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Your Next Home? Yes, It Is Better to Buy Than Build ―Just Ask Me Why?

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Last week, I addressed a group of prospective home-buyers about the plain psychology of buying a house and how it engenders our lives. Your home is not necessarily the structure of the building but an abode that gives you that natural feeling, a sense of belonging that yes, this is mine. There is always an emotional calmness the moment you walk through the door, drop down on your couch, breathe a sigh of relief, and scream on top of your voice, “Honey, I’m home.” So if you haven’t bought a home yet, do not worry because I am not going anywhere.

Hello, compliments of the season and welcome again to my routine Real-Estate Investment Blog. I am your real estate investment authority –certainly, the buck stops here, with me. As your land and estate development expert, it has always been my pleasure to address your real-estate or land or other investment-related issues. I work with  Pwan Max property and Business Solutions, a real estate marketing, investment, management, and development company well-known in Nigeria for providing a choice of classic serene, luxury homes within a flexible budget.

In this column, I will address selected questions I received from my fans both in Nigeria and abroad, so join me:

Dear Jackie:

I’m looking to buy a developed property on the outskirts of Enugu that I would call “home”. However, family members are asking me to buy land and develop it because it is cheaper. Please, I need your professional advice. Thanks. ―Emmanuel

Dear Emmanuel,

Thank you for your interest in my services. It is seemingly cheaper to buy and develop it but you must consider other factors. You need to have a good team of architects, builders/engineers, and supervisors to be able to pull it off successfully considering that you are not on the ground.

You also stand the risk of this team buying substandard items or giving you bigger quotes for the building and in the end you might end up spending far more than you planned. I would advise you to avoid the stress and risk and go for our readily built houses.

All you need do is pay for the house and move it. It takes away the stress, the heartbreaking moments, and you get a “home away from home.” You can choose from our modern tastefully built semidetached duplex or terrace houses. All you need to do is make a deposit and you can move in within months. Please let me know if you are interested in this option so I can give you more information.

Dear Jackie:

I’m coming home for Christmas, visiting for the first time after 19 years, and would stay a little longer. I need a home I can rent for at least 3 months around Umuleri, Anambra. I am particular about neighborhood and security. Thanks. ―Dr. Andy

Hello Dr. Andy

Wow, and congratulations on your proposed homecoming. We currently do not have already made homes in those areas but we have plots for sale in Umueri where the Anambra airport is located. We also have plots for sale at Nteje. You can buy these plots and build a house that you can use whenever you come to Nigeria. These locations are very secure and serene. You will find them peaceful and very comfortable. Please let me know if you would like to know more about the plots in these areas.

Dear Jackie: 

What sales or specials do you have for the end-of-year home sales? Or is it advisable to wait till after the holidays? I’m looking for a home around Enugu State, not more than 20 miles from Enugu. Thanks. ― Chiagozie 

Dear Chiagozie

We always have promos every end of the year to encourage customers to buy our estates and to also express our appreciation to customers who stayed with us over the years. When it comes to land/ property purchases, the best time to buy is always “5 years ago”, which means that it is better to buy now because property appreciates every day. Also, it could get too expensive for you to buy if you wait. The minute you pay for it, you have gained because the value is never the same and it rarely depreciates.

The current ongoing promos in Enugu include;

  • Buy 4 plots and get a plot free
  • Deposit 800,000 and get a free home appliance
  • 20% off for outright payment
  • Make a deposit and spread the remaining payment over a year

The property within Enugu (Not more than 20 miles) include:

  • Flourish Estate
  • Pearl City Estate
  • Flourish Centenary Estate
  • Maxville Estate
  • Palace courts Estate

Please feel free to let me know the ones you may be interested in.

Again, thanks everyone for trusting me with your real estate needs. For more information, feel free to email me directly by clicking on my signature below or call, 08100880087. That’s my cell.

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Nigeria’s Buhari grants consent to Seplat’s buy of Exxon Mobil’s Nigeria unit

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has granted consent to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil’s Nigerian unit by Seplat Energy, in a $1.28 billion deal announced in February.

Buhari, who doubles as oil minister, granted ministerial approval to the deal, the presidency said in a statement on Monday.

Exxon and Seplat are expected to operate the unit’s oil licenses, supporting Nigeria meet its OPEC production quota in the short term as well as accelerate the development of gas resources in the area.

Seplat said in February its offshore unit had entered an agreement to buy the entire share capital of Exxon’s Nigerian offshore shallow water business for $1.28 billion, plus a further consideration of up to $300 million based on the oil price and the average production of the unit, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, over a five-year period.

Seplat is listed on the London and Nigerian stock exchanges.

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Euro crashes to parity with dollar for the first time in two decades

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The euro effectively reached parity with the dollar yesterday as latest recession and inflation fears saw it wilt in the face of the rampaging greenback.

The single currency dipped as low as $1.00005, meaning it was just a fraction of a cent from hitting the same level as the US currency for the first time in two decades.

It has fallen 12 per cent against the dollar so far this year as the US Federal Reserve aggressively hikes interest rates while the European Central Bank (ECB) has been more reticent even as inflation hits record levels.

The single currency dipped as low as $1.00005, meaning it was just a fraction of a cent from hitting the same level as the US currency for the first time in two decades

Europe is facing a major economic slowdown that could worsen if Russia chokes off its gas supplies.

