Online Editor at Interarchtiv Media Company
Creating a home that’s both modern and timeless—as well as unique— requires inspiration, stamina, and the ability to think outside the box. For John Finton, of the luxury-building firm Finton Construction, this process is second nature. Literally no stone is left unturned in his search for the ideal building materials and furnishings for his custom projects in both the U.S. and abroad.
Finton recently was called to work on a high-profile Miami Beach project—a historic Mediterranean Revival home on Star Island Drive that has been stripped of more recent additions, picked up, and repositioned on its lot in order to accommodate a new, modern dwelling for the client. The original house is being restored with a contemporary twist, adjacent to the new home. “Nobody wants to tear down something beautiful and charming. In Pasadena, I grew up remodeling and restoring these homes, so it made sense to me to move this house,” he says.
source: ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST.
Go v e r n o r Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday said that his administration would soon commence the building of the biggest metropolitan park and in the sub-Saharan Africa just as he said about 97,000 jobs had been created in the tree planting programme in the last six months. The governor said the Lagos State Park and Garden Agency (LASPARK) has already planted about 5.9million trees in the last three years.
Speaking at a Stakeholders forum with private sectors held at Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos, Ambode said the planned biggest metropolitan park would be located at Ayeteju in Ibeju- Lekki-Ajah Expressway on 5 hectares of land. He said:” The proposed park will serve the people of Lekki, Ajah, Ibeju and its environs.
This park when completed, will be the biggest publicly owned in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, and will feature mini zoo, playing area for children, fitness centre, multipurpose game court, and many other features. If the amount needed to establish a park or garden is high, the cost of maintaining them it is twice expensive.”
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, explained that the state government embarked on creation of park and garden in order to protect the environment, saying that global warming and its devastating impact on the environment is real. He charged residents to collaborate with the government in the task of creating ‘a greening environment’.
However, Commissioner for the environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare explained that the forum was specially designed to promote a synergy that will be beneficiary to all stakeholders in both the short run and long run. “Green business is a smart business.
Going green provides a bottomline cost savings as well as competitive advantage in the market place. Solid environmental programme attract the highest employee to your organisation and keep those that you happy and healthy”, Adejare added
• Electricity, roads, rail top agenda • FG banks on TSA to deliver safety nets
• Begins conditional cash transfer next year
THREAT of recession is pushing the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to plan massive infrastructural and social investment spending, The Guardian has learnt .
THREAT of recession is pushing the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to plan massive infrastructural and social investment spending, The Guardian has learnt .
On Monday night, the Presidency hinted of plans to spend not less than 40 per cent of the 2016 budget on capital projects, a move which one of the sources described as ‘unprecedented in the nation’s budgetary history.’
Also top on the agenda of the Buhari administration is to mobilise substantial funds within and outside government to fund the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT).
CCT programmes aim to reduce poverty by making welfare programmes conditional upon the receivers’ actions, meaning that the government (or a charity) only transfers the money to persons who meet certain criteria.
Government also plans to make significant savings from leakages and fraud, which, according to one of the sources, “have marred government spending in the past.”
No doubt, reports about government’s plan to spend up to N8 trillion in 2016 have continued to dominate the media space without any of the presidential officials confirming it. Yet, it is clear that the Buhari presidency has decided to raise such huge funds to build critical infrastructure as rail, roads and power, while also commencing in 2016 some of the promises of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for a Conditional Cash Transfer — including perhaps the N5,000 welfare package for the unemployed (youths) — and school feeding on a national scale.
Going by the yet-to-be-confirmed report on an N8 trillion budget estimate in 2016, therefore, it would appear that the Federal Government is ready to spend up to N3 trillion on roads, rail infrasture as well as on other safety nets.
Sources within the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) confirmed that the saving from the new implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is working and is projected to bring in hundreds of billions of naira for the 2016 budget.
Specifically, some members of the newly inaugurated Federal Executive Council, have started holding several planning meetings with the Vice President on finalising the budgetary estimates and making a proposal ready for consideration of the Federal Executive Council on President Buhari’s directve.
The Guardian was told that the president is determined to ensure that every available resource of the Federal Government is applied to “funding a very ambitious budget just to bring economic succour to the Nigerian people in a way that has not been done for a long time now in the area of public infrastructure and social safety nets for the very poor people, many of whom came out to support his election earlier this year.”
It was disclosed that even before the new ministers were sworn in last week, the presidency had been holding meetings with top civil servants and CBN officials on how to fund to CCT. A template was said to have been decided which the FEC will be considering soon for final approval before going to the National Assembly for appropriation.
