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The World Trade Centre, WTC, Abuja, is the first complex in Nigeria to have seven towers made up of a 38-storey hotel building and six 24-storey commercial offices and residential towers. Located at the Central Business Area, the towers promise dwarf all other structures Abuja. In this interview, Senior Property Consultant, Mr. Olumide Adekanmi , explains the concept of the WTC and what the nation's economy stands to gain from it.

What is the idea behind the Abuja World Trade Centre?

The concept behind the World Trade Centre, as the name indicates, is a brand, a worldwide brand. Churchgate won the franchise to build the Abuja World Trade Centre and that we are doing right now. Many developed countries of the world have World Trade Centres and we are convinced that the World Trade Centre in Abuja will change the face of businesses in Nigeria. The concept is that it is a modern market; a trade zone where you have everything that you can actually think of in business in one strategic location. So we are looking at a multi-tower collection of both Commercial Office Towers and Residential Towers.

The Commercial Towers consist of AAA offices each uniquely designed to appeal to global businesses requiring premier services including formal meeting spaces, state-of-the-art security and the highest standard of interior finishes.

Flexible spaces that can be purchased in configurations of 100 square meters, 200 square meters , 300 square meters and up to 1, 200 square meters on one level to cater for the needs of a wide-range of users are now available for purchase or lease. Those looking for a world class business environment will find the World Trade Centre irresistible. It will therefore host banking halls, oil and gas corporate offices, headquarters of conglomerates and an address for international organizations. Section two is the Residential Towers.

The towers in that section will have one-bedroom to six-bedroom apartments, as well as duplexes. The offers at the residential towers are flexible. While we are furnishing the apartments with world class finishes, those who desire to furnish their apartments will be sold the apartments, less the cost of furnishing. In-between the Commercial and Residential Towers, will build a 38-storey 5-star hotel that will spell ultimate leisure not only in Abuja but the entire country. It is a comfort zone. That hotel will be managed by Grand Hyat.

What is the idea behind having residential apartments in a work environment?

When you have a residential area, which we call the serviced apartments adjacent the commercial towers, it gives you straight access. You don't have to look for a car or taxi to take you to your office.

You can just walk from home to your office, as well as, walk to the shopping malls where you can buy whatever you need. It takes away from you all the stress of traffic. It you have visitors or conferences to attend in the commercial towers you can simply walk from the residence to the venue and it is very comfortable. What we are looking at is quality comfortability and worldwide class. Living where you are working is what the complex provides. It is the first time we are having such a product in our country. The apartments are so unique because they are built with special wall glasses that are heat-resistant, sound-proof and act as fire-extinguishers.

What is special about corporate organizations taking up offices in the WTC?

The World Trade Centre operates like a club of a high network of businesses. When you are doing business at the WTC, it is totally different from having an office in any other part of the city. What you have in the WTC is a high network of people not just of Nigerians or Africans but global players in one complex. Global businesses thrive on networking, connections. At the WTC, you don't need to go out to look for the connections. All the connections you need are in there. You have it at your finger tips. Don't forget, it's a world class brand. When you are asked, 'where is your office?' and you say 'at the World Trade Centre', it means so much to businessmen.

What security measures are in place to ensure the safety of those who work or live at the WTC?

The security there is world-class. We are going to have seven towers and that means that we are going to have a mega security station in that complex. It is an international brand and that means there is a standard that must be maintained. We are putting all necessary measures in place to ensure that individuals and their properties are safe. Every individual that works there will have an access card so no stranger can walk into that complex without an access card. Everybody will have his own record. It is all computerised. The cards of those in the Residential Towers are designed in such a way that the card can only open the access door to the floor in which one resides. Even the Lifts are computerised in such a way that you need the access card to open the door of the lift. If you are in the lift, you cannot stop and come out of it on another floor other than yours. For a resident who has a visitor, all he needs do is to contact the security unit and direct that the visitor be giving a visitor-access card. That card will be configured in such a way that it will allow the visitor to gain access to only the floor and the apartment of the host. Such a card can only be valid for that single that day. High networth individuals care very much about their privacy and security. We have factored this in our design and we can assure those coming to either purchase offices and residential apartments at the WTC that they can sleep with their two eyes closed. Besides, the general complex will be covered with 24/7 CCTV by the best service providers.

You said there will be a shopping mall. How will customers enter to make purchases if those going into the complex must have individual access cards?

