Nigeria, with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Nigeria), now has a concrete and implementable draft policy on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). This followed the validation, last week in Keffi, Nasarawa State, of an earlier draft produced by a large group of stakeholders in Abuja in February, this year. Bennett Oghifo reports
The policy document is coming up for the first time. The plan of action was initially developed by stakeholders and it was then subjected to scrutiny by a group of selected experts. It is their submission that was validated at a 2-day workshop in Keffi, Nasarawa State last week. It is all in a bid to have a nationally acceptable and practically workable Plan of Action for implementing the Global framework – the Sendai Framework.
The draft policy, now set for implementation after passing through the processes of becoming a national policy, is based on the Sendai Framework (2015-2030), a global initiative on disaster risk reduction. Sendai Framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognises that the State/nation has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders, including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
It aims for the following outcome: the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.
In February, this year, a draft National Plan of Action was developed at a meeting of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), a nationally owned and led multi-stakeholder forum with special emphasis on Disaster Risk Management. The platform reflects the commitment of the federal government to implement national and local Disaster Risk Management (DRM) activities while linking up to international efforts. The platform was inaugurated on July 13th, 2010 by the then Vice President.
Last week’s painstaking validation work was also organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-Nigeria).
UNDP Nigeria said, “It is expected that the platform will leverage the momentum from the regional platform to articulate a national plan of action, national implementation plan for the Sendai Framework as inputs into the upcoming meeting in Mexico.”
The Keffi 2-day meeting witnessed three documents fine-tuned by a core group of stakeholders, emanating in concrete policy document. NEMA said itdeveloped a number of policy documents, in collaboration with the UNDP, “as part of the 8th country programme of the FGN/UNDP Plan of Action.” To concretise these documents, NEMA with support of UNDP organised the workshop to seek the inputs of stakeholders and validate the document reports accordingly.
The Director General of NEMA, Engineer Mustapha Yinusa Maihaja said, “This workshop is being organised with the purpose of seeking the inputs and observation of relevant stakeholders in order to validate three documents that have been completed and submitted by consultants.”
The validation workshop, he noted was for the following documents: The National Plan of Action on the implementation on Sendai Framework on DRR; Structure and framework for the national Platform on DRR; and A National Policy on Disaster Risk Reduction.
After the validation, he said Nigeria would “have in place validated policy document, implementable action plan and workable structure for the National platform that meet requirements for the implementation of the Sendai framework on Disaster Risk Management.”
He recalled that it was at the third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Held on March 14th – 18th 2015, in Sendai, Japan that the participating countries of the world adopted the Sendai framework for Action which replaced the Hygo Frame work for Action.
The director general said the adoption of the document brought with it challenges that called for all stakeholders in disaster risk reduction in the country to critically examine the document with a view to identifying appropriate implementation strategies. One of such strategies demanded a re-invigoration of the National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the country.
According to Maihaja, who was represented at the meeting, “Nigeria as a country instituted the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2010 as an off shoot of the global platform for disaster risk reduction which was first held in 2007 and the fifth session is scheduled to hold on May 2017 in Mexico. At a similar meeting of African countries, the 6th Session of Africa Regional Platform on Disaster Risk reduction was hosted by the Government of Mauritius on 22nd – 25th November 2016.
“At the national level, following good practices recommended at the last African regional platform, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised the National Platform on DRR at Rockview Hotel (Royale), Abuja from the 21st to 22nd February, 2017. Among the resolutions of the meeting was the need to set up a technical committee to produce a working structure for the National platform. Another resolution was the need to develop a National Programme of Action for the implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030.
“Also, following the requirement of SFA 2015 – 2030, priority 2, on the need for a National policy on DRR to guide the implementation of action plans, the country hired the services of a consultant with support of the UNDP to develop a National Policy on DRR for the Country. The consultant having produced draft policy on DRR is now seeking for the input of relevant stakeholders by way of its validation at this meeting.”
He expressed “gratitude to the UNDP and the entire UN System for their continuous support and most especially for supporting NEMA in organsing this Validation workshop. Our partnership with the UNDP has been very rewarding in every facet of disaster risk management in the country.”
Rental Stability, Forex Volatility and Nigerian Investor
One of the fundamental principles of investment is to never make permanent decisions based on temporary situations. A perfect example is the current economic recession that hit the country, watering down many investment portfolios. Some investors, who do not understand the dynamics of investing in the 21st century, joined the bandwagon of naysayers and hedged their investment on the weakness of the Naira. They have their pockets to blame, and they are now lamenting as the Naira went from 530 to 380 in less than 5 days.
Before now, the Nigerian economy was almost grinding to a halt; especially with oil being our major source of revenue. The anticipation of a recession made lots of people make permanent investment decisions over temporary situations. Some wives left their husband for greener pastures. Some companies had to lay off their best hands as they were unable to foot the running cost of the organisation. Things went from bad to worse. However, with the vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, and a great political driver like the Vice President, Yemi Osibajo and his economic team, the country is gradually showing signs of improvement as the Naira gradually gains weight against the Dollar.
Big brother OPEC didn’t make things easier either. The militants graduated from oil bunkering to pipe bursting. Those who invested heavily in oil saw their investment crumbling by the day. The stock market also took a downward plunge with investors recording massive losses. Interest rate skyrocketed, with interest on fixed deposit remaining FIXED. (Who is benefiting? Bankers or customers?). Unlike other investment portfolios, the real estate and property market was slightly affected but properties in the Ikoyi axis, especially in Banana Island, have enjoyed great stability as their prices have consistently held value.
At Sujimoto, the foundation of our success is guided by three fundamental principles, which are effective in attracting clients and property investors. These are Location, Price And Quality. Our only mission is always to exceed our customers’ expectations by providing exceptional real estate at an affordable price.
If you want to learn how to bake bread, you speak to a baker, but if you want to know about luxury real estate, speak to Sujimoto. The same rule applies when you want to learn about investment, you need to consult someone who has amassed substantial wealth and successes by investing in several businesses. Andrew Carnegie, an American industrialist who led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century, and is identified as one of the richest Americans, said; “More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined.” This same industry giant was once quoted saying; “90% of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.”
One vital lesson Investors need to learn from this is that those who depend on the weakness of the Naira will have their pockets to blame, as Real Estate has proven to be the safest investment portfolio that guarantees the best ROI, and it is secured. “No one can carry a house from Lagos to Ibadan.”
While some may opine that there are lots of empty apartments as a result of the recession, many of these empty apartments are substandard and were built on the principle of profit maximisation, rather than quality creation. The prolonged economic recession and the crash of the forex market have forced Landlords and Caretakers to reduce the prices of their apartments.
Recently, a client commissioned us to help look for a good property and we realised that there are lots of extremely expensive Terraces and apartments, with terrible finishing. It is like offering a Toyota for the price of a Bentley. This shocking realisation prompted us to set up a small project somewhere in Banana Island-Ikoyi. With this new project, which is 100% sold out; we have been able to bring 3 major principles of real estate into one space: incredible location, great finishing, and exceptional price.
As the economy gradually rises from the jaws of a recession, it is apparent that the housing market will experience a great boom as more savvy investors are buying heavily into real estate – the new oil. However, Investors must be very sure they are investing into the right property that will guarantee value, great returns, and peace of mind, at a great price.