Bank Of England Will Soon Update Insurers, Banks On Latest Brexit Approach

Bank Of England Will Soon Update Insurers, Banks On Latest Brexit Approach

The Bank of England said it would update banks and insurers next week on its approach to Brexit given that Britain and the European Union have now adopted a transition agreement.

“The Bank of England welcomes the conclusion of the EU Council that there should be a transition period following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU,” a Bank of England spokesman said on Friday.
“In light of the conclusions of the EU Council, we will provide an update on our regulatory approach to preparations for the EU withdrawal next week.”

The Financial Conduct Authority of Great Britain also said that it welcomed the agreement, but did not mention the updating of the companies it regulates.

Banks and insurers operating in Britain are making changes, such as the opening or expansion of centers in the EU, to ensure that they can still serve customers of the block after Brexit next March.

EU financial firms operating in London are also waiting to see if they can continue as branches or have to become subsidiaries, an expensive company.

“Companies do not want to take unnecessary and costly steps to prepare for a result that may never materialize,” said Miles Celic, executive director of TheCityUK lobby.

“The regulators, guided by a strong political agreement, should give companies time to wait and see what the final agreement will be like before they have to take additional contingency measures.”
European regulators, however, have so far remained silent about whether reassuring banks is a regular business during the transition period, which means they do not have to rush Brexit’s plans.

The European Central Bank, which regulates the main lenders in the euro area, repeatedly urged British banks to accelerate license applications for EU centers to avoid being stuck in a bottleneck before the Day of the European Union. Brexit

EU leaders on Friday approved a “stalled” transition period until 2020, but some European regulators have noted that it will not be ratified until much later in the year as part of a broader withdrawal agreement, which could be derailed by other issues such as Britain’s future border relations with Ireland.

The financial sector wants regulators in Britain and the EU to say they do not have to fully implement Brexit plans by next March and that derivatives and cross-border insurance contracts remain valid.

“It will now be important to have clarity from the regulators regarding their expectations in light of the agreed transition period,” Simon Lewis, executive director of AFME, a body in the European banking industry.

Chris Cummings, executive director of the Investment Association of Great Britain, which represents asset managers, wants regulators to clarify how they will interpret the political agreement on the transition.

“This means holding substantive discussions on regulatory cooperation agreements so that companies know they can continue to serve savers and investors across Europe through Brexit and beyond,” Cummings said.

Lewis, of AFME, said that the current draft of the withdrawal agreement does not address the continuity of cross-border contracts, access to market infrastructure, such as clearing houses, nor guarantees the flow of data between Britain and the EU.

Germany’s Tourism Board Accepts Bitcoin Payments

Germany’s Tourism Board Accepts Bitcoin Payments

The German National Tourism Board has announced that it accepts secrets like Bitcoin for its services. This organization promotes German travel destinations with offices in 32 countries around the world. GNTB also intends to implement the blockchain technology in its financing. “We want to be the driver of global innovation in the tourism industry,” the chairman recently said.
Accept Bitcoin to promote innovation
Services provided by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) can now be paid by cryptocurrency. According to a press release, the organization promotes Germany as a travel destination that accepts bitcoin payments from March this year. It also announced a “mid-term” plan to test the blockchain technology in dealing with international financial transactions.
In our digitization strategy, we continually test the latest technologies and review their applications in our organization, “said GNTB President Petra Hedorfer. By accepting the secret as a means of payment and with the implementation of preventive technology in our finance, we want to position ourselves as an engine of innovation in the travel industry.

Blockchain technology provides an “interesting perspective” regarding the speed, transparency and safety of remittances, the Commission noted. Notice recognizes the “potential for enormous improvements and savings” in international transactions.

Promote the Bundesrepublik
Over the past six decades, the German National Tourist Board has been working to promote international travel opportunities in the Federal Republic. It constantly develops new marketing strategies and concepts based on specific topics, events and attractions. They are made under the brand “Germany Germany” has been introduced in many markets around the globe.

GNTB said it is actively involved in efforts to optimize the marketing activities of its partners – German travel companies, trade associations and trade. It is also engaged in sales activities in emerging and developing markets to increase the number of tourists and increase foreign exchange earnings.
The council is trying to make Germany a diversified and attractive tourist destination but also consolidates its profile as a location for business. To achieve that, it offers a range of cooperation services with German businesses – from transportation and accommodation, to shopping opportunities and tourist attractions.