For the shopping, will have its own access which will be open to the public. There is a different route into the mall. But you can't access the main complex from the mall if you don't have any business with the offices and the residential apartments. The railway that is being constructed by the federal government passes by the mall so one can actually get to the mall by rail or by road because there will be a rail station by the complex. If you come out of the metro, you head straight into the mall where the security is five-star. Those in the commercial towers can access the mall because there is a connection but those who just come to the mall for purchases cannot get to the commercial towers from there.

When will it be completed?

The first phase will be completed in the middle of 2016 and this consists of two 24-floor towers . one of the is Commercial tower while the second is the Residential tower. As you drive through the Constitution Roads and virtually throughout the city the towers are very visible.

How many offices are there in the commercial tower?

We have 24 floors of the commercial tower and 24 floors of the serviced-apartments. The provisions in the product we offer are such that a wide range of subscribers can take advantage of them. Some may want to take the duplexes, others who want the 5-bedroom , 4-bedroom , 3-bedroom of 1-bedroom have opportunities to key into the Abuja WTC.

Ancillary services include concierge services, fitness centre, swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, underground parking lots, alluring penthouses and breathtaking views.


Source: Vanguard

Mrs. Funmilayo Odubela-Aduroja is a retired Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). Popularly described as 'iron lady,' she once headed Border Patrol. An alumnus of National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, she spent her time researching terrorism and border control. The first female officer to be posted to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, she speaks on terrorism and the need for the Federal Government to merge all internal security agencies to create the Department of Homeland Security.

How were your years in Nigeria Immigration Service?

I got into the paramilitary service when the service was in need of female officers. I was one of the first batches of female officers admitted into the service. I served to the best of my abilities and I enjoyed my job.

As a former border patrol boss, do you think our borders are well policed?

I believe they are putting their best because every country has its own insurgency. Every country is trying to see how best to police its borders. In Europe and other countries, they are building fences because the number of people coming into the country is very large. So, they are building fences to protect themselves. The Syrians are now migrating to Europe because of the war in their country. Nigerian government should look into the possibility of securing her borders by building fences. The government should also emulate Europe by fencing the border to secure the country.

I think President Muhammadu Buhari should listen to advice from experienced officers and border control experts. If there is an issue, he could call us to trash out things and put things right.

Do you think the military is winning war on terror as Nigerians are being made to believe?

The terrorists are getting more and more aggressive. They are recruiting more young ones via the Internet. Terror war has not been won and it is quite challenging. The recommendation contained in the 9/11 Commission Report was what I worked on when I was in Nigeria Institute for Strategic Studies (NIPS) in 2004. I recommended in my research that there is need for us to merge most of the small agencies together in order to fund them adequately and to make sure they deliver.

It was done in America and it was successful. When the report was submitted in 2003, President George Bush wrote to congress for money so that they could implement the recommendations of the commission. The money was released, so they merged the security agencies and they now have what is called Department of Homeland Security.

All the agencies were merged and they went ahead to create the Department of Homeland Security, headed by somebody of cabinet rank who would report on a daily basis to the president on security information on embassies abroad.

Would merging of internal security agencies bring an end to insurgency?

The responsibility of Nigerian Customs Service is to collect revenue, remit it into government account. They should try and merge Customs and Immigration Services together and put them on one platform and fund them adequately. Customs has no business being in the Ministry of Finance.

Every country is trying to see how best to police its borders. In Europe and other countries, they are building fences because the number of people coming into the country is very large. So, they are building fences to protect themselves. The Syrians are now migrating to Europe because of the war in their country. Nigerian government should look into the possibility of securing her borders by building fences. The government should also emulate Europe by fencing the border to secure the country

As a patriotic Nigerian, we want result; we want to put our money where our mouth is and get results.

So, I will encourage them to have someone who is answerable to the minister and the president and he must be of cabinet rank. The time the book on 9/11 Commission report was published, there was no Boko Haram. Ironically, when they were asking some of the suspected terrorists question like: "If you are a terrorist leader today, where would you like to locate your base?" The same places came up again and again on their list. Those places they mentioned are Western Pakistan, Afghanistan border region, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia and Kenya. Other countries the suspected terrorists fingered are Southeast Asia, Philipines and Indonnesia. In West Africa, Nigeria and Mali were chosen by the suspected terrorists as their preferred bases.

I personally gave the report to some highly placed persons to read and learn from it and I made executive summary of the book and gave it to them. I want government in my lifetime to accept and utilize the recommendation in this commission. I also want to be able to say Nigeria is secure and to tell foreigners that my country is highly secure; that is my aim and my hope.

As a security operative and as a border patrol expert, I want to say that it doesn't sound right that a group of people have a conquered territory within a territorial jurisdiction of a country. It is absurd. What I observed is that we are not getting value for the money we are spending on security.

