Archive | Real Estate

addressing poor planning of Nigerian cities, towns

  written by Stanley Opara

Nigeria is confronted with rapid urbanisation, high rural-urban migration and dearth of infrastructure to cope with the influx of people into the metropolitan areas. The reporter looks at the poor planning of Nigerian cities and towns, and the way forward.

According to the United Nations Agency for Human Settlement, about 56 million Nigerians, representing 70 per cent of the country’s urban population, currently live in slums.

The situation has been sustained over time because the culture of poor planning of town and city centres has continued unabated.

Good planning of Nigerian towns and cities, according to experts, is a strong pedestal on which rapid infrastructural development rests.

Good drainage systems, effective road networks and impeccable solid waste management system, among others, are tied to effective planning and organisation of the environment, especially in the urban centres.

In fact, some environmental and health experts argue that life expectancy in the country will rise reasonably if there is better planning of cities and towns.

Nigerian cities have continued to grow organically without provisions for social and infrastructural services, and this ugly trend is more pronounced around the periphery of most state capitals and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has said that it will partner the Federal Government to tackle the problem of slums across the country, which has thrived because of poor town planning.

Nigerians are, however, still waiting to see the result of the planned collaboration.

According to a former Chairman, NITP, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Friday, most micro settlements can enjoy good planning within their confines as can be seen in some estates across the country.

He, however, said that the developers of such estates still had issues because they usually thought of the micro estate rather than the larger society, which had prevailing planning issues.

Ogunleye, who is also the Managing Partner, Beachland Resources Limited, organisers of the annual Lagos Housing Fair,, noted that roads and drainage channels, among other facilities, should be developed to promote integration of various settlements.

“Even when some of these settings are planned, some of the plans are not implemented. That is why we still see spots designed for the construction of a recreation centre or even schools being converted to residential buildings,” he explained.

Most major towns in Nigeria, according to him, do not have physical plans, while the few that have are not reviewed after their expiration.

Ogunleye said Lagos, Sokoto, Kaduna and Kano, among others, had expired plans; while Abuja’s had been altered severally.

Areas like Ekiti, Ibadan and Ilorin, he said, had no physical plans on the ground.

“Even the Federal Government does not have a plan, whether a master plan or a structure plan. Now, if you want to build anything, you can get a land and expect government’s approval. But for a state like Anambra, there is a step in the right direction as the government has succeeded in making plans for three major towns,” he explained.

The Beachland boss advised that with new administrations now in place in many states, the governments should strive to have composite development plans.

“These should be able to integrate what is on the ground and what is to come. With the plan, everything that makes a settlement to function will be embedded and there won’t be any need for ad-hoc plans,” he said.

Ogunleye maintained that with a proper plan in place, government would save itself the hassles of looking for places to build amenities, like the case with the nine universities that the government was planning to establish.

According to him, if there is a good plan, all the government needs to do is to spot the locations it wants from the plan and construction will commence immediately and there won’t be any need to start searching for space all over the country.

In the same vein, the Chairman, Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Mr. Gbenga Akintola, said the appalling state of most urban centres was being aggravated by the attitudes, actions and activities of people who lived in the urban centres.

He said indiscriminate disposal of solid waste and unlawful excavation of roads, among others, were capable of disrupting the status quo and making the environment unfit for living.

According to Akintola, the human element is a very critical factor in the bid to guarantee safer urban settlements.

He said that in the course of planning, various facilities were usually put in place and must be properly maintained and serviced.

The LSPWC boss noted that if people refused to take care of the facilities, they would deteriorate and disrupt any plan on the ground.

The President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr. Kabir Yari, said that the increase in the number of slums in major cities across the country was as a result of inadequate planning and poor infrastructure.

He also said cities and towns in Nigeria were growing very fast in an unplanned and informal way, and that the lack of adequate planning and poor infrastructure were the major causes of poor quality of life in Nigerian cities today.

This, according to him, has major implications on the competitiveness of Nigerian cities and their ability to support local economic development, as well as attract investors and Foreign Direct Investment.

Yari said there was the need for effective collaboration and cooperation between all members of the built environment to enable them to deliver functional, aesthetically pleasing and sustainable cities, towns and other human settlements for the country.

The Surveyors Council of Nigeria recently identified proper management of land as a key step towards ensuring the growth of the country’s economy and empowering the citizens.

The council also attributed the increasing number of slums in major cities across the country to poor planning of towns in the country.

With advancement in technology, built experts maintain that town planners should advocate modern land information system and the adoption of the Geographic Information System in all states of the federation in order to have easy access to maps and land information.

Most Nigerian cities are still grappling with the problem of poor planning, lack of good roads and dearth of infrastructure. Experts believe that the earlier this anomaly is corrected, the better it will be for the nation at large.

Posted in Nigerian News, Real Estate0 Comments

Global rating ranks Nigeria 125 in real estate business

A local and international research and fact finding firm, Pison Housing Company, says Nigeria ranks 125th in real estate business worldwide.

The president of the firm, Mr Roland Igbinoba, disclosed this on Wednesday in Lagos. Igbinoba said that the ranking was based on how easy local and foreign investors could invest in real estate business in any country.

He said that in the ranking Singapore came first, USA (4th), Thailand  (12th), Malaysia (23th), South Africa (34th), Mexico (51st), Rwanda (67th), Tunisia (69th) Ghana (92nd), Kenya (95th) and Egypt (106th).

According to him, the indices are derived from building plan approvals, Land Use, infrastructure, licensing fees and charges, taxation, multi agencies, location nd environment among others.

“The indices have continued to be investors’ dilemma in Nigeria. It takes time to obtain governor’s consent and to register a property.

“The indices also have continued to leave the funding of residential real estate to households incomes to the tune of 86 per cent and 10 per cent for public authorities.

“Mortgage institution funding in residential real estate is three per cent while banks and business organisations contribute just one per cent,” he said.

He said that these difficulties had changed the focus of investors to commercial developments which are in high demand.

He added that private residents had been converted to offices to meet the pressure of supplying the facility.

Igbinoba said that there was the need for the various governments to make life easier for those working hard to create opportunity for jobs through investment in real estate.

According to him, this can be achieved if the government ease the obstacles militating against investments in real estate business in the country (NAN).

Posted in Nigerian News, Real Estate3 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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