BusinessDay

Geometric Power seen boosting real estate investment in Aba

As Geometric’s power plant gears up to fulfill its promises of providing enough power to light up Aba, the commercial hub of the South East region, in the next five months, real estate investment and development will be receiving a big boost in that region, experts have said.

 

It is expected that land prices and house rents will jump within Aba and also in the surrounding towns and villages, where traders, factory workers and sundry entrepreneurs will be needing housing for business and residential purposes.

 

The experts explain that improved power supply in a community, town, or region, usually leads to increased economic activity, which requires both residential and commercial real estate, such as homes, offices and industrial spaces for factories, manufacturing plants, shops, etc.

 

Over all, demand is always up for quality spaces with modern infrastructure and access to the city centre. For space, parking and zoning parameters, industrial space users are willing to go to the outskirts of major towns in search for this. Tenants usually go in search of quality spaces that offer more than the just cool and dry. Yemi Madamidola, an estate manager, notes that as e-commerce, ICT, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-allied industries progress in line with economic activities, varied warehouse types may become the toast of real estate investment and development.

 

Expectation is that there will be so much pressure on existing infrastructure, such as residential houses, workplaces, roads, markets, among others, that there will be need for new developments, thus creating huge investment opportunity for property developers and real estate service providers.

 

Already, real estate operators in Aba are upbeat. Interest is also growing from investors who intend to take advantage of the anticipated improvement in power supply, to invest in real estate. Francis Egbuche, a partner at Ken and Franc Associates, real Estate consultants, says estate developers outside Aba are keen in investing in the city, in the hope that improved power supply would boost real estate.

 

Egbuche says, “I have received several calls from colleagues who own estates in Abuja, Lagos, Asaba, that are interested in investing in Aba, but the problem has been power. So, if there is constant power, investors will come in.

 

Ananso Nsiorie, a legal practitioner, agrees, Nsiorie says improved power supply would put pressure on existing infrastructure, such roads and housing. He explains that small scale industries would begin to do well, while those that were moribund, due to inadequate power supply, would be resuscitated.

 

New investments will be expected in the area, which he noted, would put pressure on available infrastructure and urged government to develop new layouts in Aba to absorb the expected pressure.

 

According to Nsiorie, real estate will boom, as firms would need space for their factories and accommodation for their staff. Demand for land is already growing. In developing areas of Aba, land price currently ranges from N1 million to N15 million, depending on location and the use of the property to be developed.

 

In other developing areas in Osisioma, a plot of land is going for a minimum of N1.2 million to N4 million, while upspringing places like Okpulu Umuobo and Ogbor Hill areas, are within a minimum of N1.2 million per plot. In the high brow areas like Ekenna (Government Reserved Area) and some parts of Okigwe Road, a plot of land goes for a minimum range of N15 million.

 

Aba, Nigeria’s emerging industrial haven, will soon begin to enjoy constant power supply, as the dispute between Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and Geometric Power Limited, over which of the two companies would supply power to Aba and its environs has been resolved.

 

The Federal Government had before the commencement of the privatisation of the power sector, signed an agreement with Geometric Power, for the exclusive right of supplying electricity to Aba and Ariaria, a development, which saw the construction of the Aba Power plant which is worth about $500 million.

 

However, the same ‘ring fenced’ area was included in the franchise sold to Interstate Electric, owned by Emeka Offor, during the privatisation. Both investors have been in a legal tussle over the matter, with industry watchers accusing the past government of dishonouring the contract signed with Geometric Power, owned by Nnaji.

 

 

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