A Review of 13th Abuja International Housing Show – AIHS 2019

    Abuja International Housing Show

    Pre-event activities
    Event registration and sponsorships
    Opening of venue/construction
    Opening ceremony
    Special recognitions
    Conference: theme and activities
    Conference and exhibition
    Artisans’ day
    Nigeria Housing Awards 2019
    Top 10 AIHS 2019 Recommendations
    Facts and figures
    Stakeholders’ opinion
    Final notes

    The 13th Abuja International Housing Show was the most anticipated event of the year 2019 as stakeholders from at least 15 countries converged in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja to learn, network and exhibit latest innovations in the industry.

    The 4-day event had up to 30, 000 visitors and participants seeking better opportunities to own a home, have access to affordable mortgages, meet influential stakeholders, make purchases at exhibition rates and acquire important knowledge.

    This report will feature the build-up to the event, the event itself, important details, conference recommendations and a breakdown of facts and figures about the event.

    Pre-event Activities

    Massive publicity for the event began in January 2019, featuring television, radio, print, billboards and social media campaigns, raising awareness about the show and its core values. The impressive pre-event campaigns had a lot of people in anticipation, and this led to a very huge turnout.

    Event Registration and Sponsorships

    From at least 5 months to the event, participants, visitors and partners including exhibitors and speakers had commenced registration and confirmation of event sponsorship.

    Opening of Venue and Construction of Exhibition Stands 21st – 22nd July

    As from 21st of July 2019, the venue, International Conference Centre opened for commencement of construction and setting up of halls, exhibition stands and sit-outs. The vigorous exercise produced a very beautiful setting and lasted till 22nd – the eve of the event.

    Day One (1): Opening Ceremony – 23rd July

    Africa’s largest show in housing and construction – Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) featuring conferences and exhibition was declared open on the 23rd July 2019 by the chairman of the occasion, Arc. Ibrahim Bunu, Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, who urged participants to seize the opportunity provided by the show to improve affordable housing delivery in Nigeria and Africa.

    Top dignitaries attending the opening ceremony included the Senate President of Nigeria, Ahmed Lawan (represented); Debra Erb, MD OPIC; The Head of Service, Oyo-Ita; Suleiman Hassan, Former Minister of Environment; Festus Adebayo, MD/CEO AIHS; Kecia Rust, Executive Secretary, AUHF; Femi Adewole, MD Family Homes Funds; Andrew Chimphondah, MD/CEO Shelter Afrique; Obadiah Mailafia, Former Deputy Governor, CBN; and many more top local and international stakeholders too many to mention.

    The opening ceremony was streamed live on national television and covered by all reputable media houses in Nigeria.

    The exhibition stands were also officially opened for business and guests and all categories of visitors trooped in to see for themselves.

    Special Recognitions

    Some notable personalities were also honoured with special recognition awards of excellence at the opening ceremony.

    The awardees included Hanatu Fika, Outgoing Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board; Town Planner Umar Shuaibu, Former Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Counci; and Debra Erb, MD of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

    Conference: Theme and Activities

    There were over 30 speakers from at least 15 countries at the event. The speakers who are drawn from reputable institutions like mortgage banks, real estate companies, housing regulatory agencies, construction companies, housing finance firms etc. and from various countries including USA, UK, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, India, China, UAE, Ghana, Rwanda etc. spoke on the theme; ‘’Driving Sustainable Housing Finance Models in the Midst of Global Uncertainty.’’

    Leading conversations on the first day were notable paper presentation and speeches from the Senate President, Head of Service, Governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohammed (represented), Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki (represented), Debra Erb of OPIC, Festus Adebayo of AIHS, Femi Adewole of Family homes Funds, Andrew Chimphondah of Shelter Afrique, Emmanuel Akinwumi of AfDB, Roland Abonta of NIESV and many more.

    The well received presentations were focused on the theme and subjects around it including the role of monetary policy in housing finance and development; project finance for large scale housing – OPIC approach; closing the gap in affordable housing production: increased efficiency and cost; building a global framework for foreign investments in Nigerian housing market etc.

    The CEOs Forum and three (3) panel sessions focusing on alternative investment options for housing growth and development followed.

    The sessions were moderated by Hakeem Ogunniran, CEO of Eximia Realty.

