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Real estate players move for legal reforms, present innovative projects for investors

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The real estate sector is set for a lift as experts, lawyers and real estate players converged at the Africa Real Estate Summit themed: ‘Building a better Africa: Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Africa for a reform on the industry.

According to the Convener, Africa Real Estate Summit, Mr Onwuka M. Onyeka, The summit is deemed essential for the sector as awareness is risen on the fact that there are several challenges not just in Nigeria but in other parts of Africa over the real estate industry.

He said, ‘it’s almost the same challenge everywhere but especially in west Africa but we want to solve them one after another, that’s why some of the challenges that we identified are what are being talked about. One of them is poor information, people want to run the real estate business without adequate information about real develop into the sector as well as legal experts who can help ensure adequate protection of these investments. They all shared with us how they have been able to solve their problems.

He noted, ‘We invited Cabo Verde resource group all the way from Belgium so that they can come, see and invest in Africa. We still want more investors. You heard what one of the facilitators said, we have vast investment for this sector, therefore it is sacrosanct to have such a platform.

Mr Onyeka expressed that different territories have different policies and challenges as well, saying that of Lagos is different from Ogun state and everywhere across the world. He stressed that his team were in Accra Ghana for the ARE Summit earlier this year and they intend to mobilize into every country across Africa as they have come to the realization that most of the challenges may be similar but peculiar to their regions, such summit is necessary for growth of the real estate market.

The Chairman, IWFM Nigeria and managing partner at TWT, Tunde Obileye, LLB cited the prospects on real estate investment. He stated that real estate has been and will continue to be a huge investment for many. As regards the increase on building permit rate, he explained that the developers have to set their cost well and look at services that justifies the present economic impact.

Mr Tunde also mentioned other stakeholders in the real estate sectors such as interior decorators, paint industries, electrical engineers amongst others. He stated the need for synergy and partnerships in the sector in order to attain a robust economic presence.’This summit is beneficial for an upgrade in the sector’, he added.

In addition, the Chairman lectured on facility maintenance and rated Nigeria’s facility maintenance and management as still below average. He spoke on how facilties managers can implement sustainable practices, also the tedious energy of transportation and mobilization for workers in the country. He encouraged a widespread adoption of hybrid working and submitted that it has created an enormous opportunity to reconsider how we use spaces and resources within the workplace.

Amongst the facilitators was Partner, Bloomgate Solicitors, Barrister Sesi Hundeyin FiciArb who said that the right knowledge of the Industry is key to establishing and expanding it. He enumerated the essence of learning from experts and the importance of keeping the integrity of any firm, mostly when it comes to the real estate business.

Mr Sesi commended players in the sector for their resilience. Examining the problems of land grabbers, he emphasized how it could discourage investors, particularly foreign investors from investing in the real estate market in the country. He urged the government to create platforms where people can access funds from banks at a very reasonable interest rate because developers getting loans with such outrageous interest rate are likely to scare investors off.

Furthermore, he said, ‘The cost and processes of acquiring titles for a land is too expensive. You can imagine trying to earn titles for an acre of land, that will be massive. The government should get more people to perfect title at less sum. Most people are willing to get paper title but it’s too expensive. Let the processes and cost of acquiring titles be reformed. For example, we know it takes up to a year to get a ‘CofO’ so the process can be faster with such reforms.

A senior Associate at Aluko and Oyebode, Osinachi Nwanem FiciArb hinted on his responsibilities as a third party, an intermediary between a client and a developer. He affirmed, ‘Depending on who engages us, we will be sure to give the investor a sense of protection. We follow the concerns of our clients and draft a measure of achieving a win-win for both parties. For real estate development, the need of contractors cannot be overemphasized. People take the risk of not employing the services of contractors because they feel they can work on it without contracts. However, with contractors one can get remedies faster to problems coming up from developers and also get documents to hold on to contracts for effective execution of the contracts.

Osinachi added, ‘There are other countries that are getting it right in this sector, just like UA. Let’s look at what works in other countries and see how we can compile the policies in the sector with our uniqueness for growth and development’, he resolved.

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Nigeria deploys troops for peace keeping in Gambia

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The Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday, announced the deployment of 197 personnel for the peace keeping mission in the Gambia.
The Chief of Operations Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Boniface Sinjen made the announcement in Jaji, Kaduna State, at the graduation of troops of Nigerian Company 9 Economic Community of West African States Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG).
The 197 troops began Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) on May 4, at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji Kaduna State.
According to him, the PDT is in line with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff , Lt -Gen Taoreed Lagbaja and the Armed Forces of Nigeria in deploying quality peacekeepers in support of international peace and security.
He said that the training had equipped them with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge required for peace support operations.
“It  has prepared you for the protection of civilians and the accomplishment of assigned tasks under the ECOMIG mandate.
“You have learned the importance of teamwork, leadership and cultural sensitivity as well as other factors that would ensure your success in the mission area.
“You have been trained in the latest techniques and procedures for maintaining peace and stability in a complex environment and instilled with the values of discipline, respect for human rights and compassion for the people you are going out there to protect.
“Your mission comes at a critical time, as The Gambia faces a period of
uncertainty and instability, “he said.
According to him, the country’s political crisis has affected the lives of many innocent civilians and their presence will sustain the existing peace and stability to the region.
“Your role is crucial in maintaining peace, protecting lives and promoting sustainable development.”
Sinjen  charged  the troops to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights.
He advised them to adhere strictly to the ECOWAS’ mandate, which guides your mission and ensure that your actions align with the principles of peace, stability and human rights.
”Remember that your conduct will not only reflect on yourselves but also on your country, the ECOWAS region and the international community.
”Additionally, your training has exposed you to the culture and religious diversity of The Gambia.
 “You are, therefore, expected to approach all interactions with sensibility and respect. Be mindful of the local customs, traditions and socio-political dynamics of the mission area.
”You must remain vigilant in the face of potential security threats and   avoid any actions that may be perceived as insensitive,” he said.
He said that as peacekeepers in a sovereign nation, they must adhere strictly to the UN principles and guidelines for peacekeeping operations.
 “Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Gambia and avoid any actions that may be perceived as interference in the country’s internal affairs.”
He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria had zero-tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse in line with United Nations’ policies.
”Therefore, any form of sexual exploitation and abuse will be met with severe consequences.
“As ambassadors of the armed Forces of Nigeria and our great nation, you must uphold the esteemed values and enviable image of this country, “Sinjen said.
Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the six weeks training had been intense, comprehensive, and was conducted in line with the Standard UN Core Pre-Deployment Training Modules.
Adedoja said the PDT was to equip the earmarked unit with the requisite skills and knowledge to function effectively and efficiently in their deployment to the Gambia.