According to the template, couple million Nigerians are likely to benefit from the CCT in 2016, while the Buhari presidency is planning to ensure that within the next four budgets the lives of tens of million Nigerians or thereabout would have been touched by the CCT.
Part of the plan for infrastructure is the $25 billion, which the Vice President has spoken about publicly severally. The fund, according to informed government sources, would include contributions from the budget and also from both local and international investors. Already there are positive responses from foreign investors to contribute to the fund as there would be opportunities for the investors to bring their business ideas and project proposals. Indeed a source said the government gets a new offer regularly to be part of the fund from all kinds of international financiers and investors.
On the funding side, it is believed that the Buhari presidency from day one has been working with revenue generating agencies on how to radically raise internal revenue, especially with dropping oil prices, cutting expenses and overheads, and also raising funds locally and internationally from creditors considering that the nation’s debt to GDP ratio is still within international levels.
According to official sources, the nomination of Mr. Babatunde Fowler as FIRS Chairman, is a reflection of the presidency’s plan to raise revenue significantly as both individuals have presided over state governments’ efforts to raise revenue substantially.
While there was a recent resolution defeated on the Senate floor that the Federal Government should commence immediate implementation of the CCT, some of the new ministers have confirmed that diligent plans are being considered to start the implementation of the programme in the 2016 budget.
When asked to confirm if the CCT would be part of the 2016 budget, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, simply said “yes, there are plans to start the CCT next year, but you have to wait until a final budget estimate, which should be ready soon.”
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to refund the N52 billion spent by the state government on repair of federal roads over the years.
The lawmakers also called for urgent rehabilitation of dilapidated federal roads impeding commercial activities and causing hardship to residents.
This followed an observation made by the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Olumuyiwa Jimoh, on matter of urgent public importance on the floor of the House.
Jimoh, who congratulated former Gov. Babatunde Fashola on his appointment as Minister of Power, Works and Housing, said he had no doubt he would replicate his performance in the state at the federal level.
“It should be at the heart of his assignments, and perhaps the uppermost; the refund of over N52 billion the federal government owes the state for repairing federal roads.
“The minister should hasten the payment of the fund which we have expended on federal roads.
“There are some federal roads in this state, the commercial hub of this country and sub-Sahara Africa, begging for attention,” he said.
Mr Abiodun Tobun (APC-Epe I) also congratulated Fashola for a well-deserved appointment.
He said: ” Lagos State belongs to all Nigerians because all families have one or two relations in the state.
“Most business outlets have their headquarters in Lagos. The Federal Government earns the large part of its Value Added Tax from this state.
“Fashola should ensure that all the federal roads are developed and the monies owed the state for repairing federal roads should be refunded.”
Mr Lanre Ogunyemi (APC-Ojo II), on his part, said: “Greater chunk of our resources in this state has gone to repairing federal roads.
“If we can get the huge amount of money owed us, it will go a long way to ameliorate the hardship Lagos residents pass through on many state roads.”
Mr David Setonji (APC-Badagry II) complained bitterly of the state of Lagos-Badagry Expressway and urged Fashola to give priority to federal roads in the state.
“We want the Federal Government, through the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, to give attention to federal roads in the state, to make economic activities thrive more.
“The state of many expressways in the state is a disgrace for a former capital of the country.
“Let the world know that Lagos deserves special allocation, just as Abuja, to arrest issues of perennial infrastructure decay,” Setonji said.
Mr Sola Giwa (APC-Lagos Island) said that the former governor was up to the task given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Giwa, who also urged Fashola to facilitate the refund of monies spent of federal roads in the state, noted that the state of Apapa roads had been affecting smooth commercial activities.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said it was important to remind Fashola of the challenges facing the state.
“We must write a letter to the minister to call their attention to the urgent need to repair federal roads in the state.
“It is better to make this appeal to him before the work load of handling three major areas of government becomes much.
“Fashola was an actualiser when he was the governor; he knows about the problems of Lagos State.
“Being a governor of the state for eight years, he is aware of the level of deprivation of local government fund and most of the federal roads done.
“Lagos-Sagamu, Lagos-Abeokuta, Ikorodu and so many federal roads are begging for attention. If we have good roads, most of the complaints will be gone,” he said.
The speaker, who expressed confidence in the ability of Fashola, said he was sure that the former governor would not disappoint people of the state.
What has been the job situation, considering the cuts across all sectors of the economy.