The German National Tourism Board was established by the Bundestag. It represents the country on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy. GNTB is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main and maintains offices in 32 countries around the world.

Leading in adoption
The authorities in the major European economy have taken a relatively soft approach to secrets. Recently, the German Federal Ministry of Finance has announced that bitcoin should not be taxed as a replacement and used as a means of payment. The notice of clarification recognizes that the most common cipher is currency. Bafin, the German financial regulator, advised investors on the initial offering to mention regulations applicable to traditional financial instruments and compliance requirements. present.

Such decisions have facilitated the adoption of bitcoin in water. Last year Germany’s largest food portal, Lieferando.de, has announced it has begun accepting bitcoin payments, according to Bitcoin.com. The company is owned by Takeaway.com BV which operates many online delivery services throughout Europe. This month, German media reported that Lieferando’s customers could now pay for bitcoin.

Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes

Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes

 The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has studied how to develop guidelines for the recent taxation of cryptokurrencies. This week, the ATO is seeking input from Australian residents regarding how the country should tax its digital assets.
The Australian Taxation Office is seeking public comments regarding the tax implications of Cryptocurrency
Over the past few months, the ATO has been drafting tax guidelines for secret terms such as bitcoin. The Australian tax authorities have described how they want citizens to record all their digital asset transactions and record the amount of Australian dollars at the time of each transaction. ATO’s “Input Requirements” describes in detail its recently defined descriptions “which raised questions from the public about how to approach specific tax events.” To address these requests, the ATO requests a public comment on the tax code.

ATO explained, “We have launched a community consultation to help us understand practical issues when performing tax cryptocurrency obligations.

We have calculated the time for this consultation to coincide with an update to our site, which should address some of the feedback we have received so far about the privacy guidelines. Our code.

Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes

Community feedback should be sent on April 20
The Australian Taxation Authority is seeking public input regarding Cryptocurrency taxes. Recent letters following the ATO create a special force specifically for tracking and identifying transactions. cryptocurrency. In addition, the tax office has cooperated with the Australian Center for Analysis and Transaction Reporting (Austrac) along with other government offices. At the time of ATO the agency’s strategy details were meant for people to understand the “tax implications of cryptocurrency arrangements.”

This week, ATO’s letter explained that it wanted to hear from the public.

“We look forward to receiving your feedback on the cryptocurrency issue and its tax implications as technology can affect future business operations,” the agency added.

Australian citizens who wish to participate in public feedback can do so until April 20, 2018. Those who wish to comment can access the ATO consultation. proof of the death penalty tax web site.

Hanover Insurance Weighs Selling London Specialty Unit Chaucer

Hanover Insurance Weighs Selling London Specialty Unit Chaucer

Hanover Insurance Group is considering selling its international professional insurer, Chaucer, in London.

Worcester, Mass. issued a statement confirming that “strategic options are under review, including the sale” to Chaucer.
Chaucer’s segments include international business written in Lloyd’s, including maritime and aviation, and real estate.

Hanover acquired Chaucer in 2011 with a $ 474 million deal during that time – CEO Frederick Eppinger.

“The combination of our companies is a milestone in our journey to building a world-class commercial and real estate organization and to significantly enhance our professionalism. “Eppinger said at the time.

The company has retained Goldman Sachs & Co., LLC. to serve as its mentor through the process.

In 2017, Chaucer reported writing premiums of $ 850 million compared to $ 816 million by 2016. Operating income in 2017 dropped to $ 7.1 million in 2017 compared with $ 127 million 2016. The combined 2017 is 105.3, including disasters after 90.4 in 2016. Disaster exclusion, the combined rate in 2017 is 89.9 versus 89.4 in 2016.

This move occurs when Chaucer is expanding.

Last December, Chaucer sponsored the creation of a reinsurance concrete car company that would provide the ability to secure the Chaucer Syndicate 1084 global reinsurance contract by 2018.

Last July, Chaucer acquired SLE Holdings, a joint venture underwriter of Lloyd’s in Sydney, Australia, guaranteeing the sports, entertainment and entertainment markets.

Last June, Chaucer set up a company in Dublin to write the international professional insurance business.

The new strategy is being pursued under the current CEO and president, John Roche, who held the leadership position last November, succeeds Joseph M. Zubretsky, who resigned to take charge. Molina’s location.

Roche has served in the company’s executive leadership team since 2008. He has more than 30 years of experience in the asset and casualty insurance industry.

