At no other time in the history of mankind have things become as gloomy as they now seem. The seven years of drought in the Pharaohic time of Joseph, and the modern USA history of the depression of 1933 are the closest scenarios to the kind of devastation that stares mankind in the face in our present times. And, dare we say that we had a taste of it during the Global Economic Recession of 2008/2009?
Whereas that period of depression in the Biblical time of Pharaoh and Joseph
affected a region of the World; the Middle-East, the great depression of 1933
affected the United States alone. However, what stares mankind in the face in
our time is not just continent wide, it is worldwide!
Just as the transition from the Agrarian to manufacturing economies of the 19th
Century caused a lot of economic upheavals which required great minds like John Locke, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx to address, the current transition from
manufacturing to Service/Technology based economies is equally creating
upheavals that modern man is finding difficulty dealing with.
At the center of the problem this treatise hopes to address is the most
important unit of production: man, and hence employees or workers in the
production process. The onset of manufacturing meant that so many who were
employed in agricultural production, who wished to make the transition to
manufacturing couldn’t, because of the limitations in the numbers that could be
employed or absorbed by the owners of manufacturing concerns. Relatively
speaking, the numbers have further dwindled with the introduction of technology in manufacturing and the Service industries, leading to an aggravated spike in the unemployment rates in most economies. For instance, drones are already cutting down on the number of pilots that most air forces in the developed world need.
More of technology, and less of human factor has meant lesser number of people employed, and reduction in aggregate national wages; and in contrast, more of the proceeds of enterprise that owners or entrepreneurs retain. This scenario is what has finally developed into the 1%/99% phenomenon; with less than one hundred of the richest in the World having an asset net worth that far exceeds that of the bottom half or 3.5 billion of World population; a very unacceptable development, one would think.
Unemployment therefore is at the core of the concern we have devoted years and effort to address, and which we at LandAssets Consult, in this treatise, intend to address. What our years of enquiry, using the Nigerian economy as case study has birthed, we have named The LandAssets Plan, after our outfit, LandAssets Consult.
The LandAssets Plan
The LandAssets Plan is a concept which seeks to increase the volume of property insurance and use it to provide solutions to the world-wide problem of unemployment, and enhance poverty reduction, wealth creation, industrialization, manufacturing and housing provision. Put in a nut shell, the LandAssets Plan could be defined as the compulsory insurance of all urban and semi-urban based Real Estate within an economy, with a view to:
# deepening insurance penetration;
# increasing insurance volume and increasing appreciably, the Gross Annual
# Providing there from, the required funding for infrastructure provision and
# providing long term funding for the private sector of the economy;
# reducing the cost of funds to single digit from the current, tortuous
double digit rates; and,
# jump-starting the economy from a recessive to a productive one.
As it is with so many developing economies, Nigeria is troubled by such economic problems as:
♦ Unavailability of long-term Development Funds;
♦ Infrastructure deficit;
♦High interest rates;
♦ High inflation rates;
♦High rate of Capital flight;
♦ Exchange rates deficiency;
♦ Inadequate housing provision;
♦ Decaying manufacturing infrastructure; and,
♦ Very low rate of industrialization.
The existence of the foregoing problems result in high unemployment and poverty rates. Such economies are often caught in the throes of recessionary spirals. The problem therefore, properly situated, is the need to conceptualize ways to fund job creation, create wealth, reduce poverty, industrialize the economy, enhance manufacturing, and create the enabling conditions for provision of affordable and adequate housing.
President Mohammadu Buhari
The NEEDS Development Objective
In the Nigerian context, (and we believe this is equally the applicable scenario
in most developing economies of Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and the
Middle-east) none availability of loanable funds seems to be the major handicap
towards the attainment of the foregoing laudable objectives. In the Nigerian
context, this problem was adequately captured in the following words in the
“Financing: NEEDS will require a heavy investment program to jump start the
economy in a manner that is pro-poor and poverty-reducing. Aside from the
projected investment by the federal and state governments as well as the private
sector, there is still A RESIDUAL FINANCING GAP which requires special efforts to mobilize the required finance.”