Are you satisfied with the administration of the NIS today?

The NIS is trying its best. At least they have initiated new technologies into the system like biometrics, which was not done in our time. For instance, many people had more than one passport back then, which is not done overseas. So, they are putting in a lot to upgrade the technology and I think it would be of benefit to the country.

What would you like to contribute to the nation's security even in retirement?

I want to give back to society and the country at large what I had acquired when I was in service. The service gave me the opportunity to travel out to study some professional courses. I was also at NIPSS, Kuru, Jos, in 2004. I was given both local and international exposure. We were thought to emulate the security services of foreign countries; we were enlightened on how to inculcate the act of good administration and governance.

Due to the tour, my colleagues and I had a good understanding on how to be good administrators. Our reasoning was sharpened and it broadened our minds analytically and we were also able to advice others on how to think analytically in the field. Immediately after the trainings in Jos, I was retired. I was not given the opportunity to give back what I learnt to society; that is why I think it is important I offer advice to the present government which I think is sincere.

Do you think the female officers in NIS are committed to hard work as you were?

My advice to upcoming officers is that they should be hardworking, whether male or female. At least when I was in the service, I was the first female officer posted to Muritala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA). After I proved my worth, they were encouraged to post other female officers to different commands. Currently, the head of the Immigration Service at MMA is a female officer.

When I was in the service, my boss always encouraged me to do better in whatsoever I was doing. This was possible because he saw that I was hard working; he gave me tasks that people found difficult to accomplish. I always made sure to accomplish on time. That is why I was appointed as the first female officer to head the Ogun State command in the service.

It was quite challenging because I was till nursing a baby. I try explaining to my boss, but he turned deaf hears. I also sent some senior officers to explain things to him and allow me till my child was a year old, but he refused. My boss said he knew I was capable of doing the job. So, I advise woman to be as strong like a man.

I advise mothers to encourage their children to always have role models and emulate positive things. Because my mother encouraged me to have one and it also helped me to make my journey easy in life. I also advise my children to have focus in life alongside a role model. One of my children, right from time, always insists on working with Bill Gates. He has Bill Gates' photographs in his room and reads his biography on how he became a computer genius; he studied computer engineering and now he is working with Microsoft.

Parents should always guide their children on how to accomplish their goals. So, it is very important to allow your children to have mentors.


Source: The Guardian

Ekiti Airport Host Communities Beg for Compensation

Published in Environment
Sunday, 04 October 2015 00:00

Host communities of the Ekiti airport project have pleaded with the state government to pay them compensation. They said the land being cleared for the project was their only means of livelihood.

The government through the Ministry of Works on Saturday commenced the clearing of 4,000 hectares of land for the take-off of the project.

Areas being cleared include Aso-Ayegunle, Ijon and a part of Afao-Ekiti. The Secretary of Aso Ayegunle people, Chief Owolabi Solomon, told newsmen that while the community was happy with the project, the people were appealing to the government to compensate them for their farm produce that would have to give way for the project.

He said: "We have been informed that the government would use our farmlands for the airport project. We are happy the government is bringing this laudable development to us but we are also pleading that the government should, as a matter of urgency, find means of compensating us because the farmlands being taken are our only source of livelihood." The Commissioner for Works, Mr. Kayode Oso, who supervised the clearing of the site, told newsmen that government had assigned enumerators to estimate the loss of crops on the farmlands. He assured that the affected farmers would be substantially compensated once the enumerators come up with their estimates.


Source: Daily Trust

An Estate developer in Bauchi State, Alhaji Rabiu Danjuma has commended the effort of Adamawa State Governor, Bindow Jibrilla for embarking on re-construction of bad roads in the state.

He said the project being undertaken by the governor involve roads which had remained in bad shape for many years.

The Estate developer who is from Adamawa State and holds the traditional title of Maiborno Batta of Batta kingdom in Adamawa state ‎‎commended the governor while addressing journalists in Bauchi.

Danjuma said Bindow's administration will be remembered for the construction of the roads which previous governments left un attended to.

According to him,people have been clamouring for the repairs of the roads since the military era but to no avail until the coming of the Jibirila administration in the state.

Danjuma added that despite the financial crunch being faced by the state, the governor has performed well in the area of roads infrastructure which has received the governor's attention.

Among the roads marked for construction by the governor according to him were;Karewa-Masakare road, Gumti Road along Faro Bottling Company Limited linking Adamawa Sunshine transport park and part of Jambutu Quarters, Wuro Jabbe off Numan road, Yola bye pass to Upper Benue River Development Basin Authority quarters among others.

