By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Government has signed a joint venture agreement with a top notch housing firm, Affinity Continental Reality Limited, for the development of the Peninsula Estate, first created 30 years ago, with the investor expressing willingness to sink N30bn in the project.
The landmark Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement was signed at a brief ceremony that held at the Nasarawa State Governor’s Lodge, in Asokoro, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Speaking shortly after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two parties, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the venture was in line with the policy thrust of administration to bring development to Karu Local Government Area, which is the gateway to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as the entire state.
An obviously elated Engineer Sule, disclosed that with the signing of the deal, Nasarawa State stands to earn revenues amounting to N9bn on completion of the project.
The Governor explained that his administration decided to look for a private housing developer to invest on the 100 hectares made available at the Peninsula Estate, instead of the time tested site and services, because the state stands to benefit more with the later arrangement.
Engineer Sule cited as an example, the Orange Market, located in Mararaba, also in Karu Local Government Area, initiated by the previous administration, where site and services was employed, allocating the lands to various groups of people but for which no development is yet to take place at the site.
According to the Governor, instead of earning revenue for the state, government is rather spending money to safeguard the Orange Market, which he said does not make economic sense.
Engineer Sule further disclosed that under the PPP arrangement, Nasarawa State will own 30 percent of the entire project on completion as equity, while the developers will own the remaining 70 percent.
“Nasarawa State is not going to invest any money there, what Nasarawa State has already invested is now called the equity, that is going to be the 30 percent that Nasarawa is holding in form of land and the infrastructure,” he stated.
The Governor emphasized that by the time the housing estate is completed, Nasarawa State will now have a revenue of N9bn and not the N2bn being projected if the site and services was employed instead.
Engineer Sule said his administration was able to achieve the feat mostly because of earlier steps taken to create enabling environment for investors, namely the signing into law of the Mortgage Foreclosure Bill, as well as setting up of the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency.
The Governor used the opportunity to assure land owners displaced at the site of the project that his administration has reserved 30 hectares of land to be allocated to them, especially at a time when the value of land in the area has appreciated as a result of the development coming to the Peninsula.
“The idea is that those people who have legitimate ownership once they come, they are now going to be winners both sides.
“Because they are going to be winners in a place where there is exactly no layout, no road network, no value whatsoever, to be given a piece of land where there will be visible development,” he explained.
Earlier speaking, Managing Director of Affinity Continental Reality Limited, Muhammad Abdulmutallab, assured the state government that his company will execute the project according to specifications, stressing that Affinity Home is willing to spend N30bn on the Peninsula Estate project.
Commenting on the scope of the project, Abdulmutallab said the estate would comprise 400, 000 units of low income housing of two and three bedroom units, together with facilities such as a hospital, schools, worship centres and other amenities.
Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, Managing Director, Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency and Mr. Sonny Agassi, Director General, Nasarawa Geographic Information Services (NAGIS) signed on behalf of the government, with state Commissioner for Lands, Hon. Salihu Alizaga, also signing as witness, while Abdulmutallab and a director of the firm, signed on behalf of the investors.
The Peninsula Estate project was earlier conceived in 1992 and was among the assets inherited by Nasarawa State when the state was created out of the old Plateau States. Successive administrations were unable to find use for the site until the immediate past administration of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, gave the contract for the layout of the site.
With the coming on board of the Engineer Sule administration, the government hastened to complete the construction of infrastructure on the site, mostly roads, culverts and semi bridges and with the enabling business environment established, approached private investors to develop the area, with the Affinity Continental finally selected to execute the project.