Port Harcourt's high profile as a business and pleasure hub is being reinforced with the construction of a well thought-out living community known as Golf Estate. The facility promises upscale lifestyle at affordable rates.
Port Harcourt, with all its class as an oil and gas city, has only one or two gated living communities that can be truly described as classy. Shell Petroleum Development Company put its international stamp on the city's landscape early with the development of a landmark housing facility for its staff. Now, this city has been promised something of Shell's stature that would be better and bigger.
Incidentally, the new exquisite project known as RivTaf Golf Estate would be developed at a cost of N12.1 billion and is promoted by Taf Nigeria Homes, a company chaired by a former Managing Director of Shell, Mr. Basil Omiyi, an engineer, in partnership with the River state Government.
RivTaf Golf Estate, which development began during the week after an official document signing ceremony hosted by Governor Chibuike Amaechi would have 750 homes, a golf course and other facilities that would be built on 38 hectres of prime land located at Peter Odili Road, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt.
Governor Amaechi wants the estate completed very quickly because of its importance to Rivers State's economy. "It is undisputable that every economy that wants to develop must commit to the provision of infrastructure of which one key element is housing. The Rivers State Government believes that sustained infrastructural development is pivotal for economic growth and employment generation in the State.
Through our strategic partnership with TAF Nigeria Homes Limited in the 'Golf Estate', we are vigorously committed to addressing the social and economic challenges of our people by providing affordable home ownership.
In 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 a whole lot of people in the entire distribution chain.
We are proud to be associated with this project as it demonstrates our unending commitment to using creative and dynamic solutions to meet the needs of our people."
At the contract signing ceremony, the governor thanked Taf Nigeria for their interest in investing in Rivers State, charging the company to state work immediately. "I don't agree with 30 months (the construction period), I think you can do it in 18 months if you get in as many contractors as possible."
He assured them of the government's cooperation in terms of purchase of the housing units. "You don't need to be worried about uptake, because a many people are waiting to buy." He cited an example of fast purchase of homes in another estate being developed in the state capital.
The state government, he said would buy some housing units and would protect them from being harassed, advising them to start construction work now. "There is a law in Rivers State that prescribes a jail term of 3 years for anybody who will attempt to stop you from working. If they come to harass you then let me know. We need to prosecute some people as a lesson to others."
Governor Amaechi said the land on which the estate was being built belonged to the government, adding that the company should inform him of any challenges they had in the construction process.
The Golf Estate's vision is to be the biggest serviced gated residential estate with breathtaking scenery with an unforgettable ambiance that is reinforced by a well laid out landscape. Taf Nigeria Homes is focusing on good living, employing expertise as its strength, and affordability as its catch.
According to the Chairman of Taf Nigeria Homes Ltd., Basil Omiyi the project would be delivered on schedule, adding that it was a great opportunity for us to sign this joint venture with the Rivers State Government to develop the property.
"What we intend to deliver here are really homes and not just houses, which means we go for quality and convenience of living. We assure you that we will deliver to quality and we hope that would open some doors for us to do other things in Rivers State."
The project started recently said the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Taf Nigeria Homes, Mr. Mustapha Njie at a media briefing after the contract was signed. "The project started about two years ago when I was introduced to the Rivers State Government by the World Bank."
Njie said the project would need a lot of local labour, adding that they would have high capacity and good quality. "We are ready to start tomorrow. We are hopeful that we can complete about 80 percent of the work by next one year. We have a contract with the government to complete it within 30 months but we will do everything possible that by Christmas next year majority of residents can spend Christmas in their houses."
Taf Nigeria Homes Ltd., Njie said is a real estate firm that propagates good living by enhancing the landscape through timely delivery of good quality affordable homes. "It is a sister company of TAF Holding Co., which has been notably active in the real estate and construction sector in Africa for 23 years."
The company is led by Njie, whose dedication to building homes not houses complete with high technology maintenance facility and competent employees earned him several regional and international prestigious awards: ECOWAS: One of the most Honourable Businessmen of the year (2011). Africa Centre for Investment Analysis: Best SMME Construction Company in Africa (2004). European Council for Global Business: Award for Quality and Excellence (1998).
Golf Estate's community...
The property is designed for middle to high income earners in the state. The project will consist of the development, building and management of middle to high income housing communities as well as the development and delivery of infrastructures such as shopping centres, sports centre, recreation centre, 9-hole golf course, central water sewage and power supply.
The Government will provide basic external infrastructure such as power supply, roads and other utilities leading to the project site.
According to Njie, the estate would have 200 two-bedroom apartments; 408 three-bedroom Apartments; 30 three bedroom Town/Terrace House; 32 four bedroom Town/Terrace House; 10 four bedroom Villa/Duplex; 21 five bedroom Villa/duplex; 50 plots of site and services; retail and shopping mall; recreational facilities and 9-hole Golf course.
The Apartment building has Comprises the ground plus three floors. Total floor area of the 2 bedroom is 84sqm and the 3 bedroom is 131sqm. Every floor has four apartments; 3 Bedroom Townhouse; comprises of a total floor area of 182sqm with front and back garden; 4 Bedroom Townhouse; comprises of a total floor area of 203 sqm with front and back garden; 4 bedroom Villa; Comprises of a total floor area of 231 sqm with large garden and servant's quarters; 5 bedroom Villa, comprises of a total floor area of 247 sqm with large garden and servant's quarters. All the houses are fitted with; Porcelain floor and wall tiles; external security external doors, wooden internal doors; POP decorative ceiling; alluminium windows and patio doors; decorative Roofing tiles; fitted kitchen cabinets and wardropes; and ceramic sanitary ware
Services that would be offered in the estate upon completion are; 24 hours electricity and water supply; round the clock security (gated community); garbage collection; maintenance of streets and public areas.
There would be mortgage facility provided by Aso Savings & Loans Plc., and some construction finance by First Bank. Both companies were represented by Aso's Regional Head, FCT Marketing, Elijah Onyeagba and First Bank by the Group Head, Public Sector/PH Main Branch, Nkiruka Harris-Eze.
Taf Nigeria Homes' sister company built Brufut Gardens in The Gambia. It consists 3 apartment blocks, 500 Villa, Town Houses and Duplexes, 52 Presidential Villas, Shopping Mall Sporting and recreational facilities 95 per cent built, sold and occupied.
Njie said he is investing in Nigeria because he believes there is demand and that there is a shortfall of 90 million houses annually. "We don't have any doubts that our houses will be sold and they are not just for Port Harcourt residents but also for Port Harcourt as a business hub. All of us know the business that goes around here in Port Harcourt and there is definitely a demand and we have done all the necessary studies."