- ‘CBN’s Forex Policy Killing Construction’
Except urgent measures are taken to encourage the use of local building materials, the construction industry will remain in doldrums, stakeholders have said.
They spoke at the ninth Annual Distinguished Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Lagos Chapter.
At the lecture themed: “Foreign exchange problems, prospects and solutions in Nigeria: Construction industry perspective,” participants called for the use of local building materials.
The guest lecturer, Henry Boyo, in his presentation, titled: “For the successful resolution of oppressive contradictions in Nigeria’s economy”, said: “It is appalling that the country has become so poor, despite her abundant human and material resources.”
He said the distress in the economy, based on available evidence, is a function of “too much money supply,” of the naira, and foreign currencies.
Boyo said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) failure to manage an “irrepressibly” surplus naira supply has continued to stimulate a higher inflation rate for several years. This, he explained, has serious consequences on the purchasing power of the persons whose incomes are in naira.
He emphasised that the naira and the economy would remain stagnant as long as the CBN persistently auctions the dollar against the naira in a market that is suffocated by excess naira supply, created by the apex bank’s unilateral substitution of naira allocations for distributable dollar-denominated revenue.
“Thus, CBN’s forex interventions are, in fact, deliberate and a suicidal approach to gradually kill the naira, since the CBN would consciously sell its dollar stock for higher naira bids in such auctions. In this situation, the banks flourish, while the rest of the economy wrestles with deepening poverty,” Boyo said.
The Lagos NIQS Chairman, Mr. Bamidele Mafimidiwo, agrees with Boyo on the effect of foreign exchange (forex) on the industry.
He explained that the lingering forex problems had caused a huge disruption to businesses in the sector, a situation that has been compounded by the recession. This has grounded new construction projects, leaving builders and suppliers in difficult financial positions, he added.
To transform the economy and boost industrial activity, Mafimidiwo said there was the need to restructure the monetary framework.
“Construction, housing, infrastructure, manufacturing, mortgage and other business activities of tangible output represent the construction industry and today’s forum is to provide a platform to x-ray the industry vis-a-vis the meltdown effects and chart a way forward for the sector,” he said.
Yet, other stakeholders are convinced that the use of local materials for construction projects is the easiest way out of the scathing effect of forex on the sector. This position was shared by a former President of NIQS, Mr. Oluwasegun Ajanlekoko. He said with the use of local materials, importation would be reduced to the barest minimum.
“It is about time we stopped using blocks when it comes to affordable housing. We have large reservoir of clay and that is far cheaper, durable and more environment friendly. To solve the problems of exchange rate, we are appealing to CBN to give discretionary interest rates to those in the construction industry,’’ he said.
Similarly, Executive Director, UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDC), Yemi Ejidiran, said the forex challenge affected Grade A and B residential projects. “The government should encourage production of most of our finishing materials locally. We also need to come up with efficient designs, as it is clear that banks are not ready to finance any real estate project,” he said.
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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