Developing economies like Nigeria have hitherto relied on World bank and IMF
loans, which were mostly diverted by politicians into private accounts in
European and American banks. That was basically why Nigeria paid for loans that never yielded any dividends, since the projects for which the loans were
obtained were never developed, ab initio.
The LandAssets Plan was therefore focused on seeking a method to fill the void
created by the residual financing gap of NEEDS. Since sourcing such funds
offshore seems impossible at this time, the practical thing would be to source
them from within; and this, we believe the LandAssets Plan would accomplish in any economy.
Stated differently, the LandAssets Plan is a concept which seeks to use the
resources of the rich within any given economy to create jobs, create wealth,
redistribute wealth, and reduce poverty. This objective would be realised
through the compulsory insurance of all Real Estate situate within the urban and
semi-urban areas of the subject economy, at very affordable rates.
From our study of the Nigerian economy, which we employed as our Case Study for the LandAssets Plan, we found that for considerably reduced premium on individual properties, the increased volume of insured properties would result in:
ð A Gross Revenue of N 3 trillion p.a. over an initial five-year period;
ð The cost of realisation includes N 45 billions for Valuation fees, and N
180 billions in Legal, Architectural, Construction and other fees;
ð ¯ N 600 billion would be retained by LandAssets Consult for Conceptualizing,
Brokering, Managing and Coordinating the project;
ð ¯ Every destroyed property would be redeveloped within a year at no cost to
the property owner;
ð ¯ Over one million jobs would be created within the first year of
ð ¯ The spill over effects of releasing three extra trillion Naira into the
economy annually would defy description.
Partnering with the IMF/World Bank
We conceptualized the LandAssets Plan in 2002, and incorporated the “residual
financing gap” concept into same in 2004. From inception, we have tried to
secure our successive Governments’ interest in the project to no avail,
basically because of our aversion to paying lobbyists.
In order therefore to get this project off the starting blocks, we would
appreciate the partnership of either the IMF or the World bank. For a start, the
partnership of either finance institutions in an advisory role would be
immensely beneficial to the entire world economy by affording the project a
badge of acceptability. Moreover, having the resources of the institutions
available to us through their country managers would add a lot of advantages in
We would gladly offer 30 percent of LandAssets revenue from every economy in which the LandAssets Plan would be executed to any of the subject finance
institutions which partners with us. We value very highly the statistics for
each individual economy in which we would consult, considering that such
resources would reduce highly, the time that would have been spent garnering
Subtle Redistribution of Wealth and Income
Issuing from the dictum in elementary physics that matter can neither be created
nor destroyed, but could be transformed from one state to the other, we, in
trying to address the 1% /99% phenomenon, ascertained that the LandAssets Plan could turn out a subtle instrument for wealth and income redistribution, in the sense that, unlike taxes which are resisted by the rich, and does nothing for
the poor; the institution of the LandAssets Plan would result in the idle wealth
of the rich being employed to empower the poor, and towards poverty-reducing
tendencies, while enhancing the wealth of the rich.
The way to achieving such goals , using Nigeria as case study, is for the
Federal government to appropriate yearly , 80% of the income of the insurance
companies over an initial five year period, specifically for development
purposes. In exchange, the Federal government would issue twenty year Bonds for the appropriated funds to the Insurance companies. Such Development Funds should be channelled towards:
ð ´ Infrastructure development and maintenance;
ð ´ Provision of Seed Capital to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises at 3%
interest through the insurance companies rather than banks;
ð ´ Providing funds for Solid minerals development and extraction;
ð ´ Lending towards assisting the manufacturing sector of the economy; and,
ð ´ Providing affordable housing to the low income group.
The IMF, or the World bank, whichever of the finance institutions which partners with us, would ascertain that the use to which such development funds are employed meet the defined objectives. They would be better placed to effectively play that role than LandAssets Consult.
By the sixth year of implementation, by which period over N12 trillion would
have been ploughed into such fund, the economy would be sufficiently empowered to become very productive. Again, the imagination could be stretched to appreciate what such development would do with regards to job creation and poverty-reduction. Simply stated, it would be beyond belief.
