these banks for pre-qualification bid.

“All applicants pre-qualified and recommended by any of the receiving banks will be issued with letter of offer while such applicants are expected to pay the 30 per cent equity contribution to any of the three collaborating banks”, he said, adding that applicants would submit proof of payment and an acceptance letter to Ministry of Housing.

Similarly, to ensure that the legal aspects are duly followed, the Ministry of Housing would refer all documents to Ministry of Justice to prepare and execute “Contract of Sales and Deed of Mortgage Agreements”, after which the Housing Ministry releases letter of confirmation of allocation to the successful applicants for possession.

Condition and eligibility for qualification for the scheme are that applicant must reside in Lagos and must be under 60 years of age. He or she must have a verifiable means of income and “should be credit worthy”.

“Successful applicants are expected to pay 30 per cent of the value of the house they intend to purchase and it should be noted that houses purchased under the scheme must be occupied by the beneficiary and cannot be transferred or rented out until all obligations have been fulfilled.”

Apart from the above, beneficiaries are to pay six per cent interest rate on the mortgage loan and must have been working for current employer for at least six months, which must be confirmed.

According to the ministry’s document – “Global Term Sheet for Lagos Ownership and Mortgage Scheme”, objectivity of the scheme, the state government will first pre-qualify the intending beneficiary who must be a first time home owner in Lagos and the claim of first time home ownership must be administered under an oath.

Other criteria include the pre-qualified individual must open an individual current account with the bank. The account will serve for both the purpose of paying the 30 per cent equity contribution and also for monthly repayment.

Secondly, the beneficiary will submit his/her allocation paper from LASG to the bank along with request letter and apply for a mortgage scheme under Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme. Upon meeting the Risk Acceptance Criteria (RAC), approval will be conveyed via an offer letter and monthly repayment schedule communicated to the beneficiary.

Thirdly, for proof of affordability, salary earners are to submit pay slips for the past six months and salary account statement for the past one year while self-employed would submit company profile, three years audited account statement and business/personal account statement for the past 12 months.Lastly, monthly repayment as stated in the repayment schedule commences as soon as offer is accepted and condition precedent to commencement of monthly repayment is met. Thereafter, the bank will communicate acceptance and approval to LASG for release of keys to the beneficiary to take possession.   Update on monthly repayment will be given to LASG on monthly basis while a dedicated account will be opened, which will warehouse all monthly payment from the buyers, which would have joint signatories from the Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Finance.

“Event of default may occur if the beneficiary fails to make repayments for three consecutive times and if repayment has not been regular, which in the opinion of the banker has raised doubt on the ability of the beneficiary to continue with the repayment. In such situation, such issues will be reported to the government who will take steps towards foreclosure,” according to the document.

Posted in Housing, Relocating to Nigeria0 Comments

Eko Atlantic City: A dream in the making

By Princewill Ekwujuru
South Energyx Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group, said it has so far reclaimed 2.4 million square metres of land in the nine million square metres Eko Atlantic City land  reclamation exercise.

The company which was specifically created to undertake the development said the city which will be divided into six districts, will offer multiple investment and development opportunities through its strategic plan to reclaim nine million square metres of land from the ocean Speaking during a familiarisation tour of the site, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said, it is the states vision  to build a self contained city that provides the quality of infrastructure and services required to make the state the financial capital of Africa.

According to him, “we are reclaiming and restoring the geographical territory of Lagos State and by extension the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are reclaiming the land that has been lost to the Atlantic ocean and uncontrollable erosion that has now been brought under control.

“For many who might not know during the rains of 2007 there were waves here as high as 70 metres and was buffeting this coast line. For the great wall of Lagos, the wall in front of us here today protected Victoria Island and Ikoyi and the residence in Lagos from being submerged by flood, that wall is still a work in progress.

This  will be the wall that will ultimately defend this Island from the Atlantic ocean. We will work this stock with our partners. The future is clear to us as it should. This will be a new city on the coast .The city will run and operate like any other city in the world, 24 hour electricity, new business centre, housing accommodation, very efficient and reliable transportation.

The future that Lagos promised is now within touch, it is real, and I am told that in the next 24 months we will begin to see the emergence of one of the apartment blocks.

In a statement, David Frame, Managing Director of South Energyx Nigeria said, “Eko Atlantic’s Business District will become a home to numerous financial institutions, legal and accounting firms, insurance companies, stockbrokers, oil and gas corporate headquarters, advertising and marketing companies, as well as major retailers. It aims to host a new stock exchange, shopping malls, conference centres and hotels. It will truly be a vibrant addition to the Mega City that is Lagos,” he said.

Posted in Housing, Nigerian News, Real Estate1 Comment

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One of the first things you want to look at before relocating to Nigeria is accommodation. You might be lucky enough to find a job which comes with accommodation, but in most cases you will have to search for suitable Housing for yourself, and for the prospective investor, you definitely have to rent an apartment, buy a House or purchase a piece of Land to build your dream house. Most Nigerians generally put up with friends or family but many are increasingly finding this inconvenient, restrictive and sometimes even more expensive than staying in Hotels, as you may not enjoy the privacy you might desire. This platform will not only aim to showcase real estate providers offering Houses for sale or to rent but it will also offer Nigerians in diaspora the opportunity to rate the level of service and standards experienced from this providers. Our writers are local experts who have lived abroad and understand the needs and wants of the Nigerian living abroad.

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