THERE is no sector of the Nigerian economy, as of today, that is not affected by job cuts. It is the reality in both private and public sectors, basically, because we have an economy that has completely nosedived, as we have been in the doldrums for not just years, but decades. This is due mainly to mismanagement of our economy by previous administrations. There is no economy that would develop if there was no electricity. The energy sector has collapsed for too long.
Before 1998, the textile industry used to be the highest employer of labour after government. If you go Kaduna, Kano and Ilupeju and Ikeja areas of Lagos State, when workers close from the industries in the evenings, you would assume they are coming from the stadium after a major international tournament. But today, all those who used to work in those factories are now Okada riders and the factories have been turned to all sorts of things. In other words, where there is no electricity and where petroleum products are as expensive as we have it today, factories can’t survive.
This is because, running costs becomes prohibitive. So, some of these companies have, shamefully, on our part, relocated to neighbouring countries, and have retrenched their workers. That is the case with the manufacturing sector. And up till this moment, the sector is still facing hardship. It makes it difficult to sustain the argument of keeping the jobs. Keeping the jobs, without payment of salaries and without the tools for production is not encouraging.
What has led to job losses is, because we do not have a competitive economic environment for production. That has affected the manufacturing sector and the service industry, like banking. There is also the issue of being cash strapped. There is no money. We have become an import, rather than an export country. When we import good, it helps the economy of foreign countries to grow and for them to employ more people while we lose jobs in Nigeria. All these factors have led to collapse of jobs, both in the service and manufacturing industries.
Who should be blamed for the job cuts?
The issue of job loss is not just happening under the new administration; it is an inherited issue, which was passed down over the years from the military to the civilian governments. Therefore, no specific government can be held responsible for job cuts. The only government that should be blamed is that, which allowed itself to be hoodwinked to implement the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) by neoliberal institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). It was the Babangida regime that allowed the implementation of neoliberal policies that sold public properties to private hands and messed up government’s interest in electricity, roads and others, which have led to the collapse of the economy. These have also affected jobs. So, any government, including the Buhari government, which is going to create jobs, without addressing the problem of electricity and re-energising the economy such that public facilities, such as electricity and affordable energy, including petroleum products, can be used for production, is joking. You can’t create jobs when there is no conducive environment for the economy to grow. In elementary economics, there is something called four factors of production, which include land, capital, entrepreneurship and labour. If those things don’t exist anymore, how are you going to engage in production? If the condition is not right, it would put pressure on public finance, because more people are going to be pulled into the public service and monies that should be in the public treasury for capital projects and create would then be used to pay salaries. It is the duty of government to reduce those factors that have made production difficult, particularly electricity and high cost of production products, as well as, review privatization of public assets.
Does labour see government achieving the lofty job target promised by the All Progressives Congress during electioneering campaigns?
Politicians don’t think about policies, they think about promises. They go onto the podium and say they would create 100,000 jobs and other figures, because they know that one of our major problems is unemployment. They have politicised the issue of job creation and unemployment, just as they have politicised many other problems. They need to come out with a direction that would address, in totality, the issue of job creation. If a candidate says that when he gets into office, he would create one million jobs in six months, he has not said anything that impresses me. What he should have said is that he would revamp the economy, ensure stable power, build roads, refurbish refineries and correct trade imbalance in order to create more jobs.
AS members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) gather this week in Abuja for its “BGM 2015”, development of the city will form the focus of technical paper presentations.
Specifically, the group’s conference coming between Wednesday 18th and Saturday 21st November, 2015, will the architects opportunities to expose its members on how best to response to city challenges.
According to the President of the Institute, Waheed Niyi Brimmo, the 55th Annual General Assembly and Conference with the theme “Development of the City (Past, Present and Future)” was conceived and programmed to expose all cadres of membership to definitive understanding of government roles in city development since 1999; architect’s emerging roles, sustainability templates for African cities and strategies to meet the challenges facing the city now and up to 2050.
It was observed that the Institute could no longer fold hands while observing negative trends of development. “While some of the large cities in America and Europe change and thrive; countless smaller and not so large cities in Africa, South America and Asia are marching further into violence and daily become less liveable.
The selection of the theme was principally informed by the need to make policy contribution to guarantee harnessing of the immense contributions of the city to socio-economic, safety and cultural development of Nigeria. Our traditional cities have great potentials waiting to be harnessed with design inputs.
We set sail two years ago when uncertainties clouded the nation but today we can see some silver linings in the sky. As an Institute we have made modest progress as reports at the last AGM and those to be presented during the Biennial General Meeting holding week will amply show.