    Day Two (2): Conference and Exhibition – 24th July

    Day Two of the event continued with the conference, CEOs Forum and panel sessions featuring top CEOS and speakers including Robert Hornsby of American Home Builders of West Africa; Ugochukwu Chime of REDAN; Mounia Tagma of Affordable Housing Institute; Kecia Rust of AUHF; Sa’Adiya Aliyu of Urban Shelter; Prof Charles Inyangete, former MD of NMRC; Ahmed Dangiwa of FMBN; Afolabi Imoukhuede, SSA to the President on Job Creation; Robert Plattner of Hydraform; Banjo Obaleye of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank; Hakeem Ogunniran of Eximia Realty; Mr P. Bhaskar Rao of Royal Ceramics; Sam Odia of Mmillard Fuller Foundation; Prof Timothy Nubi; Jide Odusolu of Octo5 Holdings Limited; David Gardner AUHF etc.

    The well received presentations were focused on the theme and subjects around it including housing construction case studies; low cost housing; harmonising Nigeria real estate sector for enhanced socio economic development; moving from luxury homes provision to affordable housing delivery; the role of housing in job creation; foreign capital for housing finance in emerging economies; data and analytics; innovations in residential housing development; democratising mortgages; mortgage consumer education and many more.

    The sessions were moderated by International mortgage expert, Kunle Faleti, David Gardner and Jumoke Akinwumi.

    The exhibitions were holding simultaneously.

    Day Three (3): Conference and Exhibition – 25th July

    Day Three of the event started with a breakfast meeting between the overseas team of African Union of Housing Finance (AUHF) led by Kecia Rust. Also at the breakfast meeting were Kehinde Ogundimu of NMRC; Niyi Akinlusi of MBAN; Hakeem Ogunniran of Eximia Realty; Festus Adebayo of AIHS; Robert Hornsby of American Home Builders of West Africa; Kunle Faleti; and a couple of other stakeholders.

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    The purpose of the breakfast meeting was for the AUHF to enlighten the stakeholders about their responsibilities in providing housing finance on the continent and on the need for more Nigerian presence in the South Africa based association. The session also featured elaborate conversations about ongoing collaborations, including the one between NMRC and AUHF and the need for more of such collaborations, especially with regards to data access.

    Shortly after, the event continued with the conference, and panel sessions featuring top CEOS and speakers including David Gardner; Jide Odusolu; Adedeji Adesemoye of CBN; Ifeoma Okoye of Brains & Hammers; Roland Igbinoba of Proptech; Isoken Omo of Edo Development Property Authority; Joshua Egbagbe; Eucharia Alozie of Ministry of PWH; Muktar Aliyu; Prof Charles Inyangete; Bob Weinschenk of iBuild and others.

    The well received presentations were focused on the theme and subjects around it including addressing housing demand in the face of growing joblessness and income inequality; addressing supply side issues; green and energy efficient housing; cooperative housing, and proptech.

    The sessions were moderated by Jide Odusolu, and Robert Hornsby.

    The exhibitions were holding simultaneously.

    Day Four (4): Artisans Day and Nigeria Housing Awards Dinner – 26th July

    26th of July was the climaxing day of the 13th Abuja International Housing Show. The day’s events commenced with the national union of Artisans who were given educational support speeches on how to improve their skills, compete with global counterparts and make the most out of their skills.

    At the aside of the event was a MoU signing agreement with Family Homes Funds – a federal government social housing scheme intent on building up to 500, 000 houses for low income earners by 2023.

    The exhibitions were holding simultaneously and only came to an end by 6:00 PM to mark the beginning of the Nigeria Housing Awards.

    Nigeria Housing Awards 2019

    Nigeria Housing Award is an annual event that celebrates the successes of firms, individuals, teams, or companies who are setting trends in innovative construction, consistency in high industry standards, market expansion and are engaged in the development of the national economy to a large extent. The NHA is a way of endorsing abilities and rewarding achievements; this event is widely regarded as the most credible and prestigious award in Nigeria’s Housing Industry. The event typically marks the end of the Abuja International Housing Show.

    The Nigeria Housing Awards and Dinner was well attended by all leading stakeholders, CEOs and companies in the housing and construction sector present to celebrate each other’s successes in the past year.

    The colourful event had a lot of special moments including the surprise award for the CEO of Abuja International Housing Show, Festus Adebayo by Royal Ceramics.