Increase Your Tax Savings With These Tips

Increase Your Tax Savings With These Tips

If you expect to cut your tax bill and save some savings, be sure to act quickly.

Taxpayers have until April 17 to send their statements and pay Uncle Sam. The IRS predicts that it will receive more than 155 million benefits this year. More than 7 out of 10 taxpayers are expected to collect refunds this year, according to the agency.

If you are suspending the submission of your return, here is an incentive to get going: you only have a few weeks to implement these tax saving tactics.”Strategies to reduce your tax bill for 2017 revolve around claiming all the deductions and tax credits you legally deserve,” said certified public accountant Debbie J. Freeman, director of financial planning at Peak Financial Advisors in Denver.
“Focus your attention on three separate elements: deductions for adjusted gross income, tax credits and itemized deductions,” he said.

Here are some savings opportunities that deserve another look, according to Freeman.

Over the line
These breaks are better because they are accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they are detailed or not.

Health Savings Account: If eligible, make a tax deductible contribution to your HSA before April 17th. HSAs have a triple tax benefit: contributions are tax deductible or pre-tax, savings increase without taxes and users can make tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical costs. You can save up to $ 6,750 on this account if your family is covered by a high deductible health plan. Contribution limits for personal-only coverage are limited to $ 3,400.

IRA: You can save up to $ 5,500 per year in your IRA ($ 6,500 if you have more than 50) and get a deduction, as long as you meet certain income requirements. Single respondents with a modified adjusted gross income of up to $ 62,000 ($ 99,000 for joint filing) can deduct up to the amount of their contribution limit. Beyond those thresholds, taxpayers with a MAGI of up to $ 72,000 if they are single ($ 119,000 if married) can collect a partial deduction.

IRA SEP: Save up to $ 54,000 in your SEP IRA if you have your own business. Keep in mind that the amount you can deduct for your own SEP IRA contribution will vary based on your net earnings. You have until April 17 and October 15 if you present an extension, to make a contribution and count it for 2017.

Insurance premiums: if you are an entrepreneur, you may be eligible to deduct premiums for dental and health insurance coverage. This is known as the deduction of health insurance on your own.

Student Loan Deduction: If you paid at least $ 600 in interest for a qualified student loan, you may be eligible to deduct up to $ 2,500. Keep in mind that this break is subject to limits: it begins to be phased out for single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income of more than $ 65,000 ($ 135,000 for married filing a joint return).

Moving expenses: If you moved, you may be able to deduct these expenses, as long as you pass a three-part test.

  • Your movement must be related to the beginning of the work.
  • Your new workplace should be at least 50 miles away from your previous home compared to the distance between your old job and your previous home.
  • Finally, if you are an employee, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after your arrival. Individuals who are self-employed must meet this test of time, and must work full-time for at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months after arriving at their new location.

Credits
Costs of child and dependent care: This break is designed to help parents who work with child care costs. This credit can be worth up to $ 1,050 for a child under 13 years old or $ 2,100 for two children under 13 years old. You will need your provider’s tax identification number and other information in order to obtain this credit.

Saver Credit: If you hid up to $ 2,000 in an IRA or a 401 (k), you can receive a credit of up to 50 percent of your contribution. Joint respondents with adjusted gross income of more than $ 62,000 can not take this break, nor can individual respondents whose AGI exceeds $ 31,000. You have until April 17 to make a contribution and tell it for 2017.

Education Credits: If you have a child in college, consider the US Opportunity Tax Credit, which offers a maximum annual credit of $ 2,500 per eligible student. There is also a Lifetime Learning Credit of up to $ 2,000 per tax return. There is also the deduction for qualified tuition costs, which Congress revived for 2017: you may be able to deduct fees, books and supplies for your studies up to $ 4,000.

Deductions by article
Charity: probably remember to make a large donation of cash or appreciated stock, but do not forget to count your items other than cash. Goodwill and the Salvation Army offer guides that will help you assess the donated assets. Donors also tend to overlook the miles they drove to serve charities: when calculating your deduction, consider the rate of 14 cents per mile.

Doctor: collect your receipts, including information about long-term care insurance premiums paid. You may be able to deduct medical costs to the extent that they exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. “Do not forget about the medical miles handled,” Freeman said. “You will need documentation of that.”
New Home: You already know that mortgage and mortgage interest premiums are deductible. If you bought a house in 2017, bring your closing statements when you meet with your accountant, Freeman said. You may be able to deduct mortgage points or prepaid interest, in addition to origination fees.