Citing a renowned writer, who said, “He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human Institution which rejects progress is the cemetery”, Brimmo urged that as the nation grows and the Institute must show leadership by revealing things that must change and retains some that must not change, especially, integrity and professionalism in all areas of its endeavours.
“The question is therefore not change or no change but what must and what must not. So, if you don’t like something, change it and if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. In this case we must, as professionals of great repute, join hands with the government to actualize positive change, especially, in the built environment, which is our constituency”, he urged.
He postulated that every desired change must pass a 3-way test: Is it in the corporate interest of NIA and all her members? Will it enhance the practice of architecture and guarantee emergence of truly Nigerian architecture? Will it guarantee a better future for generations of architects to come?
On better living, he stated that the city is no stranger in the agenda of nations, international bodies, political parties, public authorities, research and professional groups, civic groups, non-government organizations and the embattled dwellers.
Early last century it became a major pre-occupation of pioneers of modern architecture. However the Nigerian City, as it was revealed early this century, have resilience, peculiarity and energy and will undoubtedly confound the most optimistic and innovative of these early Architects.
While some of the large cities of the world change and thrive, countless smaller and not so large cities of Africa, South America and Asia are marching further into violence and thus less liveable. Six hundred of the former, according to statistics, account for two-thirds of global GDP. It is increasingly probable that the city rather than the state will determine stability and development by the mid-century. The city whether at global or local level is thus worth considering.
“As an Institute, we have in the recent past considered the city and yet at this first conference under a new political dispensation its development is our concern and our theme. It is a truism that only the Architect gives form and meaning to what has become the habitat of the increasingly high proportion of children, youth, grown and the aged. Proffering sustainable solutions to the city’s myriad challenges is, therefore, a call on Nigerian architects to duty”.
Other activities at the event include the reports of the 25th Council that are billed for presentation during the BGM Business Meeting on Saturday 21st November followed by Elections and Gala Nite where among other activities the investiture of Tonye Oliver Braide, an architect as the 26th President of the 55-year old Institute will be performed.
Registration, Material Exposition, Tour of Abuja, Council Meeting have been slated for Wednesday while the Conference kicks off on Thursday 19th. Specialised programmes are packaged for student and graduate members from Wednesday 18th to Friday, 20th.
•From left: Dr. Oteri; Mr. Ale; Arc. Abdullahi; Mr. Konyebagu Raphael and Mr. Somiyewo Okikiola at the event
Unless urgent steps are taken, Lagos State may run short of fresh water, experts have said. They say there is a serious threat of its water being polluted by sea water. The situation, the experts warned, could further be compounded as a result of indiscriminate drilling of boreholes littering the littoral state.
Speaking at a two-day retreat organised for stakeholders in water business in Lagos, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC), Mr Kabir Abdullahi, siad: “Lagos is surrounded by salt water and we are currently experiencing salt intrusion into the fresh water bodies because of this illegal drilling. If this continues, it means the fresh water that we have, especially in Lekki axis, will be destroyed and we must arrest such development.”
The theme of the retreat was: “Lagos State Ground Water Quality Control Regulation”.
Consequently, the Commission has begun the registration of borehole drillers. This, Abdullahi explained, is to put a stop to the indiscriminate and shoddy drilling of boreholes by quacks. For instance, he observed that several boreholes are dug at a spot which may be close to cesspit and the sewage from such has been found to contaminate the water supply of many homes and communities. For him, this is the time to fully implement the Lagos Water Law of 2004 considering that it has passed through 10 years of testing.
Abdullahi, in a chat with The Nation said the Commission will soon embark on a survey of existing boreholes in the state to ascertain their state and water quality from them. Those that fall below standard, he assured, would be decommissioned.
While commending the Commission for the retreat, the National President, Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP), Mr. Michael Ale, said the state has taken the lead among its peers in implementing a code of drilling. The initiative, Ale noted, would further help to prevent disasters such as earthquakes and outbreak of epidemic such as cholera in the state and the country at large.
Consultant hydrologist to the LSWRC, Dr. Akomeno Oteri, explained that just as all legal drilling of crude oil was registered with the Federal Government, all borehole drilling activities also would be registered with the state government.
At the end of the retreat, a communique was signed by all the stakeholders. Included in the communique were that steps must be taken to checkmate and regulate indiscriminate drilling activities by unlicenced, unprofessional drillers; haphazard water abstraction without recourse to the condition of the aquifer and water table; pollution of the ground water leading to increase in cases of water borne disease; and effect of climate change on the ground water.