He said that they have done an independent assessment Alhaji in the North East Region saying that they have appreciated the efforts of the governors in developing the states despite the challenges.

The estate developer however said the effort of the Adamawa State governor was remarkable and will transform the state in a short time.

‎"We saw wonders. We encountered transformation. We saw creativity, experienced innovative ideas. We met one-on-one with an ongoing roads network construction development partners. We saw newly reconstructed roads that are unmotorable in the last 35 years but the government of his Excellency Bindow is now working to repair about 30 roads, all these developmental stride in just less than five months of his administration.


Source: Daily Trust

How to Process Building Plan in Lagos

Published in Real Estate
Monday, 05 October 2015 00:00

A building plan is a graphical representation of what a building will look like after construction, used by builders and contractors to construct buildings of all kinds. Building plans are also useful when it comes to estimating how much a project will cost, and preparing project budgets. In most countries, including Nigeria, it is customary to obtain a permit or approval from appropriate authorities. A building plan approval is necessary before construction can commence.

This is to ensure that building complies with building laws and codes and to prevent people from just constructing as they deem fit. According to a report by Nigeria Real Estate Hub (NREH), the first thing to do when you want to commence construction in Lagos is to obtain a development permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority (LASPPDA), a parastatal under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.

Approval process

The first step is to submit architectural design for inspection to confirm if design is in conformity with the approval standards and order for the area which the land is located. If documents are found satisfactory, assessment will be given. The assessment is based on the volume of your building multiplied by the rate applicable to your land location.

Usually, bank drafts are made payable to the Lagos State Government, the relevant local planning authority of the land location and Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority. You might also need to pay some additional fees to Lagos State Government depending on your proposal.

Before submission of your application, the site will be inspected. This is the first of various inspections that your site will be subjected to. The reason is to know if the site in question is the same as the one being proposed for development and also, that you have not commenced construction before building plan approval.

The site will also be checked with the immediate environment to see if proposal is in conformity with the existing land use, and if the size of the plot is as presented in the survey plan and design proposal. If the inspection report is satisfactory, the application will then be registered, provided all documents have been submitted.

Processing registered file

The following are the processes a registered file undergoes within the planning office: The file is authorised for registration by the District Officer (DO) or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and registered by the clerical officer who assigns the file number and receives all sheets of the drawing submitted.

Provided all relevant documents are submitted, the file is sent to the table of the DO/CEO, who sends it to the field officer to include his site sketch and report while another file is opened with all relevant payment receipts and sent to the accountant's office at LASPPDA headquarters for payment confirmation

Thereafter, the file is sent back to the DO/CEO who acts on the report of the field officer. If satisfied, it is forwarded to the charting officer to determine the conformity of the land with the land use of the area and the actual status of the land. The charting report is then sent back to the DO/CEO who determines the next line of action.

f the report is satisfactory, it is sent to the table of the engineer for inspection of the structural drawings. The engineer will treat the application and revert back to the DO/CEO who acts on the report. If satisfactory, the file is sent to the recommendation officer to examine and recommend as appropriate. The recommendation officer's job is crucial as he/she will go through the entire file to ensure that all requirements in terms of documents and fees have been included in the file.

Finally, the site will be re-visited to confirm that construction has not commenced before recommending to the DO/CEO if application should be granted approval or not. All of these can be done for you by your architect, surveyor or any other knowledgeable member of your building team. (NREH)


Source: Vanguard

The grand building is designed with a leisure facility situated on the 10th floor. The 'Leisure Lane' as it is tagged has indulgence areas like a top-class fitness suite, salon, spa, cinema room, meeting rooms, sports centre, open sky party space, aerobics corner, bar and squash room - to cater for its cherished inhabitants, invited families and friends

REAL estate major, Cadwell Limited has announced the launch of its ultra-luxury project known as Cuddle on Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, which will be offering a stately place to stay for high net worth individuals.

Cuddle is an integrated high-rise development incorporating residences, large size apartments, extra-large penthouses, and two levels of leisure lane, roof top swimming pools with skyline deck and a breathless ball hall. The project expected to stand uniquely tall on Bourdillon road; Ikoyi will be giving an imposing and majestic look for the prestigious location.

The new project scheduled to break ground in the first quarter of next year, consists of three and four bedroom apartments with a drawing hall, dinning, family living and a study. The Penthouses are in three different grades - Prime, Platinum and Premier, and on two and three floors giving the occupants the opportunity to view the Cowrie Creek, sea view, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki.