    Before that, the CEO of Royal Ceramics himself, P. Bhaskar Rao had won CEO of Building Materials Company of the year award. The award for Best Innovation in Housing and Construction Industry 2019 went to Echostone International. Sam Ogrih won the CEO of Real Estate Company of the Year, while AFP Furniture was crowned Furniture Company of the Year. Town Planner Murktar Galadima won Town Planner of the Year. The Affordable Housing Promoter of the Year (organisation) went to Family Homes Funds, while NMRC won the Housing Market Information Data Recognition Award. A Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on Prince Seyi Lufadeju. CEO of Government Owned Housing Agencies of the Year was Isoken Omo, CEO of States Owned Housing Agencies in Nigeria. Kunle Faleti won the Affordable Housing Advocacy Award (Diaspora), while Toye Eniola, Executive Secretary, Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria won the Affordable Housing Leadership Award. Affordable Housing Policy Driver Recognition Award went to the distinguished Professor Charles Inyangete. Urban Shelter won Estate Developer of the Year. Hydraform international ltd won an award of promoter of affordable housing of the year (construction) 2019. Roland Igbinoba of Proptech won the Housing Data Recognition Award, while Arc. Adewumi Okupe won Affordable Housing Advocacy Promoter of the Year Award. Pan Africa award of Affordable Housing Promoter of the year went to Shelter Afrique.

    Many more awardees included Cosgrove Investment Limited going away with the award of Best Residential Real Estate Developer in sustainable smart Development and customer experience initiative.

    The highlight however was when Mr Rao of Royal Ceramics invited CEO of Abuja International Housing Show Festus Adebayo to the stage for a surprise award. The fulfilling night was a mix of soothing music, choreography, dining, wining and laughter.

    Top 10 Recommendations from the 13th AIHS

    Upon the completion of the event, participants, speakers, developers, and heads of all housing bodies at the event agreed on a number of sustainable and important interventions that will bridge the housing gap in Nigeria.

    Below are selected 10 out of these resolutions that have been presented to the government and its several housing agencies for implementation.

    1. Creating enabling policies around land title documentations, with government playing a larger role in assisting investors and supporting local building industries and materials.
    2. Fast track the passage of foreclosure bill into law to legally resolve default issues in the sector. Also the review of land use act of 1978, Federal Government Housing Loans Board bill (FGHLB), the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme Act 1992, Mortgage Banks Act 1989 (subsumed in BOFIA), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Act 1993, The Trustee Investment Act 1962, The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Act 1993, The Insurance Act 2002, The Investment and Security Act 1999, The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Act 1990, Securitization Bill amongst many others.
    3. Advance the ongoing partnership between Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with regards to the underwriting standards which can increase housing and mortgage affordability for the masses.
    4. Building the right skill ecosystem through job-driven training programs spearheaded by private sector industry participation for adoption of trainees.
    5. Institutionalisation of collaborations and partnerships between large scale industry players to enhance mass housing provision and affordability.
    6. Creating standard data base in African countries especially in Nigeria that can be universally accepted to collate data, identify data gaps, integrate, optimise and expand knowledge set to meet current demands.
    7. The policy creation, adoption and financing of sustainable buildings that utilise green approach in construction which integrates topography into developments.
    8. To set up an institution such as a National Housing Council to be the focal point for housing research, policy development and implementation, development of suitable housing economic models that fits into local contexts and monitoring of the housing sector.
    9. The adoption of high impact training that supports research and data generation by major stakeholders within the industry.
    10. To resolve the challenges of affordability mismatch resulting in unsold and unoccupied developed houses especially in our major cities, there is an urgent need for paradigm shift from market driven pricing system to end user driven pricing to ensure houses are provided for those who need and could afford them. (Extract from 13th AIHS communique, 2019).
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    Facts and Figures about 13th AIHS

    Below are key facts and figures pertaining to the 13th Abuja International Housing Show 2019:

    • The biggest housing and construction show in Africa
    • Biggest stakeholders’ networking platform
    • The biggest exhibition event for housing, construction and finance companies and brands
    • The most influential event for public policies, especially in the related sectors
    • The event featured a special CEOs Forum comprising of the most influential local and international leaders in the housing, construction and finance sectors
    • All papers and speeches presented at the 13th AIHS are available on the AIHS website

    • 1 venue (International Conference Centre, Abuja)
    • 4 days event (23rd to 26th July 2019)
    • 9 conference sessions
    • 10 major conference recommendations
    • 13th year running of the show
    • 15 participating countries
    • 30 international speakers
    • 45 panellists
    • 400 exhibitors
    • 40, 000 visitors and participants