Elsewhere, fresh Covid-19 restrictions imposed in some Chinese cities added to global downturn fears, sending the Brent crude oil benchmark below $100.

A stampede to the safety of the dollar has seen it trample rival currencies including the pound and the Japanese yen as well as the euro.

Sterling shed a cent to hit a two-year low of $1.1808 – partly blamed on political uncertainty as the Tories selects a new prime minister – though it later recovered. The dollar, meanwhile, slipped back slightly against the yen having hit a 24-year high on Monday.

US inflation figures due out today could drive further currency moves. A reading above the current 41-year high of 8.6 per cent will fuel speculation that the Fed is preparing further large rate hikes.

The ECB, by contrast, has not raised rates since 2011, and while a hike is expected this month, the approach is more cautious than in the US amid fears of recession in the eurozone.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is bearing the brunt of the continent’s energy crisis because of its reliance on Russian gas.

Some citizens are already facing rationed heating and hot water and dimmed street lighting as the country seeks to conserve energy.

It could take a severe economic hit if Russia cuts off gas supplied via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which on Monday closed for ten days of maintenance, though some worry it will not reopen.

Sterling shed a cent to hit a two-year low of $1.1808 ¿ partly blamed on political uncertainty as the Tories selects a new prime minister ¿ though it later recovered

Sterling shed a cent to hit a two-year low of $1.1808 – partly blamed on political uncertainty as the Tories selects a new prime minister – though it later recovered

Yesterday the ZEW index, a gauge of German investor sentiment, fell to minus 53.8 points, the lowest reading since the eurozone crisis of 2011.

Alexander Krueger, chief economist at private bank Hauck Aufhaeuser Lampe, said: ‘Fear has taken the wheel. The threat of a stop to gas deliveries and the strong drop in real wages in particular are leading to the blues.’

Jordan Rochester, FX strategist at Nomura, expects the euro to dip to $0.95 next month, adding: ‘If Nord Stream 1 doesn’t resume operations we think $0.90 is a growing possibility over the winter.’

The latest slump came on the same day that EU finance ministers approved Croatia becoming the 20th member of the single currency at the start of next year.

European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said it confirmed that the euro remained ‘an attractive, resilient and successful global currency’.

Elsewhere, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed the dollar’s strength and yen’s depreciation during meetings with Japan’s finance minister and central bank governor in Tokyo.

But Yellen said they did not discuss intervention in the currency market, telling reporters that would be warranted only in ‘rare and exceptional circumstances’.

In 1985, the US, Germany, Japan, France and the UK agreed on coordinated action, during another period of dollar strength, to knock down the US currency’s values.

But Jane Foley at Rabobank said the dollar’s current strength was a ‘text-book reaction’ to higher interest rates, and it ‘wouldn’t make sense for the US authorities to oppose the stronger dollar while the Fed is aggressively tightening monetary policy’.

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Two Nigerian businessmen are going to jail in the US for alleged $160 million fraud

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  • The businessmen, Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale, pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them by the US Department of Justice.

  • The fintech firm they operated, Ping Express US LLC, facilitated the remittance of $160 million to Nigeria.

  • Some of the funds are said to be proceeds of romance scams.

The Founders of Texas-based fintech firm Ping Express US LLC, Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale, have pleaded guilty for failing to combat money laundering on their platform.

Ping Express US LLC Founders Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale found guilty

Ping Express US LLC founders Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale.

A statement by the US Department of Justice, which was seen by Business Insider Africa, explained that the businessmen failed to maintain anti-money laundering controls on their platform; a situation that allowed some of their customers to remit large sums of illegally-derived funds to Nigeria.

“The company outlined its anti-money laundering policy in a memo to state regulators, claiming it would cap first-time customer transactions at $499, cap daily transactions at $3,000, and cap monthly transactions at $4,500. However, in plea papers, the company admitted it allowed more than 1,500 customers to violate these rules. In one instance, Ping allowed a customer to remit more than $80,000 in a single month – more than 17 times the purported limit,” said a part of the statement.

The DoJ further disclosed that the company was guilty of conducting money transmission services in some US states where it was not licensed to operate.

Within a 3-year period, Ping Express US LLC helped customers to remit a total of $167 million to Africa. Out of this sum, $160 million was remitted to Nigeria. And the company was said to have failed to verify the sources of the funds or what they were intended for.

Interestingly, some of the company’s customers have already been tried and found guilty of illegally transmitting funds they earned through romance scams. Two of these three individuals were among the fintech’s top customers. One of the customers, Collins Orogun, pleaded guilty and admitted he accepted fees to help romance scam fraudsters to transfer money from the US to Nigeria through Ping Express US LLC.

“In two years, Mr. Orogun received more than $1.3 million in cash, cashier’s checks, and wires into several U.S. bank accounts he controlled, and then quickly moved more than $1 million of the funds to Africa through Ping. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and is set to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2023,” part of the statement said.

Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale, who both served as Ping’s CEO and COO, have been sentenced to 27 months in prison. The company’s Head of IT and Business Development Manager, Aleoghena Okhumale, also pleaded guilty to knowingly facilitating illegal remittance of fraudulently derived funds.

Meanwhile the fintech company itself is facing a 5-year probation as well as $500,000 fine.

♦ Culled from Business Insider

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