Last call for miscellaneous itemized deductions: this is the last year in which you can deduct items such as tax preparation fees, investment management fees and expenses of unreimbursed employees.

The Tax and Employment Reduction Act annulled these tax exemptions, beginning in 2018. “If you think you can reach the limit to detail, take everything you are legally allowed to take because you are going to leave,” Freeman said.

Stanbic IBTC, Adeosun raise hopes on economy, FDI inflows

From the Stanbi IBTC Holdings and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, came a reassurance that the nation’s economy would continue to witness growth, resurgence in revenue and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) inflow from now on.

The assurance was riding on the bank’s restated commitment to exploiting its international connections to ensure an increased flow of foreign capital into the economy, while the Federal Government’s policy drive and full implementation would serve as attraction for investors both local and international.

The Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Yinka Sanni, made the pledge in Lagos, at the weekend, during the 2017 Standard Bank West to East Africa Investors’ Conference.

The four-day conference, themed: “Delivering on the Promise of Growth, the How and When,” started off with Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Bank officials leading a delegation of investors on a visit to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Nigerian Communications Commission, and other key stakeholders and policymakers in Abuja.

The Lagos gathering, which included a presentation by a representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), brought together foreign investors, policymakers, regulators, government officials, private sector players, and thought leaders to engage and explore growth potential and opportunities in Nigeria.

Sanni, while welcoming participants, said the conference was an opportunity to showcase the investment potential in the country to foreign investors, as well as provide a platform where participants can network and engage with key policymakers and business leaders in Nigeria.

According to Sanni, the bank is particularly pleased to note that there have been movements in key sectors in terms of investment activities, and expressed the hope for further growth in inflow of the much needed capital from foreign investors into the economy.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said there is a huge opportunity for growth and that government is determined to boost revenue generation to deliver on its growth promises.

She said Nigeria is not an oil-based economy like the Middle East oil giants like Saudi Arabia, Iran, or UAE, and that to achieve the desired growth, it is imperative for the country to accept this and then properly benchmark its progress with similar economies like Argentina, and other non-oil based economies.

According to her, government had also adopted a project-based approach to development in key sectors, and is therefore, focused on growth drivers, driving non-oil revenue growth through appropriate taxation, fiscal discipline, and structural reforms in soft infrastructure such as enhancing the ease of doing business.

The Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC, Dr. Demola Sogunle, expressed confidence that the bank through its regular engagements with local and foreign investors, via the conference and other initiatives, would continue to lead in attracting capital inflows into the economy.

Citing a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics, Stanbic IBTC facilitated a staggering $589.84million capital inflow into the country in Q2 2017, ranking it first among financial institutions that imported capital into Nigeria.

BREAKING!! Nigeria earns N362.43bn from crude oil export in July

Nigeria’s crude oil earning increased from the N253.02billion in June, to N362.43billion in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). This comes as stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have underscored the drawbacks of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), saying that the bill failed to address some critical issues in the oil sector.

The fiscal statistics on government revenue and expenditure for July 2017, released on Wednesday, reflected that crude oil sales accounted for the larger chunk of the oil revenue, as N188.15billion was generated from crude oil sales, while gas sales generated N29.69billion.

The agency said the least oil revenue came from rent, and gas flared penalty with N0.044billion and N0.184 billion respectively.The report said non-oil revenue came from Excise and Fees, import duty, and other Customs and Companies Income Tax, and Other Taxes with N54billion, and N284.85billion generated respectively as gross non-oil revenue amounted to N338.85billion.

NBS put the gross revenue for the month at N701.85billion, while Net Federation Account Revenue after All Deductions Distributable was N521.82billion.
Petroleum stakeholders, including the Managing Director, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited, Tunde Folawiyo; CEO, Wema Bank Plc, Segun Oloketuyi; legal luminary and Lead Partner, Legal Advisory Partnership, Anthony Idigbe; and President, Business School, Netherlands, Lere Baale, believe the bill offered opportunities for prosperity to all participants in the industry.

Speaking at a Breakfast Lecture entitled, “Petroleum Industry Bill: Challenges and Opportunities,” organised by the Island Club, Onikan, Folawiyo, said: “When the BPE holds 49 per cent of an asset, we all know what that means. It means we are preparing for another public ownership. BPE is not set up to own assets; it was set up to privatise public assets.”

