By Kingsley Adegboye
Port Harcourt, popularly called the ‘Garden City’ because of its ambiance, is set to witness a major breakthrough in the provision of upscale housing. A 750-unit estate will soon be released into the property market, courtesy of a partnership between the Rivers State Government and Messrs TAF Nigeria Homes Limited.
Christened Golf Estate apparently due to the inclusion of a 25-hectares golf course, this mixed development is sited on a 38- hectares parcel of land located along Peter Odili Road in the Trans Amadi area of the city.
Golf Estate consists of two, three, four and five-bedroom Apartments, Town Houses and Villas.
Conducting newsmen round the site for the N14.1 billion estate, the Managing Director of TAF Nigeria Homes, Mr. Mustapha Njie explained that actual construction work started early last month (March). The project, he further explained, comprises 608 units of Apartments, 62 Town or Terrace Houses and 31 Villas. Facilities being provided include a golf course and Club House which has a swimming pool, tennis court and a restaurant.
Golf estate according to Mr. Njie, will also have a shopping mall. “Facilities such as network of roads, power supply, water supply, central sewage treatment plant, central drainage system, central reservoir, central CCTV and others will be provided in the estate. There will also be a management outfit for the management of the estate which will be handled by TAF,” he said.
Mr. Njie gave further details about the ownership structure of the estate. “The project is a joint venture between Rivers State and TAF Nigeria Homes. The State Government will take 20 per cent share of the project’s proceeds while TAF has 80 per cent. In terms of equity contribution, the State government provided just the land. Every other thing in the estate is being provided by TAF Nigeria Limited. These include finance, construction and management of the estate,” he said.
The TAF Homes boss disclosed that the estate will be developed in two phases. The first phase comprises all villa houses, all town houses and 12 blocks of apartments. This translates to approximately 200 units of two, three and four-bedroom apartments.
On when the project would be completed, Mr. Njie said: “Everything that will make the estate functional will be ready by June next year. We started the project last year. When we started selling off the plan, people had doubts, but today, we have been proven right because people can see what is on ground. We are proud to say that all our Town and Villa Houses were sold out within a month. At the moment, we don’t have any Town or Villa House to sell. We only have apartments to sell”.
He commended the company’s clients for the confidence they reposed on them. Golf Estate is being financed by a consortium of banks. They include First Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Aso Savings and Loans and Zenith Bank plc. “These are all our development partners in the project. We also owe our thanks to the Rivers State Government and the local community for their cooperation with us on this project,” he said.
The TAF Homes CEO praised the industry of the local contractors engaged by his firm to handle the construction of the estate.
“ There is no foreign element on this project. The contractors on this project are small and medium scale contractors who were hired locally. All the equipment being used by the contractors such as mixers and block making machines for the construction of the estate were purchased by us for them. We did this to help them build their capacity. We equally have a centre within the estate for the training of engineers and contractors, thus assisting them to increase their capacity building. This is to ensure quality control through out the project,” he said.
On availability of mortgage for intending buyers, Mr. Njie disclosed that his firm has an arrangement with Aso Savings and Loans. His words: “We have partnership with Aso Savings and Loans and anyone who is qualified for NHF can buy any of the houses with mortgage arrangement with Aso Savings and Loans. There are other banks that offer mortgage facilities. Interested investors can arrange with such banks or buy directly from us. In the second phase, we are looking at a staggered payment plan for 25 years”.
Vanguard Homes & Property recalls that Governor Rotimi Amaechi had at the partnership agreement signing ceremony in December 2012, given reasons why the State is partnering with Taf Homes to develop the estate. “Eevery economy that wants to develop must commit to the provision of infrastructure of which housing is a key element. The State government believes that sustained infrastructural development is pivotal for economic growth and employment generation in the state.
Through this project, we are not only providing homes but also creating employment opportunities for various skill sets such as engineers, electricians, builders, construction labourers, and all the people in the distribution chain,” he said.