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Developer, traders seal deal on N16b Imo Heartland Gateway market project



The Principal Consultant/ CEO M.I Okoro and Associates, Meckson Innocent Okoro(left), Managing Director /CEO, Graceland Channels ltd; Pastor Nat Omoruyi, representative of Imo State Governor, Alfred Ononugbo, and President, Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association (PAPDA), Godfrey Iyke Nwosu at the signing of purchase contract of 2500 Lock-up shops in respect of Heartland Gateway International market, at Mgbidi, Imo State, held in Lagos PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

WITH an eye on re-energising the economic activities of eastern Nigeria, create countless jobs, employment and other creative entrepreneurial activities, the developers of the multi- billion naira Heartland Gateway International Market have signed an agreement with computer village traders in Lagos for the purchase of 2500 lock up shops.

The deal between lead promoter – Graceland Channels Limited and Phones and Allied Product Dealers Association (PAPDA), brokered by M.I.Okoro & Associates, one of the foremost experts and consultants in the market relocation, was endorsed in Lagos last week, “to demonstrate their firm believe in the development of Igbo land, and expansion of the Computer Village model in the country.”

Essentially, the Chief Executive Officer, Graceland Channels Limited, Pastor Nat Omoruyi and president of the association, Chief Iyke Nwosu, signed the purchase contract.

The project will to accommodate 10, 000 shop unit, and estimated to gulp about N16 billion is located along Okwelis-Oguta Junction, Mgbidi, Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State.

Traders have begun to explore opportunities to expand their businesses in the South East of the country, with the Computer Village business community in Lagos signing an agreement to take up 2,500 shopping facility in the Imo State market project 

Coming as a joint venture under a Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) agreement between Imo State government and the private firm; the market project is envisaged as a multi-purpose one spot commercial and business service centre which will serve as a key commercial destination for the State in particular, Nigeria as a nation and the whole of West Africa.

More than 80 units of warehouses each measuring 68 square metres will also be provided to take care of the needs of those who may want to store their goods.

Similarly, ancillary services and infrastructural facilities within the scheme will be provided such as banking halls, parking space for cars and articulated vehicles, clinic, road network, fire station, schools, mini water works, sewage treatment plants, electrical installations, waste management networks, security services and hotels.

The Principal Partner, M.I.Okoro and Associates, Dr. Meckson Okoro noted that the traders have urged the government of Imo State to assist them in creating other infrastructure that would assist them to do their business in the city like pipe borne water, electricity, internal road development within the Market City, building of Hospital and other municipal services that would aid this magnitude of the Market City.

The computer village business group on their own have invited banks to partner with them by providing mortgages from their teaming population under special funding arrangement so as to finance their initial 2500 lock up shops.

While appealing to other Igbo trading groups to join efforts to make the Heartland Gateway International Market a reality, Okoro stated that the market will play host to over two million people doing business in the market city.

This teaming population that would come from all parts of Nigeria and the world would like to energize demands for land for various developmental projects like- housing estates, Warehousing complexes, Hotels, Industrial and allied activities, schools and colleges and any other activities that may require the use of land will surely increase the demand for land purchase and expected increase on the value of land in this areas.

Already, the visionary Governor Anayo Rochas Okorocha has earmarked about 200hectres of land to Graceland Channels Ltd for the development of over 3,000 housing units for both residential and commercial occupations in Mgbidi and immediate environment so as to accommodate the expected teaming population as a preliminarymeasure to tackle demand for housing to complement the Heartland Gateway International Market,” he said.

Omoruyi had explained that the proposal of an organized market in this location would absorb the spread of Onitsha market, which is just at about 30km away and also decongesting the crowded Douglas Road in Owerri. “The ripple effect too will create development in this area as economic activities will stem up and the cottage industry will also have their share of expression and marketing.

He said: “The construction period is estimated at three years and broken down into three phases of 12 months for the first Phase, 12 months for the second Phase and 12 months for the third Phase.

The phasing is predicated on the foreseen impact of such a magnitude of project on the environment to adjust to population growth explosions.”

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