He said as  part of their training, the troops were taken through crosscutting issues like Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Conduct and Discipline as well as Protection of Civilians amongst others.

“This graduation is a testament to the capacity and capability of the MLAILPKC as a United Nations accredited Centre to conduct quality training of prospective peacekeepers for deployment to multidimensional Peace Support Operations in fulfillment of her mandate.

“The Centre has within the last six weeks been able to train, retrain and refresh the troops on requisite knowledge and expertise to succeed in a Peace Support Operation environment.

” It is my fervent belief that these men are better informed and equipped to perform their roles in the Gambia, “Adedoja said.

He said the graduation ceremony once more showed the commitment of Nigeria and the Nigerian Armed Forces to global peace and security.

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Tinubu calls for stronger collaboration with FBI to fight cybercrime, terrorism

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President Bola Tinubu has called for stronger collaboration between Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fight against cybercrime, terrorism, and other related crimes. 

The President made the call during a meeting with FBI Director, Christopher Asher Wray, at the State House on Friday in Abuja.

Tinubu described the presence of the FBI Director alongside his team in Nigeria as a recognition of the enduring partnership between Nigeria and the U.S. in the fight against financial crimes and terrorism. 

Security chiefs who attended the meeting included the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

Also in attendance were the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) and Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye.

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede; and the National Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, were also present.

Tinubu said it was an honour for him to receive Wray, the leader of an organisation that had demonstrated consistent procedural sophistication and a reputation for excellence over several years.

“Your visit conveys the importance of Nigeria and Nigerian partnership in the work of America’s law enforcement institutions and vice-versa.

“For us, it is a recognition of what stage we are at, who we are, and the level of interest both countries share in eliminating crimes locally and globally.

“We cannot achieve this important feat of eliminating crimes without collaboration.

“Incidentally, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, Nigeria is also collaborating with other West African countries to fight economic and other related crimes,” the President said.

He told the FBI Director that his administration had prioritised education as a tool against poverty, which was generally believed to be a driver of criminal activities.

“We are working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrimes, sextortion, and I am glad that we have a good number of agencies that are involved in reducing these crimes to the barest minimum, and they are also well represented at this meeting,” said Tinubu.

Noting that no single country could combat financial crimes in isolation, he called on the U.S. to support developing countries with the requisite technology and knowledge transfer required to combat complex international crimes.

In his remarks, Wray said he was in the country to enhance the “outstanding partnership” that existed between the government of Nigeria and the government of the U.S. 

He lauded Tinubu for supporting the growing partnerships between various agencies of government and the FBI in order to protect the citizens of both countries. 

“We appreciate the President’s vision in countering terrorism in the region, which is a dangerous threat, not only to the countries in the region but also to the United States. 

“We appreciate your vision in re-engineering the role of the Office of the NSA to effectively coordinate efforts on counter-terrorism, and this has already started to bear fruits in terms of the success you are recording against ISIS in West Africa and other terrorist groups. 

“We appreciate your support and collaboration on cyber-enabled crimes and sextortion, which has unfortunately resulted in a few tragic deaths in the United States. 

“I want to assure you of our support whether it is on counter-terrorism, cyber-enabled crimes, kidnapping, joint investigations, and intelligence sharing. Our relationship with Nigeria is a very important one,” the FBI Director said. 

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Saudi Weather: NACHON urges pilgrims to avoid direct sunlight

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has advised Nigerian pilgrims to use umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching sun.

The Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen, on Friday in Mina, a valley located eight kilometres South-East of the city of Mecca.

This year’s hajj is taking place in sweltering temperatures that test the endurance of worshipers during the mostly outdoor rituals.

He implored the pilgrims to always seek shade whenever possible to avoid direct sunlight.

Arabi said,” It is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if they do not feel thirsty.

” Pilgrims are also advised to pay close attention to all health advisories and instructions provided by the medical team.

” To limit sun exposure, pilgrims should avoid going outside during peak heat. They should also stay cool by refraining from walking on or touching hot surfaces like rooftops.”

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has issued a heat advisory for the pilgrims in the wake of scorching surface temperatures, which pose a significant health risk.

The ministry highlighted the intense heat in Makkah as a major challenge for hajj, adding that prolonged sun exposure could be dangerous.

On Saturday morning, pilgrims will proceed from Mina to the plain of Arafat for the major ritual of standing.

Spanning approximately 33 square kilometers, Arafat hosts over two million pilgrims each year.

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