On our part, from every revenue we shall earn in every economy, 80% would be
ploughed back in investments in such economies, depending largely on the perception of those who would advise LandAssets Consult as to what the priorities are for each economy. For the Nigerian economy, the following shall be our priority investments objectives:
🔵 Development of a Petroleum Refinery in order to alleviate the bleeding of the economy by oil marketers;
🔵 Investment in, and development of affordable housing for the low and middle income earners, since most housing developments seem aimed at the top end property market;
🔵 Investing in solid minerals extraction by taking on stocks in some of the extraction outfits;
🔵 Construction of water hydrants in various residential and commercial districts in the urban areas of the economy, with a view to fighting fire more effectively;
🔵 Taking the lead in investing in an East-West fast rail project;
🔵 Investing in Power generation;
🔵 Lending directly to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises;
🔵 Investing in the manufacturing, industrialization and other economy enhancing investments and sectors of the economy; and,
🔵 Investing in the provision of internet platform and technology to the rural and highly disadvantaged areas with a view to making the internet more accessible and affordable throughout the economy.
During the period of the Sub-Prime Mortgage induced World Economic Recession of 2008 / 2009, the erstwhile President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy remarked that Capitalism had failed; and that there was a need to develop a new system, perhaps some innovation, comprising of an amalgam of Capitalism and such innovative application.
The “Invisible hand” theory of Adam Smith which is the core and basis of Capitalism, it seemed to world leaders then, no longer does any good to the majority of mankind; since the rich seemingly gets richer while the poor gets nothing. From the developing economies, all kinds of indictment have been flung the way of the IMF and the World bank for impoverishing developing economies with their “one solution fits all” approach to dealing with economic problems.
The first salvo which signified that the voiceless poor were getting their voice back was the disruptive economic stirrings induced by, and dubbed “Occupy Wall Street”, which metamorphosed into the “Occupy Movement”, with London and several European cities witnessing the phenomenon.
Unfortunately, since that movement got to and became transformed into the “Arab Spring” by radicalised, and mostly unemployed Arab and Muslim youths, the World has neither known peace, nor would ever be the same again. In essence, it is our contention that unemployment is at the very roots of the spike in terrorism the world is currently witnessing. We doubt that any informed member of any nation would doubt the foregoing assertion because the facts and statistics are glaring enough.
Recently, in discussing the Brussels terrorist attack, a TV anchor, quoting from a study undertaken by some organisation, stated that of the foreign fighters who joined ISIS, (the financial inducement being a factor), the contingent of unemployed Tunisian youths, who numbered six thousands, were the highest from any particular country.
The point which needs to be made here, and which needs restating, is that the United Nations Organization, the World Finance System, represented by the World bank and the IMF should, with all the statistics at their disposal, be addressing World Poverty and Unemployment much more than they have done. The world’s rich don’t seem to appreciate that whether it is “the Occupy Movement,” “Arab Spring,” or “ISIS,” it is all about unemployment and poverty.
A young man or woman out of University and holding down a good job to which he reports every morning, has no business either occupying anything other than his job, or lending his time to being a suicide bomber. The resources to ensure that, we insist, is domiciled in every economy, but locked down by the rich in non-performing wealth and assets. We just want to free up those latent assets and use them for the benefit of humanity.
If we had the wherewithal to impose the LandAssets Plan solution on an economy such as Greece, then the fact that this is “an idea whose time has come,” would become crystal clear to all and sundry.This is the best we can do. From here on, we await the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, the Federal Government of Nigeria, and who else to talk to us.
Let’s get the World working again. Like President Barrack Obama said in one of his State of the Union addresses, “opportunities abound, let’s get to work.” Give a helping hand in reducing poverty. Help us to create wealth. Give us a helping hand in getting youths off guns and bombs, and having them gainfully employed in civil jobs. Help us make this world liveable again.
Thank you for your time.
Managing Consultant, LandAssets Consult.
The basic principles underpinning the LandAssets Plan could be found in our
earlier publications in The Property Gazette, (thepropertygazette.org) namely:
- On Reviving our Depressed Economy; Engendering Growth and Development; and,
Creating millions of Jobs: The LandAssets Plan – short link –
- The Jurisprudence of Annuity and the LandAssets Plan – short link –
- Banking Reforms and the LandAssets Plan -short link –
- Infrastructure Development and Maintenance: The LandAssets option