    Exhibitors at 13th AIHS

    The exhibitors at the 13th AIHS are too numerous to mention, but some of them (in no order) includes companies from China, UAE, Turkey, Italy, India, Royal engineered stones limited, Urban Shelter, Echostone, Brains & Hammers, Family Homes Funds, NMRC, AFP Furniture, CDK, iBuild, FMBN, MIXTA Africa, AUHF, Nigerite, Solignum, Shelter Afrique, Earthpoint Modern Shelter, IFC, Hydraform, Copen, Cosgrove, FGSHLB, Wiser estates, MBA Forex, Plusworld, OPIC, Haven Homes, AMMC, ITMB, Delta mega trend limited, Lubrizol, Rural Homes limited, APDC, Peachville platinum, SPS, Wallpaper world, windows blinds, Net construct, formul, GVE, Niger state housing corporation, weatherguard, c-stemp, elinuol, interrand, Nigeria pipes, Plascon, Post service housing development limited, skylum, Eisenkraft, Maldini granites, Picadilly paints, Wavin, Flexi clay, Kabba, Builders stop center, PGL, Big homes, FGMB, Zobis, Norton, Hared, Leisure court, Efab, Bstan group, FTS, Ponglomerape, Constrix, Naval Building and construction company limited, Cherry hill, Onduvilla, Solartime, Olat, Midel Group, AMCON, Armese, Berger paints, JEDO, Silkcoat, FISH, Alaro city, Nuel Osilama Global Investment Limited, Voda paints, ABUMET, Realtypoint, Trustbond mortgage bank, PIL, Ellington, International lift and elevator, earthpoint, Aiben, Lasercraft, New cruise, A quapipe, Fabcom, Feratto, Cutix, Shandong Jiacheng Stone, Denam, GOFA, FA’AL, Uche silver international limited, Periwinkle residences, Highbright roofing, Lannik beauty, CAP Plc, AHCN, Sweethome, Bluestar, Asba and Dantata, Countrywide, Happy home, Prime properties, Octo5, Eximia, MBA Forex, Holborn and many more.

    What Stakeholders Said about Successful 13th AIHS 2019

    At the end of show, it was largely commended for setting the right tone for housing development in Nigeria and Africa and how it has cemented its place as a truly international platform for stakeholders.

    For Debra Erb, the MD of OPIC who was attending for the first time, the Abuja International Housing Show has set a standard and requires more collaboration from government and private players.

    ‘’This show gives stakeholders a chance to gather and figure out ways to solve the affordable housing needs of people in Nigeria and Africa. The first thing to do about solving the affordable housing needs is talk to the actors, and this is what the Abuja International Housing Show is about. It is an impressive platform,’’ she said.

    Also speaking on the significance of the show was Kecia Rust, the CEO of African Union for Housing Finance, AUHF.

    ‘’I thank the Abuja International Housing Show for this opportunity to showcase our organization and motivate for increased Nigerian participation in the network. You are doing a tremendous job for housing in Nigeria! Thank you for making the space for so many to collaborate with one another,’’ she said.

    The Chief Executive and Managing Director of Shelter Afrique – the pre-eminent Pan African Housing Development Financial Institution – Andrew Chimphondah also had glowing words of praise for the 13th Abuja International Housing Show and its organisers.

    ‘’On behalf of the Board and Management of Shelter Afrique, we would like to thank you for including Shelter Afrique in this very auspicious Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) to provide a key note address. We benefited from the strong networks that were created between Developers, Investors, Funders, Regulatory Authorities and all stakeholders in the Real Estate and Housing Sectors. Rest, assured that Shelter Afrique is re-energized in its quest in fulfilling its vision of providing decent and affordable housing for All Africans.

    ‘’We believe that with the shortage of Housing in Nigeria up from 17 million to 22 million in 2019 and the estimated shortage of Housing now up from from 51 million to 56 million. We can aspire to reduce it, because to eradicate it would require funding of US$1.4 trillion as a minimum.

    ‘’Let us continue as fellow housing activists to advocate through the Abuja International Housing Show for an eradication of this scourging housing deficit so that our fellow brothers and sisters can live a dignified life as a basic human right.

    ‘’I want to also commend the living legend, Festus Adebayo, for his selfless contribution in advocating the need to seriously address the housing crisis.

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    While speaking with Housing News, the retired officer who started Nigerian Army’s first housing cooperatives said that the 13th Abuja International Housing Show was phenomenal.

    ‘’I recall when the show started 13 years ago. It was quite small. It started with a really humble beginning. I am impressed to see the scale and the quality that it has come to be today. Of course there is room for improvement, but what we have seen today is phenomenal. It is quite clearly moving towards becoming the largest housing show that it portends to be in Africa,’’ he said.

