• Thursday, April 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Construction upbeat at N14bn Golf Estate as developer assures on 14-month delivery

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Taf Nigeria Homes, developer of the RivTaf Golf Estate in Port Hasrcourt, Rivers State, has assured existing and intending subscribers to the estate that it is committed to delivering the estate in the next 14 months, precisely in June 2014.

Construction work is quite upbeat at the estate and our correspondent, who visited the site on Emeyal Street, off Peter Odili Road, Port Harcourt GRA recently, reports that about 12 contractors and over 1,000 workers were seen working simultaneously on various aspects – villas, terrace or town houses, and apartment blocks.

Conducting journalists round the estate, Mustapha Njie, Taf Nigeria Homes’ MD/CEO, explains that the estate is a joint venture project between the Rivers State government and his company.

According to him, the estate will deliver 750 housing units comprising 608 two- and three-bedroom apartments, 62 terrace or town houses, and 31 villas with such amenities as golf course and a club house that promises a swimming pool, a restaurant, tennis court and a mini mall.

In the joint venture arrangement, he explains that government has 20 percent equity in RivTaf Nigeria Limited, which is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the project, while Taf Nigeria Homes takes the remaining 80 percent equity.

“The state government provides the land and that is where it stops while everything else including finance, construction, estate management and sale of the houses are done by our company,” he says.

The project, he says further, has two phases – the first and the second, pointing out that the first phase, which is where construction is ongoing now, comprises all the town houses, all the villas and 12 blocks of the apartments, giving roughly 200 units of apartments.

“All the facilities needed in the estate, including a bore-hole, standby generator, roads and all other amenities that will make the estate functional will be ready by June 2014,” he assures, adding that there would also be central sewage treatment plant, CCTV for security.

Njie, whose company is the real estate market leader in The Gambia with over 600 housing units at its Brufut Garden, discloses that buyer-interest in Golf Estate has been quite encouraging, explaining that all the house types and over 100 units of the apartments have been sold out, while the state government has bought 308 two-bedroom flats from the estate for its civil servants.

“I think the reason for the higher demand for town houses and villas is because Port Harcourt has a sizeable expatriate community who work in oil and gas , and these are people with very strong spending power,” he says.

Njie sees Nigeria is an investment destination, believing that any investor that misses Nigeria for investment in Africa has missed out completely, saying “we are going to establish our headquarters here in Port Harcourt, and from here we go to other parts of the country and indeed Africa; Nigeria is a huge market; out of the 400 million people in the West African sub-region, almost half of them are Nigerians.”

For people interested in the apartments, the developer says they have two-bedroom apartments for N13.5 million, disclosing that they have partnership with Aso Savings and Loans, “and whoever qualifies for the National Housing Fund (NHF) can get mortgage from the bank. Some banks also offer mortgage and we also have arrangement for those who would like to buy directly from us.”

On the golf course, which is the high-point of the estate, he says because the place is water-logged, sand-filling work has started, estimating that over $2 million would be used for the sand-filling alone.

The N14.1 billion estate project, he reveals, is being finance by Nigerian banks, adding that all the construction s on the estate are being handled by medium-sized local contractors, noting “there is no foreign element here; all we have are medium-size local contractors who we are helping to build capacity by buying equipment for them where they cannot afford it.”

 

STORIES BY CHUKA UROKO