Equally, the east and west wing apartments on higher floors have similar a view. These apartments come with exceptional features such as - spacious living rooms, extra-large windows, very high ceilings, tall doors, precious stone flooring, two kitchens with fully fitted top-notch appliances.

The grand building is designed with a leisure facility situated on the 10th floor. The 'Leisure Lane' as it is tagged has indulgence areas like a top-class fitness suite, salon, spa, cinema room, meeting rooms, sports centre, open sky party space, aerobics corner, bar and squash room - to cater for its cherished inhabitants, invited families and friends.

The Cuddle is dedicated to the late Mr. Tayo Aderinokun aka Uncle T (Co-founder of Guaranty Trust Bank and Founder of Day Waterman College) to cuddle his legacy of kindness, generosity, genuine and strong support for Cadwell, which won the 2014 Real Estate Unite's 'Developer of the Year' award.

The mild-classic architectural designs are created by one of the best Nigerian architectural firms - Pieach Limited and the new project comes with high quality building materials and facilities management service while fixtures and fittings are from top of the line products known for their durability and reliability and sourced from the best manufacturers as well as surpass the uncommon features of other Cadwell properties.

"Our primary pledge to the market is to provide best-in-class properties, marketing and sales of real estate products and services in a tasteful manner and facility maintenance through tried and tested skills," according to Cadwell's Chief Operating Officer, Olaseni Oguntoyinbo.

He said: "Cuddle as the name implies is meant to embrace the desire of those who know and appreciate the true meaning of a luxury lifestyle, seekers of unpretentious coziness and lovers of long lasting investment products. The building is gigantic and intimidating in stature but gentle, warm and cuddly in nature."

Currently, Cadwell is selling off-plan by taking reservations through formal subscriptions. The apartments are offered to buyers either as owner-occupier, property investors and precious gifts to loved ones. The main attraction of this scheme is its payment terms with minimum deposit of 15 - 25 per cent as commitment / sign-on fees, while the balance is payable in installments throughout the construction period.

As a prominent player in the luxury real estate market, Cadwell has created an elegant lifestyle brand for its clients, also constantly uncovering new ways in which to fulfil their desires. Their ability and courage to keep challenging the norm by pushing the quality limits has clearly made them peerless in that exclusive segment of the industry.

With the singular aim to always "Finish Well", Cadwell devotes considerable time and thoughts into every inch of detail in their developments, from the first-feel you experience, from their unique concepts & designs, to the elegant cladding, super-star finishing, and the peace and pride each development attains once completed.

Its properties always have that eye-catching aura synonymous with the Cadwell logo which makes their products stand out amongst other competitive products, although, Cadwell maintains that its clients are their only competitors. Special attention is therefore committed to meeting every ounce of their customers' aspiration.

The National Assembly building project, which under normal circumstances, is set for delivery around November this year, already generating some controversies, as Nigerian architects are already alleging some sorts of breach in its handling.

Following allegation of non-compliance with due process, Nigerian architects have indicated their readiness to call for the probe of the on-going National Assembly world-class permanent site for legislative studies, located in the heart of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The architects are querying the non-involvement of local architects in the construction of the edifice, which they say is against the law governing tendering process within the construction industry in Nigeria.

According to a source, which prefers anonymity, the bodies of Nigerian architects - Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) and the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), may have begun compiling areas of irregularity in the handling of the project.

Though, the project will boost sustenance of dynamic and effective legislature in Nigeria and the sub-region, the architects who are alleging breach of relevant laws of the land, have hinted that they may have to petition the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).

A chieftain of the industry, who spoke with The Guardian last week, said it was obvious that Nigerian architects were excluded questioning how such project could be done with local architects.

"Did you see any Nigerian architect on the team of the contractors as displayed on the board displayed at the project site? And if a Nigerian architect is involved underground, that may be another case of fraud, which we have been complaining about and we would not hesitate to investigate and sanction any architect found to have done this" he assured.

The source added while it is mandatory for all building projects must have architects on its team; it was rather unfortunate that a public project of such is being done without recourse to the law. He, however, insisted that, the body would follow the matter to its logical conclusion.

The project, which under normal circumstances, is set for delivery around November this year, will gulp about N52, 031 billion. When completed, the edifice will be named the National Institute for Legislative Studies. At the moment, construction works have reached advanced stages in a project having its contract conditions as design and build re-measurement, with a completion period of 24 months.

Coming with the complex are convention centres, libraries, administrative buildings, main reception/entrance lobby, hostel with recreational centres, external infrastructure, power house to mention a few.

Going by the project brief, the main gate, power reception, library, lecture theatres, and administrative building were said to have been completed already; as testing and commissioning of Phase 1, convention centre, infrastructure and works would be completed between October and November 2015.

