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Muwowo Seeks Urgent Action on Rising Costs of Land, Materials

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rising costs of land

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An appeal has been made to governments across the globe to urgently do something about the rising costs of land and building materials in order not to deny citizens affordable houses.

This plea was made by the acting Managing Director and Chief Finance Officer of Shelter Afrique, Mr Kingsley Muwowo, at the 11th World Urban Forum held in Katowice, Poland from June 26-30, 2022, with the theme Transforming Our Cities for a Better Urban Future.

Mr Muwowo, while speaking on Delivering Affordable Housing Across Continents, lamented that the aforementioned factors could derail efforts to speed up the development of affordable housing across the globe.

“From market studies, the cost of land should constitute between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of the total cost of a housing unit for it to be affordable, but this isn’t the case in many countries,” he said.

Commenting further, he said, “In Kenya, for instance, the cost of land makes up between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the total cost of a housing unit, like the case with Nairobi which is the most expensive in the entire continent of Africa.”

“How do you deliver affordable housing when you’ve got the most expensive land?” he queried, pointing out that “if we don’t address the issues around land, we will not be able to effectively tackle the issue of affordable housing.”

Mr Muwowo also decried the rising construction cost – which he blamed on old building codes, punitive tax regimes, and the high cost of financing such projects in various countries.

He added that the Russian – Ukraine war had also resulted in the sharp increase in prices of critical construction materials. Russia is considered the fourth-largest steel exporter globally, serving over 150 countries and territories.

“In the built environment, the conflict has exacerbated and exposed the dangers of overreliance on importing building materials. Prices of building materials have increased and continue to do so, a burden that the homeowners will ultimately share,” Mr Muwowo said.

The price of steel in Kenya, for instance, has significantly shot up over the past few months.

The prices of steel bars and nails have risen by between 80 per cent to 90 per cent and 13 per cent to 43 per cent, respectively, in the past few months in the country.

Additionally, the conflict has resulted in a shortage of coal, which is a crucial source of energy in cement production through clinker manufacturing resulting in price hikes.

Speaking at the same event, European Investment Bank Vice President Prof. Teresa Czerwińska said the rising cost of housing in many cities across the world was a major concern for the bank.

“We have managed to make education and healthcare relatively cheap and accessible by putting in place proper policy interventions. Housing is a fundamental human right and we can apply a similar framework in ensuring housing remains affordable and available,” Prof.  Czerwińska said.

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a global event on sustainable urbanization convened every two years by the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat).

It was established in 2001 by the United Nations to examine rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The first WUF was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002 and has been held around the world ever since.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Firm Rewards Ibadan Traders for Sorting Waste to Ease Recycling

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Bodija market traders recycling

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Some traders in Bodija market, Ibadan, Oyo State, have been rewarded for segregating their waste to make it easier for recycling.

The beneficiaries were given gift items like Bluetooth headsets, customised simple chest bags, and customised face caps by the waste management consultant to the Oyo State government, Mottainai Recycling, on Friday through an initiative known as Recyclables for Rewards.

At the campaign, in its third year, two tonnes of recyclables were recovered by the company, which is managing waste collection in the state.

The Managing Director of Mottainai Recycling, Mr Adey Adewuyi, sensitised traders, buyers and passers-by in Bodija market and its environs on how the waste they generate could be a source of wealth.

Mr Adewuyi, represented by the firm’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Ms Deborah Fadeyi, urged the traders to embrace proper waste disposal and management habits like segregating their waste at source.

He further encouraged them to avoid dumping waste on the median, warning that those caught erring would be fined and punished according to law.

Also, the Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Environmental Matters, Mr Ademola Aderinto, explained that the initiative was aimed at creating awareness among traders and residents to segregate their waste at source and recover as much plastics before it enters into the water bodies and landfills.

He said that the event showcases the economic and social benefits of recycling, adding that “the event is aimed at making the good people of Oyo State see value in what they consider as waste.”

“These wastes would have otherwise ended up in landfills and water bodies which will contribute to the pollution of the environment,” he added.

Mr Aderinto discouraged the act of dumping waste on the median by the market men and women and also encouraged them to sort out their waste to ease the act of recycling, noting that the government will do more to eradicate the issue of improper waste disposal and management in the state.

“There was also an adequate and effective sensitisation and awareness campaign in the market on the need for proper waste management. They were also enlightened on the economic benefits of recycling instead of allowing their recyclables to end up on the median, water bodies or the landfills,” he said.

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Number of Meters Installed Under MAP Not Impressive—Jos DisCo

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Jos Disco number of meters installed

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Jos Electricity Distribution Plc (JED) has decried the slow pace of meter provision to customers and has craved for more efforts toward achieving the metering goals of the company.

The Managing Director of the Jos DisCo, Mr Abdu Mohammed, in a statement, said the slow adoption of the prepaid metering system was making things difficult for the organisation, which aims to bridge the metering gap.

Speaking during a meeting with vendors handling the company’s Meters Asset Providers (MAP) programme, the energy expert noted that the firm plans to provide 400,000 meters to its customers.

“If you look at the number of meters installed by MAP, it is not impressive. We still have a very long way to go.

“We will need to expeditiously bridge the metering gap to provide efficient and effective services and upscale our revenue

”It is our desire to provide 400,000 meters to our customers soon,” he said at the gathering.

The JED managing director asked the vendors to submit their meters deployment plans for 2023, maintaining that all plans must be strictly adhered to.

Mr Mohammed, who expressed optimism that most of the company’s customers would soon be metered, said MAP was introduced to ease access to meters and eradicate billing disputations.

In their separate responses, the representatives of Mojec, Triple Seven, Skyruns and Momas, all vendors with JED, promised to live up to their mandates of ensuring all customers were metered.

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Aminu Adamu Lands in Prison for Insulting Aisha Buhari

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Aminu Adamu Aisha Buhari

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A student of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Mr Aminu Adamu, has been remanded in prison for allegedly ‘insulting’ the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Aisha Buhari.

A few days ago, news filtered in that Mr Adamu was kidnapped by some security officials to Aso Rock, Abuja, over his post on Twitter that the President’s wife was feeding fat on the taxes paid by the poor masses.

This did not go down well with the First Lady, and the student, who is reportedly due to write his final year exams next week, was taken away from his campus and allegedly tortured.

This action angered many Nigerians, who asked Mrs Buhari to release the man or charge him in court.

On Tuesday, the student was charged to court by the police, and he was remanded in the Suleja correctional facility in Niger State, pending when his bail application would be heard next Wednesday.

According to his lawyer, Mr C.K. Agu, the student was arraigned before a court sitting in Abuja, but he pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.

“Even in the court session yesterday, we notified the judge about the efforts made to have him released on bail, but we did not receive any reply from the police.

“We applied to the court to release the student on bail on health grounds and the fact that he will sit for the exam on December 5.

“The court has ordered the police to provide the bail application before it for consideration between Tuesday and Wednesday,” Mr Agu informed BBC Hausa Service.

On June 9, 2022, Mr Adamu posted a picture of Mrs Aisha Buhari at the presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja held two days earlier and wrote in the Hausa language, “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi,” which loosely means “Mama is feeding fat on poor people’s money.”

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