According to Folawiyo, there is “nothing in the proposal that provided for reducing gas flaring, which is one of the major challenges the country is facing. It will not also be subject to procurement Act. This appears counterproductive. Accountability and transparency will suffer for this.

“No provision about ownership of pipelines, depots, and other assets of government. Nothing is also mentioned in terms of pricing mechanism for downstream sub-sector.”He however added that opportunities abound in the bill, which is a great start for Nigeria’s oil sector.

Olaketuyi, represented by Head, Energy Desk of Wema Bank, Segun Oderinde, said: “PIB is to ensure that producers must key their supply obligations on gas. This is an opportunity because over 28 per cent of the Banking sector loans portfolio was devoted to the oil and gas sector,” he said.

Baale on his part urged Nigerians to “not only be excited by the level of progress being made on the bill, but also look for opportunities that the bill comes up with.”The Island Club Chairman, Banji Oladapo, disclosed that members were already working round-the-clock to take full advantage of the opportunities inherent in the PIGB.

Idigbe, who delivered the theme of the lecture, said the PIGB has obvious drawbacks, saying: “Presently, only the first fragment of the PIB has been passed by the Senate, i.e. the PIGB. It must be observed that the PIGB only deals with the one aspect of the PIB, which is the governance and institutional framework of the Nigerian Petroleum industry. As such, it would not deliver the full benefits of the intended reforms except if the other aspects of the PIB such as the Petroleum Host Community Fund, and Petroleum Fiscal Regime, were also passed into law.

“For instance, we know that one of the major challenges facing the Nigerian petroleum industry is host community and Niger Delta issues. Until the recent peace diplomacy to the oil region by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, the militant attacks in the Niger Delta led to significant amounts of shut-in production at onshore and shallow offshore fields and frequent declaration of force majeure by oil and gas companies in Nigeria,” he said.

These he continued led to drastic decline in revenue projections, and crude oil barrels in 2016, thereby worsening Nigeria’s economic crisis and pushing the country deeper into recession, exchange rate crisis, and stagflation. “Therefore, it is important that any legislation to address the challenges in the Nigerian oil and gas industry must make provisions on how to effectively address the Petroleum Host Community issues,” he said.

1,300 African Entrepreneurs from 54 countries was host by Elumelu Foundation

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy, on Friday announced plan to host 1,300 African Entrepreneurs, Business leaders and Policymakers from 54 countries in Lagos.

Mrs Parminder Obe, the TEF’s Chief Executive Officer, who made this known at a briefing in Lagos, said the 3rd Annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum was slated for Oct. 13.

She said the 2017 invitation had been extended beyond the usual 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs to include selected SMEs, media, hubs, incubators, academia and investors from across Africa.

“Assembled SMEs will build networks, share knowledge, connect with investors and link with corporate supply chains.

“Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and committing $100 million to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade, we have unleashed our continent’s most potent development force, its entrepreneurs.

“In just three years, our first 3,000 entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth.

“On Oct. 13 and 14, the global entrepreneurship community will gather in Lagos to build a New Africa, a thriving, self-reliant continent capable of replicating the results of our ground-breaking programme.

“The two-day forum will feature plenary panels, master classes, sector specific networking opportunities and policy-led forums focused on enabling African business growth.

“This is the first year we have opened the forum up to include the full pan-African entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“In doing so, we are enabling African SME communities to come together and expand the possibilities for intra-African partnerships.

“I am looking forward to welcoming our invited policy-makers and investors to join us at the forum, as we empower the next generation of African business leaders,’’ she said.

Also speaking, Mrs Owen Omogiafo, the TEF’s Chief Operating Officer, said speakers at the forum would include Wale Ayeni of International Finance Corporation, Stephen Kauma, Afrexim Bank and Andre Hue, African Development Bank.

“Others are Stephen M. Haykin, USAID Nigeria, Heikke Reugger, European Investment Bank and Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, United Nations Development Programme,’’ she said.

Omogiafo said TEF’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs was emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africa Capitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, as catalysts for social and economic development.

She said the foundation, which was founded in 2010 by Tony Elumelu, was aimed at empowering a generation of successful pro-profit entrepreneurs who drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.

According to her, the foundation received 20,000 applications in 2015 from residents of 53 African countries out of which 1,000 applicants were selected, with Nigeria contributing 64 per cent.

“In 2016, 45,000 applications were received with Nigeria contributing 30 per cent with 1000 selected applicants.