SOURCE: THE NATION
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged the Federal Government to urgently mobilise Julius Berger back to the site to rehabilitate the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, to alleviate the robbery and traffic challenges faced by motorists as a result of extreme traffic gridlock.
Ambode spoke on Tuesday after touring Apapa, Ladipo Market, Isolo and other areas.
"What we've done today is to continue the monitoring that we started about three months ago; going to Apapa and seeing some semblance of improvement, but we are not satisfied with what we have seen. I believe strongly that the Federal Government needs to accelerate the need for the contractor to come back to site.
"We are pleading with the Federal Government to make sure that Julius Berger returns to site and alleviate the challenges that motorists are facing. But so far so good, we have seen some parts of Apapa that are now motorable.
"We believe strongly that once the bridge is completed, the Container Terminal will be put to use. The Container Terminal can take up to 1,000 container vehicles and that in itself will improve on the traffic gridlock in Lagos," he said.
The governor pledged to meet all the conditions for the repair of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Road adding, "if the Federal Government did not do early next year, we would do it."
Ambode also said the Isolo Road would be completed in nine months but that the contractor would create temporary access to ease traffic during the festive period.
For Ladipo market, Ambode said it represented a major concern for the government, adding that "we've seen some of these traders carry out illegal activities around the canal?, that in itself is endangering their lives and also creating challenges for us. We believe strongly that if all of us agree on the way out, every trader must be ready to comply with the rules of the state."
He appealed to Lagosians to be law abiding as government would not shy away from enforcing the law, adding that government is doing more than ever before to ensure that laws are enforced.
Lagos State Commissioner for Housing Mr. Gbolahan Wasiu Lawal–Akapo has inspected projects under his Ministry. He was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olatunji Odunlami and Special Adviser to the governor on Housing, Mrs. Mudirat Giwanson.
He visited Lagos State Homes Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMS) in Omole Estate, Igando, Oko–Oba, Agege, Chief Anthony Enahoro Housing Estate Ogba, Omole Phase 2, and Magodo.
According to the commissioner, the tour was to familiarise him with the Lagos HOMS sites and to see the level of work done. “I want to see all the sites that we have, where construction works are ongoing,” he explained.
In a chat with The Nation, the Commissioner expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far, assuring that his future plan is to look at the projects left by the last administration, review and appraise and come up with a strategy to improve on what was met in order to close the housing gap between the high earners and the low income earners because ‘’the high income earners can always build their own houses.
The commissioner, who admonished all allottees and would want them to be calm as they would have the opportunity to benefit from the state’s housing scheme, reiterated the commitment of the administration to put in its best to provide housing for the people of the state.
“Lagos has a very large percentage of middle class people, we cannot afford to ignore them,’’ he said.
Lawal-Akapo disclosed that there will be an analysis on where there are demands and where there are no demands for houses, and the ministry will come up with the right assumptions for the future, even as he said the government will come out with analytical facts in providing an appropriate housing policy for the people of Lagos State.
SOURCE: THE NATION
•From left: Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Adedayo Adeneye, presenting Certificate of Occupancy to one of the beneficiaries of the State’s HomeOwner Charter in Abeokuta...recently.
The Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has distributed the ninth batch of Homeowner’s Charter Scheme Certificate of Occupancy to beneficiaries in Abeokuta, the state capital. He was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa.The Governor used the occasion to assure citizens that all programmes aimed at realising the re-building mission of his administration would be realised and all on-going projects would be completed and delivered as scheduled.He applauded all concerned agencies for ensuring the success of the programme, pointing out that critics, who had despised the initiative at inception, had seen its sincerity of purpose from the cooperation and number of C of O dispatched so far.He, therefore, appealed for support and understanding of the people in the face of dwindling economic challenges, promising that no stone would be left unturned at making the state self-sustaining.“We are working round the clock to increase our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) so that our state can be self-sustaining and reduce over-reliance on the federal allocation,” he said.
In a similar vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Amope Chokor, said the Home-Owners’ Charter programme was designed by the state to enable property owners possess legal titles on their land. She said it would be a continuous process as it would help government to know the areas where there was serious infrastructural deficit.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Motunrayo Ogundipe commended the state government for its sincerity, saying that many people, who doubted the government’s good intentions on the scheme at inception, have now seen that the Amosun government is sincere.
It would be recalled that on December 16, 2013, the state government had initiated the Home Owners’ Charter Scheme aimed at making landlords obtain their Certificates of Occupancy at 78 per cent discount.
SOURCE: THE NATION