By PETER EGWUATU
A $15 millions deal for the financing of Phase III construction of Agbara Estate has been signed in Lagos. The deal which was initialed in Lagos on Friday is between Abbey Building Society, FMO, a Dutch firm and Agbara Estates Limited.
The project will result in the construction of over 1000 middle income housing units spread over 40 hectres of undeveloped land adjacent the Phase I area, which is fully developed and occupied.
The Chairman, Board of Directors of Abbey Building Society, Chief I. B. Ochonogor, said the realisation of the project is a further proof of the deepening of the strategic alliance between Abbey and FMO.
He said Agbara Estates Limited has carved out an enviable niche in the area of property development partnering with FMO, an international reputable organisation and Abbey, a leading mortgage financier, adding that the partnership will undoubtedly enable it to attain greater heights in this area.
The special Guest of honour at the event, Oba Otudeko, former Chaiman of FirstBank, said with Nigeria’s population of about 150 million, the housing sector is where everyone should focus attention.
“I am aware Nigeria has a population of about 150 million who must live under a roof. We have a massive home deficit, so people who are clever are moving in that direction,” he said.
Otudeko commended the Chief Executive of Abbey, Mrs Rose Ada Okwechime for being a catalyst on housing development, saying her team “go to where hope is lost and restore it, they are turn –around specialists. I want to commend what you are doing, your creativity and innovation,” he said, and called on stakeholders not only to celebrate the vision, but to buy into it.
The Managing Director of FMO, the foreign partnering firm, Mr Nanno Kleiterp, said opportunities for housing development abound in Nigeria, stating that with the concentration of the population in the urban centres, housing will remain a central theme. “Housing is a very important part of our portfolio and investment in housing is crucial.” He said there is no sufficient supply of affordable housing for the low and middle income bracket, adding that FMO would like to be active on the supply side of housing.
“ We are proud of this venture and hope we can support this company and be a part of this development process,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of Agbara Estates Limited, Mr Kolapo Lawson, said the engagement of FMO in the venture is an indication of a vote of confidence in Nigeria as a nation and a good business environment.
Abbey’s CEO, Mrs. Okwuechime, admitted that the development is a milestone for the fortunes of the bank, saying the realization of the project has rekindled hope for the mortgage institution.