    For Anders Lindquist of Echostone, the 13th Abuja International Housing Show is the most significant highlight for their company and what they stand for.

    Speaking on his impression of the show, he said; ‘’I was so moved by the reception we’ve received during our time at AIHS. I feel that EchoStone must say thank you for allowing us to share in this monumental event. Your hospitality has been instrumental in our success at the show. We’ve made far reaching connections in affordable housing, which offer the potential to bring over a million affordable homes to Africa – not to mention the massive amount of jobs that will follow.

    ‘’Without a doubt, the attendees of this conference have been some of the most dedicated, enthusiastic, and engaged of any that we’ve attended. Our entire company owes you a debt of gratitude for allowing us to present on two panels and participate in and outside the conference walls.

    ‘’Thank you for helping us to change the housing development landscape and join in this celebration of innovation. It has given our entire team a vision of our future in Africa that has inspired us all.

    ‘’So, again, I extend our sincerest thank you and look forward to the continued success of the AIHS conference, its participants, presenters, visitors, and yourself. I hope that it inspires us all to support and encourage one another toward successful and prosperous future for all of Africa. This is from me and the whole EchoStone team.’’

    Robert Hornsby, Co-founder, American Home Builders of West Africa also commended the organisers for convening what he calls the most important platform for discussing affordable housing and associated issues in Africa.

    On her part, Mounia Tagma of Affordable Housing Institute Morocco lauded the wonderful contributions of Abuja International Housing Show over the years in terms of how its bring together global stakeholders from public and private sectors to learn from each other, network and collaborate on projects that matter to them.

    While speaking during the CEOs Forum of AIHS 2019, Hon. Abu-bakar Saddique Boniface, Minister of State, Ghana, said that the show is playing a critical role of tasking private sector stakeholders on their most important responsibilities.

    ‘’The private sector should be more positioned so that the government can always look to them for policy advice. The private sector are and should be the engine of the economy, and I appreciate how this show is representing that fact,” he said.

    It wasn’t just the speakers that have good words for the show, Bhaska Roa of Royal Ceramics – one of the biggest exhibitors at this year’s show appreciates the show for offering them the opportunity to meet with industry leaders, buyers and respectable clients that has enhanced their business operations.

    The impact of the Abuja International Housing Show is so much that Bhaska Rao and his Royal Ceramics team had to present a special award to the CEO of AIHS, Festus Adebayo at the closing ceremony on 26th July 2019.

    The CEO of iBuild Global, Bob Weinschenk also appreciated the opportunity for stakeholders to focus on the most pressing issues in housing through AIHS.

    Final Notes from Festus Adebayo, CEO of Abuja International Housing Show

    On a final note, the CEO of Abuja International Housing Show, Festus Adebayo was full of appreciation for all participants, speakers and exhibitors from all over the world who came to be part of history at this year’s epic edition of the annual housing and construction show.

    Festus Adebayo said he was very pleased with how the flagship show has metamorphosed into an all professionals affair. ‘’The platform is now more for professionals who are capable of solving the housing problems in Africa. While I am happy about that, I will be the first to say that more still needs to be done in ensuring that all the points raised during the show are put on the table for the government to start acting on those recommendations immediately.’’

    Speaking in retrospect, he said that he believes that the goals set for the 13th AIHS which was to reveal alternative housing finance models have been considerably achieved.

    ‘’We wanted stakeholders to leverage on their experience and reveal more options for financing affordable housing in Nigeria and Africa. Luckily, we had the likes of Debra Erb, Kecia Rust, Hornsby, Lindquist and many more presenting sustainable alternatives for achieving this goal. A lot of stakeholders were fulfilled by the outcome of this year’s event with regards to how to reposition the sector.’’

    He also said that the political will of the government should be seen in the removal of duties on building materials in order to enhance affordability.

    ‘’We can’t be talking of affordable housing if there is still heavy duty for building materials when our own steels rolling mills are not even working. Even if there is monopoly in the local manufacturing of materials like cement, government needs to intervene to reduce the cost for builders,’’ he encouraged.

    The CEO assured stakeholders that every point raised by them will be put into action. ‘’In the next few weeks, all resolutions will be compiled and forwarded to whoever becomes the Minister of housing, the Presidency, Senate President, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, the Governors Forum, state Commissioners, NGOs, MBAN, REDAN and all professional bodies in the industry.’’

    He urged everyone to look forward to an even bigger AIHS in 2020.