“Agriculture leads the sectors represented with 26.67 per cent: a great number are into poultry and fish farming.

“Fashion and ICT followed in second and third with 10 and 8.8 per cent respectively.

“This year, we received 93,246 applications out of which 1,300 applicants had been selected in 52 African countries with 57.1 per cent from Nigeria for the forum.

“Entrepreneurs are coming from Kenya. Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana and Cote d’Ivoire,’’ she said.

Experts, others urge new policies for affordable housing at World Habitat Day

Faced with the grim reality of a world in which up to one-sixth, of humanity- or some one billion people – exist without adequate shelter and basic services, governments around the globe are today pausing to marshall forces against the growing plague called homelessness.

Nigerians live in an age where the world’s population will have grown to over seven billion and where more than half of them live in towns and cities. Projections indicate that this will increase to two-thirds in just over a generation from now. Experts predict that by the year 2050, global population will have increase by 50 per cent.

Every year the United Nations celebrates World Habitat Day on the first Monday of October, marking the official start of Urban October: a month of celebrations and citizens’ engagement in the urban life worldwide. The theme dwells on ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.’

The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

For 2017, the World Habitat Day focuses on promoting all levels of government and all relevant stakeholders to reflect on how to implement concrete initiatives to ensure adequate and affordable housing in the context of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda at all levels, as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Essentially, this year’s celebrations are quite special as they coincide with the first anniversary of the New Urban Agenda adopted in Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador. The New Urban Agenda enshrines a new vision of urbanization as an indispensable engine for development and a prerequisite for prosperity and growth, according to Dr. Joan Clos, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Executive Director of UN-HABITAT.

The United Nations wants governments to urgently address the crucial aspect of housing affordability. An analysis of housing affordability over the last 20 years reveals that despite increasing demand, housing –and rental housing- has been largely unaffordable for the majority of the world population.
Handing over housing to the market has proved a failure in providing affordable and adequate housing for all. Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing, of which 1 billion live in slums and informal settlements. And while millions of people lack suitable homes, the stock of vacant houses is gradually increasing.

Clos said: “As we strive to create cities for all, an urgent action for achieving affordable homes requires a global commitment to effective and inclusive housing policies. Ensuring housing affordability is therefore a complex issue of strategic importance for development, social peace and equality.

“Addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, youth and those who live in slums must be a priority in the development agendas. Promoting sound housing policies is also crucial for climate change, resilience, mobility and energy consumption.”

He stated that for housing to contribute to national socio-economic development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda calls for placing housing policies at the centre of national urban policies along with strategies to fight poverty, improve health and employment.

A past president, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Emeka Eleh urged the government to provide enabling environment for the sector.

Eleh believes that the private sector should be left with construction and delivery of houses while the government makes the regulations.
Another estate surveyor, Mr. Pastor Stephen Jagun said that “ there is need for the government to be focused on people oriented programmes and focus on providing basic infrastructure.

Quantity surveyors pledge effective regulation

The Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has promised to put in place effective regulatory framework to ensure professionalism and effective service delivery.

Speaking at the Third Research Conference (RECON), themed ‘Confluence of Research, Theory and Practice in the Built environment’ held in Bauchi, the National President, Mercy Iyortyer, said that the conference is aimed at undertaking research into project development cycle and making such information available to its members.

She said that the research conference, which began in 2013, is also aimed at stimulating debates and discussions between researchers and practitioners as well as a basis for new areas of research in Quantity Survey and the construction industry.

“This conference will provide an avenue for the academia to interact with the practitioners. It will enhance capacity development for both groups. It will also provide sufficient opportunities for our members especially those in the academia to present papers. Together we can seek for ways to adopt the findings of research as means of growing the profession and promoting our influence, “she said.

Abba Bello Ingawa noted while delivering a paper titled ‘Exploring Current and Future Roles of Quantity Surveyors In Nigerian Construction: Significance Of Education, Training And Research, that there is need for constant innovation and Research by quantity surveyors for them to be relevant, the traditional quantity surveyor lags behind the current and future anticipated needs of practicing Quantity Surveyors  ‎for them to be at the frontier of the knowledge required to improve business opportunities and services offered to clients of the built environment.

He however informed that a modern Quantity Surveyor provides an alternative through provision of better Cost and value management and project management and other services.

In reality, the Quantity Surveyor uses his technical function to create tools such as cost plans, bills of quantities, cost control models, life cycle costing etc, “he said