While the lead contractor is the Julius Berger, Lambert, Energo, Frerk, and Biogest are handling electrical, mechanical, generators and sewage treatment plant respectively. Also, Berkefeld, Strhmann, Stim, Abumet and AFP are providing water treatment plant, natural stone, steel works, aluminum works and doors with furniture in that order.

At an occasion, while speaking on the project, the Director General of the National Institute for Legislative Studies, Dr. Ladi Hamalai, had said the institute was poised to transit from a research and knowledge management center of the National Assembly to a capacity development hub in the West Africa sub region.

According Hamalai, "The rational was to ensure that the institute of such world class also has a befitting world class headquarters, which will have the necessary office space, training space and research facilities. All these are very necessary in any institute of such caliber.

Basically, the headquarters has what is called the core building. Within the core building is the library, which is unique. It is a three-floor building that has 20 offices for researchers.

These offices will also be extended to international institutions that are interested in collaborating with the institute. Hamalai added that the headquarters also has the administrative block and the 1000-seater facility auditorium, as well as the lecture complex. "There are four lecture rooms of 50, 100, 150 and 200 sitting capacity, respectively.

These are the core buildings. There is also the reception hall. Apart from this, there is also the 100-room hostel, which would be more or less a three star hotel that will support participants with their various training programmes."

Futuristically, she observed that some of the benefits of having such a world-class structure in Abuja for the use of the legislature, Nigeria and Nigerians would be quite monumental, considering the fact that bringing the best international training institutes like the John Hopkins and one or two others with the view of collaborating with them in the areas of training and research cannot be quantified.

The Project Manager and Development Consultant, Mr. Zingak Gomwalk, says that the project is situated on a plot size of 8.12 hectares at Piwoyi along Airport Road, Abuja. He added that the land gently slopes in a Northwestern direction with a rocky outcrop towards the Northeastern portion.

MAYOR of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow yesterday pledged the United Kingdom's support to the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master-plan, particularly the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Project (Blue Line project) currently under construction.

Yarrow, who led a team of London business delegation to a round-table meeting with state officials and an inspection tour of the Iganmu (National Arts Theatre) station of the project on Wednesday, said the strategic plan to ease the transport need of the fast growing Lagos population was commendable.

He said they were not unaware of the "frustration of the average commuters" wasting several man-hours to move from one part of the state to the other.

He said commitment to infrastructural development in transport sector was therefore important to making Lagos a successful region, adding that it must also backed with the rule of law.

In his assessment after the tour, he said: "You have a good strategic plan and there is no two ways to it. There is obviously going to be bumps on the way; to use the cliche. But the reality is that you need to start thinking progressively on how to fund it and you should start now rather than later," Yarrow said.

On UK's support, he said: "It is all about the structure, protection of the investor, the rule of law and make sure that you have the right contracts in place. I have spent 43 years in the investment banking. I have very often seen stations like this but this is a long way from being finished.

"It is a very existing story to have this in Lagos but it has to be funded because it will do Lagos a lot of good. If we and UK can help, giving the right financing package, we will do so," said.

During the meeting, which had in attendance officials of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and State Ministry of transport, the mayor and his team had asked questions bothering on funding of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) scheme currently running, issues of land acquisition, operation hours of the services and return on investment.

It would be recalled that the Blue Line project is one of the projects in the transport strategic master plan to be implemented in the next 20 to 30 years. The $20b worth of plan has projects like six rail lines; one mono rail; 14 BRT lanes; three cable car projects and 20 waterway routes.

The Blue Line Project, being one of the six rail lines, is an 11 stations, 27.522km rail track from Okokomaiko to Marina. Though solely funded by the State government, paucity of fund has delayed the project that was initially due for completion in 2012.

Chief Executive Officer of LAMATA, Dayo Mobereola, said that the delay was due to funding issues, which was part of the reasons the state government is wooing potential investors into the capital intensive project.

Mobereola said that the project, aimed to find a sustainable solution to the problem of transport in Lagos, needs very robust financial and technical support and very good institution to drive it.

He said that the visit was to showcase their plans to London investors and woo them to the project.

"The gain here today is that the British government has indicated that they are willing to support us and that is good for us," Mobereola said.

Uniben Raises Students' Hope to Renovate Hostels

Published in Infrastructure
Saturday, 10 October 2015 00:00

THE Vice Chancellor of University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Faraday Orumwense and his principal officers recently went round the university's hostels in a bid to tackle any difficulties students might be facing. Getting to Akanu Ibiam Halls of resident (a.k.a Hall 4), the team decried the state of the facility and promised to put things in order.

