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‘New policy needed to boost local materials in housing delivery’

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Mallam Murtala Aliyu

Mallam Murtala Aliyu

AS a leading real estate development firm, UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDC) kicks off the construction of another residential estate in Lagos, James Pinnock Place Phase III, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has called on governments to evolve policies that would boost local building materials in country.

This, according to NIQS president and former Minister of State for Power, Mallam Murtala Aliyu, is the way to significantly bridge the housing gap in Nigeria.

NIQS’ chief spoke last week at the sod turning of choice 83 housing units, named as James Pinnock Place Phase III, located on about three hectares of land, where the waterfront portion of the estate directly faces the Lagos lagoon within the Lekki neighborhood.

Owned by UPDC, the estate, which offers a cool and airy atmosphere for residents, will further redefine the landscape of Lagos is. It was designed to provide 11 units of five bedroom detached houses with boys quarter, 28 units of four bedroom semi-detached houses with boys quarter, 42 units of three bedroom apartments with boys quarter and two units of four bedroom maisonette with boys quarter. Recreational facilities are swimming pool, gymnasium and children’s playground.

Other facilities are sewage treatment plant, borehole and water treatment plant, fire alarm system, burglar system, PHCN and standby generator, ample parking space for residents and visitors. It has 18 months completion period.

Speaking with journalists, after performing the sod turning ceremony, Aliyu, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, said since it was not possible for government to meet the housing needs of her people, it was therefore, imperative for it to put in place programmes that will encourage developers to deliver more affordable homes.

“We need to support private developers because the truth is that government alone cannot meet the housing needs of the nation. Government can create enabling environment that will address the supply of housing.

Once the government can attend to the supply ends, more affordable houses will be built.” According to him, to build affordable homes in Nigeria, there must deliberate programmes to ensure most of our building materials are sourced locally.

“This is germane because when we keep importing, the overall cost will spread across the homes being built. James Pinnock Place, named after a distinguished progenitor of UAC of Nigeria Plc, presents a unique value proposition for our customers.

The unique designs, expansive spacing, alluring greenery and world class facilities and amenities, will position the estate as a primus inter pares in the built environment in Nigeria.

The estate, which is estimated to gulp N5b opon completion, will further redefine class residential community in Lagos will be delivered in a picturesque, serene and secure environment.

Prices of the homes rang between N50m to N110m depending on the house type. Chairman of the developing firm, Mr. Larry Ettah said, emphasis would be placed on communal living in a neighborhood with the provision of green areas and recreational facilities for the children, adults and families.

According to Ettah, UPDC would continue to complement government’s efforts to improve the infrastructural landscape of Nigeria by embarking on real estate projects that conform to international standards, aesthetically appealing, which will continuously offer delightful living experiences to its customers and residents.

Explaining the rationale for the invitation of NIQS’ chief, Managing Director, Hakeem Ogunniran, said although UPDC has been working with the built professionals, his firm has decided to align itself them, by giving them the recognition they deserve.

“We recognise that we are all stakeholders in this industry and that the more we understand ourselves, the more we understand the issues, the more we collaborate together.

This platform will give us a common front to deal with the issues collectively.” Setting agenda for the incoming government, Ogunniran said it should focus more on providing primary infrastructure.

“We need to focus on primary infrastructure because it is the responsibility of the government to provide primary infrastructure. If you look at this estate for instance, the access route, was jointly constructed by our company and two others.

Now, there is regional expressway which has been incorporated into Lagos Master Plan, we are appealing to the government to deliver this road because it will accelerate development around this axis.”

According to Ogunniran, former law lecturer at the University of Lagos, a trend where a developer provides its own infrastructure is not good for the sector.

“What we have today is a situation where every developer is like a local government, which does its primary and secondary infrastructure; you do your roads, sewage, power, water treatment and such like.

But the more the government takes up its role of providing primary infrastructure, the benefits will be that of the consumers, as cost of construction will significantly be reduced.”

Ogunniran added that it had fully sold on the site and service scheme on the estate but noted: “The key thing with this project is that our customers have the flexibility of their own finishing either by choosing a particular finishing or they could finish on their own and it is noteworthy that some of our customers have taken that advantage while some are asking that we deliver fully finished homes.”


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