The visit, Campusnews gathered was scheduled sequel to plans to carry out a massive renovation exercise on the school's hostels during the holidays.

The Public Relations officer, Mr. Michael Osayuki, disclosed that he gets calls from students and through the Student's Union Government (SUG), complaining about the state of the facilities in the hostels and that the university plans to renovate all the facilities during the holidays.

"Apart from learning facilities, there are other things to put in place. The hostels are among such facilities," he said.

In a related development, Mr. Osayuki decried the lack of maintenance culture among students and Nigerians in general. He disclosed that students do not treat the school's facilities as their personal property, adding that they misuse and destroy them without remorse.

I can attest to the fact that this hostel isn't conducive, but I don't stay in the hostels, students are the ones who stay there. They have to keep their hostel clean always. Use the bathroom appropriately, place dirt in the waste bin and also, use the sporting equipment properly. It is not about changing the facilities, but the ability to maintain them when new ones are installed, he said.

However, the Vice Chancellor has directed the Director of Works, to ensure quick and efficient renovation of all the facilities. He also said when the ongoing construction of hostels in the Site B of the university is completed; it would help decongest the hostels.


Source: The Guardian

Aviation Experts Caution States On Airport Projects

Published in Critique
Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:00

NO fewer than four state governments have unveiled plans to build airports in their respective states. The latest with such plan is Ekiti State. Besides Ekiti, Bayelsa, Abia, Osun and Ogun states are at various stages in their plans to build an airport each.

By the time the airports are completed, they would have spent close to N150b on the projects that may not be different from the ones in Delta, Akwa Ibom and Imo states, which are presently not viable. The airports in these areas have not significantly improved the economies of the states, because of little traffic.

Many of the state owned airports have become liabilities to the aviation agencies, even when they do not have direct impact on the people.

There are fears also that the ongoing Bayelsa airport project may go the way of Jigawa airport. The state governor is said to be shopping for N40b loan facilities from commercial banks for the project.

Stakeholders also expressed fears over the planned Ekiti airport. They said even Akure airport, that is not too far away has been dormant for many years. They are afraid it might be another waste of public fund to build an airport in that zone.

They have therefore called on state governments to carry out project feasibility studies to determine the viability of airports in their states before venturing into such. They argued that airports should be built for commercial reasons and not for political consideration.

Presently, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) manages 22 airports nationwide. Of the 22, only Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano International Airports are said to be commercially viable. Others can hardly sustain their operational costs.

The Dutse airport, built by Jigawa State government, took a whooping N15.5b from the state's loan purse. But the airport, which was commissioned last October is yet to attract scheduled domestic flights, except for charter operations and during airlifting of pilgrims for Hajj.

Aviation and Security Consultant, John Ojikutu said what is needed now is the establishment of specialised airports, adding that states could collaborate to establish airports based on their comparative advantages.

According to him, it will not be economical to have another airport in the South West as Akure and Ibadan airports have been "dormant" for a long time.

According to him, only two out of 25 airports in the country are viable, adding that government could adopt the privatisation strategy for other airports to make them viable.

"We have about 25 airports in the country; seven of them are owned by state governments. But these airports cannot boast of more than 500,000 passengers each year."

Ojikutu, also a retired Group Captain, said total air traffic in Nigeria is about 14 million, adding that Lagos and Abuja alone control about 10m, while the remaining passengers of four million traffic is shared among other airports.

Condemning the move to establish more airports in the country, particularly by states, Ojikutu said all the existing state government airports cannot airlift 20,000 passenger to any destination within the country in a year.

"You need money for landing and parking. You need money to pay for services and salaries. So, why building airports that will not be viable? Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency of Nigeria (NAMA) are using money they generated from the two viable airports in Lagos and Abuja to sustain other airports. The unviable airports cannot even pay their workers.

To build an airport, he said traffic and money must be available, adding that apart from Lagos and Abuja, there is no airport that is viable to sustain itself.

"You need money for landing and parking. You need money to pay for services and salaries. So, why building airports that will not be viable? Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency of Nigeria (NAMA) are using money they generated from the two viable airports in Lagos and Abuja to sustain other airports. The unviable airports cannot even pay their workers. FAAN is managing the airports in terms of security and NAMA is also helping them. They take money made in Lagos and Abuja airports to run these airports that are not viable."

Continuing, he said there is need to privatise the airports to make them viable.

It is easy to build an airport, but it is another thing to maintain them. It is even a different thing to build them to national and international standard. The existing airports are being run by FAAN and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) cannot certify many of them because they were not built to the required national standard. There are over 15 dormant airports in the country. They have less than 100,000 passengers in a year. Abuja and Lagos airports generate 10 million passenger traffic yearly, while the remaining four million passenger traffic is shared by other airlines every year.

The ones owned by the states have only 20,000 passengers in a year. Obudu and Osubi airports have traffic. They have more traffic in terms of passengers, aircraft landing and take-off than many of the federal airports, so when states say they want to build airport, how many passengers will their airports generate? Well, they can become viable by selling low flight tickets and see if they can attract the required passengers to the areas."

On what it would take to build an airport and how long it could take to complete an airport, he said the size and the duration for putting the facility in place would depend on the type of aircraft that will be visiting the airport.

"This depends on the airport you want to build. It also depends on the contractor. But to build a standard airport, it should not take more than 24 months. Once you have the runway, the parking area, the Tower and perimeter security fence, planes are good to land and take off. The type of aircraft that will patronise the airport will determine the kind of airport to be built. The runway in Obudu for instance, cannot accommodate a Boeing 767 aircraft, so is Warri airport."

On the source of financing for airports, Ojikutu said the major source of financing for Aviation sector is NEXIM bank, adding that it would be nice if Nigerian banks could complement the Export, Import bank.

He advised state governments to look at their area of comparative advantage and plan their airport project in line for their airport to be viable.

"The state governments should look for technical partners, who are willing to invest in Aviation. They have to do a lot of business plan to know if their airport project will be viable. The states that are neighbours too should come together to have a joint project. Osun and Oyo can partner to buy Ibadan airport and turn it into agricultural cargo airport. Ondo and Ekiti that are near can do the same and buy Akure Airport and turn it into international agricultural airport. Lagos and Ogun can develop another agric airport. So all the intentions for states to have their own airport is all about ego, political consideration, not for commercial purpose.

Airport location is done considering a lot of factors. Is it going to be a commercial airport? What would be the benefits? Is it for tomorrow? Is the place industrialised? Is it for the export of agric products? You must name the business reasons for building an airport, which should ordinarily be built, where there is big movement of people or where it is capable of attracting people. People that travel to Ekiti do so by road," he said.

The Managing Director of IRS, Captain Yemi Dada said availability of capital and good location are the major determinants of localisation of an airport, while the size could be determined by the promoters' intention.

"If you have money and a good location, you can build an airport, but the size of the airport depends on what you want to build. You can build a moderate airport with basic navigational infrastructure. The time it will take to complete the airport depends on the contractor handling the project. Airport is under the exclusive list of the Federal Government. It requires the permission of the Federal Government. There are several processes; it involves environmental impact assessment, feasibility studies to get approval. So in all, it could take between two and three years to come up with a functional years to come up with a functional airport," he said.

Like Ojikutu Dada said, airports are built to bring air transport service to a particular locality. But he was quick to ask, is that airport needed in that area? If the strategy of a state is to encourage tourism, fine A larger demand for air services, is a natural requirement for an airport. You can create the demand for this service by making it a specialized airport. It can be for agricultural purpose. One of the big challenges we have now is to set our priorities right. Looking at states as they are today, it is a misplaced priority to want to build an airport. Maybe they want to have it as a long-term project.

Ekiti is not far from Akure airport. It is just a 30 minutes drive in distance. Unless Ekiti State has other reasons for the airport, which I don't know. There are so many airports in the country that are not viable. So Ekiti State government should focus its attention on other things rather than airport. The proliferation of airports is one of the challenges FAAN is facing today. The airports that are doing well, like Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Port Harcourt should be privatized to be able to sustain the others and stimulate traffic in their direction," he said.

The Corporate Affairs Manager of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Mr. Yakubu Dati, said airports in Nigeria are located for reasons beyond economic factors. He said localisation of airports should be seen from other social factors other than from "balance sheet."

He described airports as necessary economic drivers as they could be used to stimulate development of a community and for employment generation.

"Airports are windows of any community in a country. They are inevitable for a community that wants to be connected to other communities within and outside a country, and this is more important than profit and loss. It will generate employment where they are located, there will be emergence of other social services anywhere they are located," he said.

Although, he argued that there is need for cargo and human traffic to sustain an airport, Dati said since it has an advantage of opening up an areas for development, create hundreds of jobs locally, the considerations for the location will be beyond the balance sheet of the airport because once an airline begins to patronise an airport, other airlines will be attracted to the place.

"The impact and contribution of airlines to the development of a society is very important," he said